- Unitarian Universalism Connection
The FIRST UNITARIAN SOCIETY in NEWTON (FUSN) has partnered to create an historical 21st Century Europäischer Unitariertag (EUT), organized by the German Unitarians, June 2-6, 2017, in Ulm, Germany. The gathering — “Faith Without Borders? / Glaube ohne Grenzen?” — is a multinational, multi-generational assembly, with a vision to bring together Unitarians and UUs from all over Europe. It will be the first time the German Unitarians and the European Unitarian Universalists are gathering together.
We are seeking funds to purchase and ship Singing the Journey to assembly participants. We will sing together at the conference and the attendees will bring hymnbooks home with them for their worship services.
FUSN’s Director of Music Ministry, Anne Watson Born, was invited by German organizers to lead music for the conference. Our choir, along with musicians from several neighboring congregations, will perform. UU Musicians Network president Shawn McCann — Music Director at the First Parish Church in Groton and a former UUA General Assembly Band Director — will accompany the musicians.
MORE ABOUT THE ASSEMBLY
Similar to the UUA General Assembly, though on a smaller scale, participants will share resources, inspiration, thoughtful discussion, fellowship, fun activities for young people and, of course, music. There will be workshops and worship services in German and in English, shared meals and time to get to know each other.
Keynote speakers include Rev. William Schulz — former President of the Unitarian Universalist Association and of Amnesty International, and President Emeritus of the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee — and Professor Dr. Manuela Kalsky of the Free University of Amsterdam. Rev. Eric Cherry, UUA’s director of International Resources, is also participating and endorses this Faithify campaign.
In addition to UUs from the US and Germany, participants will come from England, France, Belgium, Denmark, The Netherlands, and more. Four generations will be represented, from diverse ethnic and cultural backgrounds, social and economic status, sexual preferences and family models.
SINGING THE JOURNEY
European fellowships are lay-led, without paid staff, direct UUA support or shared resources. These hymnbooks will fill a gap. After using them at the conference, participants can use them in their home services. With sections ranging from “Transcending Mystery and Wonder” to “Wisdom From the World’s Religions” and with songs such as “Fire of Commitment,” “Blue Boat Home,” and “Answering the Call of Love,” the hymnbooks provide a wealth of material to support and enrich worship and invigorate and inspire local UU fellowships.
Music — the universal language — lifts spirits and unites people. In these unstable times of fear and intolerance, music is a powerful tool to affirm and spread our liberal faith.
Connections between FUSN and Germany run deep. A leader of the German Unitarians, Karsten Urban, came from Ulm to Newton for a sabbatical at MIT in 2013. He and his family became active at FUSN; for instance, his wife Almut joined the choir (she is looking forward to singing with her FUSN friends again in Ulm!). On his return home, Karsten kept in touch and has made a number of return visits since then.
When Karsten and the German UUs decided to create this conference, they invited Anne Watson Born, FUSN’s music director, to lead the music for it.
In addition, one FUSN member lived in Europe from 1993 to 2004 and was active in Prague Unitaria in the Czech Republic and in the European Unitarian Universalists, serving as its president for 2 years. The conference will build on these existing connections and create new ones.
All funds raised will go toward the hymnbooks. The musicians from FUSN are paying their own way.
GIVE THE GIFT OF MUSIC
We invite you to donate $18 to purchase a hymnbook, $36 for two. If you can do more, $180 will provide 10 copies of Singing the Journey. Invite your UU and or music-loving friends to donate, too.
Giving participants Singing the Journey will help European UUs shape local worship services and enhance their community and spiritual life. They will be a tangible and enduring way to strengthen UU practice and connections across borders and oceans.
We hope you will contribute to our fund, so that we may support and strengthen Unitarian Universalism and bring UUs closer together.
Many many thanks to Jess Sullivan for their patient and creative work on our video.
Thank you very much for your consideration and generosity.