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First UU Blog

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



First UU Blog - Assuming Positive Intent - Amy Rudawsky, SYC PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 31 March 2016 16:31

Let’s all try to assume positive positive1

Several years ago we had an in-house staff workshop which focused on the theme: Assume Positive Intent.  It really resonated with the staff on a professional level and at least for me on a personal level as well. 

Just think a moment about that phrase and what it means.  Assume.  Positive.  Intent.  

Relationships are part of our everyday life.  We interact with people all day long.  Some interactions are positive ones and some leave us feeling not so good.  What if we use a positive lens to look through those negative interactions instead?  Then, we could respond with more compassion and acceptance.

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First UU Blog - Rev. Lane Campbell - Every Day is a New Beginning PDF Print E-mail
Written by Rev. Lane Campbell   
Wednesday, 23 March 2016 18:12

newbeginningsDuring these days of sunshine and warmth, new found in the season’s turning, I am especially in touch with life and living.  As I walk around my neighborhood, people are outside of their houses anew- re-emerging after this somewhat cold winter.  We are all coming out of hibernation together and it feels refreshing, renewing even.  This season brings with it so much newness in the new growth that is all around us, in the flowers that bud and then bloom, in the tender, green shoots coming up out of the earth.

But this season is not just about new creations, new beginnings in the natural world.  It is also about new beginnings within each of our hearts and in our lives.

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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.”


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.

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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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