On November 16th, the UUS of Greater Pittsburgh Cluster will gather for their Annual Assembly. This organization pulls together the energy of eleven congregations from the Pittsburgh area including one congregation from Ohio and one from West Virginia. Each year they invite a guest speaker to come and talk about a topic of importance- often related to social justice. This year’s keynote will be For the Beauty of the Earth: The Intersection of Climate Change and Racial and Socio-Economic Justice by Rev. Renee Ruchotzke. There will be a panel of speakers from area justice organizations in the afternoon. The congregations take a collection at each Assembly to support regional youth programs and trips- this year supporting youth participation in River Rising. The Assembly is an energetic and powerful experience with lots of opportunities for connection.
The “Association” part of our name Unitarian Universalist Association is perhaps the core of how we DO religion. We are empowered by the association of congregations who work together. Continually, I see ways in which our congregations work together to support, learn, connect, and transform. Here are just a few:
- New York City area congregations joined together in a conference to learn tools for countering white supremacy systems in their congregations. This was based on a similar gathering of Washington D.C. area congregations in January.
- The WACKY Cluster (Wooster, Akron, Canton, Kent, and Youngstown) frequently work together to offer programming, support, and guidance in their work.
- The Northwest Ohio Cluster of congregations holds an annual joint worship service.
- The congregations of Central and Upstate New York meet at the annual St. Lawrence Seaway Gathering.
At a time when resources are not always at a level we would like them to be at, we may find that pooling our resources with our neighboring congregations brings new possibilities and stronger communities. We are literally Better Together in this sense. We are witnesses and supporters of our work at a time when so much seems divisive. May we find more ways to connect and work together.