A Common Dream

Imagine a common dream capable of uniting people of varying faiths and perhaps also people who do not frame the experience of life through faith lens. I am not aware of many attempts to craft such a vision, however, I find much wisdom worthy of consideration in a benediction written by the Unitarian Universalist minister and author Gary Kowalski.  The benediction proposes that our common dream is Homes and schools where children thrive, Neighborhoods that are safe and clean, A city rich in Read More …

Mainline Members – Political Leanings

If you know much about American Christianity, you may expect Mainline Protestants to be more likely to have more liberal political leanings than the average American.  The Pew Research Center’s 2014 Religious Landscape Study affords an unparalleled look at this topic by breaking down many of the larger religious denominations by what political party their members self-identify as leaning toward or with which they affiliate. Among all US adults the survey found that 37% are or lean Republican, Read More …

Review of Cathedral of the World

Meet the Author Forrest Church (1948-2009) wrote or edited more than two dozen books and served for three decades as the minister of the Unitarian Church of All Souls in New York City, which grew to be among the largest congregations affiliated with the Unitarian Universalist Association.  Church received the FDR Four Freedoms Award from the Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt Foundation (2008) and the Art Buchwald Spirit Award from the National Hospice Foundation (2009).  His mantra for living Read More …

Interfaith Worship Doubles in a Decade

In a recent Religion News Service article, Piet Levy reports that interfaith worship services have doubled in the decade following 09.11.01.  Specifically, he writes about a survey conducted by an interfaith team of over 11,000 houses of worship that " found that about 14 percent of U.S. congregations surveyed in 2010 said they have engaged in a joint religious celebration with another faith tradition, up from 6.8 percent in 2000."  During the same time frame, numbers for interfaith community Read More …

De-bunking Fundraising Myths

Earlier this year, the Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations (UUA) Congregational Stewardship Services blog featured a 12-part series designed to de-bunk myths about giving. Each post explored a single myth.  While the whole series is worth reading, I focus today on three: Myth #5 Myth: Because many people are suffering from information overload, they do not want to know how the congregation is using their contributions. Truth: Many people, although overwhelmed with Read More …

Review of A House for Hope

Meet the Authors Rebecca Ann Parker is an ordained United Methodist minister in dual fellowship with the Unitarian Universalist Association who currently serves as president of and professor of theology at Starr King School for the Ministry in Berkeley, CA.  She is the co-author with Rita Nakashima Brock of  Proverbs of Ashes: Violence, Redemptive Suffering, and the Search for What Saves Us (2001) and  Saving Paradise: How Christianity Traded Love of This World for Crucifixions and Empire Read More …

5 Smooth Stones of Liberal Religion

Unitarian Universalist minister James Luther Adams proposed five smooth stones of liberal religion in an essay entitled "Guiding Principles for a Free Faith," which was published in On Being Human Religiously: Selected Essays in Religion and Society (Max Stackhouse, ed. Beacon Press, 1976, pp. 12—20).  R. Lloyd Ryan summarizes JLA's smooth stones: Revelation is continuous. Relationships ought to rest on mutual and free consent. We need to work together for  just and loving Read More …

Do you Attend a Living Church or a Dying Church?

Sam Trumbore is a Unitarian Universalist (UUA) pastor who currently serves as minister of the First Unitarian Universalist Society of Albany (New York).  Previously, he was Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Charlotte County, Florida.  Recently he wrote a piece contrasting the experiences of living churches with those of dying churches.  This article was originally published in the newsletter of a Charlotte county church: Pilgrim United Church of Christ.  More recently it appeared on the Read More …