Tuesday, March 29, 2011

my appreciation....

On Sunday, March 27, I tried my best to express my appreciation for the Hindu tradition.

The service ended with kirtan, led by John Calabria on harmonium and dhotara (sometimes spelled "dotara").  John is pictured above with his dhotara (which means "two strings").  It was wonderful to have John's music and gentle spirit there with us.

Here's a picture of the sanctuary space on Sunday. You will notice a banner with Hanuman, and John's harmonium. You will notice that we used orange, too, as an important color in Hinduism.

Below is a close-up of the altar, where you will see Hanuman, Krishna, Ganesh, Lakshmi, Saraswati (very small) and Shiva... On the floor are Lakshmi, Ganesh, and Ram and Sita and Lakshman with Hanuman.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

There should be nothing casual about it.

Right now, our country is in the midst of the two longest wars in our history.  And with our actions in Libya, we are now fighting on a third front.

Why is it that so few people seem deeply concerned?

I commend this piece ("The Normal of War") by John Cory.

There should be nothing normal about it.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

UUA's Japan Relief Fund

If you would like to make a gift to Japan through the UUA, click here.  Thank you for your generosity!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Thank you, bishops

I've been thinking a lot lately about liberation theology, a Christian theology that started with Roman Catholic priests in Latin America in the 50s and 60s. At the heart of this theology is the idea that God has a "preferential option" for the poor and oppressed. I've always thought this theology was beautiful and elegant.

Today, I see something in the Boston Globe that reminds me of this great tradition. Namely, "The state's four Roman Catholic bishops are urging Congressional leaders not to cut funding for a program that helps low income families pay for heat."  Read the whole article at this link.

Friday, March 11, 2011


Prayers this morning for all those impacted by the earthquakes in Japan... for those impacted by the resulting tsunami... Our lives are so fragile and precious.

Addendum: Read a note from the UUSC at this link.

"Voices of a Liberal Faith" - video by the UUA

Thursday, March 3, 2011

March 5 events

I want to mention two upcoming events. The first event is sponsored by the 16th Annual Women's Spirituality Series and being held at the UUCiA at 6 Locke Street, Andover, on Saturday, March 5th from 7-10 p.m. (doors open at 6:30 p.m.) --

"Women are Rising: Women's Sacred Dance Journey" led by Janet Farnsworth with live drumming provided by Laney Goodman. (This will be followed with a group Drum Jam facilitated by Laney Goodman.)

Description: "Our bodies hold our deepest wisdom. Yet for women that wisdom often becomes silenced, stilled, or compromised. We 'hold in our stomachs,' 'cross our legs,' and 'get smaller.' We find ourselves feeling separated from our truest Selves, our most vital knowing. During this dance journey, we will invite the voices of our bodies -- which call out to our whole Selves -- to re-emerge. Using dance as our medium, we will 're-member' and re-connect to the deep inner wisdom that flows through each of us.

"Whether it is the impulse to move a finger, or the drive to shake our bones, each woman's movement is honored as her own best guide for connecting to her most authentic and sacred Self. During this journey we will answer the glorious call of the ancient drum provided by Laney and banish shame, self-doubt, guilt, while we invite in love; we will arrive home to Body Wisdom.

"The dance journey is followed by a Drum Jam facilitated by Laney Goodman. Bring your drums and rhythm instruments if you have them, or, just bring your dancing shoes. Come and celebrate the sacred waves of rhythm that all women remember when we come together in sacred circle.

"Note: This is a women only event; dear brothers, please pass this information on to the women in your life. Thank you."

No preregistration required.  Please join us!  Click here for directions.

Above: Jane Addams, winner of the Nobel Peace Prize.  Addams was a regular attender at a Unitarian church in Chicago.

The second event is an event that I have been invited to participate in, in part because of my role as a member of the Smedley Butler Brigade of Veterans for Peace. The event is also this Saturday, March 5th, from 1-3 p.m. at the State House steps in Boston (near the Park St. T station) --

Rally, Speakout and March for Women's Day

To honor the 100th anniversary of International Women's Day... An event organized by CodePink and the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom.

Description:  "Included are songs, chants and testimonials from women about how the war economy is working for them.  Special appearances by Raging Grannies, CODEPINK Pink Parasol Peace Brigarde.  March with bread, roses, pots, pans to Public Garden to form peace bridge, then surge to Copley Square."

According to their website, "CODEPINK is a women-initiated grassroots peace and social justice movement working to end the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, stop new wars, and redirect our resources into healthcare, education, green jobs and other life-affirming activities..... the CODEPINK Alert is a feisty call for women and men to 'wage peace.'"  And according to their website, "the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom was founded in 1915 during World War I, with Jane Addams as its first president. WILPF works to achieve through peaceful means world disarmament, full rights for women, racial and economic justice, an end to all forms of violence, and to establish those political, social, and psychological conditions which can assure peace, freedom, and justice for all."

Come and be a part of it.  (I will be giving very brief remarks toward the beginning of the event.)