Six months ago I began sharing my excitement about General Assembly, the annual meeting and gathering of our Unitarian Universalist Association, happening in Columbus, OH, June 22–June 26. I shared this excitement in Staff meetings, Board meetings, Committee meetings, from the pulpit, in social media, and through this, our monthly newsletter. June is arriving and I am overjoyed to know that many of you are attending, volunteering, and participating as delegates!
Your staff is participating in each of their professional development days: Kirsten Eckert-Smith will attend the Association of UU Administrators (AUUA), Mary Lybarger will attend Liberal Religious Educators Association (LREDA) and is a delegate to GA, and I will attend the UU Ministers Association (UUMA) and be a delegate to GA. Your Board of Trustees appointed three delegates: Lisa Johnson, Terry Mihlbauer, and John Sheehan. Hope Sheehan is a youth sponsor for Van Vandergriff. Edith Helbert & Loren Lybarger have received scholarships to GA through the UUA with a commitment to 18-hours of volunteer work. Marsha Wallace & Dee Koehl will be singing in the GA choir. Toni Kring is organizing a 14-passenger van to attend Sunday morning worship, and I imagine there are others that I do not know looking at ways to attend part of GA.
All I keep thinking is WOW … and we need matching t-shirts!
For me, one of the joys of parish ministry is to witness a congregation honor and deepen their commitment to the work of our Association. Together, each member and religious professional of this congregation, is the UUA. In participating in the work of our Association, we embody our covenant as a member congregation of the UUA.
We the member congregations of the UUA, covenant to affirm and promote The inherent worth and dignity of every person;
Justice, equity and compassion in human relations;
Acceptance of one another and encouragement to spiritual growth in our congregations;
A free and responsible search for truth and meaning;
The right of conscience and the use of the democratic process within our congregations and in society at large;
The goal of world community with peace, liberty, and justice for all;
Respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part.
The living tradition which we share draws from many sources:
Direct experience of that transcending mystery and wonder, affirmed in all cultures, which moves us
to a renewal of the spirit and an openness to the forces which create and uphold life;
Words and deeds of prophetic women and men which challenge us to confront powers and structures of evil with justice, compassion and the transforming power of love;
Wisdom from the world’s religions which inspires us in our ethical and spiritual life;
Jewish and Christian teachings which call us to respond to God’s love by loving our neighbors as ourselves;
Humanist teachings which counsel us to heed the guidance of reason and the results of science, and warn us against idolatries of the mind and spirit;
Spiritual teachings of Earth-centered traditions which celebrate the sacred circle of life and instruct us to live in harmony with the rhythms of nature.
Grateful for the religious pluralism which enriches and ennobles our faith, we are inspired to deepen our understanding and expand our vision. As free congregations we enter into this covenant, promising to one another our mutual trust and support.
June is a month bringing passionate engagement to the life of our Association and I look forward to creating worship on July 10 which speaks of our discoveries as a congregation living our covenant as members of the UUA.
See you in church
PS. Can’t make it to GA in person? No problem! Many of the key events like the Opening Banner Parade, Plenary Sessions, Service of the Living Tradition, Ware Lecture, and Sunday morning worship, are live-streamed so you can watch from anywhere with an internet connection. Check out http://www.uua.org/ga/offsite for more information.