Our Living Tradition

  • Transmogrified


    Click to listen here (as delivered in Nantucket on February 18, 2018). I first learned the word “transmogrified” from Calvin and Hobbes. You may remember the comic strip by Bill Waterston, which ran from 1985 to 1995. Calvin, aged 6, was part Christopher Robin and part Dennis the Menace, and his stuffed tiger, Hobbes, regularly… Continue reading

  • Give Them Not Hell

    Give Them Not Hell

    A Time for All Ages John Murray and The Winds of Change by Christy Olson and Jessica York Sermon True or false: In April of 1775, Paul Revere rode through the streets from Boston to Lexington yelling “The British Are Coming”. True or false: The Declaration of Independence was signed by everyone on July 4,… Continue reading

  • Can I Get a Witness?

    Can I Get a Witness?

    You never know what a casual, off-handed comment will lead to. Three times on Saturday, I made a casual comment about who I am, where I work, and what I do, and three times, I found myself sharing the good news of Unitarian Universalism. The first was outside our congregation’s yard sale. I must have… Continue reading

  • The Dangers of DIY

    The Dangers of DIY

    Over at Quest for Meaning, David Breeden made the case for Unitarian Universalism being a Do It Yourself religion. He writes: We do well to draw a sharp line between the subjectivity of religious experience and the objectivity of a congregational, corporate life together. Where I get my personal religious jolt is up to me—Hinduism, Christianity, Buddhism,… Continue reading

  • Social Gospel through Universalist Eyes

    Social Gospel through Universalist Eyes

    I recently studied American Theological Liberalism with Gary Dorrien, and was quite taken by a chapter (from Dorrien’s The Making of American Liberal Theology, Volume 1) on the social gospelers. As I read the chapter, I found myself saying “amen” to Walter Rauschenbusch’s understanding of Christianity, that Jesus’s message was that the personal and the political… Continue reading

  • Participating in the Universe

    Participating in the Universe

    After the service Sunday, we had a small group conversation – what some congregations call a talkback but which Saratoga calls “church chat.” It was a lively discussion about the series of sermons I just wrapped up on God – over three weeks, I talked about the transcendent, the immanent, and the creating-creator aspects of the Divine… Continue reading

  • General Assembly: A People on the Move

    General Assembly: A People on the Move

    I attended General Assembly in Louisville last week, and I’m still high off the buzz. (Those who follow me on Twitter or are Facebook friends got quite an eyeful, as I joined many of my fellow attendees live-blogging our experiences.) In a nutshell, it is a transformative experience; I was an offsite delegate two years… Continue reading

  • The Future Is Now.

    The Future Is Now.

    I’ve been reading with interest a couple of the recent Berry Street Lectures – Paul Razor’s from 2009, and Fred Muir’s from 2012. They both explore what the future of Unitarian Universalism can be – from finding ways to embrace multiculturalism to shedding the negative impacts individualism and a polity founded in the dominant European-American… Continue reading

  • Words Matter.

    Words Matter.

    Civil War historian Bruce Catton once said that if people are going to agree on something, any words will do, but it is an infallible sign of a coming fight when people argue over the precise wording. In Syracuse, in late October 1959, the UUA was very nearly an almost thing, simply because of a fight… Continue reading

  • Yes/And: Can Someone Be a Theistic Humanist?

    Yes/And: Can Someone Be a Theistic Humanist?

    It seems that one of the debates we have in our denomination is between the theists and the humanists: theists long to express their various perspectives on God through worship, prayer, and praise – and stop with all the shrieking; while humanists want moral and ethical arguments without all the “God talk” that we came… Continue reading

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Learn more about my ministry at The Art of Meaning

Read my thoughts about congregational life at Hold My Chalice