I was “away” all of last week, first for two days with a gathering of 500 Unitarian Universalist ministers (Ministry Days), then for five days with a gathering of 5,000 Unitarian Universalists (General Assembly). Many of you joined the closing worship of General Assembly on Sunday, which took the place of our regular Sunday worship. Of course, nothing is “regular” these days. These gatherings that would have involved people physically together in a convention center became huge Zoom meetings instead.
On Sunday when the conferences ended, I found myself doubly sad. There was the normal tired feeling after an intense week of being with so many people…and there was the added sadness of realizing that I really wasn’t with the people. How much more satisfying it is to be together, sitting down for coffee with a friend or colleague; worshipping together; singing together. This pandemic continues to bring challenges that are hard to bear.
And…General Assembly was hugely inspiring and challenging. Some of the topics that I engaged with during the week included: a panel discussion about reparations for descendants of people who were enslaved; an environmental call to action; an overview of UU the Vote; and a panel of white anti-racist allies. I also attended sessions on creating family-inclusive worship services and on facilitating restorative justice circles. So much of what we did and talked about put Black, Indigenous, People of Color at the center: in worship, in workshops, in leadership, and in the resolutions we passed. We heard from the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe, whose reservation lands are currently being threatened by the U.S. government. The resolution passed by the delegates at General Assembly calls on us to:
Finally, today marks the end of the 10-month contract I had initially signed with the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Central Michigan, and the beginning of the 12-month contract extension I have signed. The first 10 months working here have been tremendous, and I look forward to serving UUFCM for the coming year, growing together in love and community and working for greater justice.
Spirit of life and love, present in all the moments of our lives, may we see you now. May we feel your presence. The divine, the holy, is always here—we just need to open ourselves to awareness of the holy, of the compassion within, of the mystery beyond.
Great Mystery and Great Compassion, may we be in harmony with love wherever it moves through this life. May we be in harmony with the love moving in our families and among our friends; may we be in harmony with the love flowing among the members of this Fellowship; may we recognize that love takes the form of resistance to oppression in a society rife with injustice.
May love guide us and hold us.
Amen. Aho. Blessed Be.
Rev. Andrew Frantz
Rev. Drew is on vacation from June 26 toJuly 18. During this time, the contact person (in lieu of Drew) will be Norma Bailey (989.560.3952) through June 30; then Stacey Pattison (989.330.1832) through July 18.
His column is on hiatus June 29-July13
Drew's office hours are suspended until further notice. However, he is reachable at any time via email, phone, or text.
Day off: Monday
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