Blessings from Heaven

This past weekend I had the chance to do one of my favorite things. Presiding over friends’ weddings is a great perk of the ministry gig. This was a beautiful wedding, joining two families from very different backgrounds. Guests came from Milwaukee and Mumbai, wore brightly colored saris and sundresses, suits and cortas,On the dance [Read More...]

Moses, Jesus, Paul and Sacred Soundbites

What ‘Ol Abe Saw Moses, Jesus, Paul, et. al. as motivator. Their words as marching orders for how to live and what is right to do. Sounds good. Yet, as he watched the bloody carnage justified on both sides by Christian theology, Abraham Lincoln perhaps said it best: “I know that the Lord is always [Read More...]

When in doubt, choose the side of Compassion

The Thursday following the fundamentalist disruption of worship service at First Unitarian Universalist Church of New Orleans, a Pro-Woman, Pro-LBGTQ, Pro-Religious Freedom rally was planned for City Hall. It may not surprise you that the Unitarian Universalists showed up. Dozens of Standing on the Side of Love t-shirts, signs, and stoles were vividly on display. [Read More...]

The Spiritual Practice of Agnosticism

Wolf! The Aesop fable about the boy who cried wolf has long been viewed as a cautionary tale about lying. The boy knowingly cried “wolf!” merely to disturb the villagers. The boy eventually pays the price in dead sheep when the villagers stop responding. There is another and more dangerous way of crying wolf, however: [Read More...]

Because it is the Faithful Thing To Do

{Editor’s Note: Due to technical difficulties, this post, originally scheduled for August 19th, was delayed – posting now!} I spent two weeks out of state, mostly away from the internet, TV, and newspapers – enjoying some much needed study leave.  Returning to the news of the world on Thursday, August 14th was, I confess, quite [Read More...]

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...]

The Rise of the Totally Awesome ‘Whatever’ God

“Moralistic therapeutic deism.” That’s the term sociologists Christian Smith and Melinda Lundquist Denton coined to describe the religious beliefs of the average North American. Rev. Robert Vinciguerra calls it “egonovism,” a neologism constructed of “ego” and “novo,” new. Rev. Rob claims that most Americans are Egonovists, even though most don’t know it. Why are [Read More...]