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More Endings

Why try?  I had thought my career with the UUs had some beneficial effect, plus I had thought my decades of building a web page would magnify that effect.  Was I wrong on both!  No one in my former UU fellowship even knows I’m gone, and only a few people ever read my self-vaunted website.  I write to an imagined audience that isn’t there.  I post to the larger world on internet forums (e.g., “BBC Says – Even if only a few read it”) to…

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Endings

My life is at a weary, regretful turning point.  A valued but distant eight-year relationship appeared to end.  Perhaps not entirely, we go on as friends.  My whole fifty-year career as a liberal minister may have ended with a dull thud.  My lower back is out, my ears are clogged and inflamed, my eyes have eyelashes stuck in them, and I’m listening to the blues. I’m feeling alone and challenged in life, but so it goes sometimes.  When the editor of The Catalyst, the newsletter…

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Honoring our Ancestors

Ode to Our Troglodyte A Ritual Homage Presented at the foot of the Caveman Statue, Grants Pass, Oregon By Reverend Brad Carrier Minister for the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Grants Pass September 3rd, 1995 The following is the script for a fun but sincere ritual gathering of a few members of the UUFGP at the Caveman Statue. (Can't find the photo of us gathered there.) Oh, great troglodyte totem, Thou art larger than life. Thou art an image of our ancestors. Thou hast prevailed And…

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Emeritus at UUGP

What a wonderful gathering!  We’re here to celebrate the life of this lovely, friendly fellowship, the ministers you’ve had thus far, and this honor in my career. It has been a great opportunity and satisfaction in my life to tend small Unitarian Universalist congregations.  Over half of our UU congregations are small fellowships like this one.  That’s been my realm, not the mega-churches.  Primarily I have been a preacher.  I like conducting services and having something to say that open-minded, intelligent, caring congregants find thoughtful…

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Be in It

Dr. Arvind Vasavada, my guru and friend, my gentle, generous mentor from my seminary days, used to advise me and his analysands (counseling clients), “Be in it.” (Here he is pictured between my friends and colleagues, the Reverend Doctors Bart Gould and Vern Barnet, at my ordination in Saint Joseph, Michigan, in 1972.) Imagine my good fortune upon entering seminary at the University of Chicago in 1969 to meet a man who embodied the two main interests I had – Jungian psychology and Eastern religions. …

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Freethinkers: Paine, Emerson, Ingersol

Introductory Comments Let’s take a few moments to remind ourselves America is not only a Christian nation and never has been.  Freethinkers are foundational to what we are and could become.  I hope this skimpy foray into a few of our freethinking founders helps reassure and orient us. During my Unitarian Universalist seminary years at the University of Chicago, I was fortunate enough to also attend training for humanist leaders.  Conducted by the Humanist Institute, held mostly in New York City at the Ethical Culture…

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Sway the World: The Martin Luther King in Us

A little love can sway the world.  We’ll look back in history we see how little acts influenced larger outcomes.  Then, in our own lives, the same applies.  Little changes in our spirit, mind, and mood make for little acts of love in our world.  This then goes out to sway our whole world in ways we don’t yet know, but will. Henry David Thoreau, friend of Ralph Waldo Emerson, refused to pay his tax because it was going to help fund the war on…

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Homosexuality in the Human Community

I stand before you today with a mixture of trepidation and daring. Like often, I think we can consider touchy and complex issues with broad-minded thinking and good-hearted caring. I’ve no particular authority or expertise other than tending to think for myself and speak out loud in a setting of the “free and responsible search for truth and meaning.” So I dare, though I am uneasy; I trust we can handle it together. The topic is easy for some, unsettling for others. Homosexuality is a…

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Better than Guns

Better than Guns "Speaking is difficult, but I need to say something important. . . Violence is a big problem. Too many children are dying. Too many children. We must do something. It will be hard, but the time is now. You must act. Be bold, be courageous, Americans are counting on you. Thank you."  Gabby Gifford I do not mock Gabby here; I join her in desperate vulnerability. We’re all vulnerable.  We’re vulnerable to a whole host of problems before and beyond  guns –…

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You and the UU

I’m from Michigan, in what is still called the Midwest – located in the mid east section of our country.  Odd.  Once, it was in the far west, for few had ventured past the east coast.  A similar misnomer applies to the so-called northern California, by which they mean central California, where San Francisco is.  Redding and Shasta are in the real northern California.  But old words have a way of sticking, be they about geography or religion.  Our religion may have been defined in…

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