UU Church of Long Beach Welcomes Buddhist Priest as Community Minister

August 2016The Unitarian Universalist Church 5450 East Atherton Street Long Beach, California 90815 www.uuclb.org(562) 597-8445 Fax: (562) 597-6046The Reverend Mitra Rahnema, Minister The Reverend James Ford, Community Minister The Reverend Marguerite D. Lovett, Minister EmeritaDear UUCLB Community,Last Spring our Board of Trustees met with and affirmed the congregation’s affiliation with a new community minister, the Reverend James Ishmael Ford, to begin in August. A … [Read more...]

Enter Betty Boop, With Some Kind of Cool Extras

Reading Wikipedia's account of things that happen on a given day, it turns out it was on this day in 1930 that Betty Boop dances her way into American hearts and for some, libedo. Okay, she's a secondary character here. And, a dog, to boot. But, it is officially the first time we see Betty on screen.An amazingly uninteresting little cartoon from today’s perspective, except perhaps for those with the most ironic inclinations… But, with it Betty is launched. She had quite a run, and I find … [Read more...]

Those Three Things We Are Born To

My most recent post was a list of three bits of sound advice from three guys. To cap that, I add this, the tag end of Mary Oliver's poem In Blackwater Woods. It is the sum total of my spiritual life. Just about all of it. Nearly the whole thing. I thought you might find it useful, as well...To live in this world you must be able to do three things: to love what is mortal; to hold it against your bones knowing your own life depends on it; and, when the time comes to let … [Read more...]

Advice from Various Old Guys

Once there was a disciple of a Greek philosopher who was commanded by his Master for three years to give money to everyone who insulted him. When this period of trial was over, the Master said to him: Now you can go to Athens and learn wisdom. When the disciple was entering Athens he met a certain wise man who sat at the gate insulting everybody who came and went. He also insulted the disciple who immediately burst out laughing. Why do you laugh when I insult you? said the wise man. Because, … [Read more...]

The Amazing Randi Struts Onto the Stage

Randall James Hamilton Zwinge was born in Toronto, Ontario, on this day in 1928. In later years as a performer his name was shortened to the more marquee friendly James Randi. Me, I like his magicians' name best, the Amazing Randi.And he is.After seeing the renowned Harry Blackstone Sr perform, he determined to become a stage magician. At seventeen he dropped out of school to become a full timer performer with a carnival roadshow. Soon he added escapologist to his skill sets. He also … [Read more...]

I Still Love Lucy

Lucille Desiree Ball was born on this day in 1911.She was a fixture of my childhood television life. And for me a highlight. And of course she was so much more than that. An amazing woman.She would have been one hundred, and five.I still love Lucy... … [Read more...]

Banging on the Doors of Heaven: A Brief Meditation on Spiritual Practices

I've thought long and hard about just what is and what is not a real spiritual practice.I have friends who say their spiritual practice is taking naps, or, perhaps long walks, or maybe cooking. Frankly, when they talk like that I find myself twitching. They seem to mean anything that they do for themselves is a spiritual practice. Sign of the times. And, for me, frankly, these are minor signs of the apocalypse.Last week I was on faculty for a Unitarian Universalist leadership school. … [Read more...]

Break Out the Champagne

The story has it that it was on this day that the Benedictine monk Dom Perignon was fooling around in the wine cellars when he stumbled upon the formula for making sparkling wine. He is said to have shouted out to his brothers, "Come quickly! I'm tasting the stars!"Lovely. And apparently not a word of it true. The actual inventor appears to have been the English scientist and rough contemporary of the monk, Christopher Merret. A much more boring story...That said, I've been told by … [Read more...]

Krishnamurti Resigns as Messiah

It was on this day in 1929 that that Jiddu Krishnamurti, who had been discovered and then groomed to be the next World Teacher by Theosophists Charles Leadbetter and Annie Besant, was scheduled to give a lecture to the Order of the Star of the East, the organization set up to support his work. Some three thousand ardent followers were present, as were his mentors.He rather quickly got to the point. "I maintain that Truth is a pathless land, and you cannot approach it by any path whatsoever, … [Read more...]

Star Trek Beyond: The Franchise Reboot Continues Where A Fair Number Have Gone Before, But It’s Still Fun

Jan and I saw Star Trek Beyond Sunday. We both enjoyed it.But, as we left the theater we found it hard to articulate just why. We agreed the special effects were too often over the top and threatened when they didn’t actually overwhelm the movie itself. Too much of a muchness, as my auntie used to say for such things. On the other hand perhaps all the explosions and such disguised a pretty thin story, something more akin to a television episode than what I would expect from a movie. Fun, b … [Read more...]