The cause of justice, why go to church, Lego chalices, and more

The cause of justice

The Rev. Dr. Cynthia Landrum reviews the first two of the Shadow Children novels for young readers, whose main character, Luke, “doesn’t take up the fight.”

The world relies on the Jens to get out there and make a stand and lead the rally, but the world is full of Lukes, who hang back out of fear, and protect themselves. And that’s okay, especially for children, and especially for those for whom it is most dangerous to speak out. . . .

The cause of justice has a lot of room for a lot of different levels of action. (Rev. Cyn, June 10)

Karen Johnston makes a spontaneous decision to tell her daughter about having been sexually assaulted.

This disclosure to my teenaged daughter was a fierce Mama-Bear moment, sensing how dangerous it is for anyone—for her—to believe that there are some women who plan not to get raped, and somehow, by implication, some who do.

I could not let her go off into the world with such a hazardous delusion—for her own safety, as well as for the safety and sanity of the young women she will meet, befriend, and console. Not only do I not want my daughter to be the target of sexual violence, I don’t want her to perpetuate victim-blaming or take part in slut-shaming. (irrevspeckay, June 6)

The Rev. Lynn Ungar parodies the casual disregard for human life shown by gun rights activists.

You know what isn’t cool? The government getting up in your business. You know what is cool? People carrying guns in public. Did you see that picture of the guy carrying an AK-47 around the pharmacy aisle in Target? That’s a bad ass. Nobody is going to mess with anyone while that guy is around. Little children can feel safe when they see that guy with an assault rifle is in the store. (Quest for Meaning, June 10)

Why does anyone go to church?

Andrew Hidas asks, “Why does anyone go to church?” and shares his reasons for going.

Sunday church has to inform and underlie our Monday through Saturday. The ways we aspire to be in church have to become so woven into the warp and woof of the days and minutes of our lives—living in that spirit of veneration, gratitude, expressiveness and generosity—that the distinction between a church and non-church day, the essence of them, disappears, even as we still draw sustenance from the quality of our Sunday encounter and the relationships that we renew there. (Traversing, June 10)

The Rev. Dr. David Breeden is sometimes asked how humanists can have church without God.

The apparatuses of worship change with time, as do the words and the concepts. It is the human mind and human needs for purpose and meaning that remain that same and come to the temple, the stadium, or the storefront church. These are what remain the same. For humanists, that’s as holy as it gets. (Way of Oneness, June 12)

Peggy Richards writes about her UU congregation as “a haven in our midst.”

I attend when I am joyful, knowing my joy will be shared and that I may bring comfort to someone who feels less joyful that day. I attend when I feel low, knowing I will receive unobtrusive support and will likely hear something that will lighten my load. I volunteer when I can. I decline when I can’t. I feel good about either decision. It has grounded me. It has given me a base from which to do all the idealistic things I always meant to do but did not know where to start. It has supported me when I had nothing to give. It requests much but expects nothing. (I Am UU, June 12)

As part of the new “Loved for Who You Are” project, Tim Atkins writes that it is up to us “to counteract messages of hate with love.” (Loved for Who You Are, May 31)

Go big or go home

Katy Schmidt Carpman points to a number we need to be reminded of, again and again: 164,000, the number of UUs in the United States.

Did you know that the Hawaiian Islands have more Catholics on them (not including tourists!) than we have Unitarian Universalists across the United States?

164,000 people could fit into two of our large NFL stadiums. (Remembering Attention, June 11)

Andrew Mackay asks, “How does Unitarian Universalism ‘go big or go home’ in a world that increasingly mirrors our values?”

One thing I floated, and some congregations may already do this, is the concept of exit interviews. . . . UUism has low social pressure—members don’t try to shame others into attending. That openness should allow us to ask departing members frankly about why the faith wasn’t working for them anymore. Only though data can we understand the problem of retention. If you’re an active UU member and absolutely love it, it’s hard to understand why others don’t. (Unspoken Politics, June 12)

Survey says

The UUA presidential search committee is looking for feedback on a draft job description. (UUA Presidential Search, May 22)

The Rev. Tom Schade is gathering stories of how people became Unitarian Universalists. (The Lively Tradition, June 11)

And a bit of fun

Barb Greve shares his plans for a variety of Lego chalices. (Barb’s Bantering, June 10)

“Bliss Failure” receives a ransom note for her happiness from “The Suffering Resistance Front, Central Virginia Chapter.”

We are giving you plenty of time to come looking—but should we discover you have spent that time surfing the net, gossiping, Facebook stalking, watching porn, buying lottery tickets, or looking in the mirror while making disparaging comments about your appearance—we will take your happiness on a lovely hike complete with picnic and sunset marveling and never bring it back.

There is no monetary ransom because you can’t buy happiness, you dumbass. (Auspicious Jots, June 6)