Church Ambassadors Going to India in October

Reverend Kate Walker and Eleanor Mayfield accepted the invitation to travel to the Khasi Hills to represent our church at a special celebration at the school we have been sponsoring since 2003. October 24, 2023, is the closing ceremony of the year-long 50th Death Anniversary of Reverend Annie Margaret Barr, founder of our school and many things in the Khasi Hills, where she lived and served for 40 years.

This is a particularly important time to feed the friendship with our Khasi Hills Unitarian siblings since the Unitarian Universalist Partner Church Council no longer exists that used to support partnerships. And with organized group pilgrimages no longer available, it is lucky that two people were willing to travel since it would be a hardship for a sole traveler. Luckily, there was unexpected major support from an anonymous donor to supplement modest grants from the Social Justice Endowment and Women’s Alliance. Some funds would be welcomed to close the gap or help rejuvenate a defunct travel scholarship fund.

At the October 15 church service, we will be sharing a travel blessing for Rev. Kate and Eleanor for their journey. The congregation will also be invited to write a blessing to the children and teachers on a leaf for a Singing Tree gift that will be presented to our friends. Before and after the October 8 service, we will be inviting people to share a greeting for a video we will send along. Rev. Kate and Eleanor will be leaving on October 19 and staying about a week.

In addition to being the date of the ceremony, October 24 will also be the launch of a global UUA Faithify crowd-sourcing campaign in honor of Rev. Annie Margaret Barr, that our church is managing. It will be raising funds for a Rain Water Harvesting operation so that children can have water at lunch during the dry season, which is getting longer due to climate change. The Faithify project will be through December 25.

In the meantime, the congregation is invited to support our yearly regular sponsorship of the salaries of the two teachers for the high school we helped build. Amazingly, just $4800 pays for a full teacher salary. You can sponsor one month for $500, one week for just $125 or one day for $25. You can donate online by choosing Khasi Hills Sponsorship or via check, noting Khasi Hills in the memo line.

We look forward to our ambassadors sharing pictures, stories, and greetings from the children and teachers. Our Khasi Hills siblings continue to be a source of inspiration for us, sharing spiritual wisdom and warmth, modeling hard work and visionary spirit, and giving us the opportunity to see first-hand what a concrete difference we can make in the world.