Survival Tips for Holidays with Difficult People, AKA, Home for the Holidays!

I’m hearing from many folks these days about their fears of being with families of origin over the holidays. Fears of getting into fights about political differences. Fears of being expected to conform to religious language and practices that no longer fit. Fears of being ridiculed about life choices or decisions. Fears of family members [Read More...]

For the Beauty of the Earth…

I was walking in City Park with a community organizer this week when suddenly we were only the width of the boardwalk away from a Great Egret, its fancy fringe plumes fluttering in the morning breeze. We paused, taking in the beauty, marveling at the unexpected joy of such a close encounter. A few minutes [Read More...]

The Goal of World Community with Peace, Liberty, and Justice for All

December 10, 2013 “Whereas recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world,” – so begins the Preamble to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly [Read More...]

Swimming Lessons

The first sermon at the first church I ever served (which is also the only church I have served) was called “Swimming Lessons.” Countless seminary papers and exams had brought me to this moment. Now, time had come to climb into the pulpit to impart the great wisdom available to a young man with a [Read More...]

Deep South

Planned Parenthood of Louisiana hosted a screening of deepsouth last night in honor of World AIDS Day. Filmmaker Lisa Biagiotti joined the panel after the screening and shared that it was the startling statistics of HIV/AIDS in the south, combined with the SILENCE about this reality – in stark contrast to the national story that [Read More...]

Weeping on Rocky Top

By the time they were three, both my sons knew the lyrics to “Rocky Top,” the fight song not only for the state university, but for all of East Tennessee. Most fight songs bespeak valiant effort and ultimate glory. Not this one. It has lines like, “Corn don’t grow at all on Rocky Top, soil’s [Read More...]

Where Were You When…?

There are times in history that imprint themselves on our psyche, events that seem to change the order of the Universe. For some it was the bombing of Pearl Harbor, for others 9/11. For me, it is the memory of being in a car with some Brandeis friends driving to Cambridge for a Friday outing. [Read More...]

The Four Yogas and Transcendental Humanism

A group from the local Hindu temple recently contacted me about jointly celebrating the 150th birthday of Vivekananada, the Hindu priest who took the World Parliament of Religions by storm back in 1893 and introduced Vedanta Hinduism to the Western Hemisphere. Vivekananda spoke at the congregation where I serve as senior minister, the First Unitarian [Read More...]

Playing Together

I went to a great concert last night, and it’s made me think about why it is that I like hanging out with musicians. Now, I don’t know any rock stars, but because I’m an avid contra dancer, I get the opportunity to spend time around people who are the rock stars of our little, [Read More...]

Living History: How JFK’s assassination woke me up

I was sitting in a small desk, and Mrs. Graham was at the front of Room 3 in Overbrook School in Charleston, West Virginia, the day that John F. Kennedy was shot. Randall Hainey’s mom came running in the side door with a transistor radio to tell us. Handing out lined paper, Mrs. Graham said [Read More...]


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