Skip to main content

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.


Popular posts from this blog

What does it mean to be non-creedal?

Steve Caldwell says "The problem here isn't humanism vs. theism for theist Unitarian Universalists -- it's the non-creedal nature of Unitarian Universalism" This is a good point. We need to think much more deeply about what it means to be a non-creedal religion. The first thing I want to say is that there is more than one possible understanding of non-creedalism. The Disciples of Christ are a non-creedal church, they say here : " Freedom of belief. Disciples are called together around one essential of faith: belief in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. Persons are free to follow their consciences guided by the Bible, the Holy Spirit study and prayer, and are expected to extend that freedom to others." Quakers are also non-creedal and say here : Quakers have no set creed or dogma - that means we do not have any declared statements which you have to believe to be a Quaker. There are, however, some commonly held views which unite us. One accepted view is that th


When I started this blog nearly 4 years and nearly 300 posts ago one of the labels I used for it/me was "radical." Perhaps I used it a little unreflectively. Recently I've been pondering what radical means. A couple of things have made me think of this. Firstly this blog series from my friend Jeremy, which explores a distinction between "radical progressives" and "rational progressives." There is also this definition of radical, liberal and conservative from Terry Eagleton quoted at Young Anabaptist Radicals : “Radicals are those who believe that things are extremely bad with us, but they could feasibly be much improved. Conservatives believe that things are pretty bad, but that’s just the way the human animal is. And liberals believe that there’s a little bit of good and bad in all of us.” What interests me is finding a way to express the tension I feel sometimes between myself and the wider Unitarian movement. One way to express this is to say I tend

What is Radical Christianity?

Radical Christianity is about encountering the God of love . It is first and foremost rooted in the discovery of a universal and unconditional source of love at the heart of reality and within each person. God is the name we give to this source of love. It is possible to have a direct and real personal encounter with this God through spiritual practice. We encounter God, and are nourished by God, through the regular practice of prayer, or contemplation.  Radical Christianity is about following a man called Jesus . It is rooted in the teaching of Jesus of Nazareth, a Jewish prophet living under occupation of the Roman Empire two thousand years ago. It understands that's Jesus' message was the message of liberation. His message was that when we truly encounter God, and let God's love flow through us, we begin to be liberated from the powers of empire and violence and encounter the  "realm of God" - an alternative spiritual and social reality rooted in love rather th