|Table of contents|
2 Spiritual Makeup
3 Association, Not Denomination
4 General Assembly
5 Independent Affiliates
6 Related Articles
7 External Link
Most of the member congregations of the UUA are in the United States and Canada, but it has also admitted congregations from Australia, New Zealand, the Philippines and Pakistan (although UUA policy appears at present to be against admitting any new congregations from outside North America, instead having them form their own national bodies and having these bodies join the International Council of Unitarians and Universalists). Canadian congregations are all members of both the UUA and the Canadian Unitarian Council (CUC). Until 2001, most services to Canadian congregations were provided by the UUA; however the UUA and CUC have now agreed that most services will henceforth be delivered to Canadian congregations by the CUC, although the UUA will retain responsibilities in relation to the management of ministers.
Association, Not Denomination
Also, the UUA isn't a denomination at all! Denominations have authority over their member congregations. Instead, the UUA is an association of congregations. It is the congregations that have authority over the larger body. This relationship is effected by the General Assembly of Unitarian Universalists. Because the general public understands denomination much more readily than association of congregations, the distinction is generally elided in conversation. Because of this relationship between the congregations and the association, Unitarian Universalist congregations have a congregational polity of governance.
General Assembly (GA) is held every year in June in a different city in North America. Member congregations (and a few other member organizations) send delegates and conventioneers to participate in the plenary sessions, workshops, District gatherings, and worship services.
The UUA recognizes many organizations as 'Independent Affiliates'. These organizations are created by Unitarian Universalists as needed to meet the special needs of the diversity within Unitarian Universalism. These groups provide specialized spiritual support, work for specific social justice issues, provide support for religious professionals, etc.