Yesterday was basically a full day of Plenary and I have much to report. Unfortunately, I must leave for today's service in just a few minutes, and so I must make this brief; I hope to catch up later. I was trying to figure out why it's been harder to blog here at this GA than in years past, and a casual comment from someone yesterday made it hit me: This year, all the workshop sessions were moved to the front of the schedule, and all the Plenaries to the back.
Effectively, this gave us a "free day" on Thursday (when there was not yet anything, really, to blog about) and a block of time Friday afternoon, but we won't come up for air now until GA is over. This appears to be yet another stab at re-inventing GA; you may recall my earlier reports on the disaster that was "Open Space" a couple years ago and the marathon sessions of last year's UU University.
You may also recall my lengthy report on the findings last year of the Fifth Principle Task Force, and I am happy to report here that progress is being made. The board officially announced yesterday that they recognize many of the shortcomings found by that group, and will be working to change GA into the more deliberate experience that I talked about last year. The commitment is to make some kind of change, but what, exactly, that will look like is undecided. They have committed to a transparent process, however, and will be posting the work and progress on the web site.
I will have to update the meat of yesterday's business later. Suffice it to say that the most contentious item on the agenda was saved for the very end of the day, and that was a decision on what to do about GA in Phoenix in 2012. What ended up being passed is a compromise that takes us to Phoenix then, charges us to focus on immigration issues, and prohibits us from doing any business at all there other than the "minimum business" mandated by the bylaws. We shall see if that holds; I'll have more to say on this later.