You had to be there!

JANE AARONSON reports

The last General Assembly that I attended was in Edinburgh, many years ago, when I gave the keynote speech. Generally all the GAs that I’ve attended were held on university campuses, so I was excited to experience a GA in a hotel, and I wasn’t disappointed! The food was delicious and overall, the facilities were excellent. Our delegates were Mary McKenna and Margery MacKay. It was good to meet up with old friends and make new ones. Rev John Clifford (GA President until the close of the meetings, when Dot Hewerdine succeeded him) guided us through the business meetings, with good humour and quiet professionalism.

On the opening day, the slot before dinner was presented by the meditation fellowship and this session was a highlight for me. The leader, Robert Bober, led us through the meditation process very sympathetically. We were asked to sit comfortably with our feet resting on the floor. Because of my physical disability, I couldn't actually feel my feet on the floor, but nevertheless I enjoyed the experience. My head felt clear, I was no longer tired, and enjoyed the rest of the evening.

After dinner, the opening service was led by members of the peace fellowship, which is celebrating its centenary this year. Rev Sue Wooley read a prayer entitled The Butterfly of Peace, by Ann Gabell, which had a certain calm quality to it. This resonated with me and drew me back to the meditation workshop that I had attended a few hours earlier.

The GA meetings were a ‘feast of the heart’ and of the mind too. This sentiment cannot fully be put into words. You had to be there! I really do urge you to attend a GA. Do speak to one of us who were at the GA this year, and we will tell you more. There is a photograph of the attendees on the front page.