Events in her home state of Michigan may influence the Rev. Dr. Cynthia Landrum’s vote about Congregational Study/Action Issues at General Assembly.
[It’s] going to be hard to convince this feminist that, with everything going on in my home state, that I shouldn’t vote for, “CSAI 3 – Reproductive Justice: Expanding Our Social Justice Calling.” I stopped at the booth for the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice today. I said to the woman there, “I’m from Michigan.” And she gave me a look of pity and said, “Vagina! Vagina!”
. . . . Things are going crazy in Michigan, folks. Our legislators are considering severe anti-abortion legislation. Our women representatives are being barred from speaking in the house because of saying things like the word “vagina.” This issue is alive and serious in the state of Michigan. (Rev. Cyn, June 21)
War on reproductive choice is being waged in Missouri as well, and the Rev. Krista Taves fights back by courageously telling her story.
I know I’m a minister and that some of my parishioners are going to read this. I also know that some of my family may read this. This may be a TMI (too much information) for some of you. But really, all of us, every woman who wants for her daughters and granddaughters a world that will honor and respect them, needs to tell her story. The culture that would say this is a TMI is the culture that silences us, that keeps our daughters and granddaughters from getting the information they deserve, it keeps the secrecy and the shame alive and leaves women vulnerable. (and the stones shall cry, June 21)
The Rev. Kent Hemmen Saleska shares impressions of his first few days in Phoenix, including this description of the beginning of the General Assembly Opening Ceremony.
The evening began with a welcome from an indigenous Tonatierra man . . . who was welcoming, but also made it clear that, even though this is now Phoenix, and a convention center, we were on their historic land—land like everywhere else in the U.S. that was taken from them by force. And he told us that even in the construction of this convention center, bones of his native ancestors were discovered, dug up, and put on display in museums for white people. So he wanted to welcome us and our work of justice, but also to remind us of the massive injustice that still goes on in this country toward indigenous people and people of color. (Moving in Faith, June 21)
Like many General Assembly delegates, the Rev. Amy Zucker Morgenstern has strong feelings about one of the potential Congregational Study/Action Issues; she will be voting for the “Ending Slavery” CSAI.
There is a child in a cotton field. He is just a little older than my daughter. They could be schoolmates, or playmates. But he doesn’t play much; he doesn’t go to school. He works, without choice, without pay, far from his family. He is a slave. . . . I don’t want to raise my daughter to believe [he is] any less deserving than she is. Yet I am trapped, she is trapped, all of us are trapped, in an economic system where slaves make many of the goods we use. (Sermons in Stones, June 21)
Doing the work of social justice was a focus of the UUMA “Ministry Days” preceding General Assembly; the Rev. Dan Harper argues against making social justice work the center of Unitarian Universalism.
Religious communities are not merely vehicles for social justice work; the center of religion is not social justice work. Social justice work emerges from the central commitments of a religious community; but it is not itself the center. (Yet Another Unitarian Universalist, June 19)
“UU Mom” is serving as an offsite delegate to General Assembly.
There are 85 people registered to be delegates offsite. . . . This is the first year the UUA allows voting to count from offsite delegates. We voted only once so far—there were over 50 of us online last night to vote to open General Assembly (GA). Tomorrow I will join other UUs live locally (well, an hour drive away) rather than sit in my home alone or with my husband who’s not involved in GA. (UU Mom, June 21)
The truth about Father’s Day
Wondering if this will be the last Father’s day his father remembers (due to Alzheimer’s), The Rev. Tony Lorenzen looks back on their painful history.
My prayer today is for all sons and fathers who know that Father’s Day is nothing like the Hallmark advertising tells you it is. Let’s be real, many were the years when I couldn’t stomach the annual ritual of getting the Father’s Day card because none of them reflected my reality. My prayer today is that all those fathers and sons find peace and healing. I know it’s needed because I am one of them. I pray we all end up in a better place. (Sunflower Chalice, June 17)
As she thinks about Father’s Day, the Rev. Cynthia Cain asks, “In rejecting the patriarchy and its control and demeaning of women, which we women internalized, must we reject and even despise our fathers?”
I am speaking most directly to women and men of my generation and a bit beyond, women forty and over, whose dads still strove to be the traditional “father,” the last of what has become a dying breed: we didn’t know it, but we were the daughters and sons of men who were confused by a shifting and turbulent future and who were fighting to maintain and preserve what they saw as their duty and their obligation as men in an increasingly chaotic world. (A Jersey Girl in Kentucky, June 20)
Mark Andrew Alward offers a “Father’s Day Mourning” prayer, acknowledging a wide range of feelings about fathers.
Take time to mourn, cry many rivers, yell ’til you’re hoarse. Grieve the love that you should have received. And then walk on, for you are still standing and have much to be proud of. (The Loving Room, June 17)
The Rev. Jeff Liebmann acknowledges how much he owes his father.
My father lives on in me most when I am truest to my core essence. My father lives on when I fight for justice and human rights for all. My father lives on when I help children and youth learn how to be themselves and find joy in the world. My father lives on when I work as an ally to all oppressed groups, from GLBTQ folk and women to immigrants and religious minorities. My father lives on when I let my muse guide me through the world of art and creativity, and when I saunter through the world seeking meaning in the infinite synchronicities around us. (uujeff’s muse kennel and pizzatorium, June 17)
Interdependence and “the ties that bind”
As a Unitarian Universalist and a Zen Buddhist, the Rev. James Ford considers the idea of interdependence.
I believe the core insight of Unitarian Universalism is that a) the individual is precious beyond what any words can ascribe, and b) we are all woven out of each other, creating a web so tight that what is done to one is done to all. A world of possibility pours out of this dual insight.
(Monkey Mind, June 20)
Among the “several somethings” he finds missing from atheist spirituality, the Rev. Meredith Garmon notes several ways in which it lacks a communal component.
We need friends along the path, we need to enlist the social side of brain and get it also tied in to the spiritual project, otherwise, we simply run out steam and motivation for the other practices. . . . Spirituality is about taking that upwelling of your heart’s compassion and turning it into action for others. We need organizations of people to do that – and to help us do it. (Lake Chalice, June 19)
Around the blogosphere
Sarah MacLeod reconsiders the stories she’s been spinning.
When a story takes our minds and hearts down roads that cause us more pain than the actual event, it’s worth taking another look at testing the veracity of the story. . . . So go ahead. Try respinning a story or mindfully creating the next one that starts. Make it a charitable yet honest tale, limited by the truth but bound in love, inclusivity, and patience for all the characters it contains. Make it one worthy of the space it occupies in your head. (Finding My Ground, June 19)
John Beckett encourages us to celebrate the Solstice, even when the sun hides.
What other life-giving, life-sustaining forces are hidden by clouds? Are there people who keep you going whose work you’ve stopped acknowledging? Is there art you’ve stopped seeing or music you’ve stopped hearing? Are there communities—neighborhoods, groves, covens, churches, families—who still support you even though you’ve stopped supporting them?
Part the clouds—the clouds of busyness, the clouds of routine, the clouds of stress, the clouds of grudges—and see the beauty. And then give thanks for what sustains you. (Under the Ancient Oaks, June 20)