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Assistant Minister's Column by the Reverend Nathan A. Ryan

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For those of you who are considering a road trip this summer, but wondering how to make this the most UU summer ever, I’ve got good news for you. I have put together a proposed summer road trip filled with Unitarian Universalist goodies you and your family could ever want. Here is what I propose:

 May 21-May 30Relax. Don’t go anywhere, just enjoy the time off of school with your family. Maybe do some packing and shopping, but nothing else. Well, still go to church and Branches (and work), but nothing else. Maybe do some stretches and practice some chalice lightings in preparation for the longest UU Road Trip your family has every taken.

 May 31Come to church to wish the best to our music director, Ila Stoltzfus, on her last Sunday with us. After that, she is retiring, having given us more than 20 years of great music leadership.

 June 13Pride Fest. Practice your road trip skills by loading all your food and supplies into the car and driving all the way…to the BR River Center for the 9th annual Pride Fest. Enjoy the great performances, sit at our church’s table, and tell people about Unitarian Universalism.

 June 24-28 – General Assembly. Now, finally, it’s time to load up your car and drive all the way to Portland, OR (I’d recommend leaving before the 24th because it’s a long drive.) You will spend a week with more than 3000 other Unitarian Universalists. You will be a part of amazing worship, transformative workshops, and hear phenomenal speakers (Dr. Cornel West is the Ware lecturer.) You can register here http://uua.org/ga/. If you want, you can also watch the whole event online.

 June 28 - July 4 U Bar U Elementary Summer Camp.

Rush back down the pacific highway to get to Kerrville, TX for a Unitarian Universalist summer camp. This former Quaker ranch turned UU conference center will be the home for a week of transformative worship, fun and camping. Drop your kids off (register first, of course) and spend a week vacationing in San Antonio. http://www.ubaru.org/home/Summer-Camp.

 July 5 – 11 U Bar U Junior High Camp. If you are lucky enough to have junior high youth in your family, you can take your time driving back from GA to make it to this great camp. I was a chaplain there last year, and can tell you that it is amazing.

July 12-18 U Bar U Senior High Camp. If the senior youth members of your family want an amazing UU experience, this is the place for them!  I have been invited to be the chaplain for this camp, and would be happy to discuss driving some of our youth (with another adult) to the camp. Let me know if you are interested.

 July 13-17 STEaM-UUP. Come back home for the most amazing summer camp of the entire year hosted at our very own church.  Spend a week with other members and friends of our church as the campus transforms into a camp unlike any other. 

 July 20-25 South West UU Summer Institute (SWUUSI). Pack all your stuff again, and drive up to Oklahoma for a week of Unitarian Universalist fun with UUs from all over the southwest. Enjoy a week of worship, swimming, and fellowship with some of the coolest people you’ve ever met.