Hello First UUers,
General Assembly, GA for short, is the annual gathering of Unitarian Universalists where we celebrate, learn, renew friendships, vote, and do our denominational business. This year it was held in Spokane, WA. For me, it was also a walk in the park.
When I woke up Tuesday morning after getting to the hotel after my flight’s midnight arrival, I was surprised to find that I literally had to go a few steps outside the hotel’s back door to cross a wooden pedestrian bridge, walk through a well-maintained park, and cross a second pedestrian bridge to arrive at the door of the convention center. It was such a pleasant surprise that I took a deep breath, many actually, and soaked in the fresh air, sunshine, tall trees, hills, water, and occasional dog running through sprinklers. Surrounded by the Spokane River on either side of the park, with waterfalls cascading through dams not far from the pedestrian bridges, my senses were delighted with the renewing magic of the natural elements. I took a slightly different path through the park each day, and wandered down the riverfront trails during free time to explore even more of how this city celebrated its waterfront in creative and artistic ways.
Of course, I did business too. First there was the two-day meeting of ministers. A lot was on the agenda and being good UUs, we debated and amended proposed guideline changes. The gist was that our documents are outdated, reflecting a time when hierarchies and patriarchy were standard fare. Times have changed, thank heavens! and so our guidelines must (finally) change as well. Soon, they will be much more inclusive and reflect a desire for a relational style of ministry vs. top-down. I look forward to making this a reality.
That was Tuesday and Wednesday of Ministry Days. By Wednesday evening, I had registered for General Assembly and was ready for a full dose of ceremonies, sermons, celebrations, workshops, and business. Of course, there was a Beacon Press/Skinner House UU bookstore for the occasion and I did my part to support it. I learned, was challenged, and was inspired (if you don’t watch anything else, watch this!). Many of the events are online. You can watch them here.
I bring new ideas and a renewed spirit home with me. I look forward to sharing pictures, stories, and more over the coming days and months. I can only hope that I also bring a bit of the deep peace that I found walking through the park, home not only to you but also to the world. Goodness knows, we all need to lower our shoulders a bit and relax. Sometimes, this also comes with a smile.
Your chance to sing!
Everyone who would like to sing may show up at 9am, learn a song and a closing, and then sing it at the 10am service, directly afterward. It is great fun, and it is a chance for people who may not be choir members to sing on a Sunday morning.
June 30: Brandon Moss will direct. (This is Amanda’s last Sunday at First UU as our ministerial intern.)
July 7: Michaela Jones will direct
July 21: Michaela Jones will direct
August 11: Brandon Moss will direct
Last chance to be on time!
End-of-Church-Year – Pledges due
June 30 is the end of our fiscal year. Thank you in advance for paying your pledge in full before then. Your support matters in all of our endeavors to help build a better world, community, and church where we can all live, learn, and love.