The democratic process, surviving the storm, Stephen Colbert, and more

The democratic process

For the Rev. Meredith Garmon, early voting “felt like church: sacred, moving.”

My neighbors and I have come together because we, the people, have work to do. This is our liturgy, which means “the work of the people.” (Lake Chalice, November 3)

The Rev. Amy Zucker Morgenstern offers “a prayer for choosing day.”

May we know that we choose not just for today, but for many generations to come. May we know that we decide not only for ourselves and our own, but on behalf of all the earth, its peoples and creatures, the waters and lands in which they dwell. (Sermons in Stones, November 6)

Before the polls closed, Sarah MacLeod recorded her hopes for the day after the election, no matter the results.

Perhaps . . . we can also extend that respect of the dignity and worth of others . . . to those who voted differently than ourselves. That’s been sorely lacking lately, and I’ll admit to my own low moments, over-characterizing the opposition. My apologies. (Finding My Ground, November 7)

The Rev. Dan Harper chronicles his voting experience, including thoughts about UU conversations about politics.

In far too many Unitarian Universalist congregations, people will stand up during “joys and concerns” and imply that an election was stolen, or imply that their winning candidate is the second coming of Jesus who will save America; and in far too many Unitarian Universalist congregations, people will openly talk about the evils of the Republican party, or conservatives; conveniently ignoring that evil is not restricted to a political party; and doing great damage to our religion by equating political stances with religious values. (Yet Another Unitarian Universalist, November 6)

Finally, if you haven’t followed the Rev. Meg Riley’s posts about working to defeat Minnesota’s discriminatory marriage amendment, I recommend reading the whole series for an insider’s perspective on an uphill battle. (HuffPost Religion, November 6) In the end, the anti-gay marriage amendment was defeated.

Surviving the storm

The Rev. Jude Geiger recounts his experiences living through Hurricane Sandy in New York City.

In our community, neighbors and resident staff were taking turns visiting each of the 30,000+ homes without power to make sure folks were alright. Letters were circulated asking us to check on our neighbors who were elders—who had no hope of climbing down, let alone up, ten flights of stairs. (RevWho, November 4)

‘Free to Be You and Me’

The Rev. Christine Robinson responds to Stephen Colbert’s quip that “the dangerous cult of Unitarianism is so loose that their sacred texts are the Old Testament, the New Testament, and Free to Be You and Me.”

I have come to the conclusion that a religious movement could do worse than be guided by the Old Testament, the New Testament, and Free to Be You and Me. It beats the heck out of Atlas Shrugged or 19th century notions about race, family, and sexuality, the “third books” of way too many Christians. (iMinister, November 5)

“Plaidshoes” was shocked to discover how little the seventh graders in her religious education class knew about the Bible.

As it is one of Unitarian Universalist sources, are we doing a huge disservice to our youth by not giving them a basic level of understanding of the Bible? I asked the group to turn to Genesis 1:1. Only one child was able to find it. (Everyday Unitarian, November 4)

Christine Organ believes that religious liberals need to ensure that theological concepts are free to evolve.

As long as we maintain outdated definitions of religion, we will continue to hinder the promotion of authentic faith and the advancement of spiritual development. . . . Definitions of religion and God do not need to be idle and stagnate; they are evolving, flexible, and pliable to match our ever-changing ideals, attitudes, and values. (Faith Beyond Belief, November 1)

Around the blogosphere

The Rev. Ellen Cooper-Davis reviews Rachel Held Evans’ new book, A Year of Biblical Womanhood.

Rachel goes beyond many of Christianity’s long-held stereotypes (Eve as knowledge-seeker rather than temptress) and offers fresh ways for modern women to relate to these ancient stories. The women of Biblical lore are liberated from the dusty pages and from supporting role status, held up as the brave, bold, strong, daring and crafty women that they are. (Keep the Faith, November 6)

Liz James has been suffering from the kind of writer’s block that happens to many bloggers—when they realize people are actually reading their posts.

In the last month or two, two things have shaken up my blogging routine: 1) People started reading my blog. . . . It’s disconcerting—I was used to the few faithful readings who love me and would continue loving me even if I write tripe. 2) Someone pointed out to me that blogging is “a kind of Ministry” for me. (Rebel with a Label Maker, November 2)

The Rev. Thom Belote shares his church’s “bold adventure” of moving into a new building, hoping their experiences inspire and inform other congregations. (RevThom, November 2)