DA 2011, Emancipation, and the Expanding Garden

Hey TUC’ers:

Hope you’re ready for “Celebration of Life” with extensive lay involvement this Sunday, as Jerry Parker and Scott Aaseng are choreographing a reading of Finley Campbell’s “Oh Freedom! An Emancipation Pageant” at 11 a.m. for our “Celebration of Life.” You’ll see TUC’ers of long and not-so-long tenure assume various roles of figures from both the Civil War and the Civil Rights Eras, and it promises to be much fun.

Those of you who attended District Assembly witnessed a thoughtful and inspiring presentation on multi-cultural diversity by the Reverend Dr. Mark Morrison-Reed. Dr. Morrison-Reed challenged us to address this issue by, as he said, “intentionally embracing the tensions in inclusionary practices,” and also “being ready to forgive ourselves if we’re not perfect, or make mistakes” in the process. Sage insights, indeed. Finley Campbell (noted above) offered an inspiring message on the charge for radical inclusivity he sees imbedded in our UU “Principles and Purposes” at the Friday night worship service, and the annual business meeting of the district was one of the most feverish in recent memory, with a good many questions raised about a couple of fairly-controversial suggested by-law changes. The picture at the bottom is of a collection of TUC members, staffers and a former staffer helping me celebrated after I was given the Jean Kapuscik Award for “distinguished service in ministry” to the Central Midwest District, as nominated by my peers in the CMwD chapter of the UU Minister’s Association. From left to right is Kate Wilford, our DRE, our Treasurer Anne Koerber, our former DRE Justine Urbikas, yours truly, Gerry Messler of our Membership Committee, our Director of Music Scott Aaseng, and Social Action Committee impresario Jerry Parker.

Also, the pace is picking up in the Community Garden, as three new beds have been added this past week by the City of Chicago Green Corps. Roger Masson has organized a bed-rental system whereby folks from the neighborhood can rent, for a nominal fee, a bed to plant a range of vegetables or fruits. Our neighbors and our friends at Little Leaders have taken him up on it, and the work will begin soon on planting, etc. The picture below is of Dave and Melissa Taub as they stand behind a Viburnum shrub adjacent to the garden that I planted last year in honor of my father.

See you in church!



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