Living the Questions

BYOT

One of my professors used to say that his favorite time of the year was the last week of each semester. He called it “A Time of Great Synthesis.” He said he could almost feel it in the air: the energy of students preparing for final papers and exams, striving to weave all the disparate strands of knowledge learned during the term into a coherent tapestry. At the time, I used to sometimes roll my eyes when he would say things like that because I was wearily in the midst of studying. At the same ti … [Read more...]

Scarred, Scared, and Sacred: Spiritual Practices for the Fall Triduum of Halloween, Samhain, and All Souls Day

Wheel_of_the_Year

Can you feel the Wheel of the Year turning?Can you feel fall in the air — the chilling breeze and changing leaves, the tell tale signs of winter’s coming?In this season of each day growing incrementally shorter, can you sense our inexorable movement, here in the Northern Hemisphere, toward Winter Solstice, the darkest day of the year?If you imagine the year as a circle, our Western, secular calendar marks four major seasonal turning points: Winter Solstice (the darkest day of the yea … [Read more...]

Building the Beloved Community: Anti-racism and Multiculturalism in a Local Congregation

crow

Blackmail, blacklist, black mark. Black Monday, black mood, black-hearted. Black plague, black mass, black marketGood guys wear white, bad guys wear black. We fear black cats, and the Dark Continent. But it's okay to tell a white lie, lily-white hands are coveted, it's great to be pure as the driven snow.Angels and brides wear white. Devil's food cake is chocolate; angel's food cake is white!We shape language and we are shaped by it. In our culture, white is esteemed. It is heavenly, … [Read more...]

Interspirituality: Experiencing the Heart of the World’s Religions

Morales

I believe the future of religion is a spirituality that is interfaith at its core..... The good news is that people, at least in the developed world, are rejecting cultural and religious exceptionalism. By religious exceptionalism I mean the conviction that my religion possesses the truth and, by extension, yours is false.... Religions are not all the same, of course. Yet certain common themes and core values emerge in all of them. Among these are compassion, community, the practice of a … [Read more...]

Water Communion and David Foster Wallace’s “This Is Water”

IJ

David Foster Wallace (1962 - 2008) is perhaps best know for his 1996 postmodern novel Infinite Jest, which is famous for its length (weighing in at more than 1,000 pages) and complexity (its footnotes have footnotes). I will confess to having started reading it once a few years ago, and never finding the time to finish. I hope to return to it someday.Wallace tragically committed suicide in 2008 at age 46 after a decades-long struggle with depression. He was beloved by many of the most … [Read more...]

Building Your Own Theology

byot

My last post on "Unitarian Universalism in 30 Seconds: Developing Your UU Elevator Speech" ended with the lyrics of the hymn, “As Tranquil Streams.” The text of this hymn was written in 1933 to celebrate “the growing closeness of the Unitarian and Universalist denominations for approximately a century.” A few decades later in 1960 later that song was chosen as the processional hymn at the worship service held in the wake of the Unitarians and the Universalists each voting separately to consoli … [Read more...]


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