I have recently returned from the UU General Assembly in Columbus, Ohio, where I attended two days, along with my daughter, Camille. Also present were Rev. Chris and his sons, and our two dedicated delegates, Mike Landrum and Linda Mangelsdorf. Linda, Camille, and I carried the UUCRT banner in the opening ceremony parade, which included banners from hundreds of congregations across the country. This banner was designed and created two years ago by Alison Fornés, and signed by many of you. As we marched, we carried the spirit of our congregation with us, entering into fellowship with our larger movement.
Throughout GA I experienced a deep connection to a faith tradition that stands for love, freedom, and justice. I experienced a sense of belonging to something much larger than myself. But belonging to any group is not easy; it requires an investment of energy and a commitment to relationship. There are inevitably conflicts and tensions within all families, communities, and nations. All around us we are bombarded with messages that seek to exclude and prevent belonging– keeping some groups in, and others out. As a denomination committed to building “world community of peace, love, and justice for all”, we seek to draw a circle wide enough to hold us all. Though challenging, it is essential if we are to create peace together.
This summer I invite you to join me in an exploration of belonging and peace. I will be leading services related to these themes at the congregation on July 17th and August 21st, followed by Soul Matters circles from 12:15 to 1:00. You are also welcome to join me in walking the labyrinth before service from 9:30 to 10:00.
Perhaps the center of all belonging lies with the earth itself. May this summer be a time for all of us to slow down, and to experience our place “in the family of things.” In July and August, I invite you to collect water from the places you visit that have meaning to you. I hope that your water will remind you of a moment or experience that connects you to your own sense of purpose and belonging. We will share our water in a whole community ritual on September 11th.