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Showing posts from May, 2014

Poet and Prophet

So saddened to hear of the death of poet and prophet Maya Angelou.  So many of her poems have meant so much to me, from "Phenomenal Woman" to "Still I Rise" to "On the Pulse of Morning" to "A Brave and Startling Truth" to "Amazing Peace."

No words can sum up the beauty and majesty and deep soul of Maya Angelou, except her own. 

Every year on Christmas Eve I've included "Amazing Peace."  It's a poem that's come to mean a great deal to me.  Here's a clip of it, after some interview:


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UUA Surprises! Cool New Principles Version!

Tom Schade has dubbed the rebranding effort of the UUA a #thanklesstask. Yeah, he's right. And I don't want to heap on the criticism.  I believe the UUA is working hard to turn our ship in the right direction, and this is the work that they ought to be doing, and they're getting a lot of flack about it, much of which is unfair.

But...

You know how I've been saying that the UUA has been telling us "more is coming" and the logo was just the "tip of the iceberg" with regards to the branding?  And, at the same time, nobody has published the roadmap of where they're going, and even when you're asking, they won't tell you what it is? And how Dawn Cooley said, "surprised people react poorly"? 

Well...

As reported in Boston Magazine:
Proverb also worked with the UUs to shorten their seven core principles, making them easier to remember, and has suggested putting them into “some sort of acronym form so that they’re easier to pull u…

Stand Like a Fat Superhero

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Yesterday, a presentation by a colleague about body movement and its effects on physiology drew my attention to this TED Talk by Amy Cuddy:


The point of her talk is that standing or sitting in "power stances" can not just change how people see you, they can change yourself.  Just two minutes of standing like a superhero can increase your testosterone and decrease your cortisol -- in other words, your stress goes down and your confidence goes up.  People who did two minutes of power poses before interviews were more likely to get the job.

Cuddy doesn't belabor the point, but she starts off interested in this question because of a gendered effect she was seeing of women in business school not participating as much, and therefore not succeeding as much. 


I remember in seminary noticing this effect, although I didn't notice the science behind it.  I remember sitting on the sofa in the Curtis Room at Meadville Lombard, and a male student came and sat next to me.  He sat d…

2014-2015 Liturgical Calendar

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Every year during July, I take a few days and put together a spreadsheet of the upcoming year's worship services.  I've begun early this year, because of some changes that I'm proposing with my worship committee, so I'm trying to draft an early calendar this spring.  I go through a lot of steps when I'm creating this, and I'm guessing many other ministers do, too.  I don't know of anywhere that posts something that's like what I do, so I thought I would share this year.

My process begins with just listing all the Sundays in the year (easy to do in a spreadsheet -- enter two or three in the column, then drag down for 52 cells and it'll fill it in).  And then I just add in Christmas Eve. 

The next step is more laborious.  I enter all the holidays and recognition days I can think of for the following year.  The rule is that I enter each holiday by the Sunday preceding it, unless it falls on a Sunday.  I use a calendar of world religions at interfaithc…

Guest Blog: Kairos, Engagement, and Marriage in Little Rock

Guest Blog Entry by the Rev. Jennie Ann Barrington, Interim Minister for The Unitarian Universalist Church of Little Rock, Arkansas; May 12, 2014
“There is a creative tendency in the universe to produce worthwhile things, and moments come when we can work with it and it can work through us. But the tendency in the universe to produce worthwhile things is by no means omnipotent. (It is not all-powerful; we have to work with it; we have to do our part.) Other forces work against it. This creative principle is everywhere. It is a continuing process. Insofar as you partake of this creative process, you partake of the divine, and that participation is your immortality, reducing the question of whether your individuality survives the death of the body to the estate of irrelevancy. Our true destiny, as co-creators in the universe, is our dignity and our grandeur.” (Alfred North Whitehead)
This weekend I realized I was wrong. I’ve never been enamored of officiating weddings for people who know…