uuworld.org: liberal religion and life

Provocative conversations

Three moving and informative stories; introducing our new blog about blogs.
By Christopher L. Walton
Spring 2008 2.15.08

Printer friendly version


Among this issue’s moving and informative stories are three that I found especially provocative.

In the cover story, William J. Doherty argues that Sunday school is not enough if we want to give our children a deep, lifelong commitment to Unitarian Universalism. He shares the story of sixty UU adults in Minneapolis/St. Paul who have been deepening their ties to our living tradition by developing home-based family rituals that celebrate our history and our ideals. Like the Seder for Jews, the “Sources Supper” in Minnesota shares the UU story in ways that adults, teens, and children can embrace—together (page 34).

How should UU congregations and the UUA respond to war and violence? The 2006 General Assembly set in motion a four-year process to consider this question (visit uua.org/peacemaking to learn more). Theologian Paul Rasor takes up the challenge, drawing on UU history, just war theory, and pacifism to offer a theology of “prophetic nonviolence” (page 26). The 2010 General Assembly will vote on a Statement of Conscience about peacemaking; after reading Rasor’s essay, you’ll be much better equipped to help your congregation shape that statement.

And sociologist James Loewen, author of Sundown Towns: A Hidden Dimension of American Racism, shows how to find out if your town had a history of actively excluding African Americans (page 13). I was astonished to learn from him that 10,000 communities in the United States were intentionally all-white in 1970, the peak before the Fair Housing Act of 1968 began breaking down barriers (and the year that I was born). I was even more astonished to see that my birthplace was among those “sundown towns.” But the truth can empower us to seek reconciliation. Is there reconciliation work you can do in your community?

One of the most popular features at our weekly online magazine, uuworld.org, is Unitarian Universalists in the Media, our news blog. Each week, assistant editor Sonja L. Cohen rounds up links to news stories about UU congregations and people from newspapers and other media all over the world. It would be impossible in these pages to mention all the coverage that UU congregations are generating, but with so many news organizations publishing on the Web now, we can track that coverage on our website. Visit uuworld.org/news to keep up. While you’re there, sign up for our weekly email newsletter.

We’re pleased to introduce a second weekly blog, The Interdependent Web, which monitors the growing world of blogs and other websites about Unitarian Universalism. Shelby Meyerhoff, a graduate of Harvard Divinity School and an active lay leader in the Cambridge, Massachusetts, church, highlights the most interesting blog posts, YouTube videos, and websites related to UU life. She is also now writing UU World’s quarterly “On the Web” column; her debut column appears on page 12.

See sidebar for links to related resources.

more spirit
more ideas
more life