Minister’s Message (Page 3)

Each week our minister publishes a message for the UUCE community, sharing his thoughts on topics relevant to the congregation, its ministries, and current events.

Worship Team Update

The Worship Team met Wednesday, and the news from that meeting is that we are scheduling two mini-series of Services between now and June. One series will be dedicated to racial justice and injustice, and not only for Black Folk. We will have one a month for at least 3 months. Likewise, we will have a series on the cluster of subjects that deal with gender and sexuality. We will likewise have one a month on these subjects and other related ones, including abortion,…

Woman of Power and Standing

Maya Soetoro-Ng, Barack Obama’s half-sister, works with my wife Deborah on education and justice projects in Hawaii, and sent her this video today: “The Women Are Coming“ The first part of this video is a sequence of the images of the world’s current female heads of state, followed by 28 images of U.S. women of power and standing, ending with the young poet Amanda Gorman.   You may have some names you would like to add. Mila suggested Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer,…

The Tide Has Turned

I said something like what follows at the close of last night’s Board meeting, and people seemed to like it, so I will share it with you. If we are feeling tired and worn out and a bit discouraged, this is understandable, this is normal, and we shouldn’t beat ourselves up for feeling a bit down. Even though most of us are feeling somewhat relieved by the recent elections, I and many people I know are still kinda glum. Having our…

We’re Almost There

I hope this is the last time there’s any reason to write about the Almost-Former President Trump. By this Wednesday we should have a new President who is a nice man, and our long national nightmare will officially begin to end. I predict that Mr. Trump will have his hands full with fighting indictments, and a new generation of wanna-be demagogues will appear. They may or may not be more dangerous to democracy than Mr. Trump. Senators Josh Hawley and Ted Cruz…

With Love and Luck and Will

We are passing through the final days of a great ordeal of fire, and it appears our national institutions have held, and that it’s going to be all right again. Well, it will be all right for a while, anyway, till the next demagogue comes along to tap the evil energies that surge through our society. But with love and luck and will, we now have another, better chance to address the persistent haunting inheritance of the slave system, and the…

2020 Will Be Remembered

May you all have a raucous (or contemplative) New Year’s Eve observance, and a Happier (and eventually COVID-free) New Year!   The year 2020 will be remembered as long as we live, and beyond, as the time cruel plague threatened our lives, and cruel authoritarianism threatened our 250-year-old democracy.  The worse-than-inept handling of the pandemic helped end this latest attack on our founding principles.  Bill Moyers, in his Essay on Watergate. concluded “They (Nixon and his enablers) almost succeeded.”  I think we can…

This and That

An Advertisement The idea of advertising in the monthly, Bravo, was Bob Jackson’s idea. We began work on it early in 2020, I believe. We also had Dotty’s artwork months before now, but then were frustrated by COVID and the fact that we thought we shouldn’t advertise at all because we couldn’t welcome visitors to our physical church. But when Bravo announced it would be suspending publication, I went ahead and reserved the full back page of the last edition, because if…

Hearts Beating As One

The former Ellen Page the actress (Juno, The Umbrella Academy) came out as gay in 2014, and in 2018 married dancer Emma Portner, and last week announced that he is now Elliot Page, and is transgender, non-binary. Non-binary gender means not all one or the other. In this case, it means Elliot has a primary identity as male but retains some identity as female. Despite the gender identity change, Ms. Portner loves and is staying married to Elliot, formerly her wife, now her husband.…

This Long Cold Lonely Winter

Robert Redfield, M.D., the head of the Center for Disease Control (CDC), said something yesterday that made me and other people, perhaps you, gentle reader, sit up and get more serious than ever. He said that given winter’s arrival, and the holidays become super-spreader events, and no prospect of mass vaccinations for months still, that the United States is facing “the worst public health crisis in its history.” (!) This is a frightening prospect, but at least we’re getting straight talk…

Pandemic 1918

God is the time of sickness. God is the doctor too. In the time of the influenza, He truly was a god to you. Chorus: Oh, he’s a God God don’t never change, Oh oh oh oh God Always will be God. Blind Willie Johnson, Texas rural blues gospel singer When will this pandemic end? The statistics are that in 1918-1920, the “Spanish” flu (actually the USA flu) killed 50 million worldwide, and 675,000 in the U.S. That’s a death…

Good and Bad Mentors

As you may know, the Boy Scouts of America organization has sought bankruptcy protection against the possible consequences of 92,700 claims of sexual abuse since 1950. This is seen by many observers as an outgrowth of the #MeToo movement of recent years by women who experienced abuse, particularly from men in power positions. Because it’s in the news, I have written to my high school alumni association newsletter to say that, for the record, my two Scoutmasters behaved impeccably toward…

On Parents, and Parenthood

Transhood on HBO The documentary “Transhood” that debuted last night on HBO was an informative and loving examination of transgender experiences. It focused on the challenges that young trans people and their parents must navigate, including the blowback they endure. I think having the film deal with young, and very young trans people will help humanize a group that most people haven’t thought about very much. How can a 6-year-old know that they are not what the “authorities” say they…