Saturday, January 14, 2012

New Orleans Bound

First in a series of posts about the January UUA Board meeting

I have never been to New Orleans -- my stereotype of jazz, booze, and lots of food in the French Quarter has not been a strong pull. In the past few years -- ever since Katrina -- it has represented something else for me. Shame. My own.

There appeared to be a negative undercurrent to all those laughing faces in the tourism ads. Poverty. And the crime associated with desperation. In 2005 families in my Berkeley church opened their homes to those who had lost them -- and co-minister Barbara Hamilton-Holway asked us "why am I willing to open my home to Katrina survivors, but not to those from our own neighborhoods?" There is an undercurrent everywhere -- and many of us choose not to see it.

The Board meeting starts Wednesday, so many of us are going a few days early to work with the Center for Ethical Living and Social Justice Renewal. I expect to spend several days weeding, serving, and cleaning, or whatever needs to be done. I am a late-comer to this particular service project -- many UUs across the country have already walked this path.

The Board packet can be downloaded here. Agenda items include selecting the candidate(s) for moderator, finalizing the agenda for General Assembly, reviewing progress towards our Ends (including the perceptions of a sample of nearly 1300 UUs of how well we are doing this). linkage activities, meeting with the Commission on Social Witness, the Doctrine of Discovery, work on a long term vision, and a request from the District Presidents Association. I will be covering these -- and more -- when I return on the 23rd.

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