October is busy but with amazing opportunities. Yesterday I had the opportunity to attend the UU Leadershop Workout put on by the St. Lawrence District. There was an inspiring keynote by Connie Goodbread, the Interim District Executive for SLD. She talked about only having two years to work with us, and a LOT about systems theory, and Steinke's Healthy Congregations, which my Meadville class has been studying this semester. She studied with him for six years, and I'd love to talk more with her. She talked about how being an interim requires her to "enter the system lightly," yet how she is a blunt speaker, a do-er, and wants us to trust wading out into the deep waters with her. As an intern entering a two-year position, just about everything she said resonated with me. Nothing she said was new to me, in terms of thinking about growth, and hospitality, and systems. But it was a good reminder that our leaders are leading us in the right direction - and we have some great ministers blogging about their own journeys in this direction, that I have the privilege to read through UUpdates every day.
Today, I did the reflection in the worship service, on hospitality. I enjoyed it very much, and especially enjoyed having lunch with the congregation and meeting more people! I got to attend the RE Committee after that, which was comfortable and inpiring.
Next week, Rebecca Parker, president of Starr King, is preaching all three services at Rochester Unitarian, and doing a presentation and book signing Saturday evening, which I've been invited to help out with ::::beam::::. How awesome to get to hang out with Rev. Parker! Sunday, I'm helping out with the youth service, as all the rest of the staff will be gone from May Memorial.
The following weekend, I am attending a training for Connect & Breathe, an initiative spearheaded by Rochester Unitarian to provide non-judgmental post-abortion counseling, modeled on Exhale. This will be my sexual justice work for my internship agreement this year, and I am really jazzed about it, after listening to Rev. Kaaren Anderson's sermon yesterday. It's not posted yet, but it's called No Secrets. I had some reservations initially, but they have been cleared up, and I believe this is faith work that is imperative. More about this soon.
The following weekend is the NYSCU conference, where I will serve on a panel about internship, with my friend and Rochester Unitarian intern, Kathy Tew Rickey. UUA Moderator Gini Courter is speaking, which is not to miss.
October 30th, Kate Braestrup is speaking at the Social Justice Conference, and I just read her book today, and cried the whole way through it. Then there is the Halloween Party at First UU of Syracuse!
So a month of awesome! Not enough time left for studying, but I'm hoping that after this month of committee meetings and getting my feet under me, a more normal schedule will emerge.
November 1st is my first internship committee meeting. So that month will start off with a bang as well.