Camping Weekend

Some photos from the CUUPS Camping Weekend at James Stevens' place north of Decatur: Summerlin, a stone circle James is building on his land. You can already see his vision starting to manifest. Not trying to hide behind the sunglasses, but the sun was bright! A very young fawn on the edge of the camping area, alone. We were worried about it, but Ashley saw it with the mother later in the day. It wouldn't be a camping trip without a bonfire. Some of James' motorcycle friends had done some … [Read more...]

Happy Birthday Waldo!

Here's the piece I did for yesterday's "Story for All Ages":Ralph Waldo Emerson was born in Boston on May 25, 1803, the son of Ruth Haskins and the Rev. William Emerson, a Unitarian minister. After completing school, he was a teacher, then went to Harvard Divinity School.He was ordained in 1829 by the Second Church of Boston, and he served there for three years. But disagreements with church officials over the Communion service and questions about public prayer led him to resign in 1832. At the … [Read more...]

Misconceptions About Faith

This week’s “Texas Faith” question from the Dallas Morning News asks “What don’t most people understand about religious faith?” The panelists gave some good answers, but I have a particular thought that the experts only touched on briefly.In my mind, the biggest misconception about religious faith is the idea that faith consists of affirming a set of supernatural propositions, that faith = belief. This concept (which is accepted unquestioningly by most people I encounter) is unique to Christianit … [Read more...]

Going to California

No, I’m not moving. At least I don’t think I am – if I’ve learned nothing else from three job-related cross-country moves it’s to never be too sure about these things.After a month of internal debate and wrestling with the not-insignificant cost of travel, I’ve registered for the Druid Gorsedd being held in California at Lughnasadh. It’s being organized by an collection of OBOD (Order of Bards, Ovates, and Druids – I’m a member, though there are no groups in the North Texas area) groups, and it f … [Read more...]

President Again

At today's Spring Congregational meeting, I was elected Board President for a second time (I was also President in 2005-06). I really had no idea what I was getting into last time - this time I think I do. And while I'm sure something will come up that no one is expecting right now, I think it's going to be a good year.We have a lot of work to do, mainly in regards to our transition from a fellowship to a church, from mostly lay-led to (eventually) having a full-time minister. The past two years … [Read more...]

Fuel Prices

I filled up last night for $2.099 a gallon – the first time I’ve paid over $2 a gallon for gas in many months. Here’s a story from the AP about how oil got over $60 a barrel today.You didn’t have to be an oracle to see this coming – here’s a link to a rant I had back in early March, about how people were going back to buying big SUVs and trucks once gas dropped below $3 a gallon. And now the fuel bills they thought they could afford are going to crunch them – again.We need a floor on fuel price … [Read more...]

Prayer of St. Francis

Yesterday I came across this essay titled “Stop Asking God to Make a Better World.” It’s from James Denison, the “theologian-in-residence” for the Baptist General Convention of Texas, which is a moderate (i.e. – not fundamentalist) Baptist association. The essay is rather weak, but it has a good point – a point that was expressed in a much better way in a prayer attributed to St. Francis of Assisi:Lord, make me an instrument of Thy peace;where there is hatred, let me sow love;where there is injur … [Read more...]

Small Church Transformation

Via the DMN Religion Blog, here's a story about a Methodist church that went from old and dying to vibrant and growing. The lessons it teaches are applicable to any religious group, be it Methodist or Muslim, Wiccan or Druid - even Unitarian Universalist.1) "You've got to get to know the people you're called to serve." That's simple enough - unless you get to know people as people, how are you going to know what they need... and how are they going to learn to trust you?2) Make the service … [Read more...]