Who ever said summer was a slow season for a Unitarian Universalist Church? June was a remarkably full month for me and my role at the church. I write to you on the back side of another General Assembly (GA) which was held in Spokane, Washington this year. As always, it was good to connect with fellow Unitarian Universalists from all over the country. Also, as always, there was a great deal of excitement in many of the conversations, some anxiety, a smidge of confusion, and a lot of enthusiasm. A lot of the proceedings were recorded and I would encourage those who could not attend to watch some of the proceedings. I was very proud to be able to carry our banner in the opening ceremonies. From what I could tell by the receipt pinned to the banner, the last time that happened our dear member Judy Meyers represented us. I was so honored to follow her lead. There was an act of public witness that we engaged in, helping the UU congregation in Spokane protest a proposed jail expansion and the larger issues of money bail and mass incarceration. I collected a bunch of material in the vendors booths to bring back to our church -so of which is now on our literature rack and table, so please help yourself. My favorite part however might have been the powerful service of the youth and young adults in the synergy service which is put together by the young people at GA and recognizes their bridging from one stage of life to the other. The message I got loud in clear in that service is that they did not want to find they were abandoned now that they were young adults. As a congregation on the doorstep of a university, I think we are uniquely placed to hear that call and look forward to talking this year with all of you about how we can expand our community more fully to students from UNC.
The trip out and back was great for me as well. The landscapes of the intermountain west got me thinking a great deal about what stories we tell and what our environment tells us here in this part of the world. It’s a long trip with lots of miles on the car through some very remarkable and varied landscapes. One of the stories of immediate consequence to our congregation that I go to participate in was the quick drop down I made after GA in Spokane to Moscow, Idaho where I got the chance to meet old church alumni Alice Fadner & Tom Woodrum. Tom was the celebrant in services and Alice was playing piano. They were warm and hospitable. Their new home church is lovely (and their planning some amazing expansions). Tom and Alice inquired about many of you and I enjoyed reporting back. If you haven’t reached out in a while, I encourage you to do so. I know they think of you often.
I also want to highlight the experience we had at the Pridefest this year and thank those members of the church who were able to make it down. I was glad to see us represented by clergy, leadership, social justice, and even new friends. It was very exciting and I know that we made quite a statement. I heard people specifically call out “Hey, Greeley!” “That’s a Greeley Church!” “Represent Greeley!” If folks from our community were down in Denver on that day (and I know they were), I’m sure that took notice and pride that we are the kind of faith community in Northern Colorado that will sacrifice to make our voice heard for all people. As well as remind our fellow UU’s that we are kickin’ up here in Northern Colorado.
Finally, I want to say how excited I was to see photos of the service that the congregation did while I was away. I know members of the Vaughn family worked hard on the service and I am glad so many were able to attend and celebrate on Sunday as a community.
I look forward to our month of Regeneration together, building on the successes of our past year and emerging into a bright coming year. The shared service with Namaqua will be great and I think the board will come out of its retreat with some wonderful ideas and news.
Yours in Faith and Fellowship,