Responses to ‘UU World’
Reviewing the Rev. Kendyl Gibbons’s article, “Primal Reverence” (Summer 2012), the Rev. Meredith Garmon wrote at Lake Chalice, “I can see why Gibbons would feel the need to reassure her readers that primal reverence does not commit one to ugly religion. The language in which religions are taught and transmitted has three functions. It has a poetic function, an ethical function, and a tribal-marker function. . . . [When] the tribal function of religious expression is prominent, folks who aren’t sure they want to identify with the tribe find it hard to relax into the poetry and the wisdom of a religious tradition.” (June 18)
An article about the UU Church of Buffalo (“A Titanic Victim’s Architectural Legacy,” Summer 2012) reminded Christine Leigh Slocum at Seattleite from Syracuse of her first encounter with Unitarian Universalism: “The church hosted The Vagina Monologues, and I was volunteering at some information tables. My first surprise was that a church was hosting the Monologues. My second surprise was how stunningly beautiful the place was.” (May 23)
Responding to a news article, “UUA Membership and Attendance Declined in 2011” (May 21), Sarah MacLeod admits at Finding My Ground that she doesn’t know how to reverse that trend: “I’d love to see Unitarian Universalism grow. I have absolutely no idea how to do that. In theory, a creedless religion open to those on any path up the mountain should pull from a large swath of humanity.” (May 30)
Writing at Ministry in Steel Toe Shoes, the Rev. Sharon Wylie listed several measures of General Assembly’s success, among them that “We turned outward rather than inward. Our incredible Unitarian Universalist gifts for reflection and analysis can veer into self-absorption, and GA can sometimes be the place where that self-absorption is at its height. But here, the emphasis on justice work kept us thinking about hope, transformation, and the world around us.” (June 25)
The Rev. Dan Harper at Yet Another Unitarian Universalist, on the other hand, cautioned against making social justice 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.” (June 19)
For more coverage of General Assembly 2012, see page 28 and visit UU World’s General Assembly blog.
As she considered Congregational Study/Action Issues at General Assembly, the Rev. Dr. Cynthia Landrum kept in mind events in her home state of Michigan. At Rev. Cyn she wrote: “Things are going crazy in Michigan, folks. . . . Our women representatives are being barred from speaking in the house because of saying things like the word ‘vagina.’” (June 21)
The Rev. Krista Taves at And the Stones Shall Cry fights back against “regulating vaginas” by telling her personal story: “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 [too much information] . . . keeps the secrecy and the shame alive and leaves women vulnerable.” (June 21)
After testifying about reproductive choice before the Michigan State House, the Rev. Jeff Liebmann admits at uujeff’s muse kennel and pizzatorium, “I remain mystified by the so-called ‘pro-life’ position. Listening to their rhetoric, the only logical conclusion is that their first and foremost objective is not the preservation of life, but the control and regulation of women’s reproductive organs and their lives as sexual beings.” (June 9)
After a brush with mortality, the Rev. Dr. Marilyn Sewell celebrated the gift of perspective on her eponymous blog: “We look at others as they go about their daily living, judging and misjudging people, getting in a tiff over a parking ticket, complaining yet again about the weather. And we think, ‘Stop it! Don’t you understand? We don’t have time.’” (June 11)
On her daughter’s seventh birthday, “Lizard Eater,” who blogs at The Journey, considered the ways her family has been changed by childhood cancer: “I don’t like the phrase ‘What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.’ I don’t feel it to be necessarily true. But I do think that what doesn’t kill you often makes you different. And if you look hard enough, some of that different might be good.” (May 24)
This article appeared in the Fall 2012 issue of UU World (pages 60–61).