Friday, June 23, 2006

Exhausting (Louise)

Today was a very long day, and I didn't even make it to evening worship or the entertainment. Other people seem to have much more stamina than I do. I like to think that is because I put more energy into each moment so I need to sleep more to recharge my batteries. But maybe that's just wishful thinking and I am really just a wimp.

The morning plenary held one gem and one long, intriguing discussion. The gem was learning that Starr King Seminary now offers a two-year Master's degree for lay leadership. Something to seriously consider for the future. The big discussion, which did not finish and will be continued on Sunday, was the crafting of our Statement of Conscience about Global Warming. Clearly, many UUs feel very passionate about the subject, and watching them debate the topic and struggle with the plenary process was a fascinating delight.

I then worked my final hour in the CLF booth, which passed very quickly. Choir rehearsal followed that, then two "elective" sessions. I chose to hear Meg Barnard sing and tell stories, which made me alternatively laugh and cry. A Good Thing. For the second session, Sean and I both heard Michael Dowd passionately speak about Evolution and religion. I feel strongly that his work will be the "aha!" breakthrough that builds true bridges between the religious left and right. His website is The Great Story.

We dashed off for a quick dinner at a very nice Italian restaurant downtown. Very traditional, with white tablecloths, mahogany panelling and waiters in tuxedos. I was embarrassed when a large group of UU convention-goers came in and immediately started complaining loudly about the menu prices. I suspect they tipped badly, too.

Evening plenary held some very good things. I was moved by the UUSC presentation, by how together we can do such good work that none alone could accomplish. How wonderful to be part of this greater whole! And when Jerry and Denny Davidoff receivedthe Distinguished Service Award, I was reminded that we do, indeed, stand upon the shoulders of giants. The "UUs and Gulf Coast" presentation, which ended the program was disrespectfully long. Given that it was a carefully scripted piece with around ten performers reading (well and movingly) from a printed document, its length should have been well known beforehand, within 5 minutes or so. Going 40 minutes over is inexcusable. Yes, it is an important subject, but so are most others on the agenda. We use a backward ticking clock and a loud bell to end discussion by delegates and yet allow some presenters to increase the length of the session by over 25%? Unfair and un-UU.

But then again, it is late and maybe I'm just a wimp.

1 comment:

Marnie said...

Hi, Louise! Sorry I wasn't at GA this year. You may be interested to know, though, that I'll be starting at Starr King this fall in the new MASC program (M.A. in Religious Leadership for Social Change).