Interdependent Web: Access to ‘Our Whole Lives’

Interdependent Web: Access to ‘Our Whole Lives’

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


Access to Our Whole Lives

The Rev. Cynthia Landrum and the Rev. Dawn Cooley collaborate on a four-part series about making the Our Whole Lives sexuality curriculum more accessible to small and mid-sized congregations.

The Our Whole Lives (OWL) comprehensive sexuality curriculum is one of the flagship programs offered in Unitarian Universalist congregations. Many youth have described it as life saving. But it is financially out of range for many of our UU congregations. So how do we maintain the standard of excellence while also increasing accessibility? How do we remove barriers to participation? (The Lively Tradition, June 9)

Sustaining ministry

This week’s episode of The VUU focuses on last week’s UUA summit on the economic sustainability of ministry. (The VUU, June 11)

The Rev. Tom Schade, a panelist at the summit, believes that the decline of “mainline” churches is political.

[We] need to remember that our problem is not just the sign of a generational shift in church-going habits, but also the result of the political trends in the country. . . . [When] we look at the precarious economic circumstances of liberal religion, which includes the economic sustainability of the ministry, we have to see it, in part, as the damage done to it by political forces which explicitly oppose our values. (The Lively Tradition, June 6)

In a second post, Schade says that we need to rethink liberal religion.

We are in a time of rising social movements who are actively organizing for the values we espouse.

We should pivot toward those social movements and lean into them. How can we serve them? How can we be ourselves in them? How can we fulfill our mission with them? (The Lively Tradition, June 6)

Systemic sickness

Teo Drake draws connections between sexual abuse by Catholic priests and racism among police officers.

A very small minority of priests actively hurt children, but—and this is a big but—the system protected that small minority in such profound ways that it forever altered the system for the worse until it became impossible to see any good. . . . Racism is at the core of a similar sickness in this country’s police force. (Roots Grow the Tree, June 10)

Andrew Hidas acknowledges that the work of systemic change is slow.

Nothing changes overnight. We ourselves change slowly, for the most part, in even the smallest ways, not to mention wholesale transformations that are more the stuff of myth and new year’s resolutions than they are reality. And so it is with humanity writ large. (Traversing, June 11)

The Rev. Dr. Victoria Weinstein takes “just a minute” to talk about about “resisting arrest.” (PeaceBang, June 8)

Singing for our lives

The Rev. Amy Zucker Morgenstern remembers the day Ronnie Gilbert and Holly Near infiltrated her high school.

Heroes and martyrs, rabblerousers and activists, lesbians, even, were being sung and celebrated right there in our gym! Holly and Ronnie led us in “Singing for Our Lives,” the first time I heard that song, and the tears rolled down my cheeks. We were, we were singing for our lives–they understood! They set our struggles to music!

. . . Most of the authorities in our world wanted us to be good little students, sit tight, date straight, not stir up trouble, not have any opinions. In the midst of political repression and standard adolescent turmoil, imperfectly and self-righteously, but with earnest hope, we were trying to sing our own song. And here were our convictions, my convictions, being given harmonious voice by these two tough, joyous women. (Sermons in Stones, June 7)

The Rev. Dr. Carl Gregg reflects on the practice of forgiveness, in conversation with Archbishop Desmond Tutu’s new book on the topic.

[Forgiveness] is a practice—in many ways similar to practicing the piano or practicing basketball: you get better the more you practice. The more times you practice a sonata or shooting free throws, the more that action becomes an ingrained habit. Similarly, the more you practice forgiving, the more forgiving becomes second nature. (Pluralism, Pragmatism, Progressivism, June 9)

John Beckett offers a simple antidote for these fearful times: love.

Love your fellow humans. Love our shared origins and our common blood. Love our beautiful, fascinating diversity of appearance, ideas, and customs. Love our mutual destiny. Love your fellow humans so deeply your first thought on meeting someone different is what a great experience it’s going to be. (Under the Ancient Oaks, June 7)

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