****Note: Sorry for the long length of this post. I was just moved by the Spirit so to speak as I was walking home from work today.****

UNITY.

Just that one word stirs up a host of emotions.

And in one weekend we are supposed to do our best to cover the word, and all that associated with it, as it pertains to our Church.

A lot of what I think about UNITY 2012 has been formed by time spent telling people about it: The Roadshow. As we hop from parish to parish getting the word out, the event seems to be fleshed out, person by person, conversation by conversation, church dinner by church dinner.

And the one thing that these tours have taught is that UNITY is about people.

It is about the people of our church, those who attend services regularly and those who don’t, those who have rock-solid beliefs and those who are still working on it. And I think it is fitting that the theme of UNITY 2006 was “Connections”, because that is what it is all about, making those personal connections, those connections that will not only be seen at UNITY, but in our churches for years to come.

We need to make those connections, not only with other young adults, but with all members of our church community: our forefathers, our clergy, our parents, our grandparents, our friends, our children. That is what we need to get back to: a church community. In a way, it is something I believe our church has slowly moved away from, just as we have moved ahead or away from what brought us together as a church community in the first place. No longer is the Ukrainian Catholic Church in Canada an infant, it has grown and evolved to what it presently is. But the church of Blessed Bishop Nikita Budka’s day was truly a community; people lived and breathed around the church, for the support, for the education and for the friendship it provided. As the need for the Church to support the Ukrainian Canadian community lessened, the community has slowly broken down.

I see UNITY as an opportunity to begin to rebuild that community.

In a way, UNITY 2012 will be both a blast and a behemoth; a blast in that it will be a lot of fun, a behemoth in that it will be a lot of work to plan. But UNITY is also a behemoth in that it represents such a large scope of what we want to accomplish in our Church: to rebuild, to reinvigorate, to educate, to excite, to pray, to play, the list is endless. So are we trying to accomplish too much?

The answer is yes and no.

Yes, in that there is no way to rebuild that Church community in one weekend. I know that, you know that.

But on the flipside, UNITY is not just one weekend. It is merely a reference point on the continuum of the Ukrainian Catholic Young Adults of Canada. Many see UNITY in the form of a story: buildup, climax, end. Wash, rinse, repeat. This thinking is wrong. UNITY does not end. The singular experience of UNITY may only encompass one weekend, but it is much more than that: it is a turning point. A turning point for individuals, and a turning point for our Church community.

So UNITY 2012 is not the end. And it certainly is not the beginning either. It is somewhere in the murky middle – the great unknown. So before we get to UNITY 2012 we need to be building that community that is going to make UNITY a success. But not only do we need to build the community for UNITY, we need to build the community that is going to endure for generations beyond UNITY 2012, in Jesuit terms, we need to prepare to “live the forth” (fourth) so to speak.

So after 600 words we are right back where we started:

UNITY

What does it mean to you?

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