From Father to Son

As Unitarian Universalists who affirm the worth and dignity of every person and promote justice, equity and compassion in human relations, I imagine we all agree that something needs to be done to stem the tide of black male deaths in our country and to put an end to systemic racism. We know of many movements and programs out there that are working to do that, and some of you are active in these.

I also believe it’s important not just to look at what needs to be done out there, but also what needs to change in here – within Unitarian Universalism – to end our own internal racism so that we can truly claim the just and beloved community that is our ideal and our goal.

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This Land Is Your Land

With school out and warm weather upon us, I want to explore with you this morning the dilemma we face as Park Lovers and Park Users. I would like to take a look at what we can do to enjoy our parks this summer while being mindful that it is our human activity – however well intentioned – that often does the most harm to the land we love.

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A Mother to Me

As we go from here, may we experience gratitude for those mothers and mother-figures that were extraordinary in their compassion and wise in their admonishments. May we embrace their examples and return the kindness, nurturing and warmth we have received to those in our lives who might need to lean on us for a little mothering, too.

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You Are What You Eat

Earth on a plate with silverware to either side

As Unitarian Universalists who strive to embrace our values in our everyday lives, to intentionally think about all aspects of our food is, perhaps, to also acknowledge that we are what we eat. In other words, if I say that my faith compels me to embark on a responsible search for truth and meaning and then I fail to investigate my food’s source and path to my table, then perhaps I’m eating irresponsibly.

We have the opportunity to approach our food with reverence, with joy and with mindfulness. And, as we do, I believe our mindfulness can lead us to curiosity and our curiosity can lead us to action and change.

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Easter Sunday and Flower Communion

My hope is that we’ll believe that our own lives and zest for living may be resurrected from whatever deadens us, especially fear, loneliness, despair and apathy. The gospel according to Luke . . . and the gospel according to Mark V. . . . tell us that life is never over. The good news – which is the meaning of the word gospel – is that we can each participate in our own restoration by not waiting but, rather, by acting on life.

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Holy Impatience

What may be needed when times call for courage is not peace and politeness, but, rather, some rough and tumble impatience. Perhaps it’s when we allow ourselves to get in touch with our angry impatience that we’re finally able to get in touch with our nerve.

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One Small Thing

Small actions x lots of people equals beg change

Don’t let anything or anyone flip us into a place of hopelessness . . . a place where we forget how beautiful, powerful and important we each are. For the sake of our world and the sake of our spirits, we must keep Martin Luther King Jr.’s vision of the Beloved Community in plain sight . . . a vision of a world filled with love, compassion and justice for all people.

 

And, I believe the only way to achieve this is for each of us – when we’re feeling frustrated, angry, discouraged or even faint – to look closely into our worried hearts and our upside-down faces and ask ourselves, “Have you considered doing something else?” And, then decide what our one small thing might be . . . and do it!

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Bending Toward Justice (MLK Sunday)

Despite our forward journey along the arc of the moral universe toward justice, we still have much to do. More than 150 years after the death of Theodore Parker, we are still living with oppressive laws. And nearly 50 years after the death of King, we still seem to be stuck in the mountains of materialism, racial injustice, indifference to poverty, and hate and violence. Parker and King might encourage us to get busy to help move our world along the arc of the moral universe. And, I believe we can start with something right in our own backyard.

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Letter to a Southern Baptist Pastor

Animals and Earth as the top of a tree being held up by four humans who form the trunk of the tree

E.O. Wilson writes, “If there is any moral precept shared by people of all beliefs, it is that we owe ourselves and future generations a beautiful, rich, and healthful environment.” In other words, regardless of who or what is our God, no matter whether we think Earth is 6,000 or 4.5 billion years old, we all share the common ground of our common planet.

So, let’s not stop our good individual efforts and advocacy for environmental sustainability. But, let’s also consider in the days ahead how we might reach out to those with whom we feel so far apart philosophically, religiously, and politically and come together around an environmental concern that is in all of our best interests.

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