This was a very different kind of General Assembly for me. Susan Frederick Grey, one of the 3 candidates for the UUA presidency, asked me to join her core campaign team. So often GA for me is about receiving and connecting– receiving wisdom and perspective in worship and workshops; connecting with colleagues. This time around, my energy was shaping and building what I hope is the future of Unitarian Universalism.
Shaping, building, persuading…its easy when in “campaign/persuade mode” to distance yourself from those who are on the “other” side. Which is why I was so grateful for Krista Tippet’s Ware lecture on Saturday evening. Tippet, host of the NPR show “On Being,” gave UUs three encouragements: to listen, to question with generosity, and to endure in love. Tippet believes in the power of generous questions. And one of my favorite questions she suggested we ask others, particularly those we disagree with, is “what hurts?” When we are struggling in our lives together, I want to remember to pause and ask “what hurts?”
Some highlights from GA that I recommend:
- Rev William Barber, leader of the Moral Mondays movement in North Carolina, address to UUs, encouraging UUs to mourn and protest.
- Rev Bill Sinkford’s Love Calls Us On Sermon (begins at around 1h 30 min mark)–former UUA President speaks to the history and legacy of Unitarians and Universalists between the mid-1960s and today regarding racial justice work, saying said, “Our faith looked away. We did not ‘stay woke.’ There is no innocence left for any of us.” He reminds us that “Resistance is what love looks like in the face of hate. Resistance is what love looks like in the face of violence.
- Rev. Gail Seavey’s Berry Street Lecture on the legacy of ministerial misconduct in Unitarian Universalism
As of Tuesday June 28th, I will be “offline” for four weeks of vacation and study leave. My weekly reflections will be on hiatus until I return! For pastoral emergencies, you can reach me on my cell phone. I will be back in the office on Tuesday July 26th.