Interdependent Web: Called to respond

Interdependent Web: Called to respond

A weekly roundup of blogs and other user-generated web content about Unitarian Universalism


Generative leadership

The Rev. Tom Schade writes that Gen-X UU leaders are in the right stage of life to serve as UUA president.

[It] is appropriate that many would want to elect someone in their 40s as UUA President, because of where they are in their stage of life work. The Boomers are passing out of the Generative stage of their lives. The GenXers are in the full bloom of that lifestage. (The Lively Tradition, April 8)

Called to respond

The Rev. Jake Morrill shares a public letter to Tennesee’s governor, urging him to veto a bill that would legalize discrimination in counseling.

Governor, the Jericho Road runs right through Tennessee. In the ditch alongside it, you’ll see real Tennesseans with real suffering. And up on the road, you’ll see people parading by, invested in appearing to be people of faith, with their nose in the air and their glances averted. Sometimes, their show of piety will have them holding forth on legislation from Orlando as if it had anything to do with the heart of Jesus, let alone the least of these in our state. But you know better. You’ve got a good heart. And you know that Jesus didn’t ask us to turn away from those in need. You know what he meant in the story of the Good Samaritan. So, go and do likewise. Act from compassion, with justice. Please veto that bill. (Quest for Meaning, April 14)

The Rev. Dr. Marilyn Sewell proposes a climate change theology, one which is, among other things, radically relational.

Because global warming is a phenomenon shared by all peoples in all places, we no longer can think of ourselves as independent agents, or in fact “exceptional,” either as individuals or as countries. What touches one, touches all. In a country in which individual striving is paramount, we need to reconsider the whole concept of salvation. What does it mean to be “saved”? We can no longer conceive of ourselves as being saved alone—our connectedness is radical and undeniable. The coal we burn today turns into somebody’s else’s storm thousands of miles away. We continue to drive gasoline-powered cars, and island countries disappear. (HuffPost Religion, April 11)

The Rev. James Ford recommends the drone-warfare movie, Eye in the Sky, which he calls “a morality play as political thriller.”

It holds up hard questions, beautifully, dreadfully. It asks us to consider what it means to be a human being, and yet it does not take us to some trite or easy conclusion. There is no tidy bow tying up the story.

And, yet, I came away feeling completely alive. (Monkey Mind, April 11)

Each day I rise

Christine Slocum compares her love for her children to breathing—and her love for her husband to getting out of bed in the morning.

The stories in our culture of love seem to prioritize dizzying infatuation and the sparkle over the sharp-image consideration. Unwise. There are too many stories (I am looking at you, Disney) that make all love seem like breathing and it seems to me that chosen partnerships simply do not work that way. There is no truth value to attraction beyond the attraction itself. . . . A relationship is a deliberate act. Each day I rise and it is far better for the love and companionship of my spouse—deliberately chosen, every day again. (Christine Slocum, April 12)

In the midst of a difficult slog through April, Jordinn Nelson Long recoils at the idea of fifty whole days of Easter.

[Practicing] resurrection is more work than simply dying. Endings, however terrible, break over us with the force of a tidal wave. We need do nothing. They just come for us.

Reemergence, on the other hand,requires effort. Which asks energy. Which we may not have in those first squinting moments. Here on earth, a rebirth may look like wiggling a pinky finger and calling it movement. It might mean trudging and call it hope. (Raising Faith, April 14)

The Rev. Bill Sinkford encourages us to turn our faces toward each other with love.

Jesus, that Jewish teacher of long ago, said, “What you do for the least of these, you do for me.” Is it possible for us to operate, to live understanding that we bring God’s love to each other, that the mystery is embodied in our lives. The spark of divinity within each of us ceases to be simply metaphor when we use our presence to bring love into the world.

We always have the choice to turn our face toward those who fear and those who hurt, and allow our presence to hold and to heal. (Rev. Sinkford’s Blog, April 14)

Alison Leigh Lilly compares the spiritual life to a game of Jenga.

[We] move cautiously, with baby-steps, giving up what we can afford and, with each surrender, we also build, we reach further, higher, deeper. Where we find frightening emptiness, we seek new centers of gravity, the edges of others we love. We weave them intimately into our lives and allow them to lend us balance and strength. (Nature’s Path, April 8)