Saturday, July 28, 2007

suusi spirit

We had a marvelous time at SUUSI--the Southeast UU Summer Institute. Friends have been urging us to go for a decade now, and we finally understand. Now I'm urging y'all to go. There are scholarships and staff positions available. There are indoor and outdoor activities, intellectual stimulation and spiritual nourishment, and drumming and dancing and--lots of great SUUSI friends. The theme for 2008 is Pilgrimage, July 20-26, at Radford, Virginia.

This is adapted from my SUUSI sermon "To Live Fully" the last night of the camp:

Maybe, even if we do arrive home full of SUUSI spirit, generous and loving and spontaneous and playful; maybe a week or two of work, and family obligations, and of feeling surrounded and outnumbered, among people who disagree with us and would condemn us to whatever prisons or hells they can dream up, maybe that punches little holes in our spiritual buckets, and instead of living full-ly, our spirit drips and drops out of us, and we find ourselves running on empty again, possibly getting refilled on Sunday mornings, with buckets unable to hold enough to really thrive in our surroundings...

[But we cannot run out, because the source is inexhaustible.]

The same evolutionary force that first brought protons and electrons together, that formed the resulting atoms into molecules and those molecules into proteins...the same evolutionary drive that resulted first in life, then in self-aware life, and is evolving, through more and more people, into wise and compassionate life--the same force that drove the turtle in Joe Jencks' song, that drove us to keep searching for UU community, and/or to stay in UU community, the spirit that drives us to seek out love, to make that first move, and risk rejection to ask somebody on a date--that evolutionary spirit created and IS us.

We may deny it, or become distracted, and lose our awareness of it, but it is always present, and always available to us if we search it out.

To live fully is to live full, filled to the brim with spirit. It is to maintain and cultivate our connection with Spirit, to honor it regularly and to express it with our lives...

The spirit of SUUSI is the spirit of life, and it is bubbling and frothing and flowing and spraying through us, all the time. If we acknowledge it, each and every day, if we maintain and honor that connection and give it full expression in our lives, then we will be living fully, indeed.

So may we be.

Thursday, July 12, 2007


During Ministry Days, I was lunching with a colleague, and greeting and waving at other colleagues as they passed by. After a while, she noted that three different people had kissed the top of my head, as they said hello and went on to eat and talk with still other ministers.

I feel really, *really* blessed, to be kissed by such wonderful people.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

slt redux; creedalism

First, the SoLT sermon may not have been the best one ever preached by the H-H duet, but the response in the moment was conditioned by the scolding at the beginning of the service. Even a great sermon might have been less effective, given the emotional climate of the room.

Second, part of the sermon included a story in which a person who had been abused wailed, "I don't think I can be a UU, because I cannot believe that my abuser has inherent worth and dignity!" To which the response was, "You don't have to believe in the inherent worth and dignity of that person, to be a UU. We have a community for that." I appreciate the pastoral component of that statement, but I wish--especially recounted in a later sermon--the response could have been "You don't have to believe in the inherent worth and dignity of every, or any, person, to be UU, BECAUSE WE ARE A NONCREEDAL FAITH!"