near-final Ends of our UUA Board

The “near-final” version of the Ends for our UUA Board, as recorded heading into the General Assembly 2013 (item C-1 of the June Board Packet):

1.0 Global End

A healthy Unitarian Universalist community that is alive with transforming power, moving our communities and the world towards more love, justice, and peace in a manner which assures institutional sustainability.

1.1 Congregations and communities are covenanted, accountable, healthy, and mission driven.

1.2 Congregations ~read more~

The Opposite of Crying “Wolf” (sermon; 130407)

We are not selling a set of rules. We are offering a set of actions. Anybody who finds our path a worthy one is welcome to join us, and we will cry with them, sing with them, listen to them and share our food with them, as we journey together. We are not offering mere community. Televangelists offer nothing if not a sense of “community.” The Hitler Youth were a remarkably close-knit “community.” What we are offering is rich, complex, supportive and challenging community. We do not wonder who or what it is that you worship. We do not care if you worship anything at all. We do care about what you love, and what you fear. We care about your dreams and desires. We care about your suffering, and your sorrow; and we care whether, after all of that, you are still willing to open your heart, again and again. If *that* is the path you want to walk, then we are willing and eager—delighted, even—to journey with you. We will support and challenge you and we ask that you support and challenge us. ~read more~

strictly humanist prayer entrance

we cry out to our ancestors, from Siddhartha Gautama, the Buddha, to Jeshua ben Joseph, the Christ… we call to Mary Magdalene, Moses, and Mohammad; we call to Katherine Vogel and Faustus Socinus, we call to Charles Darwin and Marie Curie; we cry to Olympia Brown, Frederick Douglass, Harvey Milk and Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz;

we hold in our minds every human being who ever believed that a better world was possible; we ~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 ~read more~

Emancipation Tour

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 ~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. ~read more~

Sikh Opening Words

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, ~read more~

Interdependence Day (sermon; 120701)

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 ~read more~


What a marvelous time, working with the Right Relationship Team—such good work, helping folks recover balance, and helping to educate the gathered community (after 5 years, this model seems to be working).  Again, the RRT itself was not perfect, we made mistakes, and we named them.  We did make a real difference in dozens of individuals’ lives, and helped make *lots* of people more aware (attendance was approx. 3700). I am humbled by the commitment & grace of the ~read more~

sermon bingo

Just seeing the phrase makes me angry. Seeing it as a featured article in the UUWorld made me angry and sad. “Sermon Bingo.” Author Cheryl Gardner (who is undoubtedly a wonderful person; I am not unhappy with her) wrote about teachers playing “buzzword bingo” while their principal blathered on. As a young engineer, I would often joke about such a game, noting the many empty phrases and “meaningless jargon” that we had to hear from ~read more~