Yesterday was the first full day after American Troops had ceded power of urban areas to Iraqi troops. While there was some violence, the day was mostly peaceful. This is an important step in the relationship between Iraq and the United States. I am glad to see this day come.
Today marks another “goodbye” for me. Today is my last day working for the UUA. After two years as the Program Associate for Peacemaking at the UUA, my term of service is coming to an end. I think it is a fitting end to my time here, I leave just as American troops leave Iraqi cities.
I have really valued and appreciated my time at the UUA Washington Office. The people I worked with, both here and in Boston, are dedicated to the faith and are examples of grace and humility under pressure. I have learned lots from them and appreciate their mentorship and friendship.
Some highlights for me in the past two years include:
- Advocacy and Witness’ weekly staff meeting and all the fun ways we would decide the agenda
- Theological Reflection with the UUA Staff and our office minister, Alida
- Hearing about all the awesome work people are doing in their congregations
- Working with the Olive Branch Interfaith Peace Partnership to end the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan
- Seeing the Tents of Hope on the National Mall
- Making origami paper cranes with the UUA staff after the Knoxville shooting last year
- Helping people think of new and innovative ways of thinking about peace.
One blog post could never appropriately capture all the thoughts and feelings I have right now. So, I will just leave it with this: my gratitude is unfathomable. I will always love and charish the time I had with the UUA. It helped me grow into the faithfilled leader I am today.
As for what is next with me, I join the mighty ranks of the “underemployed.” This gives me an opportunity to find another career that fits my passions and skills. It also frees up some time to work on a project I have started with some friends– The UU Volunteer Service Core (UUVSC). It is my hope that the UUVSC will allow me to pass on some of the opportunities I had by working at the UUA by supporting UU Young Adults spiritually while they work for change in their communities. For more information on the UUVSC, you can see our facebook page here. And if you a thing or two about starting up a non-profit, you can get in touch with me at UUVSC(dot)Alex(AT)gmail(dot)com.