I asked Rev. Diana for some book recommendations on contemporary liberal theology. Her first recommendation was Wishful Thinking – A Theological ABC by Frederick Buechner. It’s a miniature encyclopedia (only 100 pages), and when I opened it, my first thought was “I don’t need to read this – I already know what these terms mean.”But after reading just a few pages I realized that Buechner was explaining his theology through his definitions. Here are a few excerpts:Doubt: Whether your faith… Read more

Just got back from the Moonlady Winter SolstiCelebration. I’ll post pictures or links to them once they get them up on the EarthRhythms site.Here’s my part:I am Britannia,and by the Great Mother Anu and the Lord of the Animals,from the standing stones of the Salisbury plainand the sacred light and dark of Newgrange,I give you the spirit of Boudicca, Arthur, Elizabeth, and Churchill.I give you the power of the Earth, the Sky, and the Sea.I give you the wisdom of… Read more

When asked to precisely define my religious beliefs, I always say I am first and foremost a universalist – one who believes there are many paths to find God and Truth, and that no one will be condemned to eternal damnation. As I said in my first post on this blog, I grew up in a fundamentalist church, but I was unable reconcile the concept of hell with a God of Love.Now it appears that I’m far from the only… Read more

At this time of year we occasionally hear references to “the first Christmas.” Well, what about the first Solstice?! As part of a sermon I gave at DUUF in December 2005, I speculated on how the first Solstice might have come about…Paleontologists tell us that the cradle of humanity was most likely in East Africa, near the equator, where it’s almost always warm, and where the length of the days is very constant. We know that these earliest humans eventually… Read more

At last year’s Moonlady Winter SolstiCelebration, I invoked the element of Earth. This year I was planning to go as a spectator, but yesterday Amy Martin e-mailed and asked me to step in for someone who had dropped out at the last minute.Instead of elemental invocations, this year Amy is doing geographical invocations with four people representing four parts of the world and ethnic groups. I’ll be representing the people of Europe (and more specifically, the British Isles). I’ve written… Read more

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Rev. Christine Robinson has some very good notes and comments from the Excellence in Ministry seminar on her iMinister blog. But one struck me so strongly I have to repeat it here. It’s from Dan Aylshire, President of the American Theological School Association:”Excellence has to have a definition that transcends the individual and serves the community.”No matter what our ministry is, ordained or lay, formal or informal, Christian or Buddhist or Humanist or Pagan, serving on committees or leading worship… Read more

Here’s an interesting column on the place of proselytizing in interfaith activities from Sightings, a publication of the Martin Marty Center at the University of Chicago Divinity School. It asks the question “must proselytizing be off-limits in order for differing faiths to work together?” And if so, how can we ever expect participation by those whose religions require proselytizing?As someone who is first and foremost a universalist who believes there are many paths to God and Truth, I find it… Read more

There’s a good discussion on the PeaceBang and iMinister blogs right now about the upcoming Excellence in Ministry seminar taking place later this week. Many of the comments have revolved around the rather substantial and inflexible requirements for credentialing ministers in the UUA.To be both clear and brief, UU congregations can call and ordain anyone they like to be their minister – you, me, or anyone else. But unless that person is credentialed, neither the UUA nor other UU congregations… Read more

I came across this long essay a couple months ago and have been meaning to write about it ever since. John Michael Greer is the Archdruid of the Ancient Order of Druids in America (AODA). I’ve found some of his work to be helpful (especially A World Full of Gods, his excellent theological treatise on polytheism), but this piece and most of his politics are far too radical (not to mention bleak) for my tastes.What I find interesting in this… Read more

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