Call me Ms. Delegate
Just found out that I get to attend Regional Assembly as a delegate! Okay, so it was kind of by default, but I’m still honored! Apparently, MidAmerica Regional Assembly has 11 delegate seats open for the CLF (Church of the Larger Fellowship) and 11 or fewer CLF members attending so I’m a shoe-in.
Seriously though, this will be a wonderful opportunity for me to attend a regional UU business meeting. While I have many years of non-profit management under my belt, I don’t have them in the field of ministry. I’m truly looking forward to the experience.
Don’t think I’ll be so lucky for General Assembly in Providence, but I will be there with my eyes and heart wide open! 😀
One Assembly, Two Assembly
Today was filled with applications, registrations and reservations for both the MidAmerica Regional Assembly-Bloomington, Indiana, to be held on April 12th, and the UUA General Assembly, June 25th-29th, in Providence, Rhode Island.
As some of you may recall, I attended GA last year in Louisville as a volunteer and I’ve applied to volunteer again this year. With registration as costly as a campsite or dorm room, the price to attend can add up too quickly when one is not sponsored by a congregation.
Volunteering is a great way to get access to most of the Assembly (less the 24 hours working spread out over up to 6 days), and as I found out last year, it’s a great way to quickly meet a large number of dedicated UUs with a strong desire to play an active role in the Assembly.
So here’s hoping to see you at GA! Last year’s memories are still here too!
For more info on GA, visit the GA 2014 page.
Interested in volunteering? Check out these ‘Volunteer Opportunities.’
Find your UUA Region here.
Whiskey, Monsters and Peace: General Assembly
In the late 1990s I was attending college in Belgium and volunteering with the American Red Cross overseas by teaching and working in volunteer leadership. During my stay I was lucky enough to receive a regional award granting me free ferry passage from Calais, France, to Dover, England. So with nothing more than a small Toyota pickup, a cheap $40 tent, and a cooler full of food in the back, my husband and I headed out with a very small wallet and a big dream of a wonderful new experience.
Tent camping our way from the White Cliffs of Dover, to the bustle of London and then north into the heart of a purple hazed heather-covered Scotland, we experienced the countryside as intended. We weren’t burdened by hotel check-ins or event schedules, we just followed the road, living amongst the scenery rather than viewing it from afar. We tasted Scotch Whiskey, searched for traces of Robin Hood in Sherwood Forest, and rambled among the ruins of walls and castles from long ago.
Brave and young, we found ourselves south of Inverness in the beautiful valley of a famous monster. Chancing at a campground on the shore, we pitched our small tent with only a foot or two of space from the front flap to the drop off that became the cold waters of Loch Ness. I remember going to sleep that night as the thick fog slowly enveloped the space before us and around us. So thick was the fog that I dared not even step out in the small spot of land in front of us for fear of slipping into the water that I could no longer see. In that moment, I looked at my husband and jokingly said, “Well, we’ll know if Nessie is real if we wake in the morning alive and not eaten.” While we shared a laugh and settled in, I felt a deep peace as we floated amongst the fog and clouds of an endless sky and land.
This peace returned to me at General Assembly in the fleeting of a thought. I stood amongst Unitarians at a precipice—a place where only things begin and never do they end. In a moment and at a place where Rev. Dr. Peter Morales, UUA President, spoke of the Spirit of Life and Love that we hold true as the catalyst in our personal lives and in our religious practices.
My hope is that at some point in our lives, and our earth’s future, we will all find that Peace.
Peace within. Peace amongst. Peace be with you.