UUMFE at General Assembly

2017 GA in New Orleans, LA2017 GA Logo

     The 2017 General Assembly (GA) will be June 21-25 in New Orleans, Louisiana. Most GA events will be held in the New Orleans Convention Center. This year's theme is “Resist and Rejoice.” We will gather for an experience focused on solidarity with the movements for racial, economic and climate justice. We will invite the culture, history, geography, and people of New Orleans to be our teachers.

UUA Presidential Candidates

     At GA, we will elect a new UUA president. In late January, over 100 UU climate justice activists signed and sent a letter (text here) to the three candidates requesting their thoughts in response to a series of questions about the global climate crisis.
Here are their answers:
     Rev. Susan Frederick-Gray;
     Rev. Jeanne Pupke; and
     Rev. Alison Miller.

     Consolidated version of responses.

For further reference, here are links to recordings of the Candidate Forums at UUA Regional and District meetings

     Southern Region:  April 8, 2017  
     Central East Region (CERG):  April 1, 2017 
     Pacific Northwest District:  Feb. 25, 2017 


     Listen, Ask and Participate - Climate Justice at GA 2017

9 workshops with 15 partners

     The Climate Justice Track at GA 2017 in New Orleans will cover a wide range of topics - decolonization, partnerships, resiliency in the face of natural disasters, art for the movement, planning for more action, partnerships and more.  

     Included are workshops on the People's Movement assemly process, regional impacts of climate change, partnerships for change, art and activism, decolonization, and strategic planning for change.



2016 GA in Columbus, OH

     The theme of General Assembly (GA) 2016 is “Heart Land: Where Faiths Connect.” There will be2016 GA Logo many workshops and activities that tie this theme to environmental, ecological, and climate justice. These presentations may be of interest to individuals and congregations looking for inspiration and projects for their Green Sanctuary action plans.

     Also, come by the UUMFE booth in the Exhibit Hall (#222), a.k.a., “Climate Justice Central.” for UUMFE, UU Young Adults for Climate Justice and Commit2Respond newsletters, action alerts, and sign-up stations.

Note:  HR = Hyatt Regency   CC - Convention Center

Building Interfaith Partnerships To Address Climate Justice
Thursday at 10:45 a.m., HR Union E, UU Ministry for Earth.

Panelists will share how the global events of Paris and Laudate Si get played out in localized environmental justice coalitions.

The Color of Water: 
Thursday, 12:00 noon - 12:30 p.m., UUSC, Booth #207, Exhibit Hall C,

Amber Moulton, the UUSC researcher who produced the UUSC report The Invisible Crisis: Water Unaffordability in the United States will be discussing the report in a ‘pop up’ session at the UUSC booth. Moulton will be available for questions and share where to find more information. 

Exploring Regional and Interfaith Grassroots Organizing for Climate Justice:
Thursday at 1:15 p.m., CC Union Station Ballroom A, North Texas UU Congregations.

Come for stories and discussion of regional, interfaith, multicultural climate justice organizing that strengthens roots and relationships for localized transformation and liberation.

Sustainable Development and Interfaith Action Against Climate Change:
Thursday at 3 p.m., CC Hall F, UU United Nations Office.

Learn about UU delegates’ multi-faith and multinational dialogue at COP21, the United Nations climate conference where the Paris Agreement was adopted, and how we can engage in interfaith climate action in our communities.

Proposed Congregational Study/Action Issues (CSAI) for 2016-2020:
Thursday at 3 p.m., CC C220-222, Commission on Social Witness.

Hear advocates for four proposed CSAIs present their issues and respond to questions. Voting for the next CSAI will take place in the General Session II, Friday 8:30am - Noon.

Faith Communities Can Work Together To Reverse Climate Change:
Friday at 3 p.m., CC Battelle South, UUs for a Just Economic Community; First UU Church of Columbus, OH.

Faith community leaders will discuss climate change, and practical actions to address the failure of democracy to mitigate its, due to unchallenged corporate power and money.

MORALtorium: The Faith Community and Hydrofracking:

Friday 4:45 p.m., CC Battelle Grand B, UU Pennsylvania Legislative Advocacy Network

The moral implications of fracking, including our health, safety and climate change will be discussed.  Also, strategies will be presented that have resulted in moratoriums that have been successful. Excerpts from the documentary Groundswell Rising will be featured.

Shared Liberation: Movement Building That Honors Front-Line Communities
Saturday at 3 p.m., CC Union Station Ballroom A, Center for Ethical Living and Social Justice Renewal

Through a race, power, and climate justice lens, learn how UUs can stand on the side of love holistically, authentically, and with integrity.

2015 GA in Portland, OR

Environmental Justice Tour, June 28 and 29

Post-GA 2015 EJ Tour Graphic      Portland’s “green” reputation is getting even greener thanks to some extraordinary grassroots coalitions that are working to reclaim the commons and restore and protect the health of the two magnificent rivers that are so integral to this region.

     Join UU Ministry for Earth for a tour of projects in the marginalized neighborhoods of Portland’s industrial north along the rivers and learn best practices that are sure to inspire action, and possibly an EJ tour, in your own community. Tour includes:

  • Revisit “Village Gardens,” the 2007 GA service project, and learn about its tremendous growth and impact on the mixed-income neighborhoods it serves, including a new non-profit food market.  
  • Learn how the “Let Us Build Cully Park!” coalition is turning a brownfield site into the first public park in one of Portland’s most diverse but poorest neighborhoods; a community garden is already flourishing and an Inter-Tribal Gathering Garden will be built soon.
  • See how the Portland Harbor Community Coalition is working to insure the cleanup and restoration of the 11-mile Willamette River Superfund site that runs through Portland.
  • Learn how the Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission is working to protect Tribal fishing rights and many organizations like Columbia Riverkeeper are fighting to prevent increased coal, oil, and LNG trains along the river and the construction of export terminals.

Sacred Public Witness with the Lummi Nation

Saturday, June 27, 4:45-6:15, Oregon Convention Center, Portland, OR

In the face of the overwhelming reality and impacts of climate change and environmental destruction, we need each other. Together, we can celebrate life. Together, we can deepen our commitments to justice. Together, we can change the world. Our climate is changing, yet we have hope. Our world is in crisis, yet we have faith. On the Commit2Respond you can Read More

A New Wind Blowing in the Northwest, Reflection from Florence Caplow

Florence Caplow, 2014-15 intern minister at Quimper UU Fellowship in Pt. Townsend, WA, chronicles the launch of the Lummi Indian Nation’s 5,000 mile Totem Pole Journey to the Canadian tar sands to draw attention to the negative effects of fossil fuel extraction on many Native American lands. Several members of the Lummi Nation participated in two General Assembly workshops as well leading our Public Witness, on June 27. Read the reflection here.

Change the Story, Change the Future

David Korten returns to GA 2015 in Portland to share insights from his brand new book Change the Story, Change the Future: A Living Economy for a Living Earth. The  book was launched on Jan. 25 at All Saints Church in Pasadena. Watch this 42-minute presentation at the “Rector’s Forum” and a longer presentation later that day (two hours). Both are well worth your time.

2015 GA - UUMFE workshops


Commit2Respond: Shift To a Low Carbon FutureCindy Davidson, Rev.Susannah Tuttle, Elizabeth Mount, Rev.Joseph Santos-Lyons. Working towards ecologically just, sustainable communities requires radical shifts to a less energy-intensive and cleaner energy future. Learn how UUs can take direct action as individuals, in small groups, at the congregational level and in partnership with community organizations to accelerate the transition to a low-carbon life-sustaining society. #242,Thursday, 1:15-2:30 pm

Moving From Capitalism Towards An Ecological EconomyKat Liu, Aly Tharp, Matthew McHale. Our current economic system relies on unending growth, in which our role is as consumers, the ecological and social impacts of which are obscured. This workshop explores the relationship between capitalism and environmental justice issues such as climate change and marine plastic pollution; then offers suggestions to shift from consumerism towards grateful simplicity. #264, Thursday, 3:00-4:15 pm

Commit2Respond: Growing Young Adult Leadership for Climate JusticeAly Tharp, Benjamin Franklin Craft-Rendon, Elizabeth Mount, Tim DeChristopher. Join visioning conversations about how to empower or embody young adult leadership in climate justice organizing in our faith communities and at large. Leaders of the UU Young Adults for Climate Justice network, who are putting faith into action to address the intersecting social and environmental struggles of our time, will facilitate the conversation. All ages welcome! #280, Thursday, 4:45-6:00 pm


Transformation Without Apocalypse: A Moral Response To Climate ChangeKathleen Dean Moore, Rev.Jill McAllister. Standing on a cliff edge, our calling is to find a new path through the rubble of repudiated ideas toward a radically re-imagined understanding of who we are in the world and how we ought to live. What new narratives point the way? Award-winning author, philosopher, and environmental advocate Kathleen Dean Moore explores possible answers. #324, Friday, 1:15-2:30 pm.

Change the Story, Change the Future: A Living Earth (Part 1 and 2). Double session. Examines old stories that hold us captive to a system of institutions that value money more than life. Hear Korten’s new optimistic Sacred Life and Living Earth Story based on generative systems by which a living Earth maintains the conditions essential to all life. Come deepen your theological and spiritual understandings for sustained advocacy and social justice work. Dr. David Korten, Rev. Melvin Hoover, Irene Keim, Michael Greenspan. #331, Friday, 3:00-4:15 pm and 4:45-6:00 pm


United for Climate Justice: A Young Adult Led Intergenerational ServiceJennifer Nordstrom, Dave Ruffin, Tim DeChristopher, Aly Tharp. A truly inter-generational worship experience that celebrates the diversity of our cultural heritage and life experiences. Climate justice calls us to find unity in the present by acknowledging lessons from our past and dreaming big for a socially just and sustainable future. Join us in worship, that every voice may be present and heard, in the spirit of a just community. #420, Saturday, 1:15-2:30 pm

2014 GA in Providence, RI

Faithful Response: Antiracism from Hurricanes Katrina, Sandy & Beyond, co-sponsored with UU Trauma Response Ministries and the Central East Regional group.  Participants will learn how the structures of racism and interlocking oppressions inequitably affect recovery efforts and the UU way to respond .

Singing for Our Lives with Sandy O and Pat Humphries of emma’s revolution, Tim DeChristopher of Bidder 70 fame, and Curtis Murphy, UUMFE’s Young Adult EJ Intern for 2013-14. Participants will sing, hear stories, and learn how to get their own UU communities singing for justice.

Table Talks for small groups will be scheduled several times a day throughout GA. Pick up the schedule and register at UUMFE’s booth, #203. Topics will include: Earth-based liturgy/theology; basics of EJ and how to get started; creating an environmental film library; becoming a Green Faith Fellow; divestment/reinvestment strategies; and many more.  

Several other workshops focus on the environment and/or ecological justice. Here are a few:

  • Lappé, Miller, Jacobsen, and Joy: Just Good Food – Environmental pioneer Frances Moore Lappé (Diet for a Small Planet), stand-up comic Marisa Miller Wolfson (Vegucated), restaurant labor organizer Ariel Jacobsen (of Behind the Kitchen Door), and psychologist Melanie Joy (Why We Love Dogs & Eat Pigs) will discuss climate action, class justice, and the joy of just eating.
  • Love Reaches Out To Address Our Climate Crisis – This workshop will review the science, discuss the grief associated with climate change, address how communities are and will be affected its effects, and suggest actions participants can take in their congregations and larger communities.
  • Emergency: Lead, Inspire, Grow – In this new age of climate disruption, participants will learn the basics for emergency preparation and response work and how to make their congregations safer. 

2013 GA in Louisville, KY

GA 2013

     The Environmental Justice line-up for the UUA General Assembly for 2013 is very exciting.  

-- The UUMFE Annual Meeting will feature the screening of "Bidder 70," the documentary about Tim DeChristopher. A brief business meeting will preceed the film.

-- UUMFE will present three programs** in addition to the "Bidder 70" screening and will participate in a fourth workshop on the Climate Challenge to Faithful Investing
-- UUMFE is a sponsor for the Environmental Justice tours of West Louisville on Wed. afternoon.


Young Adult Environmental Justice Tour
Wednesday 6:15 pm - 8:45 pm, KICC, 4th St. entrance, Registration required ($10)


** Building a Young Adult Environmental Network, stories of intergenerational climate action.
Thursday 10:45 am – 12:00 pm, KICC 109-112;  UU Ministry for Earth (UUMFE)

** Just and Sustainable Appalachian Community Transitions, showcasing three communities in the post-coal era. Thursday 1:45 pm – 3:00 pm, KICC 201-202;  UU Ministry for Earth (UUMFE)

Connecting Extraction Industries to Rural and Urban Devastation
Thursday 1:45 pm – 3:00 pm, KICC Cascade C;  Kentucky/West Virginia Ministers Coalition

Choose Compassionate Consumption: Personal Choice to Collective Action
Thursday 1:45 pm – 3:00 pm, KICC 101;  UU Service Committee (UUSC)

Justice and Jazz: Moving to Commitment as Improvisation
Thursday 3:30 pm – 4:45 pm, KICC 212-217;  President’s Advisory Committee on Ethical Eating

Climate Change:  Civil Rights for All Ages
Thursday 3:30 pm – 4:45 pm, KICC Cascade A;  Kentucky/West Virginia Ministers Coalition

* The Climate Challenge to Faithful Investing
Thursday 3:30 pm – 4:45 pm, check program book;  Socially Responsible Investing Committee

Public Witness for Environmental Justice
Thursday 5:15 pm – 7:30 pm, Belvedere park, adjacent to Galt House Hotel;  With special guest Wendell Berry. Gather under the UUMFE banner.

Bidder 70 Screening
Thursday 7:45 pm – 9:30 pm, Marriott Hotel Ballroom 9/10. Join UUMFE for its very brief annual meeting followed by the inspiring story of UU Tim DeChristopher’s EJ journey. UU Ministry for Earth (UUMFE)


Our Covenant with Gaia: Networking with UUs
Friday 1:45 pm – 3:00 pm, KICC Cascade A;  Kentucky/West Virginia Ministers Coalition

Cheap Eats. Just Eats.
Friday 1:45 pm – 3:00 pm, KICC 201-202;  President’s Advisory Committee on Ethical Eating


** A Theology of Eco-Justice: Appalachia and Beyond, a panel discussion of an emerging eco-justice theological and ethical framework. Saturday 1:45 pm – 3:00 pm, KICC Cascade C;  UU Ministry for Earth (UUMFE)

Our Covenant with Gaia: Networking with Partners
Saturday 5:30 pm – 6:45 pm, KICC 209;  Kentucky/West Virginia Ministers Coalition

2012 GA in Phoenix, AZ

Are you a Canary?

Visit Booth #209 to find out.  Check out the maps and photos, take home bookmarks, Earth fans, the new UUMFE t-shirt and more.

Join us for these Events

New Environmental Justice Curriculum Showcase: Our Place in the Web of Life:
Thursday, June  21st, 1:30-3:00 pm at the Hyatt, Remington ABC.

Pam Sparr, one of the designers of UUMFE’s new EJ Curriculum, will acquaint participants with its unique features and the opportunities it offers to strengthen a congregation’s environmental, racial, and economic justice ministries. Congregations using this program will share their experiences. (Note: This workshop is not listed in the GA program.)

Immigration & Environmental Justice, UUMFE’s own GA workshop.
Friday, June 22, 9:00-10:15 am at Phoenix Convention Center, 121 AB.  

Panelists Rev. Earl W. Koteen, Amy Petré Hill, Lara Helfer, and Linda Herrera will discuss how environmental degradation (polluted air, land, and water; ocean acidification; severe storms and droughts; mass extinctions; melting glaciers) disproportionally impacts disadvantaged communities and contributes to migration and injustice. Find out how your congregation and state advocacy network may work with environmental justice organizations and coalitions addressing these issues.

EJ Curriculum - Strategy and Skill-building session:
Friday June 22nd, 1:00-3:00 pm at the Hyatt, Remington ABC. 

Pam Sparr leads a follow-up to Thursday’s workshop on UUMFE’s new EJ Curriculum. Learn by doing! We’ll use a fun and powerful participatory analysis-mapping tool (from the new curriculum) to build strategies for UU congregations to have greater impact with their environmental, racial, or economic justice work. (Note: This workshop is not listed in the GA program.)

National UU Environmental Justice Strategy and Networking:
Sunday, June 24th, 11:00 am – 12:30 pm at the Hyatt, Remington ABC.  

How can UU's be more effective in impacting the environmental issues facing our Earth and local communities?  This strategy and networking session will build on what is happening locally and regionally to see how we can strengthen our UU voice and actions, including giving direction to the UU Ministry for Earth Board.  It will include a very brief UUMFE annual meeting to elect new Board members and honor Guardians of the Future.  A very brief UUMFE business meeting will be included and light refreshments will be served. (Note:This event is not listed in the GA program.)

2010 GA in Minneapolis, MN

What a GA! Environmental issues were represented in so many of the events, services, and business sessions. Many of the sessions were videotaped and may be viewed online at the UUA website.

Two Actions of Immediate Witness were passed on environmental issues: "Gulf Coast Environmental and Economic Justice 2010" and "Clean Up the Clean Energy Bill."  On Sunday, 35 new Green Sanctuary congregations were recognized (video of Plenary VII, about 19:12). In addition, the Business Resolution "The Green Revolution in Religion" also passed after discussion and minor changes in the mini-assembly. 

A fantastic and fascinating Ware Lecture was delivered by Winona LaDuke. Read a story about the lecture on the GA blog and watch the video or read a transcript on the UUA website.

Friday night, UUMFE and UU Ecominds co-hosted a wonderful event that included a delicious vegetarian/vegan supper, UUMFE business meeting, networking, and a screening of the movie "No Impact Man." A great evening!

One of the most amazing decisions to come out of this assembly was the "Justice GA" proposed for 2012 in Arizona. Find out more here and here.