Monday, April 16, 2007

GA: Day Four

(Not exactly live anymore, I'm talking about last Friday, but I'm still faster than any other news source, barring the GA Zette, but you have to come along to get that)

The last business meeting dealt with the left over motions and the procedural motions, and some more reports.

David Dawson gave his address as the retiring President. He said one thing that is worth repeating. He might have said a couple, but I can only remember one now. He recommended we use a different 'brand name' as 'the General Assembly of Unitarian and Free Christian Churches' is rather too long and combersome. I agree entirely. David advocated 'Unitarians in Britain' which is fine. For me I'd want to call us 'The Unitarian Church' or when talking internationally 'The British Unitarian Church.' That's what I've written for my link on the right here. The trouble is of course that some would see it as a rejection of Christianity to drop the word 'Christian.' But we shouldn't get bogged down in that, it has to be about good clear marketing. And the debate about Unitarian vs Free Christian is a nineteenth century issue that I think is entirely irrelevant to where we are now. I'm glad David said it.

Celia Midgley was installed as the new President and led us in a act of closing worship that I really enjoyed. It was interactive and including the sharing of a sign of peace (something I really miss from my Anglican past). The closing song (I think) is from the new hymn supplement, and I love it. It's called 'Bring Many Names' and is brilliant in marrying progressive theology with deep emotion, something rarely achieved. It's a song that gives me something of the feeling of being in love with God, like a good charismatic praise song without being simplistic and all about the cross. It talks about a 'strong mother God.... willing to be changed' and recongnises the unknowability yet intimacy of the Divine 'joyful darkness far beyond our seeing, //closer yet that breathing.' There's my theology. Beautiful.

So that was that. Lunch then home. I've probably missed something out. I didn't realise there was a 'quiet room' until it was too late and would liked to have checked it out, but nevermind, I'm glad they're doing that.

As always talking with people in the bar and other places is often the most important thing. Lots of that was done. And overall GA was definitely a good one for me, which is not to say there still isn't a lot to do. Last year seemed to represent a turning point in seeing the Annual Meetings as a chance for worship primarily and not just business, and I think that's very much to be welcomed.

That was GA 07.


Anonymous Philocrites said...

Thank you so much for posting these updates throughout GA!

9:55 pm  
Blogger boyinthebands said...

The serious business at the bar? Sounds familiar.

Thanks also.

3:15 am  
Blogger juffie said...

Thank you so much for going to the trouble of doing this blog about GA. Not longer in Britain, but helped me still feel connected.

6:56 am  

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