Saturday, April 14, 2007

GA: Day Three

I managed to get up in time for the communion service at 7.30 in the morning, which I found sustaining. I did really enjoy the service, but I did have some thoughts about how it was done. When bread was broken and consecrated, it was a loaf, but then it was wafers that were distributed. I'm not quite sure about that. I kind of think what you bless you should distribute. The bread and wine were passed on from person to person to person while we remained sitting. The problem with this was that I received the bread (wafer) long before I received the wine (very alcoholic by the way). It being first thing in the morning my mouth was actually quite dry and so I managed to get the wafer stuck to the roof of my mouth and had to wait a minute or two for the wine to come so I could loosen it. If you're going to use a wafer I think you need to wash it down with wine straight afterwards, especially first thing before breakfast.

The Taize song Ubi Caritas was sung during the distribution, and this was (by coincidence) also sung by the assembly at the beginning of the business meetings. Report's were given and every motion passed, if not with 100% support than with more than 95%. I'll summarise all the motions here, even though they were in different sessions:

1. Congregations should become involved in the process of forming curriculum for Religious Education in state schools. This is set by each Local Education Authority, usually with a group of Anglicans. Unitarians should contribute something to this process.

2. We support the employment rights of (legal) migrant workers not to be exploited.

3. We support campaigns against sex trafficking.

4. We support the Strangers into Citizens campaign to grant a two year work permit, followed by the possiblity of leave to remain for irregular migrants who have been here for more than four years.

5. Work out your carbon footprint.
6. We call for diplomatic solutions to the crisis with Iran.

7. We call for the end of cluster munitions.

At lunchtime we had the first ever Bridging Ceremony for BUYAN. The first person we've had to turn 18 and become a member of BUYAN. It's good that BUYAN is growing like this.

In the afternoon I went to the presentation of the National Unitarian Fellowship on media issues from Chris Goacher and Bob Wightman and their involvement in the media, mainly radio. Bob has his own show on Radio Tay.

The Anniversary Service was pretty good. Brenda Catheral preached the sermon, which included gags much too rude to repeat here. A really uplifting service.

The evenings of course are often the most important parts of these things, and sitting and drinking and sharing stories and talking about this that and everything is a vital part of our community. The Annual Meetings seemed to have kept to the course set last year that we are a religous community and worship and community, rather than business, is our raison d'etre. Thursday I was up until 4am talking to my brothers and sisters in faith. And of couse, every night the GA Zette, the independent newspaper of the Annual Meetings needs collating when the print run is done.


Blogger boyinthebands said...

Is that you in the foreground of the last photo?

By the way, thanks for the coverage.

4:26 am  
Blogger Stephen said...

It is me, sporting the brand new BUYAN T shirt.

2:23 pm  

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