The Unitarian Universalist Association General Assembly has a key religious service: the Service of the Living Tradition, which casts ministerial transitions — fellowship and retirement — in the context of the lifetime of service of the last year’s deceased ministers.
It’s a remarkable service. The first I attended was in 1993, at the last Charlotte General Assembly. Something about it made me know I was forever wed to the religious tradition.
But last night’s was, in a perverse way, even more powerful and impressive. Now I want never to retire or die. It was something like a cross between a high school pep rally, a parochial fund raising dinner and forgotten out takes from The Lion King. Crass, and tacky. A poor representation for the ministry and a disservice to those whose lives were putatively honored.