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Showing posts from February, 2014

Today in the Michigan Same-Sex Marriage Case...

Today I went along with the Hanover-Horton High School Gay-Straight Alliance to view the historic trial going on in the federal court in Detroit that will potentially overturn Michigan's constitutional amendment that bans same-sex marriage.  The GSA group walked proudly and peacefully past the protestors for "traditional marriage" outside as we came into the federal court building.  Judge Friedman greeted us warmly as we came into the courtroom, asking if we were the high school group that he had heard was coming, giving the group president a moment to introduce the group, and saying he would stay around afterward to share some information about how the courts work and answer any questions excepting that he could not answer questions pertaining to the case.

Today in DeBoer vs. Snyder there was one witness on the stand.  DeBoer's team called their Harvard's Jonathan Trumbull Professor of American History, Dr. Nancy Cott.  In addition to being a professor of histor…

Tips for Preaching from Tablet

I've been using my tablet (a Nexus 7 Android tablet, and before that my Kindle) to preach from rather than paper-printed text as of late, something that I know some of my colleagues are doing but some are hesitant about.  There are some good reasons for doing so:

1.  It saves paper.

That would be enough, but here are some more:

2.  I can move around with it and am not tied to the pulpit, even if I want to preach from a manuscript.
3.  It cuts down on clutter and filing. 
4.  No shuffling or sliding or flipping paper noises.
5.  Nobody accidentally walks away with part of my manuscript.
6.  I never lose a page.
7.  I never get to the middle and find out that the ink ran out midway through printing.
8.  I never leave a page on my printer.
9.  I never grab the wrong folder.
10.  For Christmas Eve and other dimly lit services, it's back-lit.
11.  Color doesn't cost more!  

For people worrying about technology failures, I can say that I've never had the tablet or Kindle t…

What's In a Name?

As the UUA has rolled out it's new logo, I've seen a number of places where folks have asked if we should consider changing our name.  Unitarian Universalism is a mouthful.  And it refers to old theological arguments that don't have a lot of relevance to some of our members.  For example, Tom Schade asks the question: "The biggest question of our public presence is should we try to build new congregations and liberal religious communities under the name 'Unitarian Universalism' or under more post-denominational language?"

When I was in my first year of ministry, I arrived at a church that was in the midst of a discussion about name change.  It was a new church that had started with a name that many understood to be a temporary one, but others understood to be the permanent one.  The congregation met and discussed and polled and came up with some top choices that were names like "Harmony Church."  After much discussion, it was time for a vote.  …

An Open Letter to the UUA

I read the UU World article on the new logo, branding, and outreach effort with great interest.  The article tapped into some things I've been frustrated about and some things I've been excited about.  A couple of points in the article really resonated with me (the italics are mine):
The Rev. Dr. Terasa Cooley, the UUA’s Program and Strategy Officer, said the new initiative developed out of a growing realization that the UUA and its congregations have been sending “inconsistent” messages about Unitarian Universalism into the larger world. and
“We want congregations to think about the messages their congregations are sending out to the world that doesn’t know anything about them,” she added. “That includes thinking about how their building looks to guests, the structure of their services, their programs, whether they’re inward-oriented or serving the community, and what their online presence is like.” and
And the UUA is developing other resources for congregations, reg…