Our keynote speaker was CB Beal!
Their keynote topic was "The Glass is Refillable: Pandemic exhaustion, Lifelong Faith Formation, and Preemptive Radical Inclusion."
The pandemic has led many of us to experience life with more limitations than we were used to before. For others, it's a doubling down of a life lived marginalized and oppressed within a system that claims not to do either. Whether it is more of the same, or a newer experience of living in a world where we can’t just do what we want, everyone is exhausted. Lay leaders, staff, ministers – we are all exhausted. During this time of collective dysregulation our nerves are jangled, our risk budgets and priorities around COVID safety are different, and we desperately want... things to be different.
It’s just true that we are constrained in ways we never consented to and forced by pandemic to change in ways we resist, but at the same time this is an opportunity for us to choose how to change. We have choices about how to create beloved community, welcome new families, develop as faithful people in loving, ethical relationship with others, and move our mission forward. We are not without options, and new options. We can choose to refill our glasses together.
CB Beal is a white, fat, queer, non-binary religious and social justice educator, writer, storyteller, and speaker. CB was the 2019 recipient of the Unitarian Universalist Association’s Angus H. MacLean Award for Excellence in Religious Education. They make their home in a farmhouse library loft in western Massachusetts and consult with individuals and organizations to increase consent culture, equity, and justice in the world. You can find them online at Justice and Peace Consulting.