Interdependent Web: Passing out hats, hermeneutics of love, building firm foundations

Interdependent Web: Passing out hats, hermeneutics of love, building firm foundations

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


Jesus didn’t pass out hats

The Rev. Amy Shaw writes that Jesus didn’t come to make Jerusalem great again.

Jesus of Nazareth didn’t come to pass out hats. He didn’t come to defend your right to kill someone who took what was yours.

He came to tell you that you even though the way was narrow, all souls could find a way, and it wasn’t through the sword. (Chalice Fire, March 12)

Hermeneutics of love

The Rev. Dan Harper discusses the work of Hans-Georg Gadamer, who defined hermeneutics as the ability to listen to the other in the belief that they could be right.

Gadamer calls on us to develop the ability to listen openly to others, aware that I might not always be right and that I can get closer to truth by listening to others. . . . Gadamer challenges us to listen to think about the possibility that there may be truth that extends beyond the narrow confines of one’s own self; and that by entering into open dialogue with someone we disagree with, we might actually learn something. (Yet Another Unitarian Universalist, March 9)

The Rev. Robin Bartlett admires the way one of her parishioners reads her bible.

Her beloved childhood Bible is dog-eared and covered with tear stains, and written all over. When she has trouble with a text, she crosses out references to God and Jesus with her pencil and writes “Love.”

. . . . By the way, this isn’t hearts and puppies love. This is bad-ass, self-sacrificing, servant leadership, crossing borders, making-the-untouchables- touchable, bringing-the-margins-into-the-center, die-for-the-sin-of-empire Love. (Facebook, March 10)

Building firm foundations

The Rev. Dr. Victoria Weinstein is grateful for the joy that sustains her, even when she feels depressed.

If I lived in a small village, could practice wisdom healing and counseling, attend the dying and grieve them properly, sit on a justice council, sleep when I needed to, sing and dance most days and sleep through the cold season I do not think I would be depressed as we use that term. . . .

Today I am building my house on the firm foundation of gratitude, joy and grace. When depression flattens me, I still rest upon that foundation. (Facebook, March 13)

For the Rev. Karen Hering, March is a turning point, and three years ago it was particularly a transitional time.

March has always been, in my home in the upper Midwest, seasonally positioned between winter’s breaking open and spring’s promised arrival not yet visible. Now, three years after that aptly named spring break on Lake Superior, I realize this month also carries for me a heightened awareness of what is breaking up — old identities, assumptions and ways of being — and the uncertainty, not knowing what will follow.

Today, cancer-free and approaching the third anniversary of my father’s death, the month of March calls me to remember that the uncertainty, loss and grief arriving with brokenness also carry with them possibilities often unseen. (Karen Hering, March 10)

Liz James has a new way of coping with an addiction to Facebook scrolling.

I began a new practice of listening. Every time I had that feeling, like I was about to zone out on my phone… that under-the-iNfluence feeling… I would pause for just a second. I would ask myself what I was feeling. What I wanted. And what needs I had that were unmet. That’s all. Five or ten seconds to think about that, and then on to the phone. (Liz James Writes, March 9)

Wombat and Dingbat, the Rev. Lynn Ungar’s dogs, answer a reader’s question about the pursuit of happiness.

Nobody normal is happy all the time. Maybe you need to adjust your expectations. . . . Before you set out to achieve a goal, you should decide whether a) it is realistic and b) it is genuinely what you want. If it’s not something you can actually achieve, it isn’t really a goal, it’s a fantasy. (Wombat and Dingbat Fix the World, March 9)

Science and religion can be friends

The Rev. Joanna Fontaine Crawford writes that the so-called war between religion and science is a fake one.

If we truly believe in science, believe in the scientific method, then we need to go deeper than the stereotypes of religious people being anti-science. Deeper, indeed, than the news stories that lead us to believe that we are a tiny intellectual voice, crying out into an ignorant, anti-science wilderness. Those stories about religious, anti-science people? Oh yes, they can be true. But they are not the majority. Not even close. And they never have been. (Boots and Blessings, March 13)