How to Motivate Members of Your Congregation to Do More

At each year's Unitarian Universalist Association annual General Assembly (GA), multiple official events happen concurrently from 7:00 a.m. to almost midnight each day. Yesterday was the first full day of this year's GA, and by far the most helpful and practical event I attended was a workshop led by Mark Bernstein, a Regional Consultant for Growth Development, on "Beyond Contentment: Motivating Members to Do More." My understanding is that a video recording of his presentation will eventually b … [Read more...]

Spiritual and Religious: Highlights from Lillian Daniel among the UUs

Lillian Daniel is the author of the new book When "Spiritual but Not Religious" Is Not Enough: Seeing God in Surprising Places, Even the Church. This morning she delivered a keynote address at the Unitarian Universalist Ministerial Association’s annual “Ministry Days,” which precede the Unitarian Universalist Association’s annual General Assembly, which is being held this year in Louisville, Kentucky.I personally have an interest in the ways that Unitarian Universalism is poised invite those … [Read more...]

Pragmatic Buddhism, Westernized Dharma, 21st-century Sangha

When I was about fifteen years old, I accidentally ran into some of the classic early meditation experiences described in the ancient texts and my reluctant spiritual quest began. I did not realize what had happened, nor did I realize that I had crossed something like a point of no return, something I would later call “The Arising and Passing Away.” I knew that I had had a very strange dream with bright lights, that my entire body and world had seemed to explode like fireworks, and that aft … [Read more...]

Wendell Berry, Climate Change, and Earth Breathing

Wendell Berry is the author of more than fifty books of poetry, fiction, and essays, and for more than forty years, he has lived and farmed with his wife, Tanya Berry, in Kentucky. Berry is also a well-known environmental activist, and he will be present to participate this summer at the annual Unitarian Universalist General Assembly, which this year will be in Louisville, Kentucky. Berry will be joining thousands of Unitarian Universalists from around the continent on Thursday, June 20 at a … [Read more...]

Did You Just Send That Woman To a Church To Get Help with an Abortion?

Today, in the year 2013, when we reflect on what it means to talk about reproductive justice, we are inherit a strong history. To remember how we reached this present moment, we invite you to hear ten landmark changes in the history of reproductive justice.Because we have to begin somewhere, it is significant to note how long contraception has  been a controversial in our nation. In the 1850s, amid opposition from conservatives and feminists alike, the first rubber condoms are mass-produced … [Read more...]

Practice Resurrection

There’s a man I’d like to tell you about — a man named Hermann Gunkel. But before I tell you about him, I would like to tell you about two groups that I also wish could meet Mr. Gunkel.The first group to whom I’d like to introduce Mr. Gunkel is conservative Christians. I spent a lot of time in my childhood in conservative Christian congregations, and there was much emphasis on belief — believing doctrines on Good Friday such as the “necessity and efficacy of the substitutionary atonement.” Or … [Read more...]