Thursday, March 1, 2012

Greetings from St. Croix!

On February 1, 2012 I began a month long study leave to serve as visiting minister with the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of St. Croix (UUFSC) in the Virgin Islands. What started out as a leisurely month turned into a whirlwind visit with a packed social calendar along with four sermons and three Saturday workshops. My first Sunday began appropriately with my sharing my spiritual odyssey and how I came to Unitarian Univeralism. My subsequent three sermons included diverse topics such as love, Celebrating Black History Month from a UU Perspective,  and Violence Against Women from a Global Perspective. Along with the Fellowship President, Gail Nealon, I delivered three two hour Saturday workshops. The workshop topics focused on the changing economic times and learning to navigate adversity. The final workshop was a Visioning and Growth Workshop to explore their history, who they are and where they want to go and what it would take.

UUFSC is a delightful group of committed Unitarian Universalists who meet twice a month (we met every Sunday). They are snowbirds and so they break during the summer and return to the mainland. They love their covenant groups, pot lucks and are serious about their commitments to justice and environmental issues. Many of them support the arts and are themselves artists.

While I was on the Island I attended several art exhibits and saw the local actors perform Color Purple. I attended yoga classes and writers groups. I soon found myself settling into a routine with a slower pace than on the mainland - something I liked!

Below are just a few pictures that I captured while on the beautiful island of St. Croix. My plan is to relocate permanently to St. Croix the end of August with my car, my clothes, my cat and many of my books and all of my art and pictures.

Q. Are you living your dream? If not, ask yourself what is stopping you?

Blessings! Rev. Qiyamah

 Cat Franks and her sister, Christine at the Haiti Fundraising.

Emy Thomas (l) and Gail Nealon (r). Both women hosted me during my stay. Gail lived at the top of the mountain in the rain forest and Emy lived on Salt River Bay with a breath taking view overlooking the Bay.  

And the band played on. This is a scratch band that played at the Haiti Fundraiser.

Yours truly took advantage of the festive occasion to "cut a rug."

Make a joyful noise and celebrate life is the message here! Look at me getting down!

More dancing and celebrating of life!

The Band again!

Jim and Gail Nealon dancing to the fabulous band and having a great time at the Haiti fundraiser!

Emy drove me by an old plantation building and lo and behold we saw this beautiful peacock. The Nealons had a few days earlier call animal control to remove a peacock that was on their property because it was acting so aggressive because it was mating season. So I stayed in the care and took no chances with this one. I was hoping it would spread its wings. Even so they are very majestic and colorful!
This is a hermit crab and it was in Emy's courtyard. They discard their shells when they outgrow them and then look for a replacement. It appears they are not very selective and will settle for tin cans etc. Emmy indicated that humans have taken so many of the shells that the crabs sometimes can't find natural replacements. This one was a long way from water but evidently they do not need water to survive.

The view from Emy's patio! It is breath taking!

More of the view. This is actually her backyard on the left of the stone wall.

This is Emy's "side yard" and it overlooks Salt River Bay where some boats anchor.

l to r Cat Franks (teller of childrens stories at Fellowship) , Elisa McKay (local artist) and Delores (long time resident of St. Croix and farmer and member of UUFSC