Where Truth and Justice command, her sons and daughters will follow; and if she...– Julia Ward Howe (Unitarian, author, social reformer) Reminiscences (1899) p.251-2 (via uuquotes)
What I know about being inclusive, crossing from culture to culture to culture,...– Rosemary Bray McNatt (Unitarian Universalist, minister)
Truth emerges more readily from error than from confusion– Francis Bacon
However many more breaths are left me to breathe, to aspire and conspire, I know...– Jane Bramadat (Unitarian Universalist, minister)
Let every man be free to act from his own conscience; but let him remember that...– E. H. Chapin (Universalist, minister)
Everyone is a theologian, either conscious or unconscious, in the sense that...– James Luther Adams (Unitarian Universalist, minister)
Wisdom Tale: The FireBird →
The traditional Russian folktale of the firebird is a metaphor for the risks and dangers of how we pursue our spiritual calling and live faithfully. Not everyone does well in this pursuit of wisdom, and there is grief along the way. Prince Ivan learns we cannot make this journey well without the help of friends and helping others, particularly in our worst moments. What else do you find in this...
We all have reasons for moving. I move to keep things whole.– Mark Strand, “Keeping Things Whole”
He who risks and fails can be forgiven. He who never risks and never fails is a...– Paul Tillich
5 Smooth Stones in One Hand
Another way to approach James Luther Adams’ five smooth stones of liberal religion is the whole hand method. Here are several different examples. Adams’ original essay uses more complex language, which is how we can have such a diversity of ways of understanding and applying the five smooth stones in our lives. 1: Wonder 2: Community 3: Love 4: Justice 5: Hope 1: Change 2: Interdependence 3:...
The Sabbath marks a day when we live with no other task than to be entirely...– Tom Owen-Towle, Theology Ablaze. (Unitarian Universalist, minister)
What is rewarding about the spiritual journey?
This month, the Church of the Larger Fellowship is pursuing the spiritual issue of quest, or our spiritual journeys. Taoists say that "the journey is the reward." Some other faiths will name specific ends for the journey, such as the attainment of enlightenment or paradise or perfect goodness. Within the constant change of our lives, there are often many smaller quests that we may not even realize we're on until we're well on the way, patterns we discern or make, stories within our larger story.
The spiritual journey is more than an individual's seeking, meaning-making, wisdom, and good deeds. The spiritual journey is communal, too. How is your larger community traveling together? With fear, difficulty, and violence? or with transforming love, compassion, and hope? We are our communities; we are the ones who can significantly affect a change in them when bleak perspectives and harsh conditions prevail, and who, in better times, keep alive the practices that brought us there.
How are we traveling together?
The journey is the reward.– Taoist saying
Kindling Interfaith Awareness at Diwali
Diwali (or Deepavali) begins Wednesday, October 26 for five days and nights. Take the time to wish our Hindu, Jain, and Sikh neighbors blessings on Deepavali (or Diwali)! Hindus are celebrating the return of Lord Rama and the victory of good over evil, the people greeted Rama’s return with rows of clay lamps lighting the way. Jains are celebrating Mahavira’s attainment of...
When hope is not pinned wriggling onto a shiny image or expectation, it...– Annie Lamott quoted in The Impossible Will Take A Little While
SmartMeme's Story Based Change Tools →
I don’t remember when I first grasped that stories were the most effective carrier of change. Perhaps it was when I learned to tie my shoes by a story of relationship between the laces. SmartMeme reminds us all about how to be better storytellers of change for the greater good - a very smart way to organize in community.
We need to experience Earth’s forgiveness, Earth’s renewal, Earth’s abundant...– Carol Hepokoski, “Ecofeminism: Healing the Earth & Ourselves” (Unitarian Universalist, minister, ecojustice activist)
Growth demands a temporary surrender of security.– Gail Sheehy
It take courage to face death, and it takes courage to live in the face of...– Mark DeWolfe (Unitarian Universalist, minister)
The good we secure for ourselves is precarious and uncertain until it is secured...– Jane Addams (Unitarian, Presbyterian, Quaker, reformer, ethicist)
Wisdom Tale: The Lesson →
Each week, I point out a great wisdom tale and, often, a great storyteller who’s sharing that wisdom tale. Doug Lipman’s wisdom tale “The Lesson” is a terrific story for this month’s theme of the spiritual quest or journey. Rabbi Zuzya and Reb Moishe’s practices and stories within the story invite us into the themes of mentoring (or discipleship), change through...
One sees great things from the valley; only small things from the peak.– G K. Chesterton
Reason is also a choice– John Milton
Most people, after one success, are so cringingly afraid of doing less well that...– Beatrix Potter (Unitarian, author, illustrator, naturalist)
One earnest woman [could do more for the soldiers] by enlisting the active...– Louisa Lee Schuyler (Unitarian, community organizer, children’s advocate, social reformer)
Commend large fields, but cultivate small ones– Bronson Alcott, “Tablets” (Unitarian, Transcendentalist, educator, utopian, reformer)
In the spiritual life nowhere do our ideals meet the actual more truly than in...– James Ishmael Ford (Unitarian Universalist, minister, Zen master)
Fellowship in Liberal Religion, my friends, goes both ways, or it is not true...– Anna Garlin Spencer, Bell Street Chapel Discourses 1889-1899 p. 109 (Unitarian, minister, reformer)
Food Force: Humanitarian Video Game →
Games can be fun and educational! Challenge yourself (and educators and youth advisors, challenges your classrooms and youth groups!) to ending hunger via game. Then ask yourself, “how can I do this in daily life?” The adventure continues off the screen and into our hungry world. We are the agents of change we’ve been wanting.
I think that we may safely trust a good deal more than we do.– Henry David Thoreau (Unitarian, Transcendentalist, philosopher, author)
Community Based Alternative to Immigration... →
Detention Watch brings us a free and engaging report on alternatives to detention when we’re dealing with immigration issues. Congregations working on immigration issues will want to study and understand this report, and, perhaps will find some actions to encourage in the larger community for a more merciful justice and immigration reform.
The modern hero, the modern individual who dares to heed the call…cannot, indeed...– Joseph Campbell
The vote is the emblem of your equality…the guarantee of your liberty– Carrie Chapman Catt, “On Women Voting” (1920) (Unitarian, suffragist, founder of Women’s Peace Party, founder of League of Women Voters)
We believe that the world always needs the influence of every good and capable...– Fannie Barrier Williams (Unitarian, educator, lecturer, journalist, social reformer)
Human life has always been lived on the edge of the precipice. Human culture has...– C. S. Lewis
Only people who avoid love can avoid grief. The point is to learn from it, and...– John Brantner
…the spirit common to all Religions, that which is religion’s very life, grows...– Anna Garlin Spencer Bell Street Chapel Discourses 1889-1899 p.54 (Unitarian, minister, reformer)
We begin to die as soon as we are born, and the end is linked to the beginning....– Bret Harte (Unitarian, author)
I do not pretend to know what many ignorant men are sure of– Clarence Darrow
They shouldn’t call it the beauty aisle, that place in the store with all the...– Meg Barnhouse (Unitarian Universalist, minister, humorist, composer)
Ethics thought out is religious thought; ethics felt out is religious feeling,...– William Channing Gannett (Unitarian, minister, social reformer)
The line in life, nature, science, philosophy, religion constantly returns into...– Sarah Alden Bradford Ripley (Unitarian, Transcendentalist)
A kind heart is a better vindication of your doctrine than any argument– Jenkin Lloyd Jones (Unitarian, minister, social reformer) “Faithfulness” The Faith That Makes Faithful (1887) p.21 (via uuquotes)
MultiMedia Worship & Preaching Workshop →
I’m excited about a preaching and worship conference I’ll be part of this coming January. Multimedia worship is here to stay, and all of us responsible for leading worship need to make sure we are deft with the enormous free and low-cost toolbox to craft and lead richer and better worship services. There are only a few spaces left for folks to register! Worried you don’t have...
Reaching Out Inclusively →
Starbucks leads again, this time with a Braille embossed coffee card, which helps blind & visually impaired folks select the correct card from their wallets. Congregations can study, appreciate and learn this move by Starbucks in a couple of ways: if you send out coffee cards as thank-you gifts for visiting the congregation, send out these. Sighted people might be intrigued enough to ask...
We are most deeply asleep at the switch when we fancy we control any switches at...– Annie Dillard
What is Just Food? 18 artists explain →
The works of 18 artists reflect upon what food justice is. Powerful work for personal, family, small group, and congregational study and reflection.
More and more it is borne upon me that we are all one, that we are our...– Sarah Pratt Carr (Unitarian, minister, community organizer)
[A creed is] the particulars of religious belief which any number of individuals...– Maturin Ballou, “Sects, Creeds, Fellowship,” Universalist Quarterly 1849: p.18-19 (Universalist, minister, author, editor)
I’ve never been to FlavorFest before. I first met Pastor Tommy Kyllolen a/k/a Urban D back in April, and it was the first time I’d heard of FlavorFest. But more people need to know, and need to attend! This weekend I’ve learned a lot, danced a lot, worshipped a lot, and even been given the chance to serve — all in the urban culture context. I’m a Christian...