Annual Meetings will focus on growth
Unitarians to Focus on Women's Achievement and Growth
Next year's annual conference of the Unitarian movement will have two central features: a focus on growth including membership and on the contribution of women, in the centenary year of the Unitarian Women's League. This was decided at a meeting of the Executive Committee of the General Assembly of Unitarian and Free Christian Churches, held at Luther King House in Manchester in mid-July.
The 2008 General Assembly annual conference (known as our 'Annual Meetings') will be held at the University of Hertfordshire in Hatfield from Wednesday 26th to Saturday 29th March. The Executive decided that a full day should be devoted to exploring what growth means for our movement and how we might achieve our ambitions in this area. Growth in membership is important but only one of the potential dimensions of growth to be the focus of this gathering. Although there will be some talks and presentations during the event, there will be key opportunities during the day for participants to contribute their own views in discussion groups.
The Executive said it hoped many Unitarians would be attracted to the special 'Growth Day' even if they were unable to attend the full Annual Meetings. The Executive Committee stressed that while the leadership could provide resources for growth, the vital impetus must come from ordinary members.
To mark the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Unitarian Women's League, the Executive decided that the Opening Ceremony at the Annual Meetings would be conducted by Unitarian women.
In addition, the Women's League will host a special reception for all conference delegates and observers, and it is planning further events during the Annual Meetings. The aim of all these will be to highlight the achievements of women, past and present, and their contributions to our Unitarian cause.