GA 09: Day One
After a number of a travel hiccups I managed to get here in time for the start of the Minister's Pre-Conference. Nothing much to say about that.
Went to the John Relly Beard lecture with someone talking about ministry and trade unions. Then I was in with the youth group helping them plan their worship for tomorrow.
I went to the Ministerial Pension Fund AGM, nothing much interesting to say about that, but thought I ought to go because, well, it is kind of important to me now.
Opening Celebrations - seem to have become less and less celebratory over the last few years. It has become another service like the Anniversary Service, when I would really like it to be something a bit different.
Then UniPride (the GLBT Unitarian group) - where Andy Pakula, the Minister of Newingoton Green and Islington Unitarians spoke about his congregation's stand of not performing different-sex marriages until the same rights are available to same-sex couples to get married. It was an interesting meeting.
Two random thoughts:
1. These Meetings are not at all newcomer friendly. If I were here as the sole congregational delegate for the first time, and didn't know anyone here, I'd be completely confused and not have any idea what's going on. This is an issue we really need to deal with.
2. It strikes me that our problem is our we're the size of a movement, and yet we have all the baggage of an institution. We could be ten times the size we are with this number of committees and organisations (a functional institution). Or we could be the size we are (a few thousand) and with loose, dynamic, leadership and organisation (a functional movement). In some ways we have the worst of both worlds.