SERMON: A Dream in the Heart
People “cannot continue long to live if the dream in the heart has perished. It is then that they stop hoping, stop looking, and the last embers of their anticipations fade away”—a potent message—perhaps a warning—from the twentieth-century, Christian mystic, Howard Thurman. People “cannot continue long to live if the dream in the heart has perished. It is then that they stop hoping.” Hope is our December ministry theme. Hope and December go hand-in-hand. There’s nothing like this dark mid-winter season to engender in us quiet reflection on hope. There’s nothing like this dark mid-winter season to call forth from us expressions—poems, songs, carols, prayers, stories—of hope. Continue reading….
PUBLIC WITNESS: Just Because a Thing is Legal….
There’s a lot of ferment in the nation right now. We’ve arrived at a moment in which we, as a nation, have an opportunity to make extraordinary change. It shouldn’t have required the police killings of two unarmed black men—Michael Brown in Ferguson, MO and Eric Garner in Staten Island, NY—but the nation is listening in a way it hasn’t listened in decades. Continue reading….
“Epicenter Ferguson” (A Poet-Preacher Collaboration)
Last weekend I heard multiple rumors that the St. Louis County Grand Jury considering whether or not to indict White Ferguson, MO police Officer, Darren Wilson for the fatal August 9th shooting of an unarmed Black teenager, Michael Brown, was about to deliver its decision and that it would likely not indict Officer Wilson. Maybe you heard those rumors too. I tend to think the Grand Jury will indict Officer Wilson, but I understand why so many people believe rumors to the contrary. On Monday the Prosecuting Attorney, Robert McCulloch, called the rumors “rank speculation.” I think there are more sensitive words than “rank” to use in a situation like this. I’ve always used “rank” to describe the smell of my socks after a long run. I hope that isn’t what McCulloch meant. Continue reading….
SERMON: A Sufficient Quantity of Faith
In an interview with Krista Tippett for the American Public Media show “On Being,” Nadia Bolz-Weber, founding pastor of Denver’s House for All Sinners and Saints, said, “I don’t think faith is given in sufficient quantity to individuals…. I think it’s given in sufficient quantity to communities.” She offers this thought as part of a broader, ongoing, playful yet pointed critique of American Protestantism, which she describes both as “Western individualism run amok in religion” and the “personal me-and-Jesus, how-I-feel, what-my-piety-is, [what]-my-personal-prayer-life-[is]—all of that stuff.” As Unitarian Universalists it is easy to assume this critique doesn’t apply to us because, well, she’s not talking to us; she’s talking to Lutherans, Baptists, Episcopalians, etc. We don’t get all the jokes about high church Christian theology, but that’s OK. Her message isn’t really for us. Except maybe it is. Continue reading….