Among the many stories within the Easter story one that continues to hold my attention is that of Peter’s denial of Jesus.After several significant encounters, after turning over the tables of the money-changers, after gathering together for a special meal, probably the Passover feast, after the betrayal to the authorities and Jesus’ arrest, when the disciples scattered in confusion and fear, Peter, one of his closest disciples had his own telling encounter.When the awfulness ahead was only a foreshadowing Peter… Read more

Today, March 23, 2008, is Easter Sunday. And before the day is out I hope to post a thought or two on that subject. Of course Easter is a movable feast and therefore floats about the calendar. This day, March the 23rd, is also by my calculations the two hundred, thirty-third anniversary of Patrick Henry’s famous speech, “Give me Liberty, or Give me Death,” one of the foundation documents of the American nation.Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death March… Read more

I notice that today is William Shatner’s birthday. While I missed the first season of Star Trek, the show he is most closely associated with, I followed the subsequent two seasons, joining the rather long list of fans for what would become quite a franchise. I must admit I also am among those who lost interest well before the franchise played itself out. Or, seems to have played out, a quick look at a couple of website shows there continues… Read more

I’ve found myself thinking about Senator Barack Obama’s speech “A More Perfect Union.” A lot. It is the most stirring speech I’ve ever heard from a politician. Should the senator prevail and become our next president, I have little doubt this speech will become one of the signal documents of our political history.And, while I am moved to my soul by his words and the hope that it inspires, I am at the same time plummeted to the edge of… Read more from a neuroanatomist… Read more

I’m sitting in the waiting room of a an imaging center in Brookline waiting for auntie to get an MRI of her knees. There’s a giant screen television blaring daytime shows, which listening to for a few minutes and then given a little thought is rather depressing. Fortunately, I found a way to piggyback onto web access and have just read the headlines at the New York Times. Where I learned that Arthur C. Clarke has died. He is probably… Read more

As I’ve mentioned before on this blog, a few months ago I announced my intention of leaving the First Unitarian Society in Newton at the end of this church year. These have been eight good years, and I expect I’ll write more about that as we move closer to the end of our time together. That happily acknowledged, it was also time to go.After closely considering the congregations available and interesting this year, my list reduced to four, two in… Read more

(Here is an important update on the situation in Tibet from the AP. Also, I hope you will consider going to Avaaz and sign their petition…)Dalai Lama to Resign if Violence WorsensStory by Associated Press WriterGavin RabinowitzFrom Associated PressMarch 18, 2008 7:30 AM EDT(Dateline Darmsala, India)The Dalai Lama threatened Tuesday to step down as leader of Tibet’s government-in-exile if violence committed by Tibetans in his homeland spirals out of control.The rioting prompted Premier Wen Jiabao to denounce the Dalai Lama’s… Read more

Perkins School for the Blind is among the oldest schools for the blind in the world. Its founding director Samuel Gridley Howe is generally credited with first establishing principals for teaching the deafblind which in large part continue to this day. Anne Sullivan was a graduate of the teaching program, and was famously sent to Helen Keller at the desperate request of her mother.Among the many programs established and supported by Perkins is the Samuel P. Hayes Research Library. It… Read more

Today is the feast of St Patrick and so, perhaps naturally, I find my thoughts turning Irish. I think it worth noting how on this day in 1830 James Martineau and others formed the Irish Unitarian Association.A couple of years ago three couples, including Jan and me, all from the Newton congregation visited Ireland. During that visit I had the enormous pleasure and privilege of preaching at the Dublin Unitarian Church, where Martineau had served. Lovely people, easily recognizable as… Read more

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