William Claude Dukenfield was born on this day in 1880. Read more

On this day in 1845 Edgar Allan Poe’s poem the Raven was published in the New York Evening Mirror… Read more

I gather this is a week for folk of my generation to feel the drifting of those sands.Yesterday Howard Zinn, who opened a critical read of history for me.And now J. D. Salinger.Zinn was important for me. And Salinger was a signal figure in my life, hard to describe my debt to him. As was true for many others, I believe…Some of my early understanding of Zen came through him.And I’ll always be grateful for his pointing me and so… Read more

On this day in 1593 Giordano Bruno’s trial began. It would last seven years. It turns out badly… Read more

During a slight respite in the doings of the Fraters of the Wayside Inn I looked for something on Youtube about the Council of Trent, which published its findings on this day in 1564.Didn’t find anything I liked.But I did find this.Close enough… Read more

CREED, COVENANT AND DENOMINATION A Reflection on Contemporary Unitarian Universalist Polity and Spirituality A Paper Delivered at the Fraters of the Wayside Inn to Answer a Charge to Explore the Question, “What is Wrong with Congregationalism?” 25 January 2010 Frater James Ishmael Ford Fraters of the Wayside Inn Senior Minister First Unitarian Church Providence, Rhode Island What’s wrong with congregationalism? The short answer is just about everything. Of the twin errors of mistaking the forest for the trees or the… Read more

A Consideration of Human Sexuality and the Spiritual Life 24 January 2010 James Ishmael Ford First Unitarian Church Providence, Rhode Island Text this is the song of mehitabelof mehitabel the alley catas i wrote you before bossmehitabel is a believerin the pythagoreantheory of the transmigrationof the soul and she claimsthat formerly her spiritwas incarnated in the bodyof cleopatrathat was a long time agoand one must not besurprised if mehitabelhas forgotten some of hermore regal manners i have had my ups… Read more

Today in 1836 General Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna, military dictator of Mexico launched the first wave of an attack on the Alamo mission. His aim was to reclaim Texas which was in full rebellion.If you’re an American you know the story. Well, certainly the myth.And its a pretty good myth. A story of people willing to throw their lives away for the chance that others may experience freedom.And yes, the myth by no means lives up to the complex… Read more

Rummaging around for thoughts on sex and religion ahead of Sunday’s sermon, I found this talk by old Alan Watts. There’s no doubt he knew a lot about the subject. Which sadly, means the talk is a bit on the long side…He does wander around, and much of what he says is dated. Still I’m rather taken with his version of a middle way…Also, loved the little shout out to the Unitarians at the very beginning. Read more

Sunday I’m preaching on Sex and Religion. Okay. Maybe with capitals. Maybe not… The exact shape of the sermon is only now forming out of the aethers…However, as I launch into my sermon writing today I see that it is Rasputin’s birthday.The venerable knew something about the subject…So, as sometimes happens when the stars align just right and the truly weird dances into reality, some of the background music for at least some of my sermon writing today will be,… Read more

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