Friday, June 28, 2013

Ding, dong, DOMA's dead!

Like so many Unitarian Universalists and people of conscience everywhere, I'm so excited that the Supreme Court declared the so-called "Defense of Marriage Act" (DOMA) to be unconstitutional this week. Of course it is unconstitutional! 

Having processed the DOMA ruling a little more, I find myself so grateful to the LGBT pioneers. I see pictures like this one (from the 50s, trying to stop the firing of LGBT federal employees), and I'm in awe of how brave they must have been to hold these signs publicly 50+ years ago! We owe them such a debt of gratitude. And truly, I feel indebted to all the people who "came out" as LGBTQ before me. It was hard enough to do in 1994, when I was 25; I can't imagine how hard it used to be. I'm convinced that it's because so many more people are "out" that we're finally starting to get more civil rights. Thank you all.

To read the statement of the Rev. Peter Morales, President of the UUA, click here.

Friday, June 21, 2013

UU General Assembly, Wendell Berry, Eboo Patel!

This is the first time in a long time that I have missed the Unitarian Universalist General Assembly.  The poet/farmer/activist Wendell Berry read this poem at a public witness event at UUGA (wish I had been there):

(a poem by Wendell Berry)

1. How much poison are you willing
to eat for the success of the free
market and global trade? Please
name your preferred poisons.

2. For the sake of goodness, how much
evil are you willing to do?
Fill in the following blanks
with the names of your favorite
evils and acts of hatred.

3. What sacrifices are you prepared
to make for culture and civilization?
Please list the monuments, shrines,
and works of art you would
most willingly destroy.

4. In the name of patriotism and
the flag, how much of our beloved
land are you willing to desecrate?
List in the following spaces
the mountains, rivers, towns, farms
you could most readily do without.

5. State briefly the ideas, ideals, or hopes,
the energy sources, the kinds of security,
for which you would kill a child.
Name, please, the children whom
you would be willing to kill.

I am pleased to be able to live-stream the Ware Lecture tonight (Friday, June 21) at the UUCiA, 7:30 p.m. sharp!  If you want to hear (and watch, live!) this year's lecture by Eboo Patel, please join us! Event details:

The Ware Lecture will be streaming live, online, from the UU General Assembly. We will project it onto our big screen and through our big speakers. Bring a comfortable, portable chair for extra comfort. The Ware Lecture has a distinguished history and has featured some amazing people, including Martin Luther King, Jr., Kurt Vonnegut, May Sarton, and Jane Addams!

This year’s Ware lecturer will be Eboo Patel. From “Dr. Patel is founder and Executive Director of the Interfaith Youth Core, an international nonprofit building the interfaith youth movement. He was appointed by President Obama to the Advisory Council of the White House Office of Faith Based and Neighborhood Partnerships and serves on the Religious Advisory Committee of the Council on Foreign Relations…. He has been featured on a range of media, including CNN Sunday Morning, NPR’s Morning Edition, the PBS documentary Three Faiths, One God, The New Republic, American Public Media, the BBC, and CNN. Patel is a sought-after speaker whose addresses include the keynote speech at the Nobel Peace Prize Forum with President Jimmy Carter. He is the author of Sacred Ground: Pluralism, Prejudice and the Promise of America, and Acts of Faith: The Story of an American Muslim, the Struggle for the Soul of a Generation, which was the 2011-2012 UUA Common Read and 2010 winner of the prestigious Louisville Grawemeyer award in religion. An Ashoka Fellow, Patel was named by Islamica Magazine as one of ten young Muslim visionaries shaping Islam in America, was chosen by Harvard’s Kennedy School Review as one of five future policy leaders to watch, and was selected to join the Young Global Leaders network of the World Economic Forum. He lives in Chicago, Illinois.”

To see the Facebook event page, click here.

Friday, June 14, 2013

"Feeding Each Other": Cookbook with a Cause!

I'm very excited about our congregational cookbook, "Feeding Each Other". All proceeds will go to Bread & Roses in Lawrence and to the Merrimack Valley Food Bank.  Read a great article about our cookbook project in the Andover Townsman at this link.

This cookbook was the brainchild of UUCiA Board member David Grober. I'm so happy we're doing it!

If you live, work, worship or study in Andover, please submit a recipe to our cookbook at this link!