I’m excited about our upcoming District Assembly!
First, I’m excited that it’s about joy. Our “misery index” has been much too high lately – so join us to reconnect with fun. Our keynote speaker, Bill Harley, will remind us of our stories of love, hope and happiness in his Saturday morning address, “A Life in Common,” then offer additional tips on increasing enjoyment at home, work and church in his workshop, “The Power of Story.” And, we’ll be treated to his afternoon all-ages concert featuring music and general hilarity! You’ll find delight in many other workshops and activities, too – and in the fellowship of hundreds of your Unitarian Universalist sisters and brothers who will gather in Bellevue , WA , February 19-21. It starts with our celebratory ingathering on Friday night, and continues right on through Sunday worship together.
Second, I’m excited that it’s about learning. With more than two dozen workshops to choose from in three sessions on Saturday, be prepared to discover new and improved ways to engage and deepen congregational and spiritual life. With so many excellent concurrent opportunities to increase your knowledge and practice in congregational leadership, spiritual growth and faith in action, you’ll want to bring a team from your congregation to take it all in and allow you to compare notes later.
Third, I’m excited that it’s about multi-generational community. This District Assembly has been very intentional in planning dynamic programs to involve UUs of all ages and stages, inviting us to explore as families and as peers. Many workshops are specifically designed to be inclusive of children, youth and adults, and we’re particularly blessed with the wisdom and teachings of our younger UUs in the Session 1 workshop, “Youth and Young Adult Leadership in Our Congregations.”
Fourth, I’m excited that it’s about vision and governance. We’re so fortunate to have UUA President, the Rev. Peter Morales, with us throughout District Assembly. In addition to leading closing worship on Sunday, Peter asks for our thoughtful input on co-creating “A Religion for Our Time” – this workshop, also led by our UUA Trustee and the PNWD Board, will be offered two times, so plan to participate in Session 1 or 2. Your congregational delegates are empowered to conduct the business of our District at our 48 thAnnual General Meeting, convened first thing Saturday morning as an important part of District Assembly. Remind your qualifying delegates to apply for travel equalization funds, too – every little bit helps!
Finally, I’m excited that it’s about change. Long-time UUs in this district will note the name change of this event, from “Annual General Meeting” (AGM) to “District Assembly,” a term more widely used throughout the 19 UUA districts, and parallel to the UUA’s national gathering, “General Assembly.” Given cost considerations, changing culture and the burden of putting on an intensive three-day event (wow, am I ever grateful for each year’s volunteer planning team!), we’ll be trying some new formats in years hence. Stay tuned for announcements at the Saturday night banquet!
I’m excited! Join me February 19-21 at our District Assembly in Bellevue , WA . Our extraordinary planning team from host congregation East Shore Unitarian Church and co-hosts Northlake UU Church and Woodinville UU Church, are ready to welcome you!
Janine Larsen, District Executive
Pacific Northwest District
Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations