Catherine Onyemelukwe

Author, Blogger, Speaker

Happiness from GA Music, Sadness for Nigeria at World Cup

World Cup 2014

Flag of Nigeria

Flag of Nigeria

I’m very sad as I write this – I just finished watching the World Cup match between Nigeria and France. Despite playing well for the first half, Nigeria lost, 2-0. Our son Sam is here with us for a few days, so we watched with him. That made it more exciting but also more disappointing.

Sam works with a French company called Trace TV. The company founder texted him at the end to say, “At least you’re a little bit French because of Trace.” Not much of a consolation in my mind!

With Nigeria out, I’ll now root for the U.S., though I’d also be happy if Brazil wins.

UUA GA and Music

I wrote last time about the Unitarian Universalist Association General Assembly. It ended yesterday and I drove home filled with memories of great music and inspiring words.

Highlights for me included a worship service on Friday afternoon organized by the Church of the Larger Fellowship, a congregation without walls. Brother Sun led the music.

One of their songs was “Love is the Water That Wears Down the Rock”. You can watch it here.

My favorite sing-along at that service was “How Can I Keep From Singing” though “There is a Balm in Gilead” was a close second.

Friday night’s Service of the Living Tradition honors ministers – those starting out, those who’ve become fully credentialed, and those retiring. At that service we always sing “Rank by Rank Again We Stand,” which as usual tugged at my heart as I reflected on the sense of community I find within the Unitarian Universalist membership.

Sister Simone Campbell

Sister Simone asked us to “Walk Towards Trouble!”

Sister Simone Campbell

The Saturday night lecturer was amazing – Sister Simone Campbell, national coordinator of NETWORK, a Catholic social change lobby.

She talked about the Nuns on the Bus tour last year when a videographer who accompanied the tour said to her, “You seem to walk towards [trouble] when most people run away. She shared stories of people who’ve inspired her, including a woman she met at the White House who is in a homeless shelter because her full-time retail job doesn’t pay enough to afford housing. Then she invited us to “walk towards trouble” when we see someone in pain or someone who needs help.

I told you in my last post that I shared a room at GA with my college classmate Dorcy Erlandson, president of the European Unitarian Universalists.

Dorcy and me

Dorcy and me at Sunday morning worship on last day of GA.

Here we are together on Sunday morning at the final worship service.

She’s on her way back to Paris tonight where there will be great joy at the World Cup result.

Happy Fourth!

Happy 4th of July!

Will you watch fireworks? Will you celebrate with friends or family?

4th of July Fireworks

4th of July Fireworks

Author: Catherine Onyemelukwe

Author, blogger, speaker. Born in New York, grew up in mid west United States, lived in Nigeria for 24 years, back in U.S. since 1986. Advocate for racial justice.


  1. Pingback: A Movie, Boko Haram, Igbo-Ukwu, and the World Cup | Catherine Onyemelukwe

  2. I am playing outdoors with the Mostly Pops Orchestra (which is now supposedly defunct after 27 years of performing in the Tampa Bay area) at Coachman Park in Clearwater, Florida. Last year at our 4th of July concert, it started to rain just before intermission, so the violins and cellos scrambled back from the unprotected edge of the stage. We chatted among ourselves and the remaining hardy souls in the audience did the same, while the powers that be consulted their cellphones and iPads to watch the path of the storm. After the rain stopped, we returned to our places, and played the last half of the concert which was followed by the fireworks that began booming with our last chord!

  3. I’ll be singing patriotic songs with the Blue Ridge Chorale as part of the July 4th celebration in Culpeper, Virginia. We’re in the congressional district of Eric Cantor, who was defeated by an upstart professor at Randolph Macon College.
    This coming Sunday I’ll be commemorating the 70th anniversary of the Great Hartford Circus Fire of 1944, of which I’m a survivor. I’ve contributed my recollections (as a five-year-old) to a “virtual scrapbook” compiled by the Hartford History Center in advance of the anniversary. My memoir is also scheduled for publication in my hometown newspaper, the Middletown Press.
    Sorry about Nigeria’s defeat at the World Cup. I’m looking forward to this afternoon’s game (U.S.-Belgium) and will be happy whoever wins. I still have another dog in this fight, Argentina.

    • I envy you the singing on the 4th! Sounds like lots of fun. We’ll see what happens this afternoon in the World Cup.

      I’ve never heard of the Hartford Circus Fire – is that Hartford CT?

  4. I love reading your blogs. A lovely visit. Judy