The members of the group were from congregations across the country; Texas, Pennsylvania, California, New York, Colorado, me in Seattle and our dedicated UUA facilitator Gail Forsyth-Vail who was usually in Boston, although we did meet with her from the occasional airport and once from Florida.
At the beginning we just had an online powerpoint with a chat function and a "feedback" button that allowed us to smile, laugh, applaud or raise our hand (the lovely Persony system used by the UUA for webinars and meetings). But after a few months, those of us with web cameras could log in with a live video feed, as well. We'd all phone into a conference call, log on to the web based meeting and spend two hours discussing Unitarian, Universalist and Unitarian Universalist theology through the stories and writings of some of our primary theologians.
This has been a terribly busy year for me. I tried to let everything that wasn't a primary need just leave my schedule. But not this.
In this group I got to think and speak and listen and be heard. The topics were intellectually rigorous and the discussion spirited and intelligent, all through the lens of the life's experience of a group of top notch religious professionals.
Today was our last session, we studied Thandeka. We didn't all agree on every aspect of her theology, but we did all agree that we'd enjoyed the study group, we'd appreciated the curriculum and that we hoped to see each other in person sometime soon.
Thank you to the UUA for funding our Tapestry of Faith curriculum, thank you to the staff of the Ministries and Faith Development at the UUA for their untiring work and their vision of a truly effective field test format. And most of all, thank you to my study group friends! What a fabulous ride!