Thursday, June 26, 2008

GA Day 2


Day two starts late, probably because the planning group really wants all the delegates to go to plenary! So the rest of us who didn't go to plenary, get to do some nice yoga, go buy candy for the youth and stroll through the exhibit hall and see just how many hundreds of dollars we'd like to spend on chalice art and beautiful things. Or maybe I'm the only one who hit Walgreens for candy for the youth, but I'm sure everyone kept busy.

The sessions I chose today couldn't have been better suited for me and the needs of our church and the purpose I have in being here.

First, I went to the Worship service of the Journey Toward Wholeness group. I had no idea that Jason Shelton would be there and be cranking out some amazing music with the JTW band. That was a huge plus, but what I did expect was a spirit filled look at the anti opression work that this group is doing, and that was superbly, and spiritually delivered.In a tiny moment trekking down a super long hallway I fell into step with Meg Barnhouse, after asking her if I could talk to her even tho she was famous (she laughed at me) I told her about our little service with her song "All Will Be Well" and about the five year old in our congregation who sings that chorus for his little sister. She was touched. Really. How cool is that?!

Then I went to a session on Creating Multi-Generational worship, and since that's a goal of ours for next year, it was a good fit. I did find out that in our congregation we are way ahead of the game in preparing for this, and are already doing a lot of very good things to make our more frequent Multi Gen services sucessful. And on a fluke, the minister who had served as interim at Minnesota Valley UUF, my home congregation, was sitting right behind me. It was really nice to finally meet him, and we got to talk for a few moments.

The afternoon was a double session in the Appreciative Inquiry work with the UUA Board of Trustees. I really wanted my voice to be heard directly to the board, and this was the place to do it. The work was lovely, and hardly felt like work. We broke into small groups with a board observerer watching and listening to almost everything we said and did. My group was comprised of a minister from New York, and deeply involved volunteer on the GA Planning group from California, and a member very involved in her local congregation from Florida and me; a DRE from Seattle. We had all the bases really covered, except that we were all white women, of course.

I knew this about myself, but through the work here I learned that my most closely held value of our churches is the community we create. In fact, for all of us in the working group that was our deepest held value which came out through stories and interviews. But the very wildest thing of ALL in this session was that the facilitator was Laura Park, now I read that in my program guide but I didn't realize that it would be the Laura Park I know, the one who had a little brother who had chicken pox in second grade when he sat next to me, and who knows my sister-in-law and her parents still go to church with my parents. Wild small world.

The service of the living tradition was fine. Traditional. And Victoria Safford's sermon was wonderful. Suz is still staying here with me, again. And best of all, after the service tonight we went to the OCEAN! And stuck our toes in! But it is turtle laying season so we didn't walk along, just stood in the wonder and hugeness that is the ocean. And we were grateful. Grateful to be together, grateful to be standing on our own legs, grateful to be at the edge of a great ocean and grateful to be here in this beautiful place with a whole multitude of people who through their own window, see the same light.

1 comment:

Barbara said...

Oh Kari,
Thank you so much for bring GA to me (and all who read this wonderful blog of yours). I'm grateful for you. Way cool story about Meg! I've shared her song with my interfaith women ministers group and in my pastoral leadership class at school. People love it and join in singing it right away. I'm so glad you had a chance to share how much it means to us with her.
Love, Barbara