Friday, June 27, 2008
UUA GA....up to day THREE!
The long grueling stretch of the GA race has begun, when you really have to get enough water, and you'd better find a vegetable or two to keep you going. And for me, if there is to be an afternoon session with any meaning, then there simply MUST be afternoon coffee!
So, with vegetables in mind as well as a huge teenage son who I barely see somewhere around the youth rooms at the convention center, I stopped at Publix (the local midline grocery store) for carrots for me and a loaf of french bread, some whipped butter and a bag of potato chips for him. Our family version of dinner at the beach is always bread and chips and either butter or cheese. I popped the carrots in my happy mouth one at a time thru the whole walk to the convention center. Aaaahhh, vegetables! And I snuck in to the wild energy-filled youth room just in time to give Michael the bag of food before he started his FUNTIMES session.
I didn't go to the morning Youth Empowerment vote in plenary, but they were sure all jazzed about it, and feeling very loved, supported and victorious.
Then I went to see Forrest Church speak. It wasn't anything specifically related to what I need to know or do in my work, but to me seeing him was an absolute must. I am a Unitarian Universalist and he is my history. In February, cancer that had been in remission came back en force, and he is looking deeply at the beginning of the end of his life. Here's his latest article in the UU World http://www.uuworld.org/spirit/articles/107973.shtml
And though I went to honor a man I am in awe of at the end of his life, the half hour long meditation-blessing-lecture was beautiful. The one sentence summary of his whole talk is this: The only thing we leave behind is the love we give away while we are alive. And if there were one more, it would be something about get up and do what you mean to do so that you don't die in regret. No one gets out of this thing alive!
Then I headed for a methodical sweep of the exhibit hall. Up and down every aisle. No shopping, just searching. I don't want to miss anything. I had no idea that the Partner Church group has an RE component, and a new partnership-like program aimed at RE Classes. Very cool for us. And I got a template for an elevator speech on carbon offsets. There are three very cool bowls made in Gaza and I have to get one of them, and there is a booth with hundreds of items woven on a back strap loom by women in Guatemala. At least one of those has to come home with us for the altar in children's worship. And there are the booths for the two candidates for UUA President to be elected next year. Oh gosh, how to decide that one? At least we have a while.
Next was what I've been waiting for ALL week: Meg Barnhouse and Kiya Heartwood in concert. Ah! I was lucky enough to sit between my friend Melinda Brooks, DFM at Saltwater Church, a fantastic soprano and a woman from somewhere who knew the same alto harmonies I did. I left so uplifted and with some mind blowing ideas for worship from Kiya. AND the new cd, just out today. I'll loan it to you, or of course you can buy it at www.megbarnhouse.comMelinda, Meg and I above. Me Kiya and Melinda below.
So how do you possibly top that session??! There was nothing in the program guide with a "holy spirit snatch" like Anne Lamott calls it, nothing spoke to me. So I thought, when the sessions don't speak to you, let the speakers speak. I liked Rev. Victoria Safford's sermon so much last night, I thought I'd go a session she was a part of on writing for the UUA's Skinner HouseBooks and UUWorld and beyond. I don't think my little blog counts! But she had some great things to say about practice and discipline that I will take home and try on and see if it's a fit for me.
And then sweetness of all, Michael, my sixteen-year-old very busy son, went to dinner with me. We went to a little, far to expensive, Italian place and spent a lovely hour together. He was bubbling over with everything going on in youth caucus and with the youth. And he'd just come from an hour of research on Actions of Immediate Witness, and the presidential candidates in the exhibit hall. There's so much to know and so much to do, and he seems to be having an amazing week.
The holiness is cooking in the hot Florida sun, making us sweat out the old and take in the new! We are truly blessed!