Drumming, Story and Song

Matt Meyer is a life-long Unitarian Universalist, a talented and inspirational drummer, by profession, and a sort of evangelist for the good news of Unitarian Universalism. He’s serving this week at Ferry Beach Camp and Conference Center as a workshop leader for the “Circle of Song” conference, working on “Finding Ourselves in the Rhythm.” World music, stories of the struggles of indigenous people to hold on to their own cultures in spite of colonial restrictions, and liberating participants’ energy for improvisation and experimentation are at the center of Matt’s work developing our souls.

Today Matt led a kind of “UU Revival” in GAYLA Auditorium, Rowland Hall. We sang together. We heard the stories of struggle of musicians and artists challenging social norms and creating powerful culture. We performed a ritual blessing using the element of sea water and the hands of our people. We heard Matt’s own convictions regarding the necessary construction of culture by communities large and small, and the special story of the movement of heart in the intentional community Matt belongs to in Roxbury, Massachusetts, the Lucy Stone Cooperative. The auditorium was filled with emotion and good feeling, and people shared with me, afterward, that they felt more grounded, more committed, more ready to do the work of justice in the world.

Let me say, personally, that it gives me great confidence that such remarkable young people as Matt are giving new energy to our religious tradition. We need newer voices, we need younger voices, we need culturally competent voices to have a relevant future. Thanks, Matt, for your great gift to us and our religious movement. 

The closing blessing included the singing of “Peace, Salaam, Shalom” (by Pat Humphreys and Sandy Opatow, emma’s revolution) and the reading of Judy Chicago’s millennial vision. Here are Judy Chicago’s words . . .

     And then all that has divided us will merge
     And then compassion will be wedded to power
     And then softness will come to a world that is harsh and unkind
     And then both men and women will be gentle
     And then both women and men will be strong
     And then no person will be subject to another’s will
     And then all will be rich and free and varied
     And then the greed of some will give way to the needs of many
     And then all will share equally in the Earth’s abundance
     And then all will care for the sick and the weak and the old
     And then all will nourish the young
     And then will cherish life’s creatures
     And then all will live in harmony with one another and the Earth
     And then everywhere will be called Eden once again.

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