Monday, July 07, 2008

How I Spent General Assembly

I was on the team that covered GA for the UUA web site. Here are all my links:

GAdding About: My GA journal

And I covered these talks:

A Ministry of Love in Fearful Times -- Forrest Church, Rob Eller Isaacs, and Sarah Lammert. The says it pretty well. We live in a culture of fear, and the ruling party exploits that fear for its own advantage. How should we strike a balance that will let us face the real dangers without letting ourselves be manipulated?

Love and Death: My Journey Through the Valley of the Shadow -- Forrest Church. This one is definitely worth your time. Church has terminal cancer and says he is expected to live "months". It's rare to be able to watch a religious leader talk frankly about his own death, and rarer still when that leader deals squarely with the uncertainty of it all. Church isn't telling himself he's going to a better world. He's just going.

Valuing ALL Families -- an Interfaith Community Witness -- multiple presenters. This is a rally across from the Fort Lauderdale City Hall. We're supporting the rights of two types of families usually ignored: families of same-sex couples and families of undocumented immigrants. Both have a particularly hard time in Florida.

Starr King School's President's Lecture -- Eboo Patel and William Sinkford. Patel is the author of Acts of Faith and the founder of the Interfaith Youth Core. He has a Muslim/UU dialog with UUA President William Sinkford and some young UU activists. Patel's method has to do with people telling each other their stories, and so I learned something I never knew about Bill Sinkford: His parents were passing for white when he was born, and he didn't find out he was black until he was 7. My article isn't up on the web yet; I'll update later. It's Event #4045.

A Faith for the Few? Class and Unitarian Universalism -- Mark Harris. Event 5014; another one where my article isn't up yet.

In addition to the stuff I covered and wrote about, I went to the Ware Lecture by Van Jones. Jones is a great speaker; the video is worth watching. (Sinkford does an introduction and then Jones comes on at 4:15.)