My favorite UU blogger is Rev. Victoria Weinstein, aka PeaceBang. Yesterday she posted a long essay that started on the recent UUA Presidential election and quickly moved into the state of Unitarian Universalism. While it’s not all gloom and doom, she raises enough issues – and enough issues that hit home with me as a local lay leader – to make me wonder about the future of our religion / denomination / movement.In particular, I have to wonder if any… Read more

I have rabbits, or at least, a rabbit, living in my back yard… most likely in the overgrown section of the herb garden. I managed to get close enough for a cell phone picture. Read more

From this morning’s President’s welcome:Rev. Diana told us that Easter is the most difficult day for a UU minister. If that’s true – and I have no doubt it is – then I think perhaps the Fourth of July is the most difficult day for a UU lay person. We grow up bathed in patriotism: we’re taught to salute the flag and say the pledge of allegiance, to sing The Star Spangled Banner and God Bless America, to wave flags… Read more

Jeff Weiss from the Dallas Morning News was on hand for yesterday’s Summer SolstiCelebration and this article ran in today’s paper. Jeff’s a good guy (I got to know him via e-mail when the DMN Religion Blog was in full swing) and I talked to him for several minutes before we started. He asked some good questions about what we were doing and why – I like the one exchange he used in the article:How authentic is the invocation of… Read more

Pictures from today’s Egyptian Summer Solstice ritual at White Rock Lake. Denton CUUPS was the opening ceremony for the Earth Rhythms day-long celebration. Thanks to Cathy for serving as photographer. Stephanie from Yew Grove CUUPS counted 140 people watching the ritual. The opening invocations   Livvy speaks as Michi makes an appeasement offering to Set – sand from Giza.   Michi speaks an invocation. Ashley speaks an invocation. Vocal Magic watches the ritual and waits to sing. Thoth begins the… Read more

photo from The Daily Mail The Times reports that there were 36,500 people at Stonehenge for yesterday morning’s Summer Solstice Sunrise. Sadly, the sun remained hidden behind the clouds.Here’s another report from The Daily Mail, with more and bigger pictures.As much as I’d like to see a Solstice sunrise at Stonehenge, with those crowds I’m not sorry I wasn’t there! Read more

From yesterday’s President’s Welcome:Happy Summer Solstice! Summer officially began this morning at 12:45. Last night was the shortest night of the year, and today is the longest day. This is as far north as the sun will rise on the horizon – for the next few days it will appear to stand still, then it will start rising a little farther south each day, and the days will begin getting shorter.Well, that’s interesting, John, but what does that have to… Read more

CUUPS will be repeating our Egyptian Summer Solstice Ritual as the opening ceremony of the Earth Rhythms Summer SolstiCelebration at noon at White Rock Lake on Saturday, July 27.Summer SolstiCelebration “We are all one under the Sun”June 27, Saturday – noon to 10 pmBath House Cultural Center building & grounds521 E. Lawther, Dallas, TX 75218 ~ off Northcliff & Buckner info: ~ 214-261-5599Earth Rhythms is proud to announce the return of Summer SolstiCelebration, the popular White Rock… Read more

Here’s a piece from yesterday’s USA Today that explores more of the biology of religion. It’s by Andrew Newberg, associate professor of radiology and psychiatry at the University of Pennsylvania and co-author of the new book How God Changes Your Brain. His studies show thatspiritual practices, such as meditation and prayer … reveal significant improvements in memory, cognition and compassion while simultaneously reducing anxiety, depression, irritability and stress (even when done in a non-theological context). One might come to the… Read more

I’m not going to post everything I say as part of my President’s Welcome and Announcements on Sunday mornings, but sometimes I will. Here’s what I had to say this morning:Robert Wuthnow is Director of the Center for the Study of American Religion at Princeton University and author of the book Christianity in the 21st Century: Reflections on the Challenges Ahead. In that book, he said “Instead of being a reaction to fundamentalism, liberal religion needs to become a counterculture… Read more

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