UUFP and EUU Youth Gathering in Paris

by Steph Couitt

We are happy to report that through our Facebook advertising, we had 48 people interested, and I saw many new “likes” for our UUFP Facebook group. From all of that interest, we had 11 attendees hailing from all over the world: Paris, Spain, Germany, India, Canada, the US and also Taiwan.

Friday night’s apero was truly lovely. We welcomed 2 newcomers living in Paris; Anais from France and Veronica from Taiwan. Jacoba led our group with a Vietnamese ancestor’s sharing circle, which gave everyone time to share about a loved one and get to know each other on a deeper level. We then set our intentions for the weekend with guided meditation by Ashton and continued to get to know each other.

On Saturday we distributed food to the houseless near Stalingrad through Serve the City (thankfully the sunshine and good cheer warmed our faces and hearts on that icy morning). In the evening, we lit a chalice and broke bread (literally!) with UU Ministers Emily Conger and Aisha Ansano, discussing who we are now, who we want to be and what links we can draw between our now and future selves to map out a path to take steps to get there. Over butternut soup we read the humbling Thanksgiving Address we discovered in Braiding Sweetgrass, a book UUFP read a few months back in the book club (you can read the poem here). We ended Saturday evening with a board game, group singing (we even sang some UU hymns) and a gratitude circle.

Sunday morning we took it slow and eased into the Movement & Medicine Dance Workshop, which included some Kundalini chanting (a first for many of us) and free dance. In a word: powerful. Our weekend ended in a Kurdish restaurant with our Social Justice Secret Santa (where all of us shared charitable organizations near and dear to us that we will donate to individually). We closed our time together with a Sharing Circle, sharing what traditions we want to implement in our lives and what moments we felt grateful for this weekend.