The up-coming weeks and new year will be a busy time for our Florida congregations. In addition to the ceremonies of winter holidays, travel, and guests, there’s the emotional challenges of keeping a generous heart in lean times, retaining faith in “peace on earth” when that seems unlikely, when civility has fallen as a shared value and winning at all costs has risen. As one year ends, what will arise in the next?
Faith is always about keeping hope alive, being able to see over the horizon of what is before us. Indeed, it is often about being more optimistic than the facts seem to warrant and committing anew to build the world we dream about. So, as we enter this winter season, I urge you, be of good cheer. There is still ministry for us; we are needed.
Across the land, Unitarian Universalists are preparing to engage issues of “otherness” and diversity as we have never done before. Next June’s “Justice General Assembly” in Phoenix will focus on the issues of human dignity, economic oppression, and xenophobia. Correspondingly, our March 23-25 District Assembly in Jacksonville is similarly attuned to these issues as we talk about Crossing Boundaries. More details will be forthcoming in January.
For now, I issue a challenge to the Florida District congregations:
• Let’s commit to having 5% of our District membership in Phoenix (roughly 250 adults).
• Let’s have a like percentage of our youth at GA and DA!
• Let’s have 50% of our congregations represented at GA and 75% at DA!
• Let’s raise $5,000 in financial assistance for those — especially our youth — who want to attend GA but have difficulty affording the cost. After January 1st, look for a flyer announcing a call for individual and congregational sponsors to provide financial aid (money or air-miles or hotel-points) to attend GA.
Then a favor: Would you send me a note about what your congregation is doing in the way of engaging issues of immigration justice and how are you preparing for this year’s GA. How are you building the world of love and justice?
Many thanks!!! May your winter celebration renew your soul and enliven your commitment.