Top 10 Best Albums Listened to in 2012

This list is not my favorite new releases; instead, it is the best of the albums I listened to since this time last year. This list is also in alphabetical order because agonizing over a precise order would take all the fun out of remembering these albums: Andrew Bird, Hands of Glory / Break It Yourself (Deluxe)Two CD edition including both the critically-acclaimed full-length Break It Yourself and Hands Of Glory in which the full band plays to a single microphone with an entirely acoustic s … [Read more...]

You May Be Rich and Not Know It: A Jeffersonian Spirituality for Today

On this weekend after Thanksgiving, one of the many things I am grateful for is the opportunity to be a Unitarian Universalist. I am grateful to be part of a tradition that counts among its ranks such luminaries as John Adams, Ben Franklin, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, Susan B. Anthony, Clara Barton, and Louisa May Alcott — as well as Ray Bradbury, Sylvia Plath, Frank Lloyd Wright, and so many others. But, even as I list, with gratitude, the names of these famous UUs, who helped b … [Read more...]

Top 10 Best Books Read in 2012

The following are the top ten best books I’ve read since this time last year. The list is in alphabetical order by the author’s last name because agonizing over a precise order would take all the fun out of remembering these books: Dan Cryer, Being Alive and Having to Die: The Spiritual Odyssey of Forrest ChurchThe story of the remarkable public and private journey of Rev. Forrest Church, the scholar, activist, and preacher whose death became a way to celebrate life. Through his pulpit at th … [Read more...]

Savoring the Small Stuff: Ordinary Gratitude as Spiritual Practice

As I was preparing a final revision of this post on gratitude, I conveniently stumbled upon a New York Times article that echoes many of my themes. Regarding Thanksgiving, the article’s lede declares, “The most psychologically correct holiday of the year is upon us.... Cultivating an ‘attitude of gratitude’ has been linked to better health, sounder sleep, less anxiety and depression, higher long-term satisfaction with life and kinder behavior toward others, including romantic partners.”But a … [Read more...]

Liberal Religious History: The Radical Reformation

This post is the first in a series of at least five posts on Unitarian Universalist history in preparation for a course I'm auditing in January on "Unitarian Universalist History & Polity Survey Course" with The Rev. Dr. Nicole Kirk. For those following along as I seek formal fellowship with the Unitarian Universalist Association, you may be interested to see the full Ministerial Fellowship Committee "Required Reading List" and "Encouraged Reading List and Resources." The first of the five … [Read more...]

In the Wake of an Election

Unitarian Universalists care about how to create unity amidst diversity. But as I studied the Electoral Map of our country on Tuesday night and Wednesday, the divisions in our country remain stark with a large swath of Red States cutting across significant patches of Blue States.  The words that came to mind as I looked at this visual representation of our electorate were from Abraham Lincoln’s First Inaugural Address. Lincoln took the oath of office for his first term as the sixteenth President … [Read more...]