GA 06.21.07 - Happy Summer Solstice

Day 2 of GA 2007 has come and gone.  The highlights and the lowlights include:

Highlight: UUA President Bill Sinkford naming the elephant that's in the room and calling for us to consider how some of our grand old New England churches got to be so grand.  ie - consider reparations for slavery and what that would look like.

Lowlight: Attending the diversity workshop put on by DRUUMM where we were asked to name when we've felt marginalized at GA and having more than one Euro-American say that President Sinkford made them feel "marginalized" by calling us to consider our racially tainted past.  (It's a dangerous thing when someone learns a new word but not quite what it means.)

Highlight: Getting to hear Paul Rasor talk.  Professor Rasor, you officially have a groupie.  ;)  I love UU but for a religion that is full of people with advanced degrees, we are amazingly lite when it comes to theology.  (Yes, I intentionally spelled it that way.)  There aren't that many opportunities to discuss our faith substantively and Dr. Rasor has consistently been one of our few intellectually rigorous theologians, challenging us beyond our self-satisfied views.

Highlight: Meredith and I taking the time from our busy GA schedules to observe the summer solstice.  We walked out of the convention center to the nearby "Peace Park" overlooking the river.  It literally is a giant peace sign made of grass and flowers.  We stood in the center of the sign - the heart of peace - and did our little ritual, a brief reading about summer from right out of our hymnal.  Awesome.

Lowlight: The Service of the Living Tradition - the "graduation" service for fledgling UU ministers.  (I had several friends receiving fellowship this year, including Joseph Santos Lyons and Archene Turner.)  What were the organizers thinking??!  Without ranting too much - I'm sure they put their best intentions into this - the service was dour beyond belief, more like a funeral than a celebration.  And the sermon has to be one of the most ill-conceived sermons I have ever heard.  Our new ministers, people who put years into their training, deserved much better than this.

Highlight: The best for last - the Sankofa women of color meeting.  Organized by Michelle Bentley, an amazing woman whom I just got to know a little tonight, enough to realize how important she has been to the people who are important to me. (Unfortunately, Michelle is stepping down as UUA staff. Frown ) The "meeting" gave us what the Service of the Living Tradition sapped out of us, Spirit.  The Spirit was with us as we shared, commiserated, and prayed. I am so thankful for this experience.

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