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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. Lane Campbell - Welcome to the Resistance PDF Print E-mail
Written by Rev. Lane Campbell   
Tuesday, 19 January 2016 15:52

MLKimageThe opening reading for our recent justice-based, youth-led service reads:

In his 1963 book, Strength to Love, Dr. King wrote, “The trailblazers in human, academic, scientific, and religious freedom have always been nonconformists. In any cause that concerns the progress of mankind, put your faith in the nonconformist!” We Unitarian Universalists strive to be not only counter-cultural but radically transformative of culture as well. Welcome to the resistance: here we insist that all are welcome, all are inherently worthy and equally filled with human dignity. Here we buck conformity and call each to live as a human being not as a market niche, not as a label, not as an illness, not as a stereotype. Welcome to the resistance. Stand up and be counted among those who are human in community. Together we can change the world. -- Rev. Douglas Taylor

Welcome to the resistance, dear friends, welcome.  As we consider resistance this month, I am grateful for the legacy of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and all of the people standing behind him who fought for freedom in the 1960’s up to the present day.  As I know this month is not just about celebrating one individual, it seems important to lift up the stories of many freedom fighters who stood alongside Martin Luther King Jr.

Click here to read the rest of Rev. Lane's column
Tuesday Blog: Rev. Jennifer Brooks - Hands Across the Sea PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 12 January 2016 15:14

jb blog airplaneI’m on an airplane at 30,000 feet, musing over why I’m winging my way to Africa.

There is resonance in my passage from Columbus, Ohio to Monrovia, Liberia—from the Land of the Free to the country founded by liberated American slaves. Monrovia, named for US President James Monroe; Liberia: named for Liberty. More resonance—I’ll be away over the Martin Luther King weekend, trading participation in First UU’s Weekend of Service for participation in the United Nations Mission in Liberia.

More resonance: This month’s worship theme is “Resistance.” It doesn’t escape me how inextricably my voyage is linked to resistance. There’s my initial resistance to doing this at all; it’s 30 hours of travel (each way) and six time zones. Then there’s the non-violent resistance of the Liberian Women’s Peace Movement that empowered a nation to end a bloody civil war.

Click here to read the rest of Rev. Jennifer's column
Tuesday Blog: Rev. Lane Campbell - Growing As We Go PDF Print E-mail
Written by Rev. Lane Campbell   
Tuesday, 22 December 2015 12:56


What Winter is Telling Us

winter birdIn this season where the natural world begins to slow down and prepare for rest, where leaves have gone from the trees and the earth is frozen for a time—anticipating Spring—I'm reminded of the anticipation we live with. The winter months are often a time of looking forward, of getting through the difficult weather, of huddling inside until it is warm again.

I wonder, this month, what it would look like to slow down a bit, to follow the example of the Earth. Rather than looking ahead to the Spring, to the time when this weather is over, when we can go back outside and not have to worry about the bitter cold, I wonder what it is like to stay in the present and appreciate what winter has to teach us.

Click here to read the rest of Rev. Lane's column
Tuesday Blog: Rev. Eric Meter - Christmas Thoughts PDF Print E-mail
Written by Rev. Eric Meter   
Tuesday, 15 December 2015 18:41


The seasons may return with regularity, but these holidays do not simply celebrate the cycles of time. Instead, they tell stories about unexpected turns in human history. They express a form of faith that dares to reflect on human expectations being upset. … The Jewish and Christian holidays remind us to find the mark of God less in the regularities of nature than in the unexpected turns that life can take. — John Buehrens


When I was a child, the holidays were all about expectation. You may have heard me say that my parents had two rules for my brother and I on Christmas morning: we could get out of bed as soon as it was light enough to see our hands in front of our faces, and we could only open one present each before they woke up to join us.

Well, unless you are in a deep cave or specially darkened room, there is always enough ambient light to see your hand in front of you, though it took us several years to figure this out. I don’t think it will be difficult for anyone to imagine two young boys asleep on the couch or half way under a Christmas tree having torn open their first presents before succumbing once more to sleep in the wee hours of Christmas morning.

Click here to read the rest of Rev. Meter's column
Tuesday Blog: Rev. Jennifer Brooks - The Gift of Principle PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 08 December 2015 11:33

As we enter December, a month for celebration in many of the world’s religious traditions, what do we expect? We are a religion of people with different beliefs who worship together as one faith. So how, exactly, does that work?

Unitarian Universalism is a faith that unites people of different theologies who share foundational values. One of those values is “Acceptance of one another and encouragement to spiritual growth,” the third of our seven principles [link] that UUs agree to affirm and promote. 

December is a wonderful time to reflect upon acceptance, especially now, when many U.S. politicians have announced a position of religious discrimination against Syrian refugees. As I seek to center my spirit, I’m grateful for the gift of principle—that is, the gift of a way to live faithfully despite the repeated assaults of commercialism, politics, and the religious critique that always seems to accompany this time of year. 

Click here to read the rest of Rev. Brooks column
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