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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 - Rev. Jennifer Brooks - Simple Truth PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 30 May 2016 00:00

blog spring wordcloudWhat, exactly, do we mean when we say that something is the “simple truth”?

We live in a multicultural world. As Unitarian Universalists, we welcome all seekers who share our values [UU Principles], and sometimes we describe those values as “universal.” Within our faith community, we embrace diversity of theological points of view. In the wider community, we stand on the side of love for racial justice, immigrant justice, reproductive justice, environmental and climate justice, and sexual orientation and gender identity justice.

Where, in all that diversity, is the “simple truth”?

One place it’s not is this idea that our UU values are “universal.” Even if they are widely-embracing values that welcome people who are on a path of personal growth and community spirit, they cannot be considered “universal” because there are plenty of folks out there who do not agree with them.

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First UU Blog - Rev. Eric Meter - Blessing PDF Print E-mail
Written by Rev. Eric Meter   
Tuesday, 24 May 2016 15:31

blog em blessingOur theme this month is Blessing.

As Scott Tayler puts it, “The question in front of all of us is not simply, ‘Do you notice the blessings all around you?’ It’s also, ‘How are the blessings in your life leading you to bless others?’”

I remember reading a novel some years ago in which a character was continually “doing his sums.” What exactly were those “sums” was a mystery until the end of the book, when the character explained that he was counting his blessings. At the time this struck me as a rather rough literary device for the author to make a point, but I find myself going back to it when I need to remind myself to do just that, count my blessings.

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First UU Blog - Rev. Lane Campbell - Something Larger than Ourselves PDF Print E-mail

jubileeusaJubilee USA is a multi-faith organization with over 500 faith communities and faith leaders involved in its work. They advocate for broader-picture systemic change, particularly working towards creating economic justice. This organization has recovered millions of dollars in debt relief for our country and constantly serves as prophetic witness to the suffering of many while the few continue to profit. It was my pleasure and a joy to join with faith leaders this past week in Washington, D.C. to lobby our Ohio Representatives with Jubilee USA and other organizations such as Oxfam and the Main Street Alliance.

The specific issues we were working on are passing legislation to better regulate anonymous companies, or shell companies. These are companies that exist in name only and are used to launder money or hide profits overseas so the people behind the “organization” do not pay taxes on their income. If our country was to eliminate such companies from existing, we would be able to recover the entire total of our U.S. deficit. I learned this past week that is is easier to start a for-profit company than it is to register to vote or to apply for a library card. Less forms of identification are required and certainly less checks and balances exist. Doing business this way raises our taxes, puts a heavier burden on small business owners, and enables all sorts of crime to exist in our country.

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First UU Blog - Rev. Jennifer Brooks - Blessing PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 03 May 2016 00:00

blog blessingAt the end of our Sunday morning worship celebration, there’s a moment we call “Blessing.”

It’s a time when we stretch our hands out to one another and to those who are absent or not yet among us. Usually one of the ministers says a few words. In some places those words are called a benediction and they’re mostly a blessing offered by the minister for the people.

At First UU, I think of it as a moment when the people bless each other.

Think of it. We are gathered in community. We are touching. We symbolically affirm both our interconnectedness and our welcome to those not present. This is a kind of communion; it is the blessing of presence. It’s a moment when we recognize that we’re part of something greater and deeper than the individual self.

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First UU Blog - Rev. Eric Meter - On the Road with Henry PDF Print E-mail
Written by Rev. Eric Meter   
Tuesday, 19 April 2016 10:57

blog henryThe other day, when I came home from work, I noticed my neighbor’s four-year-old son behind the wheel of his mother’s car. (Our two houses share a driveway.)

“Henry, are you driving?” Big, big grin. “Do you have the car keys with you?” Bigger grin and a playful nod. At this point I realized this might have gone very, very wrong. Thankfully, it didn’t. Henry didn’t actually have the keys with him. And after a minute of us talking about where he was going to drive to, his mother came around the side of the house with the family dog, and the young boy’s attention drifted away from the steering wheel.

The thing is, part of me wanted to be Henry again, fully embraced in the creativity of imagination. As the psychologist Judith Wallerstein says, “No one works as hard as a child at play.”

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