Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Back in the swing of things (Louise)

It is great to be back at another GA. Today was the first choir rehearsal, always a big thrill for me. The conductor this year is Mimi Bornstein, who is fun and enthusiastic as well as talented. We are a big choir this year, and we sound good already.

After rehearsal, Sean and I both worked the CLF booth. Working three hours in the booth is part of our responsibilites as delegates, although it appears that most delegates blow it off. Too bad for them; it is a fun way to be of service and meet many fine folks. We met Patty and Beth in the booth, and caught up on the year's events with Iris.

I took some time away from the booth to register as a delegate, and on my way across the exhibit hall ran into several old friends from Palo Alto, including Bryce and Fran, Pam and Di, Cilla, and Ken and Anne. Many hugs and lots of catching up to do!

At 5pm we went to the CLF in-gathering, a nice opportunity to put some more faces and names together. The food was great, especially the yummy hummus selection. Everyone won a door prize, and spirits were bubbly.

Opening Ceremony was an odd combination of rousing, moving, and boring. Without a doubt, the chalice lighting was the longest I have ever witnessed in 16 years of UU-dom. It went on, and on, and on. Sheesh. Each of the first 4-5 speakers spoke too slowly and deliberately, and the first hymn ("Shall We Gather At the River?") was sung like a dirge. The Banner Parade was great, though, as always. This year I tried to photograph every banner from places where we had visited on our RV travels, and finally stopped when I realized the ratio was over 50%! Wow, we've been around. I was proud of that accomplishment, and moved that UU churches are in so many wonderful cities and towns.

First Plenary was imbedded in the service. Our Moderator, Ginny, is so good that she makes business a pleasure. She's organized, witty, and tuned into the Mystery of Community Through Governance. We welcomed four new UU congregations and that made me proud, again.

By the end, it was late, and we were ready to hop on the Metro back to the RV park across the mighty Mississippi.

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