Book Babes

Bless all librarians.Thank you, Agnes... … [Read more...]

The Year 2008 in Review

Thank you JibJab... … [Read more...]

thoughts on the near east at the end of 2008…

It's been two years since Saddam Hussein was hung.While I am opposed to the death penalty on principle, I have to admit it is hard to mourn his passing.Still, noting the moment does set me to thinking a bit about Mr Bush's war.We sit at an interesting place, the confluence of the surge and the awakening has given the Iraqi government a bit of breathing room and provides us with a fig leaf to allow us for a second time to declare victory and to withdraw.I wish my nay saying and that of the left … [Read more...]

Christmas Eve 2008 at the First Unitarian Church in Providence

all photos by Richard Boober … [Read more...]

Murder in the Cathedral

I see that today, if I did the math right, marks the eight hundred and twenty eighth anniversary of the murder of Thomas a Becket.Made a great play which very much marked me in my theologically questing youth.And a pretty good movie, as well.Of course the clash between church and state is a recurring theme, runs right up to today; and so is well worth reflecting upon... … [Read more...]

Chris Hedges Challenges Liberal Religion

As I settled in for the evening I started going through my favorite bloggers and saw that Dharmakara, an English writer who joins a Pure Land practice with regular attendance at a Friends unprogrammed meeting had just put something up. I always look at what he has to say...In a haunting reflection Dharmakara offered this startling, annoying and compelling quote. The writer he quotes, rolls his eyes at"the inanity of the sermons and the arrogance of many congregants, who appear to believe they … [Read more...]

THAT LAST LIGHT: A Hanukkah Sermon

THAT LAST LIGHT A Hanukkah SermonJames Ishmael Ford28 December 2008First Unitarian ChurchProvidence, Rhode IslandThe Text Blessed is the match consumed in kindling the flame. Blessed is the flame that burns in the heart’s secret places. Blessed is the heart with strength to stop its beating for honor’s sake. Blessed is the match consumed in kindling the flame. Hannah SeneshMany religious communities in the west follow a liturgical calendar, which means for the most part the subject of the ser … [Read more...]

Westminster Abbey

I notice that on this day in 1065 Westminster Abbey was consecrated.A few years ago when we were in London our visit to Westminster Abbey was a high point.The royals were vaguely interesting, but I have trouble thinking of them as much other than gangsters, and they didn't get lots of our attention. I did enjoy the surprising fact that the coronation throne, King Edward's Chair, was heavily carved with various people's names - from a time they didn't keep quite so close a watch on such … [Read more...]

Disappearing Tricks

Up early...Taking Jan to the airport in half an hour. This year auntie & I will not be joining her as she visits family in Los Angeles for the week. We've spent money like drunken sailors for the past many months and beyond expenses there's much to do here at home. Although without the brains of the family, unpacking might start getting a bit creative...Speaking of creative, and of disappearing, if you have a couple of minutes and enjoy having yr brain teased, see if you can find the trick … [Read more...]

Boxing Day Thoughts

Once upon a time I wrote a sermon that had an amazing half-life on the web, being referenced around the globe.It was written while I served our Valley Unitarian Universalist Church in Tempe, Arizona. I no longer recall the exact circumstances around the why of it, but I suspect that Sunday was the 26th, as the subject and title of the sermon was "Boxing Day."It appears there was relatively so little available on the web related to Boxing Day that google searches would usually pop my sermon on … [Read more...]


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