In Which Cackling Self Vanquishes Wild Grief, While Rational Self Could Not

Newsflash: Grief is completely irrational. Does this surprise me? Not rationally. I knew it, know it, have seen it in my own and other people’s lives. But if I ever doubted what I know, this week has given me complete and utter clarity about it. I’m on a trip away from home, doing things in [Read More...]

Worthy to be Entrusted

(Today, I preached at the ordination of a new minister in my denomination, Unitarian Universalism. Her name is Rev. Lara Campbell, and I shared the pulpit with Rev. Michael Tino. Here is my half of the sermon.) “Do not demand immediate results but rejoice that we are worthy to be entrusted with this great message,” [Read More...]

Who’s In and Who’s Out of Institutions (and the immigrants between)

The British social anthropologist Mary Douglas had this to say about institutions: Inside a religious body you get sects and hierarchies, inside an information network you get bazaars and cathedrals, it is the same, call them what you like. They survive by pointing the finger of blame at each other. That about sums it up, [Read More...]

But Where’s the Woo-Woo?

“Up! up! my Friend, and quit your books; / Or surely you’ll grow double,” said the early-Nineteenth Century British poet William Wordsworth: “Books! ’tis a dull and endless strife.” He continues, Enough of Science and of Art; Close up those barren leaves; Come forth, and bring with you a heart That watches and receives. Ah, [Read More...]

A Former Member Asks the Minister for a Favor

She says her family shuns her. She says it has something to do with God. She says the cancer has gone way too far. She says when her brother died the family pastor said he went straight to hell and “Let that be a lesson.” She says, “Will you do my funeral?” A light rain [Read More...]

For You Were a Stranger in Egypt

There are many biblical passages calling people to offer hospitality to the stranger. Here is one from the 19th chapter of the book of Leviticus: When strangers sojourn with you in your land, you shall do them no wrong, the strangers who sojourn with you shall be to you as natives among you, and you [Read More...]

Salvation

I am a Unitarian Universalist who believes deeply that salvation is an inherent aspect of my faith. Not just my own personal salvation, though through this faith that has happened, but the salvation of the world. My faith is not about the salvation of individual souls for a perceived afterlife. I believe that whatever happens [Read More...]

In 1492…

In fourteen hundred ninety-two Columbus sailed the ocean blue… So began the ditty that most of us (children in U.S. schools) learned about Christopher Columbus, who (we were taught) “discovered” America. I remember making little replicas of the Nina, the Pinta, and the Santa Maria out of walnut shells, play dough, and toothpicks. This was [Read More...]

Prejudice is Part of Human Nature

We human beings have many times many different prejudices. I’m not trying to make a value statement in saying that, just naming something that I believe is an inherent aspect of human nature. We are deeply prejudiced beings.  The primary difference I have seen among human beings was whether or not they were aware of [Read More...]

Judge Not…

Toward the end of the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus says to those gathered, “Judge not, that you not be judged. For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it, will be measured to you.” He then goes on to illustrate this nugget of wisdom with the [Read More...]


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