Interdependent Web: Tomorrow is not promised, let all the people know, shifting perspectives

Interdependent Web: Tomorrow is not promised, let all the people know, shifting perspectives

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


Tomorrow is not promised

Munit Mesfin Abebe, a member of the UU Congregation of Fairfax, Virginia, has strongfamily ties in Ethiopia.

tomorrow is not promised: the first news i saw this morning was that an ethiopian airline plane had crashed killing everyone on board: 157 souls from 35 nations.

the first article said it had landed in bishoftu. that's where my father lives. so i called him in a panic to make sure they were safe. then, i called to find out where my cousin, who’s an ethiopian airlines crew member was. she was on another route...

then i cried from both the relief of their safety and the tragedy of how many people who were loved had been lost in this tragedy. (Facebook, 3.10.19)

Let all the people know

Mykal Slack writes that he, “as a trans spiritual leader in this faith, [needs] far more than public apologies.”

Tell all the people that far too many of us get mistreated in unconscionable ways in our congregations, whether we spend most of our time in pews or pulpits, and that Welcoming Congregations commitments are up on the walls in congregations all over the association that none of us would dare send other trans people to. What are the actual plans to change all of this — not just general statements and commitments, but actual strategies and goals? (Medium, 3.12.19)

Erica Baron notes that anger is a powerful teacher—our own anger, and that of others.

[Being] able to bear a conversation about how we have caused harm is the best way to learn how to do better. Most of us, most of the time, are not intending to cause harm. But that does not stop us from causing harm inadvertently or unconsciously. . . . We can’t really know the entirety of our impact on others unless we are willing to listen to the perspectives of others. This is especially true since we all steeped in systems of injustice and oppression. . . . [The] anger of those who experience things differently from us is one of the most powerful teachers in this work—if we are willing to listen and to change based on what we hear. (Nature’s Sacred Journey, March 8)

Shifting perspectives

David Breeden turns the common perspective on the Viking raid on Lindisfarne on its head.

When they got off their ships at Lindisfarne, those marauders saw the monks there as representatives of the oppressive power of Christianity, and they saw the symbols of the religion not as symbols of culture and peace but as the symbols of violence and oppression.

Were the Christian monks at Lindisfarne innocent worshipers of the Prince of Peace or agents of a violent imperial religion?

Every story has at least two points of view. (Medium, 3.14.19)

Peter Morales explores how very little we understand about the universe.

Matter, all of it, apparently accounts for only five percent of the universe. Not only do I not matter (neither do you), but matter doesn’t matter. What physicists call “dark matter” accounts for 27 percent of the universe. What accounts for the other 68 percent? Dark energy. I am not making this up. . . .

When I think of all the people in the world who are sure that we are the center of creation and that they have the answers I just shake my head. Ignorance produces arrogance.

Maybe a bit of humility is in order. Perhaps we should stick together. It’s dark out there. (What Is and So What, 3.11.19)

James Ford writes that “Religion is always messy.”

It is about the most fundamental of human concerns, and we bring our whole lives to it. Those of us who live at the meeting places of religions and cultures need to be particularly humble. If we hope to heal our own hearts, and perhaps even be of use to others, we need to walk both deliberately and carefully. We need to be aware of the lenses we bring to the matter.

And, most of all, to know the project itself is the awakening of the world. (Monkey Mind, 3.9.19)

Shelby Meyerhoff holds in tension her newfound acceptance of winter, and her innate longing for spring.

This spring, or the memory of it, is still in my body. In all human bodies. It will reemerge with the songs of birds. From deep inside it says: You are not winter forever, you are meant for spring too. Be in winter now, adapt, thrive even, but don’t forget this other part of you, the creature that came of age in spring. Stand a bit apart, make space for the change that is coming. (Facebook, 3.8.19)