Wrapping up Toronto

Yesterday was a lovely, although rather long day...I started out with a visit to the First Unitarian Congregation of Toronto where I preached my current "road sermon," My Grandmother's God, My Father's God and My God. Seemed to strike a chord or two among folk, or at least it sparked conversation at coffee hour.I found First Unitarian a wonderful congregation. If you live in the Toronto area you might check them out.I wandered back toward the hotel, stopping to grab a sandwich. (I'm one of those … [Read more...]

Toronto Zen, Mostly

I'm here in Toronto to do a wedding for some dear friends. I also have the enormous privilege of preaching at the First Unitarian Congregation tomorrow. But, I also took advantage of the opportunity to visit two Zen teachers.Actually Toronto is quite the Zen town with several very interesting folk and communities. But, I want to mention specifically these two...First is the amazing Sister Elaine MacInnes. I had the honor of blurbing one of her books, The Flowing Bridge: Guidance on Beginning Zen … [Read more...]

Sitting in the Airport

Well, here I am, once again, in Logan's warm embrace. I have a cuppa beside me, I've worked my way through the newspaper, I've checked my emails & it's still slightly more than an hour before my flight boards.I'm off to Toronto, one of the truly lovely cities.The reason I'm going is to conduct the wedding for a dear old friend and her wonderful mate. But taking advantage of the trip I'll also be preaching at the First Unitarian Congregation this Sunday and meeting with some Zen friends.A … [Read more...]

Thomas Keating on Love

I've long considered Thomas Keating one of the more interesting contemporary Christian spiritual leaders.(Thank you, Anamchara for the pointer) … [Read more...]

Utah Phillips

U. Utah Phillips(May 15, 1935 - May 24, 2008)American folk singer and social justice activist.You might go here, here and here for some tributes,Rest in Peace … [Read more...]

Universal Declaration of Human Rights

(Thank you Danny) … [Read more...]

Rhode Island Becomes a State

I notice how on this day in 1790 Rhode Island ratified the constitution, becoming the thirteenth state. As they declared independence from Great Britain on May 4th in 1776, this means they were the first of the states to declare independence and the last to ratify the constitution.What have I gotten myself into? … [Read more...]

54th Massachusetts

Every time I go up to the Unitarian Universalist Association denominational headquarters at 25 Beacon Street on Beacon Hill in Boston, I stop and stare at the monument to the men of the 54th Massachusetts. They were the first black regiment sent into battle in the Civil War. They knew the war was not about state's rights. Or, rather about only one terrible, sinful right. On this day in 1863 the regiment marched out of Boston.In seven weeks at an assault on Fort Wagner seventy-four men including … [Read more...]

Julia Ward Howe

Julia Ward Howe is considerably more than the author of the Battle Hymn of the Republic.Half of one of the nineteenth century's genuine power couples (Her husband Dr Samuel Gridley Howe was the founding director of Perkins School for the Blind and would be the first person to develop a system for educating the deafblind.), she is no doubt best known for the Battle Hymn which was published in the Atlantic Monthly in 1862.Descended from Roger Williams and two governors of Rhode Island, Julia, was … [Read more...]

Dark Night

Speaking of Loreena McKennitt's Dark Night of the Soul...Some time ago I posted a different version of this song together with the original words from the great Catholic mystic St John of the Cross. I have to admit I love the piles of hints at the great way one might find in Heng Sure's using McKenitt's melody given to this particular poem to sing his version of a Buddhist hymn dedicating merit to all in need... … [Read more...]