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Interdependent Web edited by Heather Christensen; a weekly roundup of blogs about Unitarian Universalism

A weekly roundup of blogs and other user-generated web content about Unitarian Universalism, collected by uuworld.org. Find more UU blogs at UUpdates. Contact us at interdependentweb@uua.org.

Still offline!

As we reported this week, the UUA’s Boston staff were unable to move into our new headquarters until Thursday. And our intrepid Interdependent Web author, Heather Christensen, is midway home on the Alaska-Canadian Highway.

So instead of the UU blogosphere, we’ll give you photos of 24 Farnsworth before we could move in and photos of 25 Beacon Street and 41 Mt. Vernon Street after we moved out.

We’ll be back next week, and in the meantime, check out UUpdates.net!

A roundup of reader suggestions

The Rev. Heather Christensen, in addition to curating the Interdependent Web and blogging at Nagoonberry, is the administrator of a Facebook group for UU bloggers. This week, in Heather’s absence, we invited members of that group to name their favorite posts (by other bloggers). Here are their suggestions. (And there are a few extras at the bottom, as well as a description of the bloggers group.)

The Rev. Dr. Cynthia Landrum, “Nickel and Dimed in Bivocational Ministry” (Rev. Cyn, 4.12.14, suggested by Jordinn Nelson Long, Raising Faith)

“Seeker of the Flaming Chalice,” “You are the Trolls: Unitarian Universalists in the movie Frozen” (Seeker of the Flaming Chalice, 4.13.14, suggested by Jenn Gray)

The Rev. Mary Wellemeyer, “Easter, Our Problem Holiday” (Open Road, 4.16.14, suggested by the Rev. Theresa Novak, Sermons, Poetry, and Other Musing)

The Rev. Lynn Ungar, “The Joy of Taxes” (Quest for Meaning, 4.16.14, suggested by Karen Johnston, Irrevspeckay)

The Rev. Dr. Cynthia Landrum named three posts about the Rev. Georgette Wonders, the minister of Bradford Community Church UU in Kenosha, Wisc., who died last week after a car accident:

I was moved this week by the blogs about Georgette Wonders, particularly Theresa Novak’s, but also Sam Trumbore’s and PeaceBang’s.

Of note

The Rev. Naomi King has been a pioneer in UU use of online and social media. This week she shared personal news.

I have lived with a chronic and progressive illness for many years now. I have become progressively weaker.

I have now reached the point where it is a great struggle for me to consistently maintain my public ministry – both the quality and regularity of posts – and to engage in a timely manner with my social media community.

Over the course of the month of April, some of my regular postings will drop out, until posts from me become rare. (RevNaomi Tumblr, 4.12.14)

Peter Bowden and Naomi held a “tweetchat” to discuss the changes in Naomi’s digital ministry. (storify.com/uuplanet, 4.12.14)

Join the conversation

If you are a blogger and have a Facebook account, you’re invited (encouraged, even) to join the conversation in a Facebook group:

The UU Bloggers’ Workshop is a space for encouragement and collaboration, for dreaming and doing. We are beginners and veterans, clergy and laity, insiders and outsiders, a chorus of UU voices.

If you’re UU and you blog, you’re welcome here, whether or not UUism is your blog focus.

If you’d like to join the UU Bloggers’ Workshop, contact Heather at interdependentweb@uua.org.

Syria, who ministers to the ministers?, and more

The United States and Syria

The Rev. Theresa Novak writes about Syria and sin.

Self righteous angels
We are not
The truth is
No one is innocent
Bless us all
Bless us all. (Sermons, Poetry, and Other Musings, August 30)

The Rev. Fred L. Hammond remarks that “Everything in the universe is in a fragile tension with everything else.”

Bernard Loomer, theologian from the mid- to late 20th century, stated that the potential for doing both good and evil expands the larger the size of the entity. So the fight between two individuals is easily seen in the simple contrast of right and wrong but when right and wrong are extrapolated to the size of governments, the right and wrong actions become harder to discern. (A Unitarian Universalist Minister in the South, September 3)

The Rev. Elz Curtiss places the situation in the context of refugees from Pol Pot whom she assisted, saying “the issue is not the gas, it’s the intention of killing off a major segment of your population.”

And then you sit and listen to person after person, a hundred before lunch sometimes, say the same word over and over:

Where is your mother?
“Dead.”

Where is your father?
“Dead.” (Politywonk, September 4)

The Rev. Tom Schade wishes frogs had wings.

I wish that there was some way in which potential genocides could be stopped before they happen, and that war crimes could be nipped in the bud. I wish there was a cavalry that come ride to the rescue of innocent people caught in bloody conflicts. I wish there was international law and order.

My inclination is to be a liberal humanitarian interventionist.

But I don’t think that it works. (thelivelytradition, September 5)

Several writers at Quest for Meaning weigh in. The Rev. Lynn Ungar writes, “Here’s my best assessment: there is no good solution.” (September 4) The Rev. Dr. David Breeden denies claims that “this time is not like all those other times.”

Pacifism has never done well among Unitarians or Universalists. The list of pacifist ministers is short, though the prominent Universalist Clarence Skinner and the prominent Unitarian John Haynes Holmes are on it. (Quest for Meaning, September 5)

God and love

Crystal St. Marie Lewis believes cultivating knowledge of Christian history is a moral obligation.

I believe our churches are morally obligated to acknowledge the psychological power religions can have over people. Because we know the negative effects of fundamentalism, the complex history of Christianity as an imperial power, and the ongoing problem of Christians bypassing love in favor of division and doctrine, we have an obligation to head blind-believerism off at the pass. (Crystal St. Marie Lewis, September 1)

Roy King wrestles with the formulation “God is Love.”

The nature of love is turbulent and chaotic, cyclical and unsteady. Living through love is more like tacking through a typhoon than quietly sipping a coffee onshore. But that is not necessarily bad, just psychologically realistic. (Mediterranean Wisdom, September 5)

Ministering to ministers, asking for help, and more

Adam Dyer responds to conservative “Christian commentary” on sexuality.

Gay and straight aren’t a binary. The only ones who decided that human sexuality was built on strict opposites were physicians in the 19th century who were driven by colonial politics and society and a healthy dose of fear. Linda, if you want to live in a world that is black and white; a world where you are willing to ignore that yellow and red and pink and purple exist…that is your choice. But I resent anyone who would tell me that the sky is blue and corn is yellow just as much as I would resent anyone telling me that male/ female, gay/ straight etc. are strict and unmalleable opposites. So yes, indeed Linda Harvey, I am fully willing to come out to myself as straight…but only about 8.5% straight; the other 91.5% is 100% gay male queer. (Spirituwellness, September 1)

The Rev. Amy Zucker Morgenstern addresses the question, “Who ministers to the ministers?

Many of my spiritual needs are met by the church I serve: close connection to wise and generous people, an immersion in extraordinarily beautiful music and words, dialogue about profound matters, meeting people in some of the most intense intersections of their lives, and, of course, meaningful work. But it is true that I have no minister there. (guest post at Raising Faith {dot NET}, September 2)

The Rev. Alane Miles loves Rosh Hashanah and share a wry account of interpreting it to children.

The little church pumpkins then commenced telling scraps of paper their secrets for transformation and metamorphosis and throwing them in a “river” (wheelchair ramp) by the pulpit. I whispered “Fear” into mine as I had told the children I would, and tossed it high. My daughter gleefully threw the choir away. While the others tossed bad grades and bullies down the ramp with flourish, some huzzahs, and even a bit of dancing with celebratory fist pumping, one little curly haired cherub came up to me. I bent down to her and she cupped her hand around my ear, whispering, “I’m not going to be afraid any more either. Just like you.” If that isn’t an engraved invitation into the days of awe… (Auspicious Jots, September 2)

Karen G. Johnston reports on asking for help.

It’s just so darn risky. What if I ask and nobody answers? What if I ask and somebody, in fact, answers? What if I lose control? What if I lose my false sense of control that seems to be what keeps me afloat in times of worry or trouble? What if someone sees me as weaker/less competent because I asked for help? What if that someone is me? (irrevspeckay, September 5)

The Rev. Amy Zucker Morgenstern asks for multicultural sources:

What history should i be reading, whom should I be quoting, what writers / artists / composers from the non-dominant culture have rocked your world? (Unitarian Universalists of Palo Alto)

Google offered another UU-related Google doodle on September 6, honoring Jane Addams.