HUUMS Hosts Continental Gathering of UU Seminarians

This weekend, HUUMS was the host group for the Continental Gathering of UU Seminarians (CGUUS)– an unaffiliated convocation of current UU ministry students from all stages of theological education and all regions of the U.S and Canada.  There were over 50 attendees at CGUUS, representing between them Harvard Divinity School, Meadville Lombard Theological School, Starr King School for the Ministry, United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities, Yale Divinity School, Andover Newton Theological Seminary, United Theological College of Montreal, and more.

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CGUUS was the first event of its kind in over twenty years and– we may say– a smashing success.  We are profoundly grateful to the CGUUS Planning Committee for making it all happen!

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We also want to extend our thanks to Rev. Dr. Thandeka, who led us in a two-day workshop on building a systematic UU theology from the ground up– starting with the basic elements of all religious experience and the way we use language, however ineptly, to describe them.  Thandeka worked with us to help reclaim the language of religious feeling so that Unitarian Universalism can fulfill its implicit promise of becoming a community truly fired by “love beyond belief.”

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We are also indebted to Rev. Christian Schmitt, who helped us grapple with some of the other “big questions”: What does the future hold for us as a religious movement?  And what will our role in that future be as spiritual leaders?

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Finally, we must thank First Church Boston for their gracious hospitality and infinite patience.  They more than lived out our UU values of radical welcoming for the duration of the conference.

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The BAUUS Retreat: A Retrospective

We arrived in Franklin Massphoto-4

Down dark snowy roads

Our cars bearing food and faith

And other weighty loads.

The abbey waited calmly

There stirred scarcely a flake

Though the blizzard on Friday

Had made the HUUMS Board shake.

photo-9Once there we sprang into action

As we had long planned.

We cooked, cleaned, and scrubbed

And we all lent a hand.

It was a sort of spiritual practice

And wouldn’t you know

Some of us (see  Sean in the pic)

Took on a saintly glow.

And sometimes we simply did thingsphoto-12

That were really quite absurd

Of this all one can say

Is that pictures speak louder than words.

 

 

 

 

We worshipped morning and eveningphoto-5

For which Seth set the stage

We contemplated the future of our movement

To take the next step– turn the page.

And of course our day-long workshop

Which made us come alive

Ou r small groups taught us much

And brought tears to our eyes.

 

We all were soon good friends,photo-1

comrades and colleagues,

And kept our energy levels up

When threatened with fatigue.

We learned a very  great deal

About small group ministry

For which we all are grateful

To M’ellen Kennedy!

photo-3We were certainly sorry to go

And might have wished to stay

We hope you all will think of  us

When  you are away.

And remember now this thought

With a dose of good cheer:

If you didn’t make it this time,

There’s always next year!