49th General Assembly comes to an end
Five days of workshops, business sessions, and worship ended with a grand flourish Sunday night with the closing ceremony for General Assembly 2010.
It was a musical night. Helping to draw the GA to a close were the GA band, the GA adult choir and, for the first time in four years, the GA Children’s Choir. The 74 green-shirted children and more than 150 adults filled the platform.
UUA Moderator Gini Courter summed up the week. Making reference to a decision delegates made Saturday to hold a “justice GA” in Phoenix in 2012 rather than boycott the state, she said, “A couple days ago the power of love . . .came to live among us because we made a place for it.” Now it’s time, she said, to broaden our community. “Our community can be larger, can be multilingual, can be multiclass. Let us reach outside our faith and across borders. When we leave (the power of love) cannot stay here. It has a new home. You must take it to your congregations. There is much to do.”
UUA President Peter Morales said, “We’ve had wonderful worship. We witnessed powerfully for marriage equality. As I said on Wednesday the real test of this GA is what will happen as we leave. Let us take the best of this week, the spirit, the knowledge, the passion and commitment and spread it around. Let us let our light shine.”
The Rev. Erik Walker Wikstrom gave his own charge to those who had remained to the end. “Let us commit ourselves to take forth from this place all that we have heard and thought and felt and all that surprised us, that delighted us, that disarmed us, that transformed us and use all of it each day as we go forth in the work of nurturing souls and healing the world.”
The children’s choir was directed by Janeal Krehbiel, director of the Lawrence, Kansas, Children’s Choir, and the adult choir by Ruth Palmer, director of music ministries at Unity Church-Unitarian in St. Paul.
The GA choir and the GA Children’s Choir together sang an anthem, “O, Colored Earth.” The children sang two other pieces, “Flaming Chalice” and “Birdsong,” which is a song with words written by a child in a World War II concentration camp.
Other participants in the closing ceremony included several members of the Bismarck-Mandan, South Dakota, UU Fellowship, which brought 13 of its 85 members to GA.
The service also included an invitation to the 50th annual General Assembly June 22-26, 2011, at Charlotte, North Carolina.