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Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Get ready for General Assembly Buzzword Bingo!

So you've been reading the Program [pdf; 1.5M] of the upcoming General Assembly of the Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations — otherwise known as "GA" and "UUA" — and wondering what all the acronyms and peculiar phrases mean. On page 17, for example, one workshop advertizes a speaker as "SWUUC DE"; another says "ICUU: Why Your Faith Matters in the World" — but never explains what ICUU is. Any other page could be as illustrative: Unitarian Universalists love acronyms; they are for us tangible signs of a spiritual and inward grace that we only receive by going to three or four General Assemblies. So don't worry!

But Phil Lund, while making a serious point about the pitfalls of buzzwords, nevertheless gives me the idea of suggesting that we all play Buzzword Bingo during the plenary sessions. It's easy: During Friday and Saturday's plenaries, draw a grid with five rows and five columns. Then, whenever someone uses an acronym, buzzword, or bit of jargon — even if you know what it means — write it in one of your squares. Then, at Sunday and Monday's plenaries, it's time to play. When you hear someone use one of the buzzwords you've written on your grid, cross it out.

If you get Bingo, however, please don't step up to the procedural microphone to announce it to the moderator. Instead, come back to Philocrites and tell us all what five buzzwords lined up for you. You could be the next BB King — or is that BBQ? And remember to ask all your new GA friends whether they're playing GABB. All the cool kids are doing it.

Copyright © 2005 by Philocrites | Posted 14 June 2005 at 6:10 PM

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Scott Wells:

June 14, 2005 06:41 PM | Permalink for this comment

Happiness is gathering with your friends at the back of a plenary hall, making sport of the droning procedure.

Perhaps not adult, but fun.

James Field:

June 14, 2005 10:58 PM | Permalink for this comment

Scott: Oh the disillusionment. I sat at a table with ministers and church employees at the last district assembly. Oh the cattyness and queenyness. I was scarred for life. :)

John Cullinan:

June 15, 2005 08:07 AM | Permalink for this comment

Personally, I've always found Buzzwords™ to be much more entertaining when played as a drinking game. :-)

judith walker-riggs:

June 15, 2005 11:40 AM | Permalink for this comment

A tip more useful than Bingo - passed on to me by an old colleague, and now I'm an old colleague I'll do the same. How to play poker all night and still have your congregants think you're dutifully sitting through the whole Plenary every morning? Get up and dressed early, and about half an hour into the Plenary session come in, walk purposefully down the most central aisle available to the front and engage in happy conversation with a UUA Board member or staff member. Then stand up with a good sense of presence, carrying your notebook prominently, and walk slowly to the back of the room. Your congregants will think you are doing your job sitting somewhere behind them. Go back to bed.
Of course, none of us would actually dream of doing this, now would we?


June 16, 2005 10:21 AM | Permalink for this comment

No, no - I think we SHOULD go to the plenary Mic and yell "Bingo!" Then just sit down without explanation. Now, would that be the yea or the nay mic?


June 17, 2005 06:00 AM | Permalink for this comment

This is hilarious. My suggestion for a lay service this year was "UU Buzzwords" with three of us each talking about definining a term that UUs overuse.

Our lay-led service committee didn't pick it, though. :P


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