So the start of the next Annual Meetings gathering if the Unitarian and Free Christian Churches draws near. The sooner we finish now, the sooner we recommence our family reunion.

For a family reunion is what this is - and in celebrating the new ministers, meeting the students and remembering those sadly no longer with us, we annually regenerate our passion, our commitment and our values.

This is no formal chat, no social event, no talking shop. The General Assembly and Annual Meetings of the Unitarian Movement is an affirming, global, inherently personal and important event. For those of us fortunate enough to be present we learn, share, laugh and yes cry (But not all tears are sad, said Gandalf). For those who are not hear they gain the feedback, the enthusiasm and hopefully the vibrancy. And for those for whom Unitarianism is not a core life choice they may or may not hear of our deliberations.

But this week, in choices that largely meet my own passions, angers and concerns we discussed Syria, Yemen, the intolerance of religious hate, and the ongoing campaign to stop testing on animals.. and in this debate we sought to reach out and be heard by those outside our conference hall.

It's always hard to gauge reach, penetration and connection especially for faith groups but initial analysis suggests that through Facebook and twitter and websites we have accessed several hundred Unitarians who are not here. Finally we think we scattered our message through the social media accounts for approaching 500,000 non-unitiarians. Now that level of engagement through our deliberations must surely be worthwhile. Thank you.