phoenix, twice

Just as this blog is back from the dead, saved by a talented webmaster (Mike) and a great technical resource (Eric), so is our church rising from a period of remodeling. Here is a picture of our new building, to which we will parade this Sunday morning:

First Unitarian Church of South Bend

May there be great joy and deep peace in this building. May grief be expressed well and healed fully. May movements ~read more~

Roll Away the Stone (Easter/Earth Day sermon 140420)

How many of you are fond of drinking coffee?

How many have heard of “Doomsday Preppers”?

How many of you have heard of the book, “Saving Paradise”?   The subtitle of Saving Paradise is “How Christianity Traded Love of This World for Crucifixion and Empire.” In the book, co-authors Rita Nakashima Brock and Rebecca Ann Parker write about their discovery that early Christians were focused on *this* world, rather than on securing a place ~read more~

top ten moments, 2013 (and 2014)

seeing the concentration on my family’s faces, as we dissected cow eyes at the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago; the General Assembly Planning Committee electing me their Secretary, as we debriefed a successful GA in Louisville; dancing to my favorite band—the Ragbirds—at Blissfest; parasailing with Becky (I am ordinarily afraid of heights); ~read more~

from The Living Dead service 131027

the veil between worlds gets very thin around this time of year. Many people, who believe there might be *something* beyond this lifetime, have rituals and routines to communicate with, or protect themselves from, anything that might exist beyond our usual perception. This morning, may we be fully aware of those who have passed from this earth, and of the many ways that we still feel their influence; may we grow beyond any negative effects they’ve had, and grow further into the positive ways they’ve influenced us; and may we note the ways that *we* affect others… So may we be. ~read more~

perfect UU minister

The perfect minister is a young energetic person with a maturity beyond his years.

Her sermons are thoroughly researched, intellectually satisfying, down to earth and touch her congregants’ feelings.

He condemns injustice but never hurts anyone’s feelings.

She writes sermons all day long and takes care of maintenance chores on her lunch break.

He is single—with a nice family.

She makes $400 a week, wears good clothes, maintains an extensive library, drives a decent car ~read more~

Resources for Faith Development

Welcome to the Call and Response blog, featuring “Journeys in UU Lifespan Faith Development.” I just learned about it today, and added it to the blogroll at right. Pat Kahn’s current post features wisdom from William Ellery Channing and a host of great faith development resources. I hope the blog continues to live up to her example!

Here is some Channing, but go read her post: “Sunday-schools are meant to aid you in the great ~read more~

moneychangers in the pulpit

“I’m afraid that my colleagues will think I’m poaching their pulpit supply gigs. I’m afraid that the congregation will think I’m taking too much time from them. I’m afraid that the whole UUverse will condemn me for selling something that should be free.” ~read more~

Francis Ha–UU? Ha!

Noah Baumbach‘s newest film, Frances Ha, touched me deeply–although probably not in a way that he (or his co-writer and star, Greta Gerwig) intended. The film is interesting enough on its own merits, but it also contains a scene that takes place in the Unitarian Universalist Society of Sacramento. Once I saw that chalice onscreen, I was unable to separate the film from our faith.

Many other reviewers–Godfrey Cheshire, Vince Leo, Eric D. Snider–have written about the movie. ~read more~

some quotes from Gini’s charge

“you cannot have a worthy vision, a compelling vision—a salvific vision—an institution-building vision, an outreach-expanding vision, four or six years at a time. That you can have *tactics* in six-year blocks, and strategies in six-year blocks, but you cannot have a worthy vision six or four years at a time.” ~read more~

fifty-year vision, from the people

Here is my own transcript of Gini Courter’s final Moderator’s Report (cf. the UUWorld article, and the full video of Plenary IX), from GA’13. Spelling, punctuation and paragraph breaks are mine, as are any errors:

“I’m going to start my Moderator’s Report, then. <applause> Hm…aren’t you fun?

It always has readings, you know <holds up Singing the Living Tradition>. This year, it has two. The first, y’all have access to, but don’t worry—I’ll read to ~read more~