On the Road, Again…

In about ten minutes (and only two hours later than I wanted...) Jan & I climb into the rental and begin our drive north along the California & then Oregon coast.Just J & me, moving sufficiently fast we will not be stopping to visit friends. A small sadness, that. But, the chance to just be with Jan, frankly, makes it all okay.Not a convertable, but there is one of those moon windows above, so we can pretend...Somehow the Beach Boys seemed right here rather than the original gang, as … [Read more...]

Sometimes Life is Like This

And sometimes it isn't...But, when it is... … [Read more...]

Enforced Inaction

Well, it's now Wednesday. Monday involved flying out from Salt Lake City and shaking off, for the most part, anyway, the psychic sense of work. I love my work, but I also very much feel a need to be away just for a while... Touching feet to the ground at the Burbank airport and breathing in the dry hot air helped in the shift toward "holiday." For the next few days we're enjoying something of an enforced inaction perched at Jan's mom's house in the desert foothills above Tujunga. Staying with an … [Read more...]

Perched in Tujunga

Arriving in Los Angeles is the beginning of Jan's and my formal holiday.The Unitarian Universalist Association General Assembly in Salt Lake served as something of a coda to my first year at the Providence church. And I am ruminating on all that happened. There were wonderful things. And some at least personal losses. I supported the proposed draft revision of the Statement of Principles and Purposes, and after heated debate, during all of which I stood in line to make my pitch but before I … [Read more...]

Peter Morales Elected President of the Unitarian Universalist Association

Yesterday evening the Reverend Peter Morales of Golden, Colorado, was elected the eighth president of the Unitarian Universalist Association. He is the first person of Hispanic heritage to hold the office. I supported Dr Laurel Hallman's bid for the presidency. And a scant few hours following the announcements of the results I still have some sense of mourning clinging to my heart. But, I repeatedly said, and genuinely believe, we had been blessed with two formidable candidates for the office … [Read more...]

Recalling Stonewall

Very early in the morning on this day in 1969 the police raided the Stonewall Inn, a Greenwich Village bar frequented by transvestites and others at the edge of the already highly marginalized homosexual community. They fought back...This is generally acknowledged as the marker for the beginning of the BGLT rights movement.The next year the first Gay Pride marches were organized in New York and Los Angeles to commemorate this day. Since then Pride parades have been organized around the country, … [Read more...]

Who is a Christian? Musing on Universalism and What it Means to Me and What it Can Mean to Unitarian Universalism

Last evening Jan and I heard a presentation from Carlton Pearson and Marlin Lavanhar about how Bishop Pearson's spiritual journey led to the folding of his Pentecostal Universalist congregation into All Soul's Unitarian Church in Tulsa. Quite a story.The presentation offered an interesting challenge to contemporary Unitarian Universalists and our relationship with Christianity. We UUs tend to think all religions have something to offer with the possible exception of Christianity. We kind of get … [Read more...]

Stepping Forward from the Hundred-Foot Pole

Stepping Forward from the Hundred-Foot Pole Commenting on the forty-sixth case of the Gateless GateJames Ishmael FordThe Gateless Gate Case forty-sixMaster Shih-shuang asked, “How will you step forward form the top of a hundred-foot pole?” Commenting on this, another ancient master said, “Even though one who is sitting on the top of a hundred-foot pole has entered the way of awakening, it is not yet authentic. She must step forward from the top of the pole and manifest her whole body throughout t … [Read more...]

Unitarian Universalism as a Way of Life

Be ours a religion which, like sunshine, goes everywhere; its temple, all space; its shrine, the good heart; its creed, all truth; its ritual, works of love; its profession of faith, divine living.Theodore ParkerIt's now the first full day of the 2009 General Assembly of the Unitarian Universalist Association. As I've mentioned before its a pretty important one. We'll be electing our next president and she or he will give face and voice to our little Association for, in all likelihood, the next … [Read more...]

Why I Go to G. A.

G.A. stands for General Assembly. It is the annual gathering of clergy and representatives of most Unitarian Universalist congregations as well as miscellaneous others. In the past roughly twenty one years, I've attended twenty as either a seminarian or minister.I have many criticisms of G.A. I will not bore you with that litany here.This is a particularly important gathering as it will be the one at which we elect our next denominational president. We will also be voting on a draft replacement … [Read more...]