coffee and dignity


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~

Opening Words, post-Boston


After a week that included violence, terrorism, depressing political battles, and some frightening weather, it is good to gather together. It is good to confirm that we are okay; it is good to seek support if we are *not* okay; and it is very good to arrive and give stubborn witness to the power of our liberal religious values: freedom, reason, tolerance, compassion and courage. ~read more~

Coleridge at 240 (121021)


Today is the 240th anniversary
of the birth of Samuel Taylor Coleridge.
Coleridge almost became a Unitarian minister—-
he did preach in two different Unitarian churches,
but a wealthy patron paid him to keep writing.

Coleridge wrote,
“Thou rising Sun! thou blue rejoicing Sky!
Yea! every thing that is and will be free!
Bear witness for me, whereso’er ye be,
With what deep worship I have still adored
The spirit of divinest Liberty.”

Let us indeed bear witness
to the gladness of blue skies and warm sunlight,
and to ~read more~

Sikh Opening Words

Sikh Khanda

In honor of our Sikh cousins, and in sympathy for the tragic mass murder at their temple in Oak Creek, WI, last Sunday:

Guru Tegh Bahadur was the ninth
of the ten gurus that created and shaped the Sikh faith.
He is quoted in our hymnal as saying,
“Why do you go to the forest in search of the Divine?
God lives in all, and abides with you too.
As fragrance dwells in a flower,
or reflection in a mirror,
so the Divine dwells ~read more~

Easter opening words

Transformation M.C. Escher

All stories are true—and some of them actually happened.
The story that Jesus was resurrected,
that he was seen walking around,
and heard speaking,
after the Romans had executed him,
may not have actually happened,
but it *is* a true reflection
of our human desire for more life.

The story also reflects
our true need for transformation in other ways.
Many of us want to change our lives,
to be *different* in the world.
Many of us want to be stronger, or kinder,
or more disciplined or more daring.

Whatever ~read more~

calling directions for December solstice 2010

A chill wind blasts through us;
we tremble, at its cold and at its power.
Nature has a terrible beauty:
often cruel, yet sublimely, remarkablyly gorgeous,
even in shades of greys and browns…

The December wind blows
and we tremble, in cold and in awe.
We invite the powers of the East, the Spirit of Wind,
to join us, as we gather this morning.

The Yule Log crackles and blazes;
candles dance on menorahs and kinaras;
strings of lights festoon eaves and bushes.
We invite the powers of ~read more~

TYC link: Voltaire opening words

This Sunday is the 316th anniversary of the birth of Voltaire.  I’ve published some Opening Words for this occasion, on my ~read more~

so may we categorize: