General Assembly registration fees increase May 1

Registration fees for attending General Assembly, June 23–27 in Minneapolis, go up on May 1. Before that, adult registration is $310 and youth registration is $185. Costs increase to $355 and $210, respectively, as of May 1.

The 88-member Bismarck-Mandan UU Fellowship and Church, Bismarck, North Dakota, is sending 14 people to GA. The congregation is paying full registration fees for all of them.

President Janis Cheney said the congregation is growing and leaders recognized that the Minneapolis GA, just a few hours down I-94, presented a not-to-be-missed opportunity to expose members to a large gathering of UUs and to bring home information about welcoming, leadership, and other topics.

Members who had been to previous GAs held information sessions after church. Those who indicated interest were asked to attend one or two pre-GA meetings to review the agenda and also participate in post-GA sessions including one or more Sunday service presentations.

“Our board considers this an unparalleled opportunity for making connections and growing in understanding of our faith tradition,” said Cheney. “We hope it will be an energizing and inspiring experience that will translate into greater engagement and development for those who attend and through them, for our entire congregation.”

April 20th deadline for youth GA scholarships

April 20, 2010, is the deadline to apply for scholarships for youth and young adults to attend General Assembly this June in Minneapolis. The UUA will pay the GA registration fee and up to $500 of other expenses for applicants who can demonstrate need.

Find out more here or by emailing youth@uua.org, youngadults@uua.org, or calling 617-948-4350.

General Assembly 2010 registration open

Registration and housing reservations open this Monday, March 1, for General Assembly 2010, which will be June 23–27 in Minneapolis. Registration is $310 for adults. Youth, retired ministers, and aspirant and candidate ministers pay $185. Find complete information here.

More information is on the GA blog, including details about GA events and logistics. There is also an email list, UUA-GA, for information and questions about GA, and an audio podcast. This year you can also follow GA on Twitter as well as Facebook.

This year most business sessions, also known as plenaries, are on the weekend to make it easier for delegates to participate. All GA workshops, around 190, will be on Thursday and Friday. More information on that is here.

UUA President the Rev. Peter Morales will lead the worship service on Sunday morning, and the Rev. Paige Getty of the UU Congregation of Columbia, Md., will lead the Service of the Living Tradition on Thursday. Other speakers this year will include Native American activist and two-time vice presidential candidate for the Green Party Winona LaDuke, presenting the Ware Lecture. UU songwriter Peter Mayer will be part of the opening ceremony.

The Rev. Dr. Galen Guengerich, senior minister of All Souls Church UU in New York City, will follow up last year’s popular UU University program track, Theology for a Secular Age, with a new, eight-part workshop series entitled The Necessity of Virtue. There will be no UU University this year.

The GA service project will be helping residents of Minneapolis’ Phillips neighborhood, less than a mile from the convention center, with landscaping, painting, installing walkways, and similar projects. GA participants will be invited to sign up for blocks of time during GA.

In a separate project, local UU congregations will begin building a Habitat for Humanity house in the Twin Cities in June through a UU Service Committee JustWorks camp.  GA participants are invited to come a week early to help with that. Go to the UUSC JustWorks website for details later this winter. There will probably not be opportunities for GA attendees to work on this house the week of GA. Funds will be solicited for both the service project and the Habitat house.

February 1 is certification deadline

Monday, February 1 is the deadline for congregations to file an annual Certification of Membership with the UUA. To do this, log into the Data Services Login Page for Congregations. When you are logged in you can certify your congregation’s membership and statistical data. Do this by selecting “Begin Certification of Membership 2010.” You can also update the congregation’s mailing and meeting addresses, phone number, email, etc. This congregational contact information appears on the UUA’s Find a Congregation page.

Although anyone at your congregation can be authorized to input the congregation’s membership number on the website, the number that is entered must be certified as accurate by a minister or officer of the congregation.

Certification is used by the UUA to determine the number of delegates each congregation may send to General Assembly. The deadline on February 1 is at 5 p.m. (Pacific Time).

When your annual meeting rolls around this spring (or next fall) remember that there’s a new, easier way for congregations to update their membership and leadership lists with the UUA. It’s called my.uua.org. Learn more about it here.

Peacemaking, ethical eating deadlines

Congregations may vote and submit comments until February 1 on the draft Statement of Conscience on Peacemaking, presented by the UUA’s Commission on Social Witness. Congregations can also submit information and resources until March 1 on the Congregational Study/Action Issue (CSAI) on Ethical Eating. More information on both issues, including ways to solicit congregational feedback on them, can be found here.

To participate in the debate on these issues, congregations will need to log in through the Data Services Login for Congregations, which became available November 13.  Login information cannot be offered by the CSW. Contact your minister or congregational administrator for login credentials.

Both social justice issues will be discussed at General Assembly 2010.