We had a great day today at our Liberal Religious Educator's board meeting. It was day two of our time together. We know each other a little more, it's really easy to laugh at silly things and we're pretty comfortable together.....kind of like people who might be shipwrecked in an island. Oh no not really! It's a fabulous group.
This morning we met with Mark Hicks, McLean Professer at Meadville-Lombard school for the ministry (one of our two Unitarian Universalist seminaries). He came to talk with us about inclusive ministries and LREDA. He may be a big fancy pants professor, and of course, he is. And he's wicked smart. But he is also so very kind. It felt so safe to talk about racism and marginalized groups and opression with him leading us through it. Wow, that's not easy. I realized I had some anxiety about it coming into this training. The last time I attened anti-racism, anti-opression, multi-culturalism training (ar/ao/mc in UU alphabet soup) I could hardly get myself out of bed the next morning I felt so much shame and guilt. But this time I could almost feel hope for our whole association.
Then in the afternoon we got to spend time with the LREDA Integrity Team, Helen Bishop, Lynn Sabourin, Pat Kahn and Jenn McAdoo. This is a group that does a lot of things, but the most visible this week will be that they help all of us as religious educators remember just what it takes to really inclusive of each other. This is simple stuff, but it's not things that we all remember to do. Things like: keeping the aisles clear so that wheeling people can easily get through. And things like: remembering to invite people to rise in body or spirit. Things like: being sure that there are restrooms that are easy for transgendered folks to use. Simple stuff in theory, but not always so in practice in a big hotel with 260 people. One of the best things I got to do in preparation for this board meeting was to read up on the history of this group. I love history. It's really all just about hearing people's stories. If you've not read it, chase the link and check it out. Interesting stuff.What a committed group of people.
I really enjoyed getting to spend a little (too little) time with them. But we got to have ice cream and desserts to celebrate a birthday in the room, and then after our work together was done, we came into a circle and sang. Wow. Three part haromony! How totally cool is that? Very cool, that's what it is, very cool!