Fat Tuesday


That last little blast before the fast. well, for some of us... … [Read more...]

Happy birthday, Doc!


Arthel Lane "Doc" Watson (March 3, 1923 - May 29, 2012) One of the greats... … [Read more...]


First Unitarian Christmas pageant. 2012

IT’S ABOUT SO MUCH MORE THAN MONEY. AND IT’S ABOUT MONEY The Story of First Unitarian’s Annual Budget Drive A Sermon by James Ishmael Ford 2 March 2014 First Unitarian Church Providence, Rhode Island Text At the back of our Meeting House, centered on the wall of the balcony, hangs an old clock. I think it’s hung there since our Meeting House was dedicated in 1816. On Sunday mornings, during the silences of our service, I like to listen for that clock. I like to listen … [Read more...]

Knowing Every Corner

Burning Spear

The first of March is a big day. It was the Roman New Year. It is the feast of St David, and so for the Welsh, a national holiday. In Iceland it is Beer Day. And, here in the United States it is National Pig Day, where we're called to "accord the pig its rightful, though generally unrecognized, place as one of man's most intellectual and domesticated animals." On a more somber note, it is also the day in 1692 that Sarah Good, Sarah Osborne and the slave Tituba were brought before local … [Read more...]

Church & State Get Hitched


On this day in 380 Theodosius I, Gratian, and Valentinian II issued the Edict of Thessalonica. It read: EMPERORS GRATIAN, VALENTINIAN AND THEODOSIUS AUGUSTI. EDICT TO THE PEOPLE OF CONSTANTINOPLE. It is our desire that all the various nations which are subject to our Clemency and Moderation, should continue to profess that religion which was delivered to the Romans by the divine Apostle Peter, as it has been preserved by faithful tradition, and which is now professed by the Pontiff Damasus … [Read more...]

Happy B’Day, Fats!

fats domino

Antoine "Fats" Domino, Jr was born on this day in 1928, in New Orleans. A city will forever be identified with... … [Read more...]

Yangshan’s Sermon from the Third Seat


Yangshan’s Sermon from the Third Seat A Dharma talk James Myoun Ford 24 February 2014 Henry Thoreau Zen Sangha Boundless Way Zen Newton, Massachusetts Yangshan Huiji had a dream. In it he traveled to Maitreya’s hall, where he was led to the third seat. No sooner had he sat than a senior monk struck the bell and announced, “Today the one sitting in the third seat will preach.” Yangshan immediately stood up, and also gave the bell a strike. He then said, “The truth … [Read more...]

The Problem With Science


is that it plays no favorites... A recent Daily Beast article by Michael Schulson offers some words that will no doubt be unwelcome in my circles, where anti-evolutionists are, and appropriately, mocked, but homeopathy is big business. Whole Foods: America's Temple of Pseudoscience begins with a provocative assertion, "Americans get riled up about creationists and climate change deniers, but lap up the quasi-religious snake oil at Whole Foods. It's all pseudoscience..." For the rest of … [Read more...]

Compassion, Wisdom, Charity, Devotion, and So Forth

mohammed, jesus, buddha

Dave O’Neal, who is an editor for the largely Buddhist publisher Shambhala, is also an Orthodox Christian with a theological degree from St Vladimir’s Orthodox Seminary. As you might think, he’s very interesting. Recently Dave reviewed a book by John Garvey, Seeds of the Word: Orthodox Thinking About Other Religions. Dave found the Reverend Garvey’s book compelling and recommended it to anyone wrestling with the realities of living in a world crowded with religions and philosophies most … [Read more...]

Zen Buddhism and Liberal Religion: Encounter, Confession, & Possibilities

James at Empty Nest

A talk delivered at Harvard Divinity School under the somewhat misleading title "Zen and the Arts of Liberal Ministry." It starts with a history of the encounter between Buddhism and Unitarianism and later Unitarian Universalism and continues with a personal confession of faith out of my journey as a "liberal Buddhist," and concludes with some reflections on the possibilities within this emergent liberal Buddhism. … [Read more...]