Thursday, June 22, 2006

Thursday (Louise)

Today we got to sleep in a little, because the first event did not start until 11:15. That was choir rehearsal, which flew by in a heartbeat. Our director told us that she had dreamed us all year, preparing for GA. At one point in the winter she could hear us, in her head, singing a particularly wonderful harmonic piece. When we sang it today, she flashed back to that memory and it moved her to tears. At that same moment, while we were singing, I choked up with tears and had to just mouth the words for a few measures. How strange and wonderful that we both cried then. Music is a direct conduit to my soul.

After choir, the annual Church of the Larger Fellowship worship service took place in the same room. The musicians for the service started to warm up, and I was waiting for Sean anyway, so I stayed. Other volunteers were starting to put brochures on the chairs, so I helped. That led to handing out programs as people wandered in, and it felt like a blessing to say, "Welcome!" to each one. It felt just like being back in Palo Alto at my old church. It felt like MY church, where I am comfortable and part of the infrastructure. "The singing? Oh, the musicians are practising. Come in and listen and the service will start soon. This is CLF; you'll love it! We have wonderful sermons and terrific music. Don't miss it!" And it was all those things. We sang 5-6 songs, heard the premiere of two parts of a new cantata, nodded and "amened" to Revs. Jane and Rosemary. Jane hugged me, remembering me. Oh, that felt so good, so welcoming. As Jane said last year, wasn't it Just Like Church? Oooooooh, yeah.

After a quickie annual CLF congregational meeting (other churches would be so jealous if they knew our annual meeting takes 10 minutes), it was off to plenary. Once again, my feelings were mixed. The "In Memoriam" tribute to UUs who have died this year and remembered the UUA in their wills is always so moving to me. And a video about the UU Fellowship of the Eastern Slope, a Breakthrough Congregation, was inspiring and uplifting. But as the last hour of plenary approached and at least half the delegates left, I felt angry and betrayed. Being a delegate is a commitment. All those who spoke passionately about their topics in the last hour were cheated out of the full attention of the gathering. I think that is disrespectful! I talked to the moderator, Ginny, about it, and truly felt heard by her. That helped. But it still stung, a little. Sigh. Time to work on forgiveness? But what about justice?

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