Confessions, part 8

I had made a commitment to Unitarian Universalism. When people asked me what religion I was, instead of saying "nothing" or "a little bit of everything" (depending upon how much I felt like explaining myself), I would say I'm a Unitarian. It was tentative at first. I said it a little abashedly and waited to see what the reaction would be - from others and from myself. Like trying on a new coat to check the fit.

Confessions, part 9

As I was coming to terms with my own discomfort of "going to church," I soon became aware of other sources of discomfort within my church. Jewish UUs who chafed at the word "church" for deeper reasons than mine. Atheist UUs who chafed at "church" and even more so at "God." Christian UUs who felt that their "church" was hostile to any meaningful expression of Christianity. And Pagan UUs who still experienced disdain for their beliefs/practices from other supposedly open-minded UUs. 

Confessions, part 10

In the Fall of 2004 I took an ASD class with Rev. Rob Hardies and Bill Rice called Unitarian Universalist Theology.  I had signed up for the course with a mixture of hope and skepticism.  As I said during our introductions in the first session, I was skeptical that there really was any such thing as UU theology, skeptical that there was anything that we could say that all UUs believed.  Yet I was there because I hoped that there was.

Rob started the class with an overview of what we would be discussing, which followed the standard format of theology - our view of God, our view of humanity, our view of our relationship between God and humanity.

Confessions, part 11

In addition to the study of theology, I had of course also been regularly attending services at All Souls.  Steadily, the sights and sounds of worship, which I had associated with alienation from a theology that I could not accept, were increasingly associated with the joy I felt from being in a community whose values I shared.

Then came my first General Assembly, an annual gathering of UUs from across the world.  GA of 2005 was a big one for All Souls.  Our congregation had been chosen to be featured as one of our association's "breakthrough congregations" because of our growth and revitalization.  Both Rob and Shana were receiving full fellowship.  And Rob was preaching the sermon at Sunday worship.   I wanted to be there.  Plus, I was just really curious as to what this GA thing was all about.  

Confessions, part 12

Easter Sunday is a good day to talk about the "good news."

"Evangelical" today is generally associated with a conservative Christian movement that is trying to impose its moral beliefs on others via organized political efforts. But "evangelical" traditionally referred to a charismatic Christian movement, whose members experienced a conversion experience so personally profound they couldn't help but put their beliefs into action. Early evangelical Christians were not conservative. Rather they were at the forefront of the abolitionist and feminist movements. They worked in the trenches on behalf of the indigent. And they couldn't help but tell others about their conversion experiences, which is what, unfortunately, led to their bible-thumping reputation.

Resurrection

It's Easter Sunday and we're born again!

Forgive me reader for I have sinned.  It's been nearly a year since my last confession.

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Our senior minister is on sabbatical so we had a guest preacher this Easter morn - Marylin Sewell.  She started off by acknowledging the UU discomfort with Easter.  Of the sample of UU Easter sermon titles she listed, "You Can't Keep a Good Man Down" was my favorite.  And then she went into the passion story - a story with which I am well familiar - and yet for the first time, I finally understood what the resurrection actually meant.

My liberation theology professor had tried to explain a non-literal interpretation of the resurrection.  And I got it - well enough to relay it back - but I didn't really "get" it.

Imus

I'm hearing people complaining about a double standard/hypocrisy with respect to Don Imus' comments. The argument goes something like this: Imus used the same words that "rappers" use, and they don't get in trouble. So why is it that black men are allowed to say "ho" but when a white man says it all hell breaks loose?

Ignoring for the moment that for as long as power is held predominantly by one group in this country a "double standard" is not a double standard, this debate ignores the central issue. (so what else is new?) What Imus said was wrong, it was racist, even if he had not used the words that he used. It wasn't "nappy-headed hos" that was the problem; it was the judgment that he was making about the women's Rutgers team.

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