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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Hopefully Waiting

As we go from here, my hope for you and for me is that we will take inspiration from these stories of new houses and new commitments. My hope is that we’ll each continue to do our part for change and justice . . . knowing that, while we may have to wait on outcomes that we desire, we certainly don’t have to wait on taking action.

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The Gift of Hope

Toppled tree and destroyed homes after Joplin, MO tornado in 2011

It seems to me that hope doesn’t release us completely from anxiety or grief during our darkest times. Rather, hope’s gift is the feeling that we can go on in spite of our suffering. The answers to our questions are complicated details . . . . They can and must wait for another day.

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Behind the Baked Loaf

A variety of bread rolls with sesame and poppy seed toppings

by Rev. Terry Davis   Delivered at Northwest Unitarian Universalist Congregation on November 20, 2016   Dear friends, I have a confession to make: I’ve never baked a loaf of bread in my life. Yes, I’ve made my share of what are commonly referred to as “quick breads” – banana bread, zucchini bread, cranberry walnut bread, and corn bread, to name […]

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The Lost Art of Condolences

A black card with With Sympathy written on it and a photo of the deceased, Matiku Nyitambe

And, so if you are grieving today, let’s take the time to honor your pain. Let’s practice the art of condolences with one another by listening with an open heart and by refraining from offering advice or quick fixes. As Rev. Peter Morales said, let’s take a deep breath and give each other the space we need to heal.

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Picking Up the Pieces

A puzzle piece being held up against a bright window

We don’t have to try to forgive, accept, or love those on the other side of our issues – although it seems like, by striving to do so, we’d be throwing Miracle Grow on our spiritual growth. To be a good sport means we can be gracious losers . . . and dispense with the gloating if we’re winners. Because to really win in a world where we depend on one another for peace and prosperity, we really can’t afford to have anyone walk away a loser. We must find a way for all of us to have a place the table – Thanksgiving and otherwise.

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When We Disagreed

photo of a snapped branch

by Jay Kiskel, Worship Associate Delivered at Northwest Unitarian Universalist Congregation on October 30, 2016 With whom do we covenant? To whom do we extend our promise to honor the strength found in our diversity, to embrace the full measure of our common humanity, to communicate in kindness? I would like us to ponder the answers to those questions as I share […]

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You’ve Got a Friend

May today and every day be the day that we’re grateful for the good friends we have, and the friends we’ve known. And may we always anticipate the ones we’ve yet to meet. More than any prayer or song, may it be our friends that connect us to the deepest part of ourselves and to that mystery that we may know as the spirit of Life.

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A Promise to Be Kind

No act of kindness no matter how small is ever wasted. Aesop

I have a strong feeling that Karen Armstrong is right – that kindness is the way to heal what divides us and build a global community in which all peoples can live together with mutual respect. As people of faith, my hope is that all of us here can be part of the solution . . . and that we will not fail what is perhaps the test of our time.

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We Who Defy Hate

Photo from jfr.org

Not all of us can do what Waitstill and Martha Sharp did to help others in need, which included turning their lives upside down and creating a brand new set of life priorities based on their most cherished values. However, in thinking about their story and the current refugee crisis that has exploded across Europe, Turkey and the Middle East, I’m nevertheless faced with the question of “What can I do?” “What does my faith compel me to do?”

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