This year I attended my second UU General Assembly, in Portland, Oregon (the city itself was enough of a reason to go – what a great place!). Being my second GA, it seemed more manageable than last year, when I felt guilty about all the plenary sessions I didn’t go to, frustrated by all the wonderful talks that I couldn’t attend, and exhilarated by the speakers I did manage to hear. This year I knew that I had to pare down, concentrate on a single thread, spend time nourishing my soul and body as well as my mind. Since Joy and Jen and I were doing a workshop on Wellspring this year, I concentrated on topics that related to that, more or less.
Because we’ve got this Wellspring blog and I’m so new to the blogosphere, I went to the session on UU blogging, which attracted people who blog as well as those who know nothing about it and want to learn about this great new tool for our congregations. I’m grateful to Tina Simson for starting our Wellspring blog and dragging us into the new world, glad that I could raise my hand as one of the people who contributes to a blog.
The blogging workshop helped me understand why we’re doing this and more of its potential uses, but the greater gift was discovering a blog that I hadn’t seen before, translations of the psalms into language that I can live with. The Reverend Christine Robinson from Albuquerque NM, whose regular blog is called iMinister, was on the workshop panel. She said that she’d posted these psalms because so many people had asked for them, and I can see why they would ask. When I open my Bible and try to choose a psalm for meditation, I find myself rejecting one after another for being too violent, too angry, too harsh. I’ve often felt that I had to edit so much out of the psalms – the patriarchal, wrathful god, the anger and vengeance against others, the brutal prayers for victory against the enemy – that I can’t even focus on the deeper meaning. I skim from one to another looking for something I can agree with. Robinson has given me language I can live with, prayers of compassion and hope, honest acknowledgement of my own feelings. When I read her translation, I can rest and reflect on what it means to me today, without having to edit or rephrase or reject. I am grateful to her for posting these beautiful psalms – and grateful as well for the many resources out there that help us all find strength in our faith. This new world has much to offer us.