Interdependent Web: Haunted lives

Interdependent Web: Haunted lives

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


Haunted lives

The Rev. Dr. Victoria Weinstein has strong feelings about living longer than her father did.

I don’t want to live an unhaunted life. I believe it is our duty to the dead to carry them as they carry us within the multiple dimensions where souls and time swirl in some intricate pattern that Einstein never imagined but possibly intuited. . . .

My father died at fifty and it was a personal tragedy for me. There are greater losses and more serious injustices in the world than a child of 17 losing her father on a Tuesday afternoon in April. But we do not tell our stories to compare suffering. I should know better than to even mention the relative scope of my loss. Pain that crushes, crushes. This loss crushed me. It is my “original wound,” as Henri Nouwen put it. (PeaceBang, May 2)

Celebrating who we are

The Rev. Catharine Clarenbach is happy, and well-loved, but she is not happy about fat-shaming, including among Unitarian Universalists.

I am NOT happy that in the Unitarian Universalist congregation where I was an intern minister, my weight was considered by some to be a drawback to my ministry. Despite the people who came to me, thanking me for helping them love themselves better. Despite the power of my preaching. Despite my teaching. Despite the first Principle of UUism — affirmation of the “worth and dignity of every person.” (The Way of the River, April 28)

The Rev. Lois Van Leer responds to Washington State’s Initiative 1515, a “bathroom bill” promoted by a group called “Just Want Privacy.”

This initiative needs to be named for what it is: discrimination. And it needs to be defeated. All of us need to educate ourselves and others . . . . about the facts and truths of transgender lives. . . . But we don’t have to become experts to understand that discrimination is not a UU value. I ask you to join me and others to defeat Initiative 1515 and any other future proposed transgender discriminatory legislation. (Woodinville UU Church, May 2)

On this week’s episode of The VUU, the show’s hosts talk with members of TRUUST, a group for transgender UU religious professionals. (The VUU, May 5)

Cinco de Mayo

The Rev. James Ford celebrates the mostly-American festival, Cinco de Mayo, noting that much of its popularity comes from beer marketers in the mid-20th century.

[In] these days of such strife threatening the fabric of our country, with a presidential candidate running on a platform of fear of the other and a tearing apart of the connections perhaps it’s a particularly good moment for us all to recall and to celebrate how big and complicated who we really are by virtue of being American. It is after all this experiment that is us, despite the many, many shortcomings, failures, and bad moves, remains something of a miracle. Our way of being both many and one is too rare in this world of ours. But, it is also a beacon of hope.

So, something to celebrate even if it’s just with a margarita and a small toast. (Monkey Mind, May 5)

The Rev. Amy Zucker Morgenstern shares the Spanish translation of the benediction her congregation uses. (Sermons in Stones, May 5)

And more . . .

The Rev. Dr. David Breeden asks, “What does a spiritual practice do?”

Prudence. Justice. Temperance. Fortitude. And/or perhaps—thoughtfulness, caring, moderation, and strength. Something like that.

The Stoics—the original mindfulness teachers in the Western World—made these virtues the center of their spiritual practice, based in what they called reason. A Stoic meditates on the virtues and the way of nature, then attempts to go through the day living the virtues and conforming to the will of the universe . . . mindfully. (Quest for Meaning, May 5)

The Rev. Theresa Novak offers a simple prescription for nightmares—real or metaphorical.

Wait, open your eyes
Drink the water by your bed.
Morning is on its way. (Sermons, Poetry and other Musings, May 2)

The Rev. Madelyn Campbell suggests that one weakness of congregational polity is that it can promote extreme individualism.

We can govern ourselves – but not until we’re ready to put aside the “me first” mentality. Because it’s not about me. It’s not about you. It’s about all of us and those yet to come. When we make decisions for the church the decisions have to be about what’s best for the church – not about what I think I might want at this very moment. It’s not about what we want, but what we need. And sometimes we need to hear the hard things. Let us remember the covenant. Enough with the Emerson already! (The Widow’s Mite-y Blog, May 4)

The VUU: Trans Religious Professional UUs