Ferguson: Cynicism and a Smartphone

I have to admit that the recent events in Ferguson, Missouri have triggered mostly cynicism for me. In the US we have periodic paroxysms of piety triggered by events that happen every day but occasionally “go viral” in the media. Then, the outrage subsides . . . and nothing changes. Allow me to relate an [Read More...]

My Grandparents are from Ferguson….

by Susan Maginn, guest blogger My white family has been in St. Louis, Missouri for six generations. My grandparents met attending Ferguson High School in the early 1930’s. My grandfather’s childhood home was in Ferguson which back then was a bedroom community with a train stop leading to downtown St. Louis. After my grandparents married [Read More...]

Close to Home

It seems to me that the outpouring of emotion on the death of Robin Williams was not only for a beloved celebrity, although goodness knows he was that and more. His struggle with mental illness and addiction became an opportunity for the rest of us to talk about our struggles—with our own illness, or the [Read More...]

Circle Round for Freedom

The opposite of liberal religion is not conservative religion. It is fundamentalism – the deep certainty that there is only one truth and only one way of knowing that truth. As a liberal religion, Unitarian Universalism acknowledges a plurality of possibilities; lifts up that the Dominant Culture may dominate – but that it is dominating [Read More...]

Keep the Faith

    This morning I tended to my garden and that of an elder neighbor. Walking back into my home for a second cup of coffee, I realized that I felt more like a grounded, alive human being than I have in a while. In the past few weeks, the phone has rung repeatedly, bearing [Read More...]

In Prayerful Solidarity with Dr. Ersula Ore

This morning I am sitting in prayer after watching a video of Dr. Ersula Ore, a Professor at Arizona State University, get thrown to the ground by a violent cop after he demands that she produce identification and she does not immediately do so. She was jaywalking. Jaywalking Arrest for Professor in AZ You can [Read More...]

Bomb Throwers, Navel Gazers, and Goin’ All Thoreau: Doing Justice

Let’s consider an extreme example, a stark instance of the decision between doing something and talking about it. The abolitionist John Brown, fed up with the endless wrangling and political maneuvering over slavery in the early Nineteenth Century, decided to take matters in his own hands. He led a group that attacked a US military [Read More...]

Earth Day Notes from New Orleans

Last week the Center hosted two groups of youth, one primarily people of color, one primarily white people. As the groups co-navigated the space of the Center and the programming, it was pretty clear to everyone why we talk about race and an analysis of racism as a gateway to serving in the New Orleans [Read More...]

Pulling Weeds

I don’t know about where you are, but here in California we have hit the peak of Weed Season. A few days of long-awaited rain, a couple of days of sun, and the hills begin to turn gloriously green. So does my gravel driveway, and whole swaths of my yard where you are supposed to [Read More...]

Women with a Vision – and a Voice!

  Lately I’ve been struggling with the language of the non-profit world: “giving people a voice” and “empowering people”… Beloveds, people have a voice. The dominant culture ignores it, drowns it out, disregards it…but people have a voice.  People are speaking. Empowering is defined as “giving someone the authority or power to do something.” The [Read More...]


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