Friday, June 20, 2008

Hands in the Air? General Assembly from Afar

I've been watching the live streaming of General Assembly: our annual meeting, conference, convention, celebration and UU Revival. If it weren't for the security restrictions, our lack of funds and my spouse's heart attack, I would want to be there in person!

GA is usually the high point of my year: I revel in Universalism, the hands-in-the-air worship services, spectacularly moving music, huge crowds, great speakers, dancing, singing, connecting with friends and meeting new ones. GA is an extravert's paradise -- each day, I have more energy than the day before as the ecstacy builds, until I shout Hallelujah all the way home!

Certainly, those of us watching on our laptops aren't having that experience, but we can still be inspired and challenged from afar. Plenary II, featuring debate on a business resolution urging us to make a strong commitment to youth and young adult ministry, was outstanding. To hear youth and young adults express their yearnings for belonging, support, guidance and empowerment was thrilling. To hear a few older delegates express their misgivings about the proposed resolution because it didn't include details about how to improve youth and young adult ministry in our congregations was sobering, but familiar.

In the end, I was proud to see a large majority vote for the resolution. What is so wrong about being idealistic, about expressing a vision for the future? I love hearing someone cast the vision. Because once we've got the vision, we can figure out the details ourselves -- the planning and execution of the objectives in our day-to-day church lives.

I don't want those select few who attend GA to tell the rest of us how to do something, but showing us why, giving us a challenging vision for the future is great.

With goosebumps,


1 comment:

Justine Urbikas said...

I'm glad the debate around the youth and young adult empowerment resolution stuck out to you, a group of supporters of the resolution, Denny Davidoff at the helm, were exploring a way to make this resolution actually have an impact, and creating a debate around it was one way to get people to start thinking about the issues around youth and young adult ministries.

I hope that the crafted debate (as much as a debate can be crafted on an open floor) got people to think about the young people they sometimes may see floating around congregations.