So I'm home now and winding down from the St. Lawrence District Assembly. Last night, I drove into Syracuse and attended the Josephine Gould Discourse: “Twittered, Tweeted and Still Lonely — Choosing the On-Line Church” by Rev. Linda Hoddy of the UU Congregation of Saratoga Springs. I really enjoyed the thoughtful discourse on technology and ministry. There were three responses - one from my friend, Rev. Kelly Weisman Asprooth-Jackson, one from Rev. Richard Gilbert (who as minister at my congregation forever, but I started attending right after he retired, so I have never actually met him, though I aspire to take his UU Polity course at CRCDS one of these days) and one from the DRE from the Albany UU, Leah Purcell, who I had a lovely talk with today.
This morning's keynote speaker was Rev. Robert Latham, and that was the highlight. He spoke convincingly and passionately about the importance of mission and the need to prioritize it over things that act on our mission. He made me want to become that evangelistic UU minister that I am probably too nervous to become ;). His intro by Rev. Tom Chulak was absolutely hilarious, and was a spoof on the song Davey Crockett.
I didn't get either of my first choices for the two workshops, but I enjoyed the second one, which was by a fellow Meadville student, Andrew Mertz. I hadn't met him in January but made sure to introduce myself after the workshop. He was an engaging speaker and the topic was pertinent to my interest in youth, and looking ahead to starting some campus ministry at Syracuse University (anyone who as resources for this should feel freely invited to send them to me!). The first workshop was a watered down repeat of a class I took in January, but with a focus on RE. I have no idea why I signed up for it as a choice at all, but I should have snuck into my first choice. Only because I had already been over the material, so it wasn't a good use of my time. Certainly was a good topic for others though!
Our District Executive, Rev. Chulak, is retiring, and his closing words were quite moving. He seems to have done a great job during a difficult transitional time nine years ago, and the District board is obviously vibrant. My former boss/current friend Jan Gartner is newly elected, and I know she'll be a fabulous addition. She's got great energy and I heard firsthand how happy some of the members at First Universalist are to have her as their DRE this year!
Tomorrow, I"m leading Children's Worship since my boss is on the Coming of Age trip to Boston (lucky!). I'm reading a story called Henry Builds a Cabin (Thoreau, ya know). It should be fun. I have to think of a fun thing to do for the greeting! Unfortunately, Jude won't be there again :(. Tom's work van broke down totally yesterday (losing a day of work too), and it looks like we will be van shopping on Monday (with what money, I have no idea - perhaps the tax return will magically appear? Or my long overdue paycheck from corporate America?)
This coming week I am very focused on my two final papers. I need to write a sermon based on Mark 1:9-13 - the baptism and appearance of the Holy Spirit. Inspiration/ ideas for a UU spin are more than welcome.
Cute note of the day. Jude said, "Tell me something funny. I appreciate a good joke!"