Blog roundup, Winter 2014

Blog roundup, Winter 2014

Online responses to UU World.


Many Unitarian Universalists participate in lively online discussion of a wide variety of topics. Keep up with the conversation: Read UU World’s blog, The Interdependent Web, which highlights the best blog commentary each week, along with other user-generated content.

Messy ancestral home

The Rev. Susan Maginn, posting on Quest for Meaning, suggested that we share her deep family roots in Ferguson: “My white family has been in St. Louis, Missouri, for six generations. . . . Even if you have never stepped foot in Missouri, for today at least, Ferguson is your messy ancestral home, too.” (August 15)

Kim Hampton of East of Midnight issued a challenge to Unitarian Universalists: “Will we see [racial bias] only as something that is happening outside of our congregations and not look at the way that what is happening outside of our congregations is being played out in our congregations, too?” (September 3)

Liz James of Rebel with a Labelmaker admitted knowing “nothing about what it’s like to be a black person on the streets of Ferguson. . . . When I say I don’t know what I am talking about, I don’t mean that I should feel bad for that. I mean that I should recognize it, so that I will channel my rage, guilt, frustration, and sadness in the right ways. Into learning about the things that I have realized I don’t know. We are not called to become guilt-ridden. We are called to become useful.” (August 21)

Battling depression

After a colleague’s suicide, the Rev. Dr. Victoria Weinstein of Beauty Tips for Ministers urged her colleagues to reach out to each other: “We who spend our lives sending our spirit out over communities trying to understand, lead, help, and inspire are not necessarily the best at dropping everything and rushing to our own aid as we do for others. . . . drop some things. Make time for each other. Reach out, and check in.” (July 18)

Kenny Wiley of A Full Day made an interesting connection: “That feeling—that people are okay with knowing that you have depression, as long as you don’t talk about it—mirrors some of what blackness has meant in the post-civil rights era. It’s okay that I have blackness, as long as I don’t talk about it, or ‘act black’ in any way.” (September 2)

The Rev. Tony Lorenzen of Sunflower Chalice took Robin Williams’s death personally: “It’s the depression, both his and mine, that makes his passing a powerful loss. . . . Robin Williams evokes this pain about the battle with depression, not because he’s the first or most well known to die from it, but because he was one I grew up with and he played roles that deeply affected me.” (August 12)

Why church?

Sarah MacLeod of Finding My Ground wrote that she no longer needs her UU congregation as a stepping stone from theism or as a supportive place during a personal crisis; she still attends because church “reminds us that community is larger than any one person, idea, or belief.” (August 5)

For Justin Almeida of What’s My Age Again, attending church has helped combat compassion fatigue: “In a space filled with atheists, believers, agnostics, questioners, and religious refugees, our attendance shouts to the universe: ‘ We will continue the work! We will not give up! We crave peace!’” (July 31)

The Awakened Introvert made a different choice—becoming officially religiously unaffiliated after a long connection to Unitarian Universal­ism: “I’m on my own now. I’m none of the above. I’m a solitary. A solitary what, I’m not sure. But I am a solitary. And I am gloriously, fabulously, joyfully, ecstatically happy.” (September 18

Violence and the NFL

Karen Johnson of irrevspeckay cautioned us to “remember who is in the room” when discussing domestic violence in the National Football League: “Let us be guided by facts and real-life testimony of survivors of violence and their allies that in most any public circumstance, in any gathering of people, there are survivors of domestic violence among us.” (September 11)

The Rev. Adam Tierney-Eliot of The Burbania Posts has quit the NFL, after a turning point watching a game last season: “I asked myself if I wanted to be the sort of person who condones this. The answer, it turned out, was ‘no.’” (September 3)

All means all

For the Rev. Dr. Cynthia Landrum of Rev. Cyn, this past General Assembly “missed the mark” for people using wheelchairs and scooters—particularly the WaterFire witness event: “I think it would be more honest for the GA planners to say, ‘This big cornerstone event of GA just isn’t accessible,’ and then for our gathered assembly to wrestle with the honest emotions of what it means to have a major part of GA that all of us don’t have access to.” (September 12)

This article appeared in the Winter 2014 issue of UU World (pages 60-61).

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