The Snow Man

One must have a mind of winterTo regard the frost and the boughsOf the pine-trees crusted with snow; And have been cold a long timeTo behold the junipers shagged with ice,The spruces rough in the distant glitter Of the January sun; and not to thinkOf any misery in the sound of the wind,In the sound of a few leaves, Which is the sound of the landFull of the same windThat is blowing in the same bare place For the listener,… Read more

Abner Kneeland’s Passion and an Invitation to Cross the River

On this day in 1833 Abner Kneeland published a letter which was published in both the Universalist journal, the Trumpet and the Boston Inquirer. In it he officially repudiated the Universalist orthodoxy, following his earlier voluntary leaving of the Universalist ministry. The letter was simple enough. It was addressed to Thomas Whittemore, editor of the Trumpet and read:Dear Sir: You observed to me the other day, that people still consider me a Universalist, and said to me “If you will… Read more

A Liberal Meditation on Advent

The cold has firmly settled into my chest. I don’t feel very bad but yesterday I nearly lost the use of my voice and today while better is more than scratchy and I’m quite worried in anticipation of my need to be able to speak at tomorrow’s worship service.So, I’m not making the ten hour round trip drive to Woodstock to attend the funeral service for Daido Loori, the late abbot of the Zen Mountain Monastery and head of the… Read more

Wanting It All: Part Two Million, Four Thousand, Two Hundred, and Sixty Seven

A couple of days ago I awoke with a sore throat.Since then whatever the bug is it has decided to take up residence in my chest.My brain is not much worse than usual, except for an ongoing, although so far low grade headache… But I’m increasingly anxious about having a voice on Sunday.And this is our big all church family fun filled Christmas pick-up pageant. We tell the Luke version of the Christmas story pretty much straight, although we stop… Read more

Holiday Message From the President of the Unitarian Universalist Association

What are your fondest memories of the holiday season? My favorite childhood memories involve Christmas pageants, a series of large and boisterous intergenerational family gatherings, and, of course, my Tía Amelia’s wonderful tamales.Later, as young adult, my most precious memories involve my own children. I recall, while traveling in Spain, creating a makeshift Christmas tree in a hotel room from a fallen branch and decorating it with curled orange peel.Now, as an “older adult,” I cherish the holiday reunions with… Read more

And I Thought I Was the Only One

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Some Days Everything Goes Your Way

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Happy Birthday, Phil!

Today is Philip K. Dick’s birthday.He was one of my favorite Science Fiction authors toward the end of my Science Fiction reading time.I freely, gratefully and frequently acknowledge how much Science Fiction counted for opening me to the wide world. But gradually my tastebuds changed.For one thing the bad writing that dominated the field just became too annoying.One of the reasons Dick remained a favorite even as I was losing interest in the genre was that he was a quite… Read more

Our Place in the Cosmos

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Seeking Light

Such a strange season.One religion celebrates the birth of hope in a child.Another recalls the struggle of a people to exist in the face of oppression.Another recalls the morning star rising in the morning mist and the awakening of a human heart and mind as vast as the sky.Now here’s a sad truth.The followers of each of these traditions have fallen short of their faith’s hope.Over and over.Just like all other human aspirations, like the followers of other faiths.But, the… Read more

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