A Personal Account of the Scottish Unitarian Association Annual Meeting

by Liz Lumsden

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On Saturday 12 May, St Mark’s played host to the SUA Annual Meeting. Members and supporters travelled from all the Scottish churches. Luckily the weather was being kind to us. It was a beautiful Spring morning to be out and about.

We gathered in St Mark’s upper hall for tea and coffee around 11.00. The day was to be broken up in three sections. The business meeting, a workshop on diversity in faith and a short worship service.

After refreshments, we all moved to the sanctuary. Words of welcome were said by Joan Cook. The business meeting began. I have no interest in standing orders, minutes or treasurer’s reports. I go to the meetings because it is a great way to meet friends, other unitarians and have a chat.

I was sad to hear that the Dundee celebrant, Sandra Ogilvie, had passed in January. The meeting remembered Sandra with a period of silence. A buffet lunch was provided by the Glasgow church. Thank you, Glasgow. It was time to put on my thinking cap. Around 35 people assembled for the workshop on Diversity in Faith presented by Farkhanda Chaudry.

During lunch Farkhanda had been scattering postcards on the table. She invited us to pick two postcards; one you found pleasant and one you found disturbing. There was no pressure to take part. I chose a black and white photograph of children playing in the street and a postcard of Israeli flags. The object was to learn to recognise stereotyping, prejudice and discrimination relating to religion. Farkhanda also asked us to put the world religions in chronological time from Paganism to Humanism; an exercise to improve our knowledge of other religions. Time defeated us, and it was time for the worship service. Thank you very much, Farkhanda, for coming.

The worship service was led by Joan Cook. Joan’s theme was, If I don’t. Who Will? During the service, Joan shared her thoughts and ideas on volunteering. The closing hymn was Let Us Renew Our Covenant from the hymn book, Sing Your Faith. It was very appropriate.

I am so glad I came along. It was informative, educational and enjoyable. I am looking forward to next year’s SUA meetings!