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



Rev. Lane Campbell - What They Dreamed Be Ours to Do PDF Print E-mail
Written by Rev. Lane Campbell   
Monday, 16 January 2017 16:47

blog lc dream2It is a new year, full of fresh possibilities, where many of us are looking ahead towards the future.  It seems like we cannot help but set goals or intentions or make commitments in this time of the new year.   A new year comes with new hopes, new imaginings, new doorways opening.

In this time of year when we celebrate the prophetic Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. alongside visioning and setting goals for the year to come, I wonder about what it took for MLK to dream and to make those dreams a reality.  How many people helped him to dream big that “one day right there in Alabama little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with white boys and white girls as brothers and sisters”?  Who worked hard alongside him to get the Voting Rights Act passed in 1963?  Martin Luther King joined many visionaries of that time to cook up dreams so big, we are still working on them today.  We can see how far we have come and yet we know there is still a ways to go until people of all races and classes live in the equality our country's ancestors dreamed of so many years ago.  This community of folks created a dream so big, it is hard at times to see if it will be achieved in my lifetime or in the lifetimes of our youngest children.

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Rev. Eric Meter - Who Are Your Guides? PDF Print E-mail
Written by Rev. Eric Meter   
Monday, 19 December 2016 13:39

blog em tutuI’ve always wanted the congregations I serve to be seen as moral beacons in their communities. At the same time, the “prophetic voice” is an idea that long left me vaguely uncomfortable and challenges me to this day.

One of my mentors in ministry used to say that, in his experience, we had a cultural or social revolution every other generation. So if it didn’t fall to you to work for change directly, it was your responsibility to prepare the younger generation as best you could.

Looking back at that now, it seems a bit too simplistic. At least in my lifetime, the need to speak “love to power” has been more or less constant.

If we are actually in a state of perpetual war, and it sure seems like we are, then the work of resistance needs to be constant as well. And, of course, I’m not talking just about war in the military sense.

So, on many fronts, it will help us to keep our eyes open for sources of inspiration, and, to use a phrase from Rebecca Parker, “choose our guides”. 

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Rev. Eric Meter - Listen PDF Print E-mail
Written by Rev. Eric Meter   
Friday, 07 October 2016 11:41

blog em listenOur theme thing month is healing, specifically what it means to be a community of healing.

One of my teachers long ago would often use the phrase “to increase the odds on love.”

There was something about the phrase that seemed off at first, but grew on me in time. There are no guarantees with love, and so often the best we can do is to lean in to make it more possible.

With that in mind, our question this month might be “How does a faith community increase the odds on wholeness?”

Well, we might begin by paying attention to one another and those around us, something we do quite well, by and large.

All the same, healing is something we usually think of in individual terms, not communal ones.  

And beyond that? How can we increase the odds on healing in a wider sense?

In response, I can’t help but remember what Don Wheat, former minister of one of our congregations in Chicago, once said, “When you don’t give people the chance to say I hurt, they end up saying I hate.”

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Rev. Jennifer Brooks - Healing PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 03 October 2016 12:58

Perhaps it is the synchronicity of the universe. Again. 

blog jb heart2The October worship theme of “Healing” follows the first Presidential debate and precedes the November elections. It follows and precedes heart-wrenching violence locally, nationally, and in the world at large. It follows, and precedes, all the causes of hurt and grief in human experience.


My heart has been torn asunder and will be again. How do we heal? How do we continue to nurture what is precious and good in our lives even as we tremble with hurt? There’s a reason we need an October of healing.

A story I love, in one of its variations, is about a town in the throes of an election. People there wonder how to choose the person who will make the best mayor. They agree that they want to choose the person with the best heart.

Then they struggle with the question of what makes one heart better than another.

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Rev. Lane Campbell - Promises PDF Print E-mail
Written by Brian Hagemann   
Tuesday, 27 September 2016 00:00

blog lc promiseWhat is in a promise?  Is it something we say, something we do?  In my life, I usually say I will promise to do something.  Most of the time, when I make a promise I am making a commitment and that thing gets done.  Sometimes, I forget- especially if I don’t write the promise down somewhere.  Promises are lived.  They are in the agreements we make with friends and family to be somewhere at a specific time.  They are in the unspoken ways we promise to care for one another- a parent cares for a child, a friend is there to listen, a partner offers support, a community is consistently present for those who take part.

In my life recently, I have been thinking much about trust, specifically how to build trust with others.  Promises can be a foundation of trust, especially when they are kept and followed through on.  And I know that when we break an agreement we have with someone or with an entire community, it takes time to rebuild trust and to rebuild relationship.

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