Leslie’s Logos – July 1, 2022
The theme of this year’s gathering of Unitarian Universalist ministers was “Because we need one
another.” That seemed an apt theme as we began the week of gatherings, and seemed prophetic by the
end of the week by the time we had witnessed the highs and lows of the week.
The highs of the week included watching the modeling of inclusive practices which were modeled across
many of the gatherings of the week. The work to “widen the circle of concern” was evident in the way
the Association conducted its business and in the first in-person gathering since 2019, the amount we
had learned about how to come together across multiple platforms, including the virtual ones, was
evident. Being together and seeing valued colleagues and people from across the nation was so
wonderful—we caught sight of Art and Arliss Ungar and some folks dined at Chez Michelle and Laurie!
Another high for me was being able to meet with folks in my new capacity as president of the Unitarian
Universalist Minister’s Association and to participate in events such as the Service of the Living Tradition
and many, many breakfast meetings about what ministers need in these times. The commitment of my
colleagues and of the other religious professionals was a great inspiration.
A low that became a high was when our youth, who had worked for literal years to earn the money to
travel to Portland had their trip affected by COVID and its impacts on religious education. The initial
group of 8 was reduced to 4 because of COVID and related concerns. The youth arrived to find that the
small numbers of youth registered meant inadequate programming for them. A high was when they
found their voice and went and expressed their concerns to make sure that this doesn’t happen again.
Another low were those folks who chose not to participate in the democratically established procedures
of our assembly. And this in a week when we were sent reeling by two hard Supreme Court
decisions—one on gun control and then the overturning of Rose v. Wade.
All of this is part of our democratic process and we are seeing the uglier aspects now. For this reason,
perhaps more than ever, we need one another.