Explicitly Black UU Healing Spaces: Spiritual Compassion Practice at GA 2016

[A note of gratitude and a heart full of appreciation to the Rev. Carlton Elliot Smith for his generosity, insight, and  reflections in the creation of this post. -DV] Last night I began reading Uncovering Race: A Black Journalist’s Story of Reporting and Reinvention by Amy Alexander (Beacon Press, 20011).  Describing landing her first “real job” as [Read More…]

Getting a Mission On

If I’ve learned anything from serving and visiting several congregations, it is that survival is not a mission. Religious institutions either have a saving message or they don’t. They know why they exist or they don’t. When I see a thriving congregation, I see one that is continually asking itself why it exists at all. [Read More…]

A spiritual responsibility for a moral tomorrow

In case the not so subtle nuances and coded language around race and class that are pouring out of state legislatures and the presidential candidate nomination races have puzzled you, let us a take a moment to look back to the post-Civil war Reconstruction era.  The need for White supremacy and 1%-er capitalism is explicitly explained and defended as [Read More…]

Letter to the Editor

Louisiana is the most incarcerated place in the world. Let’s truly sit with that for a moment. And then, dear friends, let’s do something about it. We know that we do not deserve to spend our precious lives in prison – either as prisoners or as jailers. Let’s choose to stop trying children as adults. [Read More…]

Holy Work in this Holy Week

As the Christian world grieves and celebrates the Passion of Christ during this Holy Week, climate justice activist are gathering in New Orleans to resist the issuing of new leases to destroy life in the Gulf of Mexico and livelihoods in the Gulf South. For a deeper understanding of what is going on, The New [Read More…]

Cheap Grace and Humanist Ritual, Part II

God must be replaced with a symbol capable of generating a different and more productive response and organizational pattern to life. Anthony B. Pinn, The End of God Talk: an African American Humanist Theology I. Christian theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer said, “cheap grace is the preaching of forgiveness without requiring repentance, baptism without church discipline. Communion [Read More…]

The Grace of Learning

In life, there are many things we can learn from other people. And there are many times when we have to be “the other people” in order to learn. In Unitarian Universalism, there is a tradition of blessing babies and young children when they become a part of the congregation by giving them a rose [Read More…]

Humanist Ritual, Part One

God must be replaced with a symbol capable of generating a different and more productive response and organizational pattern to life. Anthony B. Pinn, The End of God Talk: an African American Humanist Theology I. One thing we know about ritual is that we can’t escape it. From shaking hands to respectful calm in the [Read More…]

#Humanism: Who We Are; What We Do; Why It Matters

I. Who We Are Religions and philosophies serve as heuristic devices for life, providing shape and meaning to what otherwise may seem a shapeless, chaotic rush. For some, religious views are chosen by birth or circumstance, for others religions are a matter of passing indifference in the rush toward the goals of a given social [Read More…]

The heartwork of coming alive

“Under all the harsh noise of the world coming in on us, this is how the things that last move: a small wave from the deep moves us on and the more we’re moved, the more we bend and bow and reach for each other. Our very life is the ground of practice by which [Read More…]


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