The Rev. Tom Schade provides background for Unitarian Universalist commitment to fighting oppression.
Battered and bruised by the intractable humanist/theist conflict, Unitarian Universalists adopted an agnostic pluralism about cosmology and unified around a public theology summed up by the Seven Principles.
It is not surprising that a statement of public theology would become the cornerstone of our contemporary faith. We have long said that what matters in religion are “deeds not creeds.” And we have long thought, along with all the other practitioners of liberal religion, that the true test of religion was the effect it has on people and its society. (The Lively Tradition, January 2)
The Rev. Phillip Lund is very excited about the UUA’s “Love Reaches Out” workshops, particularly at this moment in history.
When the leaders of any of our congregations—large or small, urban or rural—look beyond their sanctuary walls and ask “To whom should love reach out?” I believe the the answer should be, first and foremost, to the vulnerable people in our communities.
No matter where a congregation is located, there are undoubtedly countless vulnerable people to protect and defend, to reach out to in love: black, brown, native, Muslim, immigrant, LGBTQ, folks with records, folks with disabilities, and poor communities. (Phillip Lund, January 5)
The Rev. Krista Taves draws on her family’s history as persecuted Russian Mennonites to warn us not to be complacent about Russia’s role in the recent presidential election.
[Lest] you protest that we are a long way from the atrocities of the Soviet Union to the Russia that exists today, I tell you, the signs are all there. The same people are in charge. We should be aghast that Russia attempted to sway our election and even more horrified that it succeeded. (And the stones shall cry, January 1)
The Rev. Jordinn Nelson Long has a gun collection—Lego guns confiscated from her young sons.
[Consider] the movies with which our children are raised. The shows. The games.
Now consider the narrative.
The only story that this contemporary moment is willing to teach my sons:
Everything interesting that could possibly happen involves the potential or actuality of a physical fight. The entire game is preparing for one or defending against it or, better still, prevailing within it.
We literally have no script for the story where there is peace.
Peace, in our little boys’ games, is simply the space between skirmishes. (Raising Faith, December 28)
The Rev. Thom Belote points out the hypocrisy of Paul Ryan—an exercise enthusiast— repealing the Affordable Care Act upon which many who work in the fitness industry rely.
As an American who is horrified by the potential repeal of the Affordable Care Act I’ve made a commitment to find out how this law touches people in my life and to speak out on behalf of those whose access to health care is threatened. Over the last month I’ve been asking people how they get their health coverage. One group of people I decided to talk to were CrossFit coaches. I joined CrossFit more than two years ago when I moved to North Carolina. I’ve spoken about the amazing difference it has made in my life. I wondered whether the coaches who have had such an impact on my health have access to health care so they can take care of their own health. (RevThom, January 2)
The Rev. Theresa Ines Soto speaks out against the ableism in the official video for Andra Day’s song, “Rise Up.”
My partner chooses to be with me. We divide labor in our relationship in nontraditional ways. But, if they treated me like an object of their help, I wouldn’t be down for that. This isn’t to say that they don’t support me robustly; they do. They do that while they treat me like a person of my own. They would also tell you that I support them honestly and generously.
Ableism tells you a story that disabled people are an albatross around your neck. (Medium, December 30)
Meghann Robern fondly remembers Carrie Fisher—as both princess and general.
As an adult I got to share her with my children, and to witness her age into the sacred crone. I also had the satisfaction of her being given a military rank worthy of her tactical prowess, but ultimately — she was my first princess, and because of her, I know that princesses are leaders. (Bodily Integrity, December 27)
The Rev. James Ford shares his New Year’s Resolution.
I need to throw myself on the pillow with regularity, to pay deep attention, and to get off the pillow regularly and to join with others, ideally others who do not agree with me in every detail, and to struggle together with the great vow of saving the many beings. What’s that old line? Think globally, act locally. Never more true, I suspect than at this moment. (Monkey Mind, January 3)
The Rev. Carl Gregg passes along advice about “ how to excel at one hard thing.” (Pluralism, Pragmatism, Progressivism, January 3)