Questions of comfort
Where do you find comfort in suffering if you don't believe suffering has a greater purpose?
Following my moral compass
We all navigate through circumstances at the limits of human experience.
Religious community is not enough
Unitarian Universalism's purpose is much bigger than gathering with like-minded people for mutual support.
Who gets to tell Jesus's story?
A single story may win, but the alternate stories do not fully disappear.
A letter about Santa and God
By telling the truth about Santa, maybe I can better explain what I believe about God.
Live better, help often, wonder more
The Sunday Assembly movement shares Unitarian Universalism's values, but has a lot more fun expressing them.
A lie, or just editing?
How much can you alter a story before it’s not itself any more?
Is religion broken?
There’s a movement that attracts millions of people and encourages them to become their best selves—but it’s not a church.
Belief is the enemy of faith
A new interfaith, multifaith spirituality is struggling to be born.
A pond behind the church?
In my experience, no one improves by way of a scolding.
What is the nature of nature?
Three Unitarian Universalist perspectives.
Bound in covenant
Congregational covenants are declarations of interdependence.
Meaning in the midst of war
Easy answers lead to difficult questions. So why not just start with the questions?
What Unitarian Universalists want
Unitarian Universalists share a profound sense of what we cherish and what we want to become.
Becoming fluent in faith
We need to embrace the challenge of using religious language with comfort and integrity.
Wrestling with Easter
We need a secular Easter mythology.
Grief and celebration are interwoven in this world, like winter and spring.
A humanist's guide to prayer
What would the prayer of a humanist sound like?
The moral arc reconsidered
Empirical evidence that the arc of the moral universe bends toward justice.
The surprising success of lifeboat faith
Unitarian Universalism cannot thrive if we don’t at least understand the appeal of religions that give people identity and direction.
The end of iChurch
To build Beloved Community, Unitarian Universalism needs a new narrative.
Unitarian Universalism's two truths
What is our healing message? To what are we being beckoned when we gather?
The next Jesus to come through the door
When I meet a Jesus, I like to keep an open mind.
When God is a baby
A soul story is a dream from the depths of a culture.
Voices: What comes next?
What do you think happens after you die?
Stitching it together
It would be easier to use a blanket, but we ask more of people who enter our churches: We ask them to be quilters.
Obama's religious roots
Despite his childhood exposure to Unitarian Universalism, Barack Obama found his religious home elsewhere.
We should be more countercultural
UUs should experience tension between our religious values and those of the secular world.
A passion for reason
Reason needs the energy of passion in order to inspire others.
Getting over dualism
Many UUs reject the separation of the spiritual and the material.
Reverence is an organic human experience that requires no supernatural explanations.
Democracy and empire
Liberal religion can nurture the weakened democratic spirit and push back against the forces of empire.
A candid welcome to Unitarian Universalism
Top 10 reasons you may not feel comfortable here.
At my mother's funeral
Unitarian Universalists are precisely the people who can't believe whatever they want.
We cannot hear unless there is silence.
I'm chagrined to learn that our Christmas pageants have the birth in the stable all wrong.
The threat of fundamentalism
Unitarian Universalists must boldly participate in the religious marketplace of ideas.
Our shadow side
Unitarian Universalism is a religious movement that no longer takes religion seriously.
A candy bar for death
I remember exactly when I first became afraid of death in a more-than-childish way.
Rob Bell's case for Universalism
Popular evangelical Rob Bell makes the case for universal salvation.
How Unitarian Universalists break the rules
Rule breaking just might be right up our alley.
ESPN film examines curses and scapegoats
Unitarian Universalist minister lends religious perspective to questions of fan behavior.
Grace to the rescue
Unitarian Universalist ideas about what saves us.
After 9/11, can Unitarian Universalists talk about evil?
Despite religious liberals' uneasiness with the word, we have something important to say about evil.
Before words: The spirituality of Humanism
Spirituality is an awareness of the gap between what you can experience and what you can describe.
A nation of religious changelings
A fickle religious marketplace offers promise and peril for Unitarian Universalists.
The unfulfilled dream
We neglected the Universalist challenge of restating our core convictions in contemporary terms.
The life of the spirit
We are discovering Universalism's theological bounty.
With diversity comes strength
Our congregations are only starting to embrace what we teach our children.
Let mission drive us
Welcoming change requires a strong sense of a congregation's mission.
Different UU ideas about God
You're definitely in good company when it comes to God-turning and God-thinking.
Grace wins in the end
'I am a sworn enemy of the saccharine, and a believer in grace over karma.'
Optimism often lies, but hope never fails.
Only when we strip away magical thinking can we see the sacred in everything.
Stop the elevator; I'm not done
If someone on an elevator asked you what Unitarian Universalism is, could you answer before one of you reached your destination?
Opening words, Winter 2010
Spiritual enthusiasm toward the enrichment of human life.
The demon of certainty and the curious heart
Certainty is the most dangerous demon of all.
If our beliefs have meaning, we must act as if our souls depend on it.
Do all religions share a common thread?
Understanding our religious differences may be the best hope for promoting cooperation.
Theodore Parker, radical theologian
2010 is the bicentennial of the most influential Unitarian minister who ever lived.
There is enough
There's enough for you. There's enough for me. We don't have to throw anybody under the bus.
The welcome table
How the hospitality of progressive churches cultivates forgiveness and justice.
The wisdom tree
Sometimes the place where you used to find wisdom gets destroyed.
What can we reasonably believe about an afterlife?
Where should we assign the burden of proof for ideas about the afterlife?
Black humanism's response to suffering
Suffering is not redemptive; we must take human responsibility for eradicating it.
We are already in paradise
There is no land promised to any of us other than the land already given.
I haven't played chess in decades, yet somehow I've ended up with a chess player's worldview.
Who owns your congregation?
A congregation's owner isn't its board, minister, or members; it is its mission.
Can Unitarian Universalism change?
Our tradition has always been responsive to the needs of its time, but are we ready to adapt to our increasingly multicultural society?
Mary Daly changed my life
I am not sorry that I used to be ‘one of those angry women.’
The religious left
An old tradition for a new day.
Theological rationale for abortion
Defending abortion from a liberal Christian perspective.
Who says Unitarian Universalism's Principles are easy?
The UU Principles are demanding enough to make me whine.
Jesus, peasant revolutionary
A paradoxical power is revealed in people the world despises, in people the world deems weak.
Forrest Church's Universalism
For Church, 'E pluribus unum' was a civic ideal and a religious insight.
The cathedral of the world
A twenty-first-century theology, based on the concept of one light and many windows.
If there is a God . . .
As an agnostic, I'm definitely an atheist about some gods. But what kind of God might be possible?
The gospel of inclusion
The Universalism of former Pentecostal bishop Carlton Pearson.
John Murray's conversion to Universalism
How an 18th-century Calvinist was converted to Universalism.
The human condition
If the ego is about how we are separate, then the spirit is about how we are connected.
Holding the center against sectarianism and secularity
Religious liberals reject the idea that a religion is a collection of beliefs that are either true or false.
Imagineers of soul
Our churches should be sorcerer’s apprentices in the art of opening the doors of meaning. Why, then, are we so scared?
A religion for hard times
Faith is what’s left when you stop responding to radical uncertainty with panic and denial.
Our inner ape
How deeply rooted is our Unitarian Universalist belief in peace and justice for all?
How Darwinian evolution has transformed liberal religion.
That elusive more
What do Unitarian Universalists need to go deeper?
A broken hallelujah
Praise in the midst of a broken world and a broken heart?
The Tyger and the Lamb
Faith in authority divides the self and endangers the world. But faith in each other, a covenantal faith, can bring personal and global peace.
Assembly of a lesser god
Belief and worship are powerful tools for organizing thought and behavior. If others get control of those tools, they can make us dance like puppets. But if we’re careful, we can learn to pull our own strings.
Though Jesus did not rise from the dead
Jesus died and decomposed, and yet he was right: Nothing is utterly lost.
Early Christians emphasized paradise, not crucifixion
How we can reclaim a theology of earthly paradise.
Love and death
Facing cancer with lessons learned from my parishioners.
The Sources of Unitarian Universalism
Adopted by the Unitarian Universalist Association in 1984.
Our congregationalist heritage
Unitarian Universalists have held fast to one aspect of their Puritan roots: congregational polity.
Unfinished with Christianity
Most Unitarian Universalists live in tension with Christianity. I wish we talked about this more.
Toward a Unitarian Universalist theology of war and peace.
What is sacred?
The relationship of all living things.
What is evil?
A view of human nature grounded in human possibility rather than pathology.
A Unitarian Universalist view of 'The Secret'
Despite the silly 'science' and fake experts on the hit DVD, some of The Secret's advice actually helped me.
Pete Stark's untroubled humanism
A Unitarian Congressman can't fathom why his nontheism is causing such a fuss.
Liberal theology, vibrant but hidden
Unitarian Universalism was liberal theology's first home, but we have neglected it lately.
Liberal religion and the working class
Unitarian Universalism has a class problem.
Jesus for UU children
New book offers a Unitarian Universalist view.
Passionate, unfiltered voices about ministry
New book about congregations and ministers working together.
The death of li'l Anthrax
A more vicious little creature you could hardly imagine.
Love the contradictions
The world needs people who can love it in its contradiction and complexity.
Does humanism need to be new?
A Harvard conference offers a 'new humanism,' but how does it differ from the old?
What is Unitarian Universalist Buddhism?
The history of UU engagement with Buddhism and its growing significance.
Central concepts in Buddhism.
Did James Luther Adams really predict 'Christian fascists'?
Chris Hedges invokes UU theologian James Luther Adams in his new book, 'American Fascists,' but gets Adams only half-right.
What membership means
Our covenant is open to all who will enter it with us.
How Jesus claimed me
One Unitarian Universalist's religious journey.
A theology of gratitude
Gratitude should be the center of Unitarian Universalist theology.
The emerging religious humanism
What is humanistic religious naturalism?
What demythologizers tell their children
Stories are for everyone.
Straight to Jesus
Inside the Evangelical gay-conversion movement.
What torture has taught me
My twelve years at the helm of Amnesty International.
Can Unitarian Universalists talk about failure?
Original Sin isn't a good idea. Expecting perfection isn't, either.
Sam Harris challenges liberal religious tolerance
Sam Harris has good news and bad news for Unitarian Universalists.
Why Unitarian Universalists need a language of reverence
The language of reverence is the language of humanity.
Love as a way of life
Love your neighbor, even before disaster strikes.
Harvard announces professorship in Unitarian Universalist studies
Ralph Waldo Emerson Professor will focus on liberal religious traditions.
Counterculture and liberal religion
20th-century transformations of liberal religion.
The difference between peaceful and violent religions
What does it mean to talk about 'peaceful' or 'violent' religions?
Free speech doesn't justify incendiary speech
When religion is involved, hate speech kills.
The wonder of evolution
Science and religion stand together.
'Great Story' religious education
Science and religion in the Sunday school.
Many religions, but only one earth
Can reverence for the earth bring us together across religious differences?
Martin Luther King Jr.’s demanding God
King's God breaks down our divisions.
Learning to see more than meets the eye
Look for the divine in the world as it is.
What do Unitarian Universalists believe?
Unitarian Universalists hold many beliefs in common.
Do UUs have theological common ground?
Two books look for liberal religion's theological foundations.
Halloween's ritual roots
Even in its secular and commercial form, Halloween ritualizes our inescapable destination.
Why liberal religion offers a better way
Liberal religious people need to reclaim the moral agenda.
New songbook explores new music styles
A review of Singing the Journey.
The spiritual in science fiction
A Unitarian Universalist take on science fiction and fantasy.
Hosea Ballou's Universalist manifesto
The pioneering theologian Hosea Ballou challenged the doctrine of damnation.
Book collects key texts in UU reverence debate
Documentary history of the 'vocabulary of reverence' debate.
Small group ministry creates sacred time
A time when the stories of our lives are heard.
James Luther Adams's examined faith
Faith is not fundamentally about one's beliefs but about one's commitments.
Church of all sorts
Some faiths focus on all saints and others on all souls, but Unitarian Universalism is a faith of all sorts.
The ceremony of innocence
A ceremony of innocence is a statement of faith and an act of hope.
Was Thomas Jefferson really a Unitarian?
What makes someone 'one of us'?
The pages of sin
Greed, envy, gluttony, and lust reconsidered.
Where is the line between life and death?
How long should someone, unable to live on her own, be kept alive?
A religion of exile and personal choice
Unitarian Universalists aren't strangers to exile.
Jesus and the modern seeker
It may take an act of great will to see past the relics of tradition to something new.
Unitarian Universalism's humanist legacy
Seventy years of religious humanism.
Science and its metaphors
How far does the authority of science go?
We are all part of God
God is a reality that includes all of us but is bigger than any one of us.
Ralph Waldo Emerson's Unitarian legacy
What do we see in Ralph Waldo Emerson on his 200th birthday?
The shadow side to Emerson's influence.
Theodore Parker, heretical prophet
Theodore Parker did more to establish our justice-seeking heritage than anyone else.
Why Martin Luther King Jr. wasn't a UU
A reflection on race and theology.
Witness for the things that make for peace.
Interview with Rita Nakashima Brock and Rebecca Parker
What to do when experience challenges tradition.
Can violence save?
Challenging the theology of redemptive suffering.
Suffering does not redeem us
Two feminist theologians say suffering redeems nothing.
What endures in a time of terror: A sermon from the week of 9/11.
Has terrorism shaken our religious principles?
9/11 challenges Unitarian Universalists to think about evil.
Universalism: A theology for the 21st century
To the Universalist, truth in religion is like truth in poetry.
Stories from Universalist history
Stories of Universalists.
Claiming and reclaiming Universalism
Reflecting on the Unitarian and Universalist merger.