A bunker mentality, the ministry seed, and more UU blogging

Modern UU history and public theologies

We commend the public conversation the Rev. Tom Schade has begun on his blog about UUA history and its position relative to American political and theological currents over the last 50 years.

I plan to blog regularly about modern UU history and our public theologies. I believe that we in a changing social and political situation and that our thinking about the world around us is dangerously outdated. I believe that UUs are internally focused, anxious, and timid.

I want to build up a collaborative conversation about these issues. I welcome your comments, and will respond to them as they pique my interest. (The Lively Tradition, February 15)

Life and death

Kim Hampton asks how to eulogize Hadiya Pendleton.

How do you talk about the “good news” of a 15-year-old’s life when the only reason she is dead is because she was in the wrong place at the wrong time? How do you talk about the fact that, more than likely, she was shot to death by someone who was near to her in age? How do you talk about the fact that this is an all-too frequent occurrence in urban America? How do you talk about the fact that there are millions of parents, siblings, other relatives, and friends who pray every time their partner/child/sibling/relative/friend walks out the door that they will come back unharmed? (east of midnight, February 9)

The Rev. Lee Richards is not who he used to be.

I am not who I used to be in so many ways. As a teen I was deeply depressed—to the point of having suicidal ideation. I was miserable and could not imagine ever being happy, so why live? I’ve changed every cell in my body about seven times since that dark period. I’m grateful for having left the cells with those morose thoughts far behind. (Pullman Memorial Pastor’s Blog, February 11)

The Rev. Tom Schade remembers his mother on her birthday.

She died when she was just 64. I will be 64 in a few months. I now know how much too soon her death was.

Love between parents and children is a complicated thing. It can be hard, and there can be seasons in which it seems to lie fallow. The changes we go through can make it seem like we are visitors from other planets.

Try harder, friends. Try harder than I did. (The Lively Tradition, February 12)

Ash Wednesday and Lent

For Terri Pahucki, Ash Wednesday is an opportunity to reflect on spiritual practices.

I have spoken to so many people in our congregation who are seeking a deeper spirituality. And though we may crave an experience of wonder and awe during our worship services, it is also what we bring into that space which creates the spiritual experience…and so we must work to discipline ourselves, rather than to come empty-handed, expectant of the feast. This is the work of our gatherings—and our commitments in between. (Walking the Journey, February 13)

Shawna Foster is putting her conversations through three gates.

Is it kind?
Is it true?
Is it necessary? (Vessel, February 13)

“momforpeaceuu” is asking herself three questions every (most!) days.

What am I thankful for?
What do I fear?
What do I hope for? (Finding My Ground, February 12)

Around the blogosphere

“Angolathree” volunteers with a Boys and Girls Club just across an overpass from his own neighborhood, where he becomes a minority.

It transcends just being a minority. I am the sole representative—the only white male they see during their hours at our program. So I am not just a fellow with a rarely-seen skin tone; I represent white society. I carry all the stereotypes, culture, and history of millions of people. It’s a strange burden. (I Am a UU Occupier, February 8)

The Rev. Amy Zucker Morgenstern has started a stimulating conversation about Ursula K. Le Guin’s novel The Dispossessed in preparation for an eventual adult religious education class at the UUs of Palo Alto. (Unitarian Universalists of Palo Alto, February 8)

Linda Laskowski’s fourth post about the January meeting of the UUA Board of Trustees addresses “Why the UUA exists.”

A significant shift in the Board’s thinking about the Association’s outcomes (“ends”) was in focusing on the value added by the Association, not the differences made by its member congregations. (UUA View from Berkeley, January 9)

The Rev. Dr. Cynthia Landrum’s posts about guns continue with a sermon that’s “probably the longest sermon I’ve ever preached, and it’s way too long for a blog post, but I’m posting it all as one anyway.”

I think I’ve never given a sermon that was as controversial in this church as the one I’m about to give today. I hope it will be received with love and understanding knowing that my goal here today is to build bridges between us so that we might further the dialogue on this issue. We come together here with many different viewpoints, but as one covenanted community, dedicated to coming together in our diversity and worshiping together, and dedicated to love and justice. (Rev. Cyn, February 13)

The Rev. Kit Ketcham found herself stepping into a gap at the new fellowship where she has been worshiping after her retirement from active ministry.

It made me think. It made me wonder how long I was going to try to suppress the ministry seed, because it was clear from that moment on that it wasn’t dormant any longer. (Ms. Kitty’s Saloon and Road Show, February 12)