I’m writing this from a hotel in Strasbourg – getting in a little travel before I return to the States. The FUSN Musicians tour concluded yesterday with the closing worship service at the Europäischer Unitariertag – European Unitarians Together assembly. The assembly was organized by many, but Karsten Urban carried the brunt of it and did a fantastic job. (If you want to see some classic examples of shedding tension, take a look at the photos of Karsten posted to our Facebook group.)
Our musicians will be returning home with stories and experiences to share (once we all recover!). For me, the process of creating worship with so many people from such different backgrounds and perspectives was fascinating, educational, and occasionally exhausting. You can be proud of your choir – their hymn-leading and special music really centered the worship experience over the four-day conference.
FUSN folks also participated in other ways at the EUT – Jacki Rohan and Judy Zacek offered a workshop on the UUSC; Bob MacWilliams held a guitar technique session; and I led a workshop on “Singing Our Faith”, which featured a good look at the Singing the Journey books that we donated to conference participants via our Faithify campaign. In addition to singing in the choir, Bob also played in several services and ran a Chalice Circle. Several of our musicians (Jim Cook, Natalie Jensen, Bob MacWilliams, Shawn McCann, Jacki Rohan) joined our German friends in the NRB (No Rehearsal Band) that played Sunday night.Throughout, we all had lively discussions with European UUs about the future of our faith, politics, football, etc.
I also want to mention some of our “honorary FUSNites”: musicians from our congregations in Dedham, Needham and Groton (Natalie Jensen, ,Jeff Hutton, Cynde Hartman, Melinda Stewart) and other musical friends (Richard Born, M. Patrick Kane, Phil LaFollette, Anne Pearson, Almut Urban, Sarah Watson). We were so fortunate to have Shawn McCann (Music Director in Groton and President of UUMN) with us – he soloed and accompanied us on instruments ranging from a somewhat problematic electric keyboard to the glorious Bechstein in Ulm and always sounded amazing. And it’s important to thank again the members of our tour organizing committee: Jacki Rohan, Mindy Scharlin, and Wendy Schwartz.
I’m looking forward to being home and hope to see many of you at GA. –Anne Watson Born