Arizona, questioning Sunday School, and more UU blogging

Reflecting on Arizona

The Standing on the Side of Love blog has many, many posts by UUs who were involved in the demonstrations against Arizona law SB 1070 last week.

Leslie Mills, a seminary student who has recently started a new blog, was among those arrested.

For a Class 3 Misdemeanor—the most minor offense a person can be charged with that isn’t petty—we were detained and imprisoned for 26 hours in inhumane and brutal conditions. (“Leaping Loon,” July 30, “snapshots,” July 31, August 3)

“Purple Crayon” attended the evening candlelight vigil (and shares photos). A woman from the neighborhood spoke to the vigil:

Then she said, “You will never know what it has meant to us that you came into our neighborhood to be with us while all this was happening. Thank you for supporting us. Thank you so much.” (“Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Phoenix,” July 31)

Chip at “the yes church” reposted (with permission) a Facebook post by the Rev. Melissa Carvill-Ziemer.

During our long night in the county jail we talked with many women in the general prison population. Over and over we heard stories of racism leading to arrest and subsequent mistreatment by the police. We even witnessed some of that mistreatment with our own eyes. (“the yes church,” August 1)

The Rev. Colin Bossen posts an overview of his experiences in Arizona as a starting place for further reflection. (“The Latest Form of Infidelity,” August 2)

The Rev. Thom Belote joined a group protesting SB 1070 at a Kansas City Royals game.

Not all of the fans agreed with our signs—and several made it a point to tell us they didn’t—but it was a good experience to talk to baseball fans about what the sport and what our country ought to stand for. (“RevThom,” July 31)

The Rev. Fred L. Hammond writes about the racism permeating not only SB 1070 but the enforcement of the law.

I listened to the first hand stories of the people who have been harassed daily by police for the the minutest infraction, infractions that white people are rarely called into account. A tail light was cracked. Driving 57 in a 55 mile zone. The trailer hitch obscured a letter / number of the car tag. The car tag was crooked. Being stopped once in a great while is one thing but when it becomes a daily or weekly occurrence, it is profiling. These are the infractions that the people were concerned would become the “reasonable suspicion” for being asked to show their papers of citizenship. (“A Unitarian Universalist Minister in the South,” August 3)

Shawna Foster was arrested, and her post addresses many of the arguments raised against the protests. (“Vessel,” August 4)

The Rev. Dr. Cynthia Landrum wonders whether getting arrested is meaningful and helpful or not.

In this case, they were not only protesting the law’s going into effect, they were also taking an action that they hoped would be directly beneficial to the people most affected by that law. The sheriff had a stated intention of doing a massive sweep on that day for illegal immigrants. They hoped that by being a nuisance to the police, they would not only get their message across, they would also stop or slow down that sweep. Was it effective? I think it was, at least in part. (“Rev. Cyn,” August 4)

Is it time to bury Sunday School?

Kim Hampton has a series of brief and provocative posts asking “Is it time to bury Sunday School?”

is Sunday School a good idea? or an idea that had really good intentions and purposes when it was started, but became institutionalized and is really just something that we do now just because that’s the way it’s always been done? (“east of midnight,” August 3)

Do you know what the aim of your Sunday School is? (August 4)

Two posts on August 5 address the role of Sophia Lyon Fahs’s writings in the MFC reading list. (“part three” and “part four“)

On August 6 a post about multicultural religious education.

In the extensive comments, the Rev. Dan Harper outlines the three educational philosophies he sees in UU congregations.

Romantic naturalism is going to lead people to advocate for ending formal educational institutions, and going towards more of an unschooling model; that is precisely what I see in the all-ages worship model of education. Progressivism has historically led us to use several different settings, including progressive classroom settings (i.e., Sunday school); “junior church” or “family chapel” settings; and settings that help learners engage in the democratic process through doing social justice projects (e.g., “Way Cool Sunday School”). An existentialist educational philosophy has led us in the direction of directed small group settings with carefully nurtured emotional closeness that allows learners to explore and learn about their sexual, emotional, and spiritual beings with others. (“east of midnight,” August 3 comments)

“uuMomma” responds in a sleep-deprived post written while hosting a sleepover for four 12-year-olds. (“uuMomma,” August 6)

Around the blogosphere

LaVerne Coan shares the things a group of UU Christians miss in the regular Sunday UU congregational service:

Communion with both bread and wine/juice;
Traditional prayers;
Bible reading with discussion, insights from Christian ministers, or silent reflection; and
Hymns which use the original Christian lyrics and/or music from contemporary Christian artists. (“Lifting the Spirit,” July 31)

The August big question at “The UU Salon” is “Why do you live?” and they have a Harry Potter movie trailer to get you inspired.

Several bloggers have discovered the UUA’s “Survey Questions on Best Practices for Unitarian Universalist Blogging,” (The survey was used to prepare an August 2008 report.)