I would like to first offer my appreciation to this First Parish community for all your love and care in recent weeks. Families and individuals within our congregation have suffered loss and illness at an intense pace. In particular, I would like to thank Will Reiter, Kim and Cindy Gist, Ariel Bliss, and Janice, Henry and Mark Tervo who have provided music for special services, and Linda Newhard who organized a reception for the Grad family, and all the Caring Connection volunteers (and beyond) who contributed food and time. I thank all of you for being there, and bearing witness in difficult times.
All this, plus the snow and the cold have made this winter feel long. But it is clear that the days are getting longer, and there have been some almost balmy days. Although there is much winter to come, I invite us to think about an event coming this summer—the UUA General Assembly, more commonly known as GA.
GA is an annual gathering of Unitarian Universalist congregations and groups from around the country (and even around the world). It includes plenary sessions, where the business of the UUA is discussed and voted on by congregational delegates; workshops on everything from social justice to worship to spiritual practices to religious education to administration; amazing worship services including a bridging service for all graduating high school seniors; lectures by prominent speakers; and youth and young adult programs. There is even dancing! This year, GA will be in Providence, Rhode Island from June 25th through the 29th. Its close proximity offers a chance for a good-sized delegation from our church to attend (next year, it will be in Portland, Oregon!). Dolores, Jill, Nick Kaffine, Sam Spero and I are all planning to go, and would love to take folks with us. In particular, we would love to bring a strong contingent of our high school youth. I will be holding an information session this coming Sunday, February 9th at 12:30 in the chapel. Housing and early bird registration open on March 3rd, and the housing in particular fills up quickly. For more information, you can check out this link on the UUA website: http://www.uua.org/ga/index.shtml. And we do have funds to help with the cost. It is great fun and it is a really empowering experience to be with so many Unitarian Universalists