Zero Dark Thirty: Torture, Disavowal, and the Oscars

This is what should be done by those who are skilled in goodness, and who know the path of peace: Let them be able and upright, straightforward and gentle in speech, humble and not conceited, contented and easily satisfied, unburdened with duties and frugal in their ways, peaceful and calm, and wise and skillful, not proud and demanding in nature. Let them not do the slightest thing that the wise would later reprove. Wishing: in gladness and in safety, may all beings be at ease. Whatever living … [Read more...]

Giving Up Lent (for Lent?!)

One of the most interesting parts of my transition from being a pastor in a Progressive Christian church to being the minister of a Unitarian Universalist congregation is the shift from the Christian tradition being the central point of reference to Christianity being one among many sources of authority.Unitarian Universalism explicitly draws from Six Sources:Direct experience of that transcending mystery and wonder, affirmed in all cultures, which moves us to a renewal of the spirit … [Read more...]

A Single Garment of Destiny: MLK and Savoring the Victories for the Dream Act and Marriage Equality


The Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Frederick, Maryland, where I am the minister, recently hosted a celebration for the recent victories in Maryland for Marriage Equality and Immigration Justice. We were grateful that almost 200 people attended, and that the event was covered by both the  also fortunate that both the local paper and a local TV station. This post is an annotated version of my remarks for the occasion.As a religious people who affirm human compassion, advocate for human … [Read more...]

The Stories We Choose to Tell Matter: Highlights from Unitarian Universalist History


Unitarian Universalists may not believe, with Henry Ford, that history is bunk, but many probably do believe that history is for historians — not a matter of concern for the average member of a local congregations. We tend to ignore the warning of George Santayana that those who forget their history may be condemned to repeat it, or the admonition of Rebecca Parker (president of the Starr King School for the Ministry, our West Coast seminary), that there is a shallowness that comes from each g … [Read more...]

A Whirlwind Tour of Liberal Religious History: Compilation


This post is a compilation of my five post series on Unitarian Universalist history in preparation for a course I audited recently on “Unitarian Universalist History & Polity." Part 1: The Radical Reformation Part 2: The 18th and 19th Century Part 3: U.S. Unitarians in the 19th Century Part 4: Unitarian Expansion and Transformation Part 5: Major Developments in Unitarian Universalism The Rev. Dr. Carl Gregg is a trained spiritual director, a D.Min. graduate of San Francisco Theological … [Read more...]

A Whirlwind Tour of Liberal Religious History: Major Developments in Unitarian Universalism


This post is the final entry in a five-part series on Unitarian Universalist history in preparation for a course I audited in January on “Unitarian Universalist History & Polity” 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.” In 1983, a study was published on “Unitarian Un … [Read more...]