Candidating: Thursday

Yesterday was my "day off," which meant I worked on Sunday's sermon and ran a few personal errands before driving down to Providence to meet with the president and then attend the PruComm meeting, First U's Board of Trustees.What a great crowd! They've been doing interesting things governance-wise & to me it all feels right for a congregation of their size. They talked about their various areas of responsibility, hopes for the near future and asked about me and my dreams. I spilled my guts … [Read more...]

Candidating: Wednesday

Yesterday Jan took the day off from work to join me (well, just possibly because she wanted to meet the knitting group).We drove down in the late morning arriving in time for a brown bag lunch with a pretty good-sized crowd.Then I met with the women's alliance for about half an hour, after which they kicked me out and visited a bit more with Jan.Then a good long meeting with the senior staff, while Jan wandered off and visited what we hope would be our neighborhood library. Throughout this … [Read more...]

Candidating: Tuesday

I planned on sleeping in this morning, but...Monday had a split feeling. In the morning I put together a newsletter column for the Newton congregational newsletter and had a luncheon meeting with our FUSN president.After a quick household stop at Trader Joe's (I take the recent announcement that TJ's is coming to Warwick which means their first Rhode Island store a major positive omen...) for a few necessities, I dropped off our single family car at Perkins School for the Blind (where Jan is … [Read more...]


MYGRANDMOTHER’SGOD, MYFATHER’SGOD, ANDMYGOD A Unitarian Universalist Exploration of the Nature of the DivineA Sermon byJames Ishmael Ford27 April 2008First Unitarian Church of ProvidenceTextI was sent forth from the power, and I have come to those who long for me, I am found among those who seek after me. Look upon me, you who long, Listen deeply, hear me. You who are waiting for me, take me to yourselves. And do not banish me from your sight. Do not make your voice hate me, nor your hearing. Do … [Read more...]

Candidating: Monday

Quite simply I would have to say yesterday was intense.We left the fancy dancy hotel, made our way surprisingly quickly to the East Side, to the corner of Benefit and Benevolent (can anyone hope for a better address?) and launched...Met many, many people. Some worried for various reasons, and a tiny bit of quite natural wariness hung in the air. Many continue to miss Thomas Ahlburn. Most, however, of the folk I met expressed varying degrees of excitement about the process and my prospects...I … [Read more...]

Candidating – First Sunday

Jan is showering, and I'm checking emails and posting a quickest note here to the blog. We've been put up at the Johnson & Wales Inn, a very nice facility if you ever find yourself in the general vicinity of Providence. Actually it's a tad grand for the likes of us. But we can take it...The worst thing so far is a small stain on the front of my dress shirt. I'm hoping it's water...We're now fully caffinated and fed and almost ready to go. If all goes according to plan we'll be leaving in … [Read more...]


Well, the time has come...Jan & I are off to Providence where I am the candidate the search committee is presenting to the congregation. Over the next eight days I'll be at roughly one zillion meetings, including opportunities for everyone who wishes to spend a few minutes privately with me. I'll preach this Sunday and next. After that second service on the 4th of May, Jan & I will go to a friend's house while the congregation has a business meeting at which there will be a single … [Read more...]


Rummaging around the web I noticed how ninety-four years ago yesterday a handful of Irish republicans declared the island free of British rule taking the Dublin Post Office and a handful of other locations under their control. The reaction was swift and violent. Within a few days the last of the rebels of the Easter Rising had been taken and imprisoned. Nearly all the leadership would be head-spinningly quickly tried and executed.What was strange for me was that rush of patriotic fervor coursing … [Read more...]

Before Speaking

Yesterday I was speaking with a friend about truth-telling. We agreed how too often “the truth” becomes an excuse for bludgeoning someone, rather than trying to help. Somewhere in the back of my mind I recalled reading advice on this subject, how telling the truth wasn’t quite enough. There was something about kindness and necessity being important, as well. I decided to look it up…Later I noodled around the web and found the original quote, at least I think it’s the original. It’s even better th … [Read more...]

Arbitrary Marks on Expelled

Personally I'm not attracted to movies that seek to educate me. I'm sure I've missed some classics because of this, including Michael Moore's various explorations and Al Gore's lesson in climate change. The latest movie I think I'm going to miss is Ben Stein's screed against evolution, Expelled.But if you find the subject intriguing, I do recommend Arbitrary Marks recent reflection on the subject. (I do love that blog...)ps: I also found this Scientific American article on Expelled … [Read more...]