The UUA Bylaws requires a 25% quorum of congregations to send a Statement of Conscience–a comment on where the UU community stands on a social justice issue–to General Assembly–the annual business meeting of the Unitarian Universalist Association. On Monday, February 2nd, the congregational poll asking whether or not the Statement on Peacemaking should be voted upon at GA closed. A record total of 81% of congregations participated in this poll! The resolution to send the Statement on Peacemaking to General Assembly overwhelmingly passed with over 40% of all congregations approving of the measure compared to the less than 1% who voted it down.
This is a huge success. In the past, less than 10% of congregations have participated in the congregational poll for a Statement of Conscience. Congregations decided how they would vote in the poll in a myriad of ways. Many congregations held congregational meetings to discuss and vote on the measure. Other congregations empowered their social justice teams or ministers to speak on behalf of the congregation.
Feedback was also collected by congregations and delivered to the Commission on Social Witness.
The Commission on Social Witness (the committee that is in charge of the UUA’s social justice statements) will take the results and feedback and edit the draft Statement of Conscience in early March. That draft will be sent to congregations in preparation for the vote at General Assembly.
Statements of Conscience require a 2/3 majority vote to be passed at General Assembly. With almost 40% of congregations supporting the discussion of peacemaking at GA of 2009, this makes the passage of a Statement of Conscience on Peacemaking a real possibility.
If your congregation is not participating in the peacemaking study action issue, it is not too late to begin. You can get more information at uua.org/peacemaking or by emailing peacemaking @ uua.org