Interdependent Web: Sounding the alarm, believing in the church, hope in chaotic times

Interdependent Web: Sounding the alarm, believing in the church, hope in chaotic times

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


Sounding the alarm

The Rev. Robin Tanner reports from the Poor People’s Campaign, and invites participation.

Yesterday, I lifted my eyes to a sky in our nation’s capital that tore open with rain across a land where the average age of a homeless person is nine years old. Yesterday, my soul was revived by people all over the country rising up to resist the lie that we cannot end systemic racism, poverty, the war economy and ecological devastation. Yesterday, I remembered who we can be as person after person who could be crushed by this system offered their body as an ambulance to sound the siren warning of the assault on the body of humanity in these United States. (Facebook, May 15)

Believing in the church

Kim Hampton is coming to terms with knowing that her home church is no longer her home church.

Some of you have heard me say that I am an ecclesiology girl. I believe in the church. I love the church, notwithstanding all its flaws. And many days, I believe in Unitarian Universalism. Some days, I love it. Yet, I am homeless.

I am reconciling myself to that within Unitarian Universalism. We’ll see how it goes. (East of Midnight, May 14)

Thomas Earthman paints a hopeful picture of what church can be.

Church can be people who trust one another. Church can be people who accept and encourage each other. Church can be a place where it’s ok to be imperfect, and the effort counts for something. Church can be a place where we ask the important questions and admit to one another that we don’t know. Church can be a place where we comfort one another over the fact that there aren’t a lot of absolutes and we are all doing the best that we can. (I Am UU, May 14)

Hope in times of chaos

The Rev. Karen Hering writes that these chaotic times demand a different form of hope.

Doesn’t spiritual work—and the physics of truly revolutionary change—always come back to letting go? Hope, to be useful in times of chaos like our own, must be detached from expectations of specific outcomes. Only the face of something new—a meeting of justice and peace; reconciliation across racial divides and among all beings; and what we often name as the still unrealized dream of beloved community—can truly fulfill the larger wishes stirring now. (Karen Hering, May 11)

The Rev. Dan Harper marks the bicentennial of Karl Marx’s birth.

Marx’s writings taught me how to be critical of the society in which I live. Things do not have to be the way they are now. History shows that things can change. We do not have to put up with injustice. (Yet Another Unitarian Universalist, May 16)

Not shutting up

Sarah MacLeod responds to a recent conservative opinion piece in The New York Times that suggests that liberals need to sit down and shut up.

Yes, there is room for civility in our conversations with others about the hardest issues in this nation, but civility is the luxury of those in power. Civility has never been the sole mechanism of true progress. It is instead loud voices, strong convictions, and unyielding insistence on justice that has always brought us further along as a nation. (Finding My Ground, May 17)

The Rev. Jake Morrill chooses to focus on the factors that led to the Trump administration—though that intention was tested this past week.

When I heard that the President called undocumented workers “animals” today (and not for the first time), I stopped right there and prayed, in my anger, that God would help me stay focused on overturning the conditions that would have ever put such a damaged person in power, and help me keep my commitment to revolutionary love. I pray you are also finding how to keep at the work of re-humanization. And that, years from now, you’ll be proud of how you decided to live in these times. (Facebook, May 16)

Evolving approaches to ministry

Kimberley Sweeney writes that quite a few religious professionals are finding different kinds of work because “ the ministry they are called to do is not the ministry most of our congregations are willing to embrace.”

I’m hearing more and more stories from across the country, not just from our religious educators but clergy as well. There is a deep sense of frustration. Congregations are searching for, asking for, and expecting our religious professionals to miraculously retrofit an outdated model of ministry resulting in measurably improved results, without supporting strategic change. (Medium, May 14)

The Rev. Jordinn Nelson Long describes her congregation’s evolving approach to family ministry.

Here in Fairhaven we realized that in the last year of our traditional model we were seeing a quarter of the kids all of the time and the rest of the kids maybe once a month. Maybe. . . .

So we wondered what it would be like to stop swimming so hard against the current, and to spend a year trying something else. . . .

And friends, it’s not perfect. We are trying to find a sweet spot, . . . and it’s a continuous adaptive challenge.(Facebook, May 15)