Reflections on General Assembly Annual Meetings April 2017

Rev Sara Ascher, Executive Director of the International Council of Unitarians and Universalists.

Rev Sara Ascher, Executive Director of the International Council of Unitarians and Universalists.

Rev Sarah Tinker, Anniversary Service Preacher and Rev Daniel Costley, Service Leader.

Rev Sarah Tinker, Anniversary
Service Preacher and Rev Daniel
Costley, Service Leader.

Rev John Clifford, former Executive Secretary of the International Council of Unitarians and Universalists, Minister Emeritus of Glasgow Unitarians and member of St Mark’s, Edinburgh.

Rev John Clifford, former Executive Secretary of the International Council of
Unitarians and Universalists,
Minister Emeritus of Glasgow
Unitarians and member of St
Mark’s, Edinburgh.

Rev Andrew Hill, who will lead worship at St Mark’s on 14 May, (see page 10) was our minister from 1974-2007 and is a member of St Mark’s. He is author of several learned books and hymns, one of which, We are Travellers on a Journey, was sung at the beginning of one of the business sessions at the GA.

Rev Andrew Hill, who will lead
worship at St Mark’s on 14
May, (see page 10) was our
minister from 1974-2007 and
is a member of St Mark’s. He is
author of several learned books
and hymns, one of which, We
are Travellers on a Journey,
was sung at the beginning of
one of the business sessions at
the GA.

by Joan Cook

What struck me most at the meetings this year were the advantages of social media. As a result of those using social media, the outcome of one of our resolutions concerning the bombing of the Coptic Christian Cathedral in Alexandria on Good Friday was that Unitarians were ahead of the game. Our Facebook post received thousands of hits, and the Church of England issued a statement that they would be issuing their response to the atrocity the next day! This illustrates the power of social media and how much we should be grateful to those members of our communities who use these modern tools of communication on our behalf.

Ed Fordham, member of Chesterfield, Unitarian activist and busy blogger, ‘face-booker’, ‘twitter-er’ describes the various media he uses; ‘the Website is a bag for life that is strong but needs renewal occasionally, the Facebook page is a reusable rucksack that I carry with
me, and the Twitter account a paper or plastic bag I reuse for a limited life span because it is quick and easy’.

After the ‘Reporting on Previous Resolutions session’, Robert Ince & I had lunch with the speaker and staff from the Red Cross. It was a pleasure, albeit a bit hairraising, hearing their stories; but what was rather pleasing was to hear that Unitarians are the largest faith group donor to The Red Cross, and Laura informed me, when she heard I was from Edinburgh, that we are one of the biggest contributors to the Clara Barton fund. I did feel proud!

I also felt quite proud when we took our traditional ‘Edinburgh Unitarians at GA’ photo. Every year we celebrate our wider membership coming together at the GA: present members; past members; members and friends living far from Edinburgh, but still feel part of our community, surely something worth celebrating!

Perhaps next year, you will be in the photo too!

The photograph, below left, shows the General Assembly Choir, conducted by David Dawson. The photograph, below right is of Rev Alex Bradley, Principal of Unitarian  College , Manchester, Rev Charles VanDenBroeder, incoming President of the GA and Dorothy Hewerdine, outgoing President of the GA. Photographs on this page courtesy of the GA photo

The photograph, below left, shows the General Assembly Choir, conducted by David Dawson. The photograph, below right is of Rev Alex Bradley, Principal of Unitarian  College , Manchester, Rev Charles VanDenBroeder, incoming President of the GA and Dorothy Hewerdine, outgoing President of the GA.

Photographs on this page courtesy of the GA photo