Interdependent Web: Meaning in the struggle, not a passive love, diverse is better, taking on a challenge

Interdependent Web: Meaning in the struggle, not a passive love, diverse is better, taking on a challenge

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


Meaning in the struggle

On the anniversary of Michael Brown’s death, Kim Hampton writes about how afro-futurism saves her from despair.

This is why I need afro-futurism; to remind myself that there are black people in the future. . . .

I need afro-futurism so I can picture possibilities for this world.

I need afro-futurism so I can remember that there is meaning in the struggle. (East of Midnight, August 9)

Not a passive love

The Rev. David Miller remembers last year’s violence in Charlottesville.

We all know, talk about and endlessly process the mess this country is in. There are no clear road maps for how the future will pan out, but there are certainly lessons from our past. I will not be able to attend, protest, bear witness or counteract every bit of hate being unleashed by the forces in power at this moment in our country's history, but I will without question be there when I can as much as I can with the force of love, not a passive love, but an active, never breaking and resilient love. . . . We all can't do everything, but in these times, we really must do what we can. (Facebook, August 8)

The Rev. Andy Burnette travelled to the border with UUA President Susan Frederick Gray and a group of fellow UU clergy to provide water to migrants and witness the deportation process.

The last few days are a lot to process. We saw the harsh corridor of desert through which the US government forces people, intentionally endangering the lives of people fleeing poverty and violence, all in the name of deterrence. We honored the lives and grieved the deaths of those who didn’t make it through. And we saw the machine that gathers up as many migrants as possible and either imprisons them or ships them back to their home countries, often to either poverty or mortal danger or both. (Facebook, August 6)

The Rev. Laura Shennum, part of the clergy delegation to the desert, wrote about the deportation proceedings.

Many kept repeating guilty, when it was a yes/no question. One was pregnant. It was an incredibly depressing, heartbreaking experience. The system was dehumanizing in so many ways. (Facebook, August 6)

Diverse is better

The members of Throop UU Church in Pasadena created a welcome video that shows the lively diversity of their vibrant congregation.

Thomas Earthman writes that Unitarian Universalism is better for being diverse, but that too many UUs don’t look beyond the borders of their own congregations.

Still, too many UUs are members of their congregation first, and some only that. I don’t want to discourage those people if that is all they have to give. I hope it is not, though. Instead, I encourage everyone to go to events where you can network with other UUs from other congregations. It can change your whole outlook, even as much as finding Unitarian Universalism and your place in it was a revelation in the first place. (I Am UU, August 6)

Pushing back against people who argue for religious purity, John Beckett argues that a world with many religions is better than a world with only one.

We need only look at Europe in the Middle Ages to see what happens when there is one and only one religious choice. The religion forgets its mission and becomes corrupt. . . . In a religiously plural and free society, people can leave religions that become corrupt, or that fail to address critical issues of the day. . . .

But if there is only one religion, there is no place else to go. (Under the Ancient Oaks, August 9)

Taking on a challenge

Liz James learns more about herself by taking on a challenge.

I tend to think of myself first in terms of the baggage that I carry. I rattle those things off so easily that they are almost a reflex.

I forget-things-I-have-highs-and-lows-I-am-bad-with-money-I-am-messy-I-have-trouble-saying-no... I forget that I am also made up of the strength that comes with carrying those things. Living alongside those qualities, and coping with them for a whole life time. Flaws… Baggage… And strength. (Liz James Writes, August 8)