What a meeting!

Yes, the NNED/UUA meeting at the Red Jacket in North Conway was really inspiring, fun, and a blast. We expected a keynote talk on Friday evening but instead it was a Universalist history pageant, slide show, rollicking singing blast which literally had people dancing and jumping in the aisles, no exaggerating! The conference choir, which I wish we had signed up for, was electric and infectious, especially the “Rev” from Tamworth, NH, the Rev. Mary Eades. She kept repeating this old time Universalist circuit rider routine in which she would clap her hands, slap her leg and knees about five or six times and then throw her arms and hands up in the air to a rousing Hallelujah in which we would all join in! I found myself in good voice, and we ended the evening’s “history lesson” on a magical Kumbayah.

The next morning was the keynote by the Rev. Mark Stringer of Des Moinse, Iowa, and he was electric and infectious in a different way. A charismatic guy with a great practical theme, Reverend Mark showed how in his UU congregation the key to growth is nurturing relational curiosity, in other words begin with friendly small talk to get to know the newcomer rather than trying to indoctrinate the person on UU principles. Getting to know you! is the theme. His congregation grew from 250 to 500 people in a few years. The guy had a clear, friendly voice with good humor and plenty of jocular but sincere humility: everything has its problems, even the best laid plans, but keep your eye on the ball, that key to growth which is to nurture relational curiosity on a person to person level.

Much more to say, but now I gotta go.

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  1. Kate’s avatar

    Sounds like a good way to treat everybody! Glad you had a good time.


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