EUU has existed for almost 42 years, and this month, I’ve stepped into the role of president, as the 26th in an inspiring and guiding lineage of volunteers, following Tony Zamparutti (thanks for your recent leadership, Tony!). Thankfully, I am surrounded by a family of EUU ‘relatives’ who are creating the vitality and continuity of our religious organization in Europe:
Gevene Hertz has put together this Unifier issue – as she does for so many of our communications – as well as helps us maintain institutional memory. Bonnie Friedmann is looking backward and forward and keeping detailed planning & information flowing. Jutta Hamm is managing our finances (and reminding me of tasks). Matt Gilsenan is reaching out, paying attention and creatively organizing to support our various fellowships. Terri Michos and the members of our refreshed Social Action Committee are researching organizations and attributing some of EUU’s financial resources to support their important work. Diane Rollert – our UUA ambassador in Montreal, Canada – maintains contact, information and thoughtful, spiritual and practical support to our ongoing activities and mission. And right now, responding to the environmental challenge of the ongoing COVID pandemic, Mark Shiels is hard at work with his team, transforming our long-awaited Prague ‘in-person’ Spring Retreat to an online retreat, April 8–10.
And many people – unnamed in this letter but so very real and important – are doing tasks RIGHT NOW that support our larger EUU community and/or provide continuous care and action within their local fellowships.
Most of the time lately, my mind has been very much focused on biology. I’m a biologist and a teacher of young people; and last week in school we worked with insects, humans, dogs, wolves, dragons and crayon-colored chromosomes. Today as I think about EUU, I tilt my head and see in our organization the characteristics of beautiful life: many smaller, vital, complex individuals and groups, coming together to form a larger ‘being’ that itself exhibits its own complexity, functionality, variety, reproductive ability, adaptations, persistence, responsivity, and change.
That’s us; that’s EUU. We are alive and continuing, in concert with the challenges of our environment. I look forward to the months ahead, as we continue our adventure of life together!
In grateful fellowship,
Karen Kyker (Paris, France)