Death of the Curate

Art museums are currently going through a sea change, and that sea change is about the difference between access and curating. Now, obviously, as in most either/or binaries, the answer is actually both/and, but binaries help us get clarity in our thinking.  Think of the old model of art museums: they served a curatorial function: [Read More...]

Putting First Things First: Congregations of Philosophers

In 1931 the Humanist Unitarian minister Curtis Reese looked into his crystal ball and wrote that society was moving “away from religion conceived as one of man’s concerns, and toward religion conceived as man’s one concern.” Why would a Humanist foresee religion becoming more, not less, central as a human concern? (Note that Reese had [Read More...]

Musing On Relevance

I meet monthly with clergy colleagues, Jewish, Muslim, and Christian of various stripes, all of whom are leaders of urban, liberal congregations. We clergy—and most of our members—do not see our own way as the only way. We believe that dialogue is the antidote to violence. None of us are fundamentalists. That said, none of [Read More...]

When I breathe in…

A few weeks ago, I shared a sermon called Still We Rise with a congregation in the Greater New Orleans Unitarian Universalist cluster.  Sometime later, I fed this sermon into a program that created the beautiful word cloud above.  To me, it feels like a visual prayer. This past week has been a storm of living for me, filled with [Read More...]

Mansplaining, Whitesplaning, and the Power of Listening

Totally unprepared are you To face a world of men Timid and shy and scared are you Of things beyond your ken The composition date is 1959, the composers Rogers and Hammerstein, the musical The Sound of Music. “You are Sixteen Going on Seventeen” is perhaps the epitome of mansplaining. Mansplaining. It’s about speaking from [Read More...]

In this time of intense polarization

I cannot help but to wonder: [Read more...]

Five Reasons to Congregate in a Congregation

Why bother joining a congregation rather than, oh, say, a bowling league? 1. To meet people. OK, yes it’s true that you will meet new people by joining a bowling league as well, but by joining a particular sort of congregation, you will find a particular sort of people. In Unitarian Universalist congregations, and particularly [Read More...]

A little respite for our souls…

I need a little respite for my soul, soul, soul take a little time to leave my cares behind, find a little comfort and some peace of mind, some time to sit with myself and be still. -Pat Humphries, Same Rain This Labor Day, I went for a long walk with a friend and then [Read More...]

Integrity and the Big Hole in Wholeness

You’ve heard it; you’ve thought it; perhaps you’ve even said it: “She is SO together!” “How does everybody else keep it together?” “I SHOULD get myself together.” “I can’t get it together!” “Why can’t I get myself together?” “I’ve got to get myself together!” “It’s time I get myself together!” But what’s so together about [Read More...]

How Secular is “Religious”?

We don’t know how the ready access to information will ultimately change the human condition, but religions are already feeling the heat. A person today can, with a few keystrokes, discover facts about religions that, when I was young, were assiduously and successfully suppressed—particularly in those traditions common among disadvantaged people such as I was. [Read More...]