The Power of Connection

Our office is up in Boston for a staff retreat, to have "face-time" with people with whom we closely work, to build relationships, to learn from UU clergy and social justice leaders on how we can better serve them, and to meet with the UUSC.  In all, the last two days have been informative and exhausting and, as always for me when we talk of social justice, there is the tension between the urgent need for action and feeling completely overwhelmed and powerless.

I've been told that historically there's been tension between the UUA and the UUSC - perhaps a sense of competition, I'm not sure.  Whatever it was it was before my time, those problems addressed by the hard work of my predecessors and supervisors.  The experiences I've had with the UUSC have all been amicable, and when we were told we were going to have a joint meeting, that made sense.

But what I didn't expect was to experience a very palpable lesson in the power of connections - in collaboration.  Today, as we walked into the new UUSC conference room (they recently moved), I was struck by how crowded the room was.  Our UUA staff groups, which seem so small were joining UUSC staff groups, which probably aren't much bigger, and instantly our power was doubled.  Instantly we had twice the number of people working on Darfur, twice the number of people working on the Gulf Coast, twice the number of people working on environmental justice.

Alone we are weak and easily overwhelmed.  Together we are strong.  Isn't that what religious community is all about?  I will never forget it.

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