Wishing Winnie the Pooh a Happy Birthday

Today is Winnie the Pooh’s birthday.Okay, more correctly it is A. A. Milne’s birthday. Close enough.Winnie is one of my heroes, the Bear of Very Little Brain is indeed an exemplar of the great way.Now, my friends who know a great deal more about the subject than I say that the introduction to Taoism through Pooh may be an introduction, but not the most accurate. And certainly the followup wasn’t to my mind particularly compelling.But, I swear, ’tis true.Winnie the… Read more


OBJECTS IN THE MIRROR MAY BE CLOSER THAN THEY APPEAR A Sermon for Martin Luther King, Jr. 17 January 2010 Claudia J. Ford & James Ishmael Ford First Unitarian Church Providence, Rhode Island Text Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that people should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets. A logia attributed to Jesus at Matthew 7:12 Claudia Those of you who follow James Ford’s Monkey Mind blog or… Read more

Happy Birthday, Captain Beefheart

Don Van Vliet was born on this day in 1941.What can I say? You had to be there…(Yeah, yeah. Okay, so it wasn’t me. It was Jan. Close enough…) Read more

Jefferson’s Statute of Religious Freedom

On this day in 1786, the Virginia General Assembly adopted Thomas Jefferson’s Statute of Religious Freedom.A brilliant and troubled man, Jefferson gave our nation many gifts.This is one of the greatest.He himself saw this as one of the three items worth noting on his tombstone.It becomes the template for our ongoing national dialogue on the relationship of church and state…Statute of Religious FreedomI. Whereas Almighty God hath created the mind free; that all attempts to influence it by temporal punishments… Read more

Briefest on MLK

Martin Luther King, Jr was born on this day in 1929. He would have been eighty-one today.One of the most significant figures in our American history. Admired around the world. An exemplar for our young, as well as the rest of us.And at Youtube a recording of his I Have a Dream speech had to disable the comments section because of the number of hateful and racist comments.No doubt we’ve come a long way.No doubt we have not arrived at… Read more

Taking a Moment to Celebrate John Biddle

The church I served before coming to Providence has one of the most distinctive pulpits in the Unitarian Universalist denomination. It is hand carved oak, and quite large. around the outside there are a set of three quarter carved statuettes demonstrating the evolution of the Christian faith. It starts with Paul, moves to Augustine, then Luther followed by Wycliff (or maybe its the other way around) then John Biddle and finally the flower of all that is good, true and… Read more

How to Help Out With Haitian Earthquake Relief

This is an unspeakable disaster visited upon some of the poorest people on our planet. Knowledgeable sources are suggesting tens of thousands have died. And more will without immediate help.There is devastation everywhere. Ministry buildings including the Presidential palace are all gone. Most schools have collapsed. Many hospitals damaged or destroyed, the few available are struggling vastly past capacity. The UN mission which has been a mainstay of civil society was devastated, its chief dead. Possibly all the larger churches… Read more

Sitting in the Dark, dancing in the Light

Today is the feast of the beloved child of the light, George Fox.I read his autobiography in my youth.And I realized there was a secret teaching. Actually secret only to those who grasp their own tradition too tightly. But at the very same time open to everyone who wishes to hear the words of liberation where ever it may be proclaimed.The secret is the open heart.It is a way of the heart that is expressed in our day and place… Read more

Remembering An Ordinary Woman

Miep Gies died yesterday.My understanding is that Ms Gies was bewildered by the honors that were bestowed upon her. She continuously protested she was just an ordinary woman. And that others would have done the same.Would that were true.And in some so important way she’s right. She is an example of something we can all aspire to in our ordinariness.One small light.One small candle joining many others creating a forest of light in a world shrouded by the night…Rest in… Read more

The Problem With New Year’s Resolutions

And then there are those of us who would have problems with either resolution… Read more

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