Thursday, April 20, 2006

Live from GA: Um, end of Day One

There was a Day Zero.

OK, so it looks like I am getting to a computer and can blog live, from here in the GA Zette office, where lots of little Unitarian journalists are typing away at keyboards round the room and young adults are drinking alcohol.

I don't really know what day it is anymore.

Well, what did I do today?

The John Relly Beard ministerial lecture: by John Parry

John Parry's a professor at Luther King House, so will be my teacher next year. He's a United Reform Church minister who's spent some time in India. He offered various reflections on religious pluralism, then spoke on Islam for a while, comparing progressives and fundamentalists.

Publications panel: me! and Vernon Marshall.

I spoke about my new book. Um, I'll probably blog about that separately at some point.
Vernon Marshall spoke about his book about British Unitarianism and world religions, a topic that needed an in-depth study I think. I've been told both books will be out 'before next GA' so that means three books should be out from Lindsey Press this year, the third being a multi-author work on congregational life. This will be welcome I think because nothing's been out since 2003.

International Association for Religious Freedom

'Reflections from IARF Taiwan Congress' which was held in a very camp Buddhist monastery.

Outreach and Communications Commission

Stuff about how to do a press release.

Opening Ceremony

Which I enjoyed. Despite reservations (my own and others) the brass band sounded pretty good. It was good to be surrounded by hundreds singing loudly rather than less than 20. I was starting to get really into the singing, swaying a bit (me being on the charismatic side, when so moved). By the last hymn I would have been holding my hands out, if it wasn't for the fact that the last hymn was to the tune of 'The Day Thou Gave Us Lord Has Ended' which, I'm sorry is a funeral song. So instead of leaving the worship thinking/feeling - yay it's good to celebrate together with Unitarians - I was thinking - oh dear my grandmother's dead. Ah well.

It's weird to see all these people that I'm meeting for the first time - even though I know them through reputation. I have tried to keep a close eye on this community (even when in the States) through the internet and magazines. I know who a lot of people are, I just haven't met them until now. It's kinda like meeting celebrities, only with more beards.


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