Poems in the Lap of Death (service; 140223)

shipbuilding

Not only do I not believe in that literal version of the monotheistic God, I have very little interest in trying to prove or disprove its existence. It is not a very nuanced understanding; I want us to deepen our appreciation of the complexities and paradoxes of life. ~read more~

coffee and dignity

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There’s an old joke, that if the building were burning, the priest would run in to save the sacraments, and the rabbi would run in to save the Torah, and the Unitarian Universalist minister would run in to save the coffee pot. As today *is* National Coffee Day, I do lift up that wondrous beverage…and I lift up the idea that we UUs are much more interested in seeking justice than the perfect blend of magic roasted ~read more~

Coming Out of the Shadows

iyjl_broadview_claire

“Undocumented…Unafraid!” The chant outside the Broadview Detention Center this morning demonstrated that the Immigrant Youth Justice League (IYJL) had joined the usual band of hardy souls from the Chicago Religious Leadership Network (CRLN), praying and singing for an end to senseless deportations.

Two young adults spoke of their personal journeys. Brought to the USA as children, they struggled when they learned that they were not considered citizens of the country they loved. Both risked their freedom–risked everything ~read more~

God Made Farmers

Diaz_family_by Hamilton

“Maybe God did make farmers, but why’d Dodge [show us primarily] white ones?” asks Alexis C. Madrigal:

“It’s true that whites are the managers of 96 percent of the nation’s farms…But the agricultural workforce is overwhelmingly Mexican with some workers from Central America thrown in. The Department of Labor’s National Agriculture Worker Survey has found that over the last decade, around 70 percent of farmworkers in America were born in Mexico.”

Madrigal borrows Ta-Nehisi Coates’ phrase, pointing out ~read more~

holiday lamentation 2012

Digital StillCamera

The “lament” is one of the oldest of human art forms. These poems of sorrow, usually including a request for divine intervention, go back several thousands of years. From Beowulf to the Illiad, from the Hebrew Bible to the Hindu Vedas, we find our human ancestors crying out in suffering, asking for relief, and promising to live better lives if only their dire circumstances might be changed.

If you are wondering about the difference between lamentation and ~read more~

Fated for Free Will? (sermon; 121014)

conscience angel devil toon

Fated for Free Will
Service celebrated at the First Unitarian Church of Hobart, Indiana, on 14 October 2012

 

OPENING WORDS
For a few hours each Sunday morning, we set aside a time and space to recall ourselves to our larger values, and to teach them to our children. We make time to heal from the  wounds of the world, to recharge for the week ahead, and to better equip ourselves to care for and encourage our human cousins who ~read more~

Emancipation Tour

emancipation_group_mvwf

Vincent Licenziato’s “Emancipation Tour” showed me Boston statuary I had never seen before, and taught me a good bit about some of the women and men who worked to emancipate themselves and others. Licenziato is knowledgeable about the people of African and European descent depicted in the statues, sculptures and monuments of his tour; and he is passionate about the cause of freedom. At each of the five “stops,” he asks questions like “what do you ~read more~

Eraser, Mirror, Compass: Back to School (service; 120826)

Eraser, Mirror, Compass: Back to School
Service celebrated at the First Unitarian Church of Hobart, Indiana, on 26 August 2012
Rev. Chip Roush

OPENING WORDS
“The great end in religious instruction is not to stamp our minds upon the young, but to stir up their own; not to make them see with our eyes, but to look inquiringly and steadily with their own.”

Approximately two hundred years later,  I do not think that the Rev. Dr. William Ellery Channing would mind ~read more~

Interdependence Day (sermon; 120701)

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How many of you, as a youth, ever made fun of one of your siblings? How many *defended* that sibling, if others criticized them? How many are at least a little uncomfortable when your spouse or partner makes the same observations about your family out loud that you admit silently to yourself?

Just because we love something, it does not mean that we don’t recognize its faults.

I *love* the United States of America. I admire its ideals, ~read more~

general strike–creatively

strike_stop_at_nothing

The Occupy movement is calling for a General Strike: “no work no school no housework no shopping” on May 1, 2012. Natasha Lennard suggests that there are many ways to participate, even if you must work or go to school, etc., that day. Beyond the usual recommendations (MayDayNYC‘s “If you can’t strike call in sick. If you can’t call in sick hold a slow down.”), Lennard offers two basic goals: do not support the oligarchy, and express ~read more~

so may we categorize: