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...]

A Spirituality of Stability

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The congregation where I serve as minister recently celebrated the 10th anniversary of our building dedication. This occasion was significant for many reason including that for the previous 42 years of this congregation's history, they were a  semi-nomadic people without a permanent home. This anniversary has inspired me to reflect on what it can mean to practice an intentional spirituality of stability — in our spiritual communities, with our families, even at work.Speaking personally, the g … [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...]

Occupy Spirituality

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This post is a sponsored book review that is part of the Patheos Book Club. I am a longtime fan of Matthew Fox, and have posted extensively in the past about his book Original Blessing, so when I saw that he had released a new book with the provocative title of Occupy Spirituality — alluding to the Occupy Wall Street movement — I was excited to get a hold of it. The format of the book, a dialogue between the 37-year-old advocate for homeless youth Adam Bucko and the 70-year-old radical theolo … [Read more...]

The Geography of Memory

Geo

[The following is a both a sponsored book review that is part of the Patheos Book Club and a guest post by my friend The Rev. M. Michael Morse.]“Good my Lord, will you see the players well bestowed? Do you hear, let them be well used, for they are the abstract and brief chronicles of the time.” -Shakespeare’s Hamlet Jeanne Murray Walker has lived in that unfortunate long line of those who have witnessed firsthand the devastating disease of Alzheimer’s in a family member. Her experience has s … [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...]

Unitarian Universalism in 30 Seconds: Developing Your UU Elevator Speech

A Chosen Faith

What is Unitarian Universalism?What do UUs believe?Those are questions that most Unitarian Universalists are asked at some point. To respond to such questions, it can be helpful to develop what some people call an “Elevator Speech”: a short response  that can be delivered in the length of an average elevator ride, approximately 30 seconds to two minutes.If you have a favorite UU Elevator Speech, I would be interested to read it in the comments section of this post. But for those stil … [Read more...]

Why “Spiritual And Religious” Is More Radical Than “Spiritual But Not Religious”

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Almost two years ago Lillian Daniel, the Senior Minister of First Congregational Church of Glen Ellyn, Illinois, wrote a short blog for the Huffington Post — a mere 374 words — titled, “Spiritual But Not Religious? Please Stop Boring Me.” For whatever confluence of reasons, that blog post went viral and was expanded into a book she published this past year titled When "Spiritual but Not Religious" Is Not Enough: Seeing God in Surprising Places, Even the Church.This past summer, the Unitarian … [Read more...]

How to Respond to Hard Religious Questions from Your Kids

Lora

Note: This article is a guest post from Lora Powell-Haney, the Director of Religious Education at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Frederick, Maryland. It is part of a special Patheos Symposium, Passing on the Faith: Teaching the Next Generation. Read more perspectives here. Sometimes a life path has its beginning steps in truly mundane places. My current work as a religious educator may very well have begun 11 years ago, on a trip around the Washington Beltway.My sons, three y … [Read more...]


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