A long time ago, in a place not so far away, a friend handed me a booklet and encouraged me to reach out beyond BuxMont’s four walls to a community of UUs engaged in making music in our congregations. There are many national UU communities which nurture leaders, seekers, musicians, Christians, Pagans, teachers, social activists, writers, administrators, web weavers, artists–the list goes on and on. For me it was the Unitarian Universalist Musicians Network (UUMN).
I went to UUMN for the ideas and skills–I’d just started the choir, and was definitely in over my head as a folkie who had sung in a good UU choir an even longer time ago. And I found what I looked for, music that reflected our UU values, some pointers on conducting basics, and some great folks to jam with. But I found much more; I found a community that supported and nurtured me, where people understood the frustrations and delights of bringing people together to make and share music in a congregation. I got involved, served on the board, and helped develop the credentialing program for UU musicians. Together the UUMN and the UUA work to teach our musicians the values, skills and responsibilities of music ministry, realizing that it is much more than notes and downbeats–it is people journeying together.
I hope some of you will think about what your special passion is at BuxMont and seek to connect to other UUs beyond our walls. Everyone I know who has done that has grown in ways that surprised them, and which they have shared with our con- gregation. Whether it was at a district meeting, General Assembly, a special interest group, or a sojourn at one of the many UU Camp and Conference Centers, BuxMonters have expanded their horizons and enriched our local community through their engagement. So reach out; look first for the things they offer that you know you need: skills, ideas, curricula, and people who get what your passion is all about. But stay open; there are treasures around the bend which you are not even aware you and we need. One way to get started is to go to UUA.org and start clicking on links that interest you, and you will soon find an event or group to connect with.
Happy Treasure Hunting!