Interdependent Web: Choosing a new way, the power of faith, the magic of television

Interdependent Web: Choosing a new way, the power of faith, the magic of television

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


Choosing a new way

The Rev. Tom Schade has written three posts in appreciation of the candidates for UUA president: the Rev. Susan Frederick-Gray, the Rev. Alison Miller, and the Rev. Jeanne Pupke. (The Lively Tradition, May 21)

Schade also provided a “big picture” look at the election, noting that the campaign has “unfolded in the context of another major upheaval in Unitarian Universalism.”

White Unitarian Universalists are being called to a profoundly different way to relate to their faith community. They are being challenged to know that they don’t own their religious organization, but must share it with the global majority. And once white UUs grasp that Unitarian Universalism is not “their” religion, and that the local UU church is not there to meet “their” needs, they will hear its call to be an anti-oppressive religious and spiritual movement. For many, answering that call is a leap into the unknown. (The Lively Tradition, May 21)

Kim Hampton addressed those UUs who object to the term “white supremacy,” with some pointed questions about Unitarian Universalism, past and present.

Here are some other questions I have for those of you who are itching to come into my comments with the “not all white people” line...

-When and where was your congregation founded?

-Has your congregation moved since its founding? If so, when? And to where?

-How close is your congregation to public transportation? (this is a class issue as well as a race issue)

-Did your congregation have discriminatory membership by-laws at any point? (a number of U/U congregations did at the time of merger) (East of Midnight, May 25)

Practicing our faith

The Rev. Dawn Cooley explained why she wears a clerical collar when she flies on an airplane.

I also want people to know that I am a safe person—that I am willing and able to try to de-escalate a situation, or be a good ally if that is needed. So in addition to my collar, I also wear my Black Lives Matter/Pride Flag/World Religions safety-pin (which I wear every day). Needless to say, the combination of my pins with my collar have brought interesting conversations, a few frowns, but mostly I get smiles and “Thank you” comments. (Speaking Of, May 25)

The Rev. Robin Bartlett shared a Lutheran colleague’s comment that “most days, the fight to save one denomination over another appears to be a waste.”

I know that we need to organize groups of humans into groups of humans for our own tribalistic tendencies, but that’s not God’s dream for us. Fighting over the particulars of personal faith and trying to make those particulars universal is a distraction. (Facebook, May 22)

John Beckett suggested specific spiritual practices for particular types of stress, including this one for urgent stress, when the fight or flight instinct kicks in.

Go for a walk. Preferably in a wild or at least a green setting, but through the neighborhood will do. Don’t try to think, just walk. Get your blood flowing and your muscles working. Breathe. After a while your adrenaline levels will start to drop, and you can start to see things as they really are. That helps you think clearly as you try to figure out exactly what’s wrong and what’s your best course of action. (Under the Ancient Oaks, May 23)

The magic of television

The Rev. James Ford reflected on his history with television.

I am in some genuine ways a product of the dawn of television. I know this is generally considered a bad thing. And there is no doubt it brought with it a bucketful of difficulties. It was also something magical. I believe television was critical in knitting the country together. And, I guess, later in helping to unravel any false sense of ours being any kind of mono-cultural nation. (Monkey Mind, May 22)

The Rev. Dr. Carl Gregg loved the first season of Twin Peaks when he was a child; now he is enjoying the new episodes as well.

So far, I loved the first two episodes of the new Twin Peaks. I am often bored with predictable, recycled television plots—although certainly I enjoy the occasional mindless television series at the end of a long day. But—without spoiling anything major—what I love about David Lynch is perfectly visualized in a clear-glass box in the new version that a young employee is paid to sit and watch: I too am just sitting there watching, with no clue as to what will happen, ready to mainline a glimpse into the dream-like “collective unconscious” that is Lynch’s mind. (Carl Gregg, May 22)