How to use Facebook
Liz James is leveraging the power of UU Hysterical Society Facebook group’s almost 30,000 members to help refugees from Burundi.
Many of you will remember the fight to save Rev Fulgence of the UU Church in Burundi. . . . He was imprisoned, and tortured, but with the help of UUs from around the world, we were able to save the life of this very courageous man. He’s since made it to Canada as a refugee, and reunited with his family, but he never forgot those who weren’t as lucky as he was. For years, I’ve watched my friend work tirelessly to try to keep his friends alive in refugee camps, and to bring them to safe settlement in a variety of countries. . . .
Last summer, Rev Fulgence came to me for help. There is a group of six that are ready to come to Canada. They’ve learned English, gotten degrees, and done all the necessary things. Much of the plan is lined up, but there’s a catch. The way community sponsorship works here, Fulgence needs to raise 26,700 USD to support the group for a year. . . .
If each of us gave a dollar, we could bring my friend’s people to safety. (Facebook, December 2)
On Giving Tuesday Lynn Ungar promoted worthy recipients in a Facebook post, and encouraged her friends to share their favorites in the comments. (Facebook, December 2)
Brain, heart, and the intimate way
James Ford used the birthday of Faustus Socinus to consider the balance of brain and heart, reason and wisdom.
[Wisdom] is founded in our seeing the intimate and the whole. Should a wave realize it is part of the great ocean – that is wisdom. While as best we can tell a wave never knows its connections, the joy of our condition as human beings is that we can. For us wisdom, the heart of reason, is discovering our individual lives, so precious, and passing, fleeting as smoke, are also at the very same time part of the whole, the great mess, all of it. I find it easy to see why we might name that great mess divine. (Monkey Mind, December 5)
John Beckett offers advice to modern pagans about building a foundation for their spirituality.
Religions aren’t real because they’re old. Religions are real because they bring meaning and comfort to their followers in the face of difficulties and a certain death. . . .
Ground your practice in the land where you are, in your ancestors, and in the worship of the Gods who call to you or who you choose to call to. Develop a magical practice that works for you. Gather with those who are doing the same things in the same way. And leave the world a better place than you found it. (Under the Ancient Oaks, December 5)
Called to embody imperfection beautifully
Even after several years of practice, Elizabeth Green feels like she is not a very good meditator.
I know to return my attention to my breath, or to my awareness of where I am—but still, my “monkey mind” seems to have a life of its own, swinging about from subject to subject, little inclined to settle down.
And so, a little teacher got sent to me recently, in the form of an article in our Unitarian Universalist magazine, UU World. The title made me laugh: “Allowing Meditation To Be Messy.” The authors, Becky Brooks and Erika Hewitt, note that when we are trying to clear our mind and meditate, the mind often seems to want “to get our attention, then lead us around on its leash.” (Idaho Statesman, November 29)
When Adam Tierney Eliot preached what he called “the worst sermon of my life,” he learned something about the congregation he serves.
This is the great thing about people who come to worship. They bring their own sermons with them and when “the show” goes south, their hearts preach the sermon instead, with whatever they can disentangle from the chaotic resources they have been given. They know what they want to hear and accept that the obviously flawed worship leader will do their best to help and not hinder. Yes, there is the occasional curmudgeon who is hoping that the sermon will contain something they can get offended about, but for the vast majority, this is not the case, Everyone at worship is there in part to find meaning in their lives and they trust the community, the service, and its leaders enough that they are frequently able to find that meaning even when things aren’t hanging together the way they should. (Burbania Posts, December 2)
Adam Dyer practices what he preaches: the totality of embodied health.
I lived the entirety of my formative years and most of my middle age with HIV/AIDS lurking behind some of my most intimate moments. When a reliable form of medical defense against HIV presented itself in the form of PrEP, I immediately got on board. . . .
In an age where access to healthcare is a national crisis, particularly among people of color, the message from clergy about the totality of embodied health cannot afford to be selective condemnation, hesitation or reluctance. (spirituwellness, December 1)
What Trump’s “Inner Party” believes
Doug Muder distills the message the Trump administration preaches to its inner circle: “White Christians must hang onto power, because the alternative is a society without the moral values necessary to maintain a free society.”
Trump offers himself as the bulwark against this looming catastrophe. He is the alternative to the too-nice conservatives who have let immigrants keep coming, let liberals secularize the youth, and have been too slow and too tentative about rallying the white Christian vote, stacking the courts with conservative white Christians, and suppressing all other votes. If he cheats in elections, say by getting illegal help from foreign countries, that’s a necessary evil. If he suppresses any attempt to check his power or investigate his corruption, that, too, is a necessary evil. Ultimately, if he loses at the ballot box and has to maintain office by violence, that may be necessary as well, because the alternative is the end of American civilization. (The Weekly Sift, December 2)