The editors are hosting two lunchtime conversations at the UUA General Assembly in Kansas City on June 21 and 23.
Coffee hour overwhelmed and perplexed me the first time I stumbled into one. Such a throng! A table covered in petitions; bulletin boards and brochures; a book rack. And coffee, of course. In time I learned that the church’s social hall wasn’t just its multipurpose room: it was also the incubator for all kinds of social service, public interest, and arts organizations in town—an unusually vibrant public square.
Seth Fisher’s congregation conducted a spiritual audit of the programs it sponsored or hosted and realized that coffee hour wasn’t just conviviality after the main event. Coffee hour was the beating heart of the church—the space where individuals could discover transformative opportunities that called to them. So Fisher started inviting people not to “church,” but to coffee hour.
Air Nonken follows coffee all the way back to the women who grow it and reports on a UU College of Social Justice week with the feminist co-op farmers in Nicaragua who see women’s empowerment, community organizing, and ecological stewardship as inextricably linked. (See page 24.)
If you will be at the UUA General Assembly in Kansas City, Missouri, June 20–24, the editors are hosting two lunchtime conversations in the exhibit hall. Find us under the UU World poster in the hall’s new poster area. On Thursday, June 21, we’ll talk about effective ways to share your congregation’s or organization’s story, including through photography. On Saturday, June 23, we extend a special invitation to UU people of color and other UUs with marginalized identities to talk with us about your story ideas and potential contributions as writers, artists, photographers, and sources.
Follow our coverage of the General Assembly at uuworld.org/ga and at twitter.com/uuworld.
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Christopher L. Walton is editor of UU World. He holds degrees from Harvard Divinity School and the University of Utah and is a member of the Church of the Larger Fellowship.