Highlights from the Unitarian Universalist blogosphere, January – April 2016.
Many Unitarian Universalists participate in lively online discussion of a wide variety of topics. Keep up with the conversation: Read UU World’s Editors’ Blog, where you’ll find links to the best commentary about Unitarian Universalism each week (uuworld.org/blog).
The Rev. Brian Chenowith, writing at As Above, So Below, argued that as long as there are people who worship a vengeful God, Unitarian Universalists are not done with God: “The fires of hell still need to be put out, the angry gods of fundamentalism still need to be quietened, and the world still needs hope.” (April 5)
Karen G. Johnston of Awake and Witness shared an antidote to despair—seeking out the stories of people who make a difference: “It is essential to know their names, to know their stories, to pass on the good news of their lives that we might be consoled and inspired.” (April 5)
The Rev. Madelyn Campbell of The Widow’s Mite-y Blog writes that methods of capital punishment don’t matter: “When we kill people, we are diminished. J.K. Rowling has told us that this is how we create horcruxes—we divide our own souls. . . . It doesn’t matter how we do it. We can give people teddy bears and tuck them in and kill them in their sleep, and they will still be dead. And we will still be responsible.” (April 7)
Theresa Soto, writing at Emerging Voices, suggests that removing some chairs is a simple way to welcome people who use wheelchairs, scooters, and mobility devices: “This detail, almost literally, fulfills an aspect of hospitality that says, ‘There you are! We’ve been waiting for you. See? We saved you a space.’” (February 16)
The Rev. Dan Harper of Yet Another Unitarian Universalist, wrote that, like learning to play the piano, becoming a Unitarian Universalist takes sustained effort: “[In] today’s immediate-gratification society, Unitarian Universalism can be a tough sell. I mean, why take piano lessons when you can stream great music online? And why learn how to think when Twitter tells you all you need to know about the world?” (January 25)
The Rev. Tom Schade of The Lively Tradition introduced the first report of the UUA Task Force on Covenanting and shared his perspective: “It’s all very blue-sky and out there, but it has been a chance to step back and re-think that which seems permanent and unchangeable. . . . My observation is that most UUs are very much in favor of changing the UUA in general, but respond to even the smallest suggestion of a particular change with great suspicion. Even redesigning a logo can generate a lot of negative reaction. I think lots of people really want a well-hidden and barely noticeable change that will generate a lot of money, plenty of new members, and a way to resolve the humanist-theist debate that brings peace and lets them win.” (January 22)
The Rev. Dr. Victoria Weinstein of Beauty Tips for Ministers explained why she doesn’t dye her hair robin’s egg blue: “I stick with pearl earrings and a chignon and a black suit and a pointy wedge shoe and a wool overcoat partly so I can look across the divide at those guys in uniform and fix them with a steady gaze and know that when they look back at me, the first thing they will see is my eyes, and my collar, and not my hair. This is a choice I make. In these times, it seems more and more important that I dress in a way that indicates equal status with those in power.” (April 5)
Claire Curole of Sand Hill Diary explored what it means for clergy to balance public and private, personal and professional: “For my whole adult life the internet has been one of the spaces where I can relax and be human, free from job and family expectations. But I’m increasingly finding that this freedom and familiarity goes against the emerging conventional wisdom I get from my colleagues—students and otherwise—for whom the online sphere is a kind of pulpit, inherently public and therefore automatically and exclusively part of the professional realm.” (March 1)
The Rev. Jake Morrill, writing at Quest for Meaning, describes his leadership style as leading from the airship: “God knows I wanted to be buttoned-down, square-cornered, and doing things right in the thick of it all. I wanted to be an engine. I yearned to be the third pig. And I tried. But it turns out, perhaps, I was meant for other things.” (February 27)
In a Facebook post, the Rev. Jude Geiger connected the Easter story to North Carolina’s new anti-LGBT law: “Late in the night, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene heard the news coming from North Carolina. Late in the night, a sweeping anti-LGBT bill overturned local ordinances protecting gay and transgender people. So she ran and went to the disciples, the ones whom Jesus loved, and said to them, ‘They have taken Justice out of the court, and we do not know where they have laid it.’” (March 27)
The Rev. Peter Boullata of Held in the Light wrote about the Risen Christ made known in the communal breaking of bread: “For me, the living Christ is not an individual, the living Christ is a feast, a table where mercies are spread, a community, a common wealth. The living Christ is a symbol of our common life shaping a world of mutuality and trust and love, a symbol of what sustains and nurtures life.” (March 27)
Please note: newsletter on hiatus
The Rev. Heather Christensen wrote The Interdependent Web, UU World's weekly guide to Unitarian Universalist blogs, from 2011 until 2020. She lives with her two young children in Bellingham, Washington.