Interdependent Web: Do just a little more, holding vigil for the planet, resource of our faith

Interdependent Web: Do just a little more, holding vigil for the planet, resource of our faith

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


Do just a little more

A few weeks ago, an eight-year-old biracial child was nearly lynched by teenaged neighbors in Claremont, New Hampshire; Kim Hampton has two tasks for UUs, particularly those in New England.

UUs in northern New England (upper Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont, and Maine) should give money to the GoFundMe account that has been set up to help this child and their family. Give. Give generously. (UUs from other areas can give too, but this is in northern New England’s backyard). . . .

Every UU congregation within 50 miles of Claremont should get together and have a rally and a White Supremacy Teach-In for the broader community. It does not have to be in Claremont, but it should be close. (East of Midnight, September 14)

The Rev. Krista Taves thinks about all the ways she does not have to worry about her white brothers—and how different it is for sisters without white privilege.

I am so grateful that I do not have to worry about my white brothers. But I know why that is the case. I know that my confidence is a privilege that is denied to others. My prayer is that every sister can someday have the assurance and confidence that their brothers will be alright, that their brothers will come home, that their brothers will have long rich lives filled with joy, dignity, meaning, and purpose. (And the stones shall cry, September 11)

Annette Marquis provides a series of questions for novice protesters< to consider.

The key is to believe in what you’re doing, engage in whatever level of risk you can reasonably handle, and push yourself to do just a little more each time. As you become a more experienced protester, you will find more ways to challenge the things you want to change, and one day, you might even find yourself organizing a protest of your own. (Marquistory, September 11)

Holding vigil for the planet

The Rev. Dr. Victoria Weinstein feels like we are holding vigil in a hospital waiting room—for the country, and for the planet.

Someone is struggling and maybe dying, but most certainly never going to be the same after the crisis, and the rest of us are holding vigil. I feel the urge to hurry through my tasks so I can get back to the hospital where I don't do a thing but help the family talk about their fear or process the news from the doctors, or maybe just wait in silence with them. The hospital is Houston. It’s Bangladesh. It’s Miami, and the Florida Keys, and Mexico. It’s Nepal and Mayanmar. It’s wherever Dreamers live and cry themselves to sleep wondering if they have a future.

We sit with our cardboard coffee cups and absorb the shock, and plan, and wait for word from the experts. (Facebook, September 8)

The Rev. Keren Hering also writes about how it feels, when all around us the world is drowning, and burning, and shaking.

Where to go? Where
to run? How to survive our own
careless combustion?

People say it’s the end times
long foretold, now
here. Say a prayer. Ask for-
giveness. Plea for
grace. Or
hide and hope
to be passed over by the
winds and water, the
fire, the quaking. The
judgment, the judgment, the
judgment. (Karen Hering, September 8)

Resources of our faith

The Rev. Dr. Carl Gregg suggests a practical twenty-first century Universalism.

When I reflect on the Universalist side of my own tradition of Unitarian Universalism, it occurs to me that a twenty-first century Universalism might be built on at least three key pillars:

  1. Universal health care,
  2. Universal education through college, and
  3. Universal basic income . . . .

These might sound like utopian pipe dreams—and the political divides in this country make it clear that achieving such goals would be far from simple—but they are no more audacious than the idea of universal salvation in the eighteenth century, universal freedom (through the abolition of slavery) in the nineteenth century, universal suffrage (for women) in the twentieth century, and universal marriage (for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender citizens) in the early twenty-first century. (Carl Gregg, September 8)

The Rev. Jake Morrill suggests non-traditional answers to the theodicy question.

Maybe the Holy Spirit moves like the Tao, whispers like the still, small voice within, and looks in a body like a man on a cross, or a child in the streets, or a woman giving birth, or a pot of soup for the neighbors. Maybe its signature trait isn’t domination, but creation. Maybe the relationship it moves toward isn’t intimidation but intimacy. Maybe shame and fear are hints we’ve been barking up the wrong tree. Anyway, if the storms of this month have moved you to something like prayer but you’ve pulled up short, shy and confused about what on earth you are doing, this is a public service announcement to say that there have always been many more options for how to understand God other than 1) a cruel puppet-master or else 2) nothing at all. (Facebook, September 10)

The Rev. Chris Buice defends the eclectic nature of Unitarian Universalism.

Recently a visitor to the church told me her coworker made a less-than-complimentary remark about our faith saying we are a “spiritual salad bar where you can pick and choose what you want.” I told her, “I find I can get a more nutritious meal at a salad bar than at most set menu restaurants.” Similar, the free and responsible search for truth and meaning is about creating a space where we can make healthy wise choices. (The Tao of Tennessee, September 12)

One of the most delightful things I’ve seen on Facebook lately is the project the Rev. David Schwartz recently completed, and dismantled—a Lego model of the First Unitarian Church of Chicago.

I finished up working on First Unitarian in Legos today. Mandala-like, it's torn down into pieces again, ready for new builds. This album has photos of the construction process and a few of my favorite corners.

The great pleasure for me is in the building. In that very first photo, even before that photo, I could see the finished product already. It ended up taking about 100 hours of building time and at least 5,000 pieces. Tear down took about a minute. (Facebook, September 11)