9:55 p.m. MDT
After a powerful homily by Angela Herrara, Ysaye Maria Barnwell is bringing to yet a deeper level of contemplation us with her song “We Are.” A few people are singing along quietly, but most of the people around me are simply moving to the music, letting this worship service sink in.
9:37 p.m. MDT
Clifford Duncan, an elder in the Ute nation, just offered a prayer in the Ute language. “In my prayer was my ancestors of yesterday, today, and those that’s yet to come,” he says upon concluding. People behind me are rapt, some leaning forward to hear.
9:24 p.m. MDT
Bill Sinkford is telling how the American Unitarian Association was given charge of the Northern Utes by the Grant administration in 1870. If you’re not watching live video of this, go now and listen to his talk. This is big stuff….
We’re singing a song, and near me a couple of boys, about 7 and 9 years old, are dancing with a woman who might be their mother.
9:11 p.m. MDT
Eric Cherry introduces the “passing of the peace” as something that was done during Bill Sinkford’s trip to Africa, to meet the Unitarian Unviersalist congregations there. And now everyone in the congregation gets up to greet those around them, saying everything from “Peace be with you,” to “Hi, how are you?” to nothing at all. I’m seeing people hug, shake hands, or just talk to each other.
8:55 p.m. MDT
We’re singing the hymn “Spirit of Life” in four different languages: Spanish first, then Hungarian, then Khasi (a language of northeast India). I’m surrounded by people singing a little out of tune, and with a great variety of pronunciations of Spanish, but it’s still a profoundly moving experience.
Now a representative of the Unitarian church in Transylvania is singing “Spirit of Life” in Hungarian — and believe it or not, there are quite a few people singing along. I can hear what seems to be dozens of people singing along. When the representative from the Khasi Hills Unitarians of India sings, not so many people try to sing along.
Lots of people leaving the hall, maybe for a bathroom break. Which is too bad, because Rev. Eric Cherry, director of International Relations at the UUA is introducing Rev. Mark Kiyimba, the leader of the Uganda Unitarian Universalists. Kiyimba is greeted with cheers, whistles, and applause.