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Blog roundup, Spring 2014

Online responses to UU World.
By Heather Christensen
Spring 2014

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Many Unitarian Universalists participate in lively online discussion of a wide variety of topics. Keep up with the conversation: Read UU World’s blog at The Interdependent Web, which highlights the best blog commentary each week along with other user-generated content.


Atheism and UUism

Sarah, a Unitarian in Scotland blogging at Meaning and Truth, commented on the appeal of the atheist Sunday Assembly in Edinburgh: “Church, if you set aside the religious element, is about congregating with others to take a bit of time out from busy lives and reflect on life a bit; to be uplifted together; to reach out and do some good to others.” (October 26)

As a child, the Rev. Jake Morrill (Quest for Meaning) was a “playground atheist” supported by UU community: “[It] was as an atheist that I first came to see, in a way that was real and has not failed me since, how I am part of a love wider than my own life, and how that spacious embrace makes itself known to me, most often, through a community like the one that first told me, ‘You are not alone.’” (November 18)

The Rev. Andy Pakula, blogging at Throw Yourself Like Seed, pushed back against the BBC’s anti-atheist bias: “One of the most beautiful things about Unitarianism is that it refused to establish any belief test for members—it is and always has been a non-creedal faith. How ironic that the BBC—a tax-funded corporation dedicated to serving all the public—has established just such a belief test. (December 26)


Family life

Andrew Hidas wrote at traversing about six life-changing kinds of experiences, including how life changes for new parents: “[We] are now bound in a new way to the ground of existence itself, to the generativity that is in our very genes and so deeply embedded in our psyches as to be instinctive, driven and whole.” (October 6)

When his two-day-old daughter was admitted to the hospital, the Rev. Dr. Michael Tino (UU Fellow­ship of Northern Westchester) learned valuable lessons: “The holy resides in our ability to ask for help and receive it. The holy resides in our ability to hear another’s cry for help and respond. The holy resides in our connections of compassion and vulnerability.” (November 3)

Sarah MacLeod of Finding My Ground felt like beach grass holding down her family’s shifting sand: “During the too-many years of the disintegration of my marriage and changes on their other home front, the sands shifted, and my children needed overt stabilization from me. . . . [Like] the beach grass, when I, too, was covered in sand and sorrow, three feet under, I survived, and so did they.” (September 18)


Online connections

Before blogs and social media, the UUs-L mailing list helped UUs bridge geographic distances; writing at Free and Responsible Search, Doug Muder remembered its heyday with gratitude: “[If] I said something clumsily, people would misunderstand me and we’d be off on some ridiculous argument that would never have happened if I’d just been clearer. That daily back-and-forth taught me how to write not just to make sense to myself, but to make sense to other people.” (October 15)

Blogging at Long Thoughts, Tina Porter wrote, “One thing I’ve learned in my years of blogging and posting to Facebook is this: connection is not virtual. The medium may be, but you can love and care for others and send it via electronic means as well as face-to-face and hand-to-hand. Sometimes it has to be heart-to-heart—by any means possible.” (January 5)


Collar experiments

The Rev. Joanna Fontaine Crawford of Boots and Blessings blogged about working from Starbucks—wearing both a clerical collar and a rainbow flag pin: “I figured I could sit by the door, just taking care of some work on my computer, and maybe, just maybe, the juxtaposition of the collar and the pin might introduce the idea into some teen’s head that ‘Hey, maybe religion and gay aren’t enemies.’ Maybe even, ‘Hey. Maybe God doesn’t hate me.’” (December 12)

At Under the Collar, the Rev. Tamara Lebak shared her plan to wear a clerical collar every day of 2014 except for Sundays: “I have been able to choose when and whether I presented myself as a minister. After eight years of being nurtured by my church for the whole of who I am, my next most obvious step is to come out as a clergy person.” (January 1)


UUism and Christianity

At Just Wondering, the Rev. Andy Burnette shared a five-part series, “Queering Jesus and Paul,” concluding that “the Bible actually demands the constant questioning of cultural norms, including categories of gender and sexuality. Prejudice is always a misinterpretation of this bold and welcoming, boundary-shattering, norm-destroying text when it is viewed as a whole.” (December 25)


This article appeared in the Spring 2014 issue of UU World (pages 68–69). See sidebar for links to related resources.

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