Congratulations to all of us, and thank-you for a great UUFC annual meeting on May 15! 180 members attended and participated. The notes about business transacted are elsewhere in this newsletter – I simply want to acknowledge the beauty of what happens between us when we gather to make our ideals real. The conversations were broad, deep, and respectful and easily helped our shared sense of purpose emerge.
Later that same week, twenty leaders of committees, events, councils and tasks gathered for supper and conversation for the third time this year. Around the tables I heard such helpful things – discussions of misunderstandings, appreciation for collaborations, questions answered. It made me think of a song I learned as a child –“the more we get together, the happier we’ll be…”
The Fellowship is a religious community full of strengths, full of resources. It is a congregation of breadth and depth in religious perspective, practices, and wisdom. When we offer to one another who we are, what we know, what we can give, what we need, what we’ve seen, what is true for us, so much becomes possible, between us. These kinds of sharing happen all the time in smaller groups within the Fellowship – in chalice groups and committees, classes and work groups, over coffee and meals and walks—and this is a beautiful thing. But we are not merely a collection of small groups, unconnected, unconcerned about the others, focused only on our particular concerns. We are members together of a congregation, a community of shared values and ideals, values and ideals that are much bigger than any one group. The values we espouse – pluralism and inclusivity, freedom and responsibility, searching for wisdom and truth, making peace and justice more real – need all of us working together. We must keep reaching out to each other, bringing the insight, experience and questions of smaller groups into the larger circle which holds all of us together.
Along the way, in every way possible we must keep reaching out to invite people in – into our circles, into our activities, into our work, into our challenges, into our joys. Sharing, sharing, sharing. I know there are many in the Fellowship who feel not quite connected, not known, not quite “a part of.” Belonging is not immediate, it is not simple or easy, and it is not a given – but it is possible, always. It is possible because it happens between us, and we can keep reaching out. This is the work for peace, the work for justice, the work for a better world – it is between us, everyday.
See you Sunday – Jill
PS – The political situation in our country has moved me beyond the bounds of my usual perspective, because all of my strongest convictions as a person and as a UU are now at stake. I share with you this link to an article by Robert Kagan of the Washington Post, on what facism looks like.