Sunday, April 26, 2009

Unitarian Universalist Ministers Association Chapter Meeting - Central Mid West District

This week I attended a Ministers Chapter Retreat in West Bend, Wisconsin at the Cedar Valley Center. The Retreat was comprised of the ministers and seminarians from the Central MidWest District. The location was beautiful (see pictures below).

The Unitarian Univerasalist Association (UUA) is divided into twenty districts that serve the congregations in the designated districts. Central MidWest District has seventy-two congregations and is comprised of all or parts of five states: Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Missouri and Wisconsin. Each year the ministers retreat for two and a half days. This is my first Retreat in this district. Besides checking in they included worship and collegial conversations and a workshop topic. This year Rev. Dr. Clare Butterfield presented on process theology and explored it as a theology that is both "plausible and consistent with scientific laws." It was a very stimulating and though provoking presentation with some 23 ministers in attendance.

Because Ministers Chapter Meetings are usually held in conjunction with a District Meeting some of us went on to Waukesha, Milwaukee to attend the District Meeting at the Marriott. I have posted those pictures above.

My presence at the Ministers Chapter Meeting represented both a desire to meet and hang out with colleagues and a more practical need to bring some information about Meadville Lombards new educational design. I was able to do both.

Question: Life can be challenging with all its meetings and emphasis on being producive. When do you get to just "be"? Do you allow enough time to do nothing? How does this contribute to your satisfactory mental health? Can you find more places and times like this?
Blessings! Rev. Qiyamah

This is a random picture that I took of a UU ministers car in the parking lot. Reading these bumper stickers gives you a clear idea of this ministers politics and passions!

This picture of a farm house in Cedar Valley reminds me of Hawkinsville, GA. Hawkinsville is the place where I was born and where my grandparents and my mother originated.

Cedar Valley Center - the site of our ministers retreat.

This sign hangs outside alongside the road as you drive into the Center.

It was a great location and reminded me so much of Hawkinsville, GA. It was peaceful and filled with opportunities to interact with nature.

This campfire scene was located directly behind the lodge. It evoked scenes of elders sitting around a campfire at night telling stories with the children quietly playing off at a distance and the older ones listening so that they would be able to tell the same stories one day. Listen to the nostalgia!

a href="">
Like the road of life we do not always know where they lead but we have to decide if we are motivated enough to see where it leads - all while considering the safety factors and whether it is a distraction or will facilitate our journey.

This was the area that I went exploring in behind the lodge. It had a small lake and grassy areas with birds singing. I even heard a woodpecker!

This is another scene that makes me think about Hawkinsville, GA and wonder what life would be like on the land with a mix of the old and new?

I was told this land originally belonged to the native americans. Is there any land that we can stand on in this country that did not originally belong to the native americans? How can this country make restitution for what was stolen? Perhaps the reconstruction of this clearly native american site is an attempt to tell some of the story. Or perhaps it is blatant appropriation? Who knows!