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First UU Blog

Columns and occasional online reflections from First UU Ministers, staff and members of our community.

 

 

Tuesday Blog: Rev. Jennifer Brooks - The Universe in Motion PDF Print E-mail
Written by Rev. Jennifer Brooks   
Tuesday, 08 March 2016 00:00

blog jb universeSometimes the words of the 13th century Sufi Muslim poet Rumi seize me with an idea that nine centuries later is still liberating: “Stop acting so small. You are the universe in ecstatic motion.”

Me?

Yet a moment’s thought later and I see so many ways that each of us is the universe in motion. We are part of the cycle of life. In the rhythms of growth and connection and yearning and aging —and even death—we mirror the life of stars. We are, in one brief instant of living, the primordial ocean of being and the eternal expansion of space and time. We are part of all that is. Stardust grounds our bones; to evoke us the Universe inspired a star to coalesce, burn, and explode.

click here to read the rest of Rev. Jennifer's Column
 
Tuesday Blog: Rev. Eric Meter - New Orleans PDF Print E-mail
Written by Rev. Eric Meter   
Tuesday, 01 March 2016 13:14

blog em neworleans2The two color sheet was stuck to the church classroom wall with four strips of bright blue painters masking tape. It read, “If you have come to help me you are wasting your time. But if you have come because your liberation is bound up with mind, then let us work together.” The poster was on a wall of what had become the dinning room at the First Unitarian Church of New Orleans where a number of us from First UU Columbus, youth and adults, were engaged in a justice project in June of 2010. Yes, five years after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, the rebuilding was still never much underway.

(The quote was attributed to an Aboriginal activist group. Since then I’ve seen the same quote attributed to Lilla Watson, though she, an Aboriginal activist, prefers that the credit be shared more widely.)

In any case, the poster’s message became a touch-stone for us during our time in New Orleans. It helped us understand what we were doing there in a way we probably wouldn’t have otherwise.

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Tuesday Blog: Brian Hagemann - Reaching for the Sun PDF Print E-mail
Written by Brian Hagemann   
Tuesday, 23 February 2016 14:27

7th principleThe February theme of ‘desire’ (and the news I’m about to share) had me thinking about my deeply held longing and hope for a green and vibrant world teeming with biodiversity and humans living in harmony for generations.  As UU's, we all desire a healthy and sustainable future that reverses some of the damage the Earth’s ecosystems are struggling with.  I’ve spent much of my activist life working with a variety of environmental groups (from Earth First! and Student Environmental Action in college to the Green Party and other special interest groups) to help bring about such change.  But now, as a parent, with the ever growing spectre of climate change my worry and sense of urgency is heightened.  Sometimes, fortunately, desire can transform into hope.

You may have noticed by now a new addition to the First UU facility on the roof above the main entrance.  As part of our Green and Growing capital campaign, we now have a medium sized solar array providing clean, renewable energy right here at First UU!  We’re not sure, but as Rev. Eric mentioned in his sermon this past Sunday, we may be the first church in the area to have installed solar.  As a visible commitment to our Unitarian Universalist 7th Principle (respect for the interdependent web of all existence), this is a tangible and concrete way that we can live out our faith’s values and contribute to the healing of our larger world.  Renewable energy such as solar will be necessary to address climate change as it represents a reduction in our ‘carbon footprint’, mainly by offsetting coal-burning energy production here in this region.  Our congregation should be very proud of this small step in that direction.

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Tuesday Blog: Rev. Lane Campbell - Desire PDF Print E-mail
Written by Rev. Lane Campbell   
Tuesday, 16 February 2016 00:00

heartAs I read about this month’s theme, Desire, I have to admit I got a bit squirmy. Desire? Really?! It seems that in having grown up in New England, I have developed an aversion to desire that probably has its roots in some sort of Puritan values. I received the message that desire was wrong- that wanting something for yourself or for others was being greedy or selfish. And I wonder if others in this community grew up with similar messages. I wonder what messages you have received about desire throughout your life and how these learning’s have shaped you.

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Tuesday Blog: Rev. Jennifer Brooks - Beyond Appearances PDF Print E-mail
Written by Rev. Jennifer Brooks   
Tuesday, 09 February 2016 00:00

milkywayOnce in the middle of a starry night, I turned my face upwards to that beauty and mystery and felt my own longing. I couldn’t then articulate what it was I longed for, but I knew there was something—something I should do or be—that wasn’t yet part of my life.

That moment changed my future. I had been happy with my life and continued to be happy with my life. But in that moment of conscious longing, I planted a seed of desire that gradually sprouted and blossomed.

I began to be more mindful of what I was doing. I’d ask myself, “Is this what I long for?” I began to look attentively at new possibilities. “Is this what’s missing?” Somehow this awareness of my inarticulate longing opened the door to discovery. I finally figured it out. I became a Unitarian Universalist minister.

What do we desire? In this February when “desire” is both the worship theme and a Valentine’s Day message, each of us might take a moment to consider what we want. What we desire. What we long for.

Click here to read the rest of Rev. Jennifer's column
 
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