Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Memorial Day for Peace

Rev. Lara Hoke of Veterans For Peace gives Opening Words
Yesterday I had the honor of sharing opening words at the Memorial Day for Peace in Boston, organized by the local Smedley D. Butler Brigade of VFP.

As part of my remarks, before offering a prayer, I shared the letter of resignation written by my UU ministerial colleague (and former US Army chaplain) Rev. Chris Antal. You can read his letter here.

May we become a nation of peace and loving-kindness.

The picture to the left is by Howard Rotman. See more of his photos of the day here.

An activist who was present made a video of the day's service. Here's the shorter version.

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Understanding and Appreciating the Beauty of Sikhism

Unitarian Universalists for Sikh Awareness
Ever since I preached on Sikhism this fall, I have been pulled toward the religion and its traditions in a profound way. I often find myself with a case of "envy" after I preach about another religious tradition; every tradition has such beauty. At Yom Kippur, I have Jewish Envy; after preaching on the occasion of Mahavira's birthday I have Jain Envy, and so on. So it's not surprising that preaching on Sikhism gave me Sikh Envy.

What's been more surprising, to me at least, as that my Sikh Envy has not gone away! In fact, it keeps growing.

Weeks ago, I started a Facebook community called Unitarian Universalists for Sikh Awareness and a Twitter account for the same. Please feel free to like/join! I created the UUFSA logo shown here from the Sikh symbol (inside in orange) and the outer part of the UUA's new logo. I'm unreasonably proud of myself for this. [Addendum: I have since begun work on a website too.]

I find myself wearing a kara and reading all sorts of books on Sikhism. Recently, I attended my first Sikh service (conveniently for me, on a Friday) at the Milford Gurdwara Sahib (home of the New England Sikh Study Circle), and I loved it. Wonderful people; beautiful kirtan; langar (vegetarian food for all)... what's not to love? I also took my first Punjabi lesson. It all feels so good for my spirit. Stay tuned for more on this journey.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Hooray! Mass Senate Votes to Pass Protections for Transgender Bay Staters!

Today, something historic and wonderful happened in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts: the state Senate voted overwhelmingly to protect transgender Bay Staters by passing SB 735! Read all about it here.

Next step: To get this through the Mass House! Ask your representative to support the measure. Click here!

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

For the Earth: Carbon Pricing

Today, I was the clergy representative in a meeting with our State Senator Barbara L'Italien to talk about possibilities for carbon pricing. Senator L'Italien listened carefully and asked thoughtful questions. She clearly cares about global warming, the environment, and her constituents' well being!

I was there with representatives from Clean Water Action and Climate XChange. Learn more about carbon pricing for Massachusetts here.