Fluent in Faith by Jeanne Harrison Nieuwejaar

At my church, we’re in the process of developing a congregational covenant. It’s taken me a long time to figure out what exactly a congregational covenant is, but after reading Fluent in Faith: A Unitarian Universalist Embrace of Religious Language by Jeanne Harrison Nieuwejaar, the meaning of “covenant” in this context became clear. The book (and,Continue reading “Fluent in Faith by Jeanne Harrison Nieuwejaar”

The Nature of Evil

I don’t believe in evil. In my worldview, there is a force (one could call it “God”) pulling us towards love, compassion, and connection. In each moment each of us has the choice to either follow that pull or move away from it. The choices before us in each moment are dictated by every individualContinue reading “The Nature of Evil”

Perpetual Pilgrimage

When someone asks where I’m from when my husband is around, he jokes, “She’s from the United States.” It’s easier than listing the many places I’ve lived. All of my life, I’ve moved every few years, and all of my life, there has always been the expectation that, one day, I would stay in theContinue reading “Perpetual Pilgrimage”

Book Review: American Gods by Neil Gaiman

American Gods by Neil Gaiman My rating: 4 of 5 stars This was a very fun book. The layering and interweaving of the stories felt a tad contrived, but that didn’t take away from my enjoyment following Shadow through his various adventures. There were some interesting ideas about America and Americans, about faith and whatContinue reading “Book Review: American Gods by Neil Gaiman”

Review: How to See Yourself As You Really Are

How to See Yourself As You Really Are by Dalai Lama XIV My rating: 3 of 5 stars This book is deceptively complex. I started out with the audiobook version, but after listening to the first two CDs about three times and not really taking any of it in, I checked out the hardcover fromContinue reading “Review: How to See Yourself As You Really Are”

A Different Kind of Hedonism

When I mention my meditation schedule/routine (my Bold Plan) to people, they all say—after a stunned silence— “Wow. That’s really ambitious.” Until very recently, I didn’t really see what was that ambitious about it. Then the other day a friend asked how the routine looked day-to-day, how did I make it work with the kidsContinue reading “A Different Kind of Hedonism”

A Simple Challenge

During her sermon yesterday, our minister gave us a challenge. Each day for five days, when we’re feeling in a good mood, we’re supposed to try to find the inherent worth and dignity in three people. If we get to the end of five days and feel comfortable with this much, we’re supposed to moveContinue reading “A Simple Challenge”

Ambiguous Morality in Everything Is Illuminated by Jonathan Safran Foer

Everything Is Illuminated by Jonathan Safran Foer My rating: 4 of 5 stars It’s not a coincidence that I started reading this book during a days-long power outage. By candlelight, of course. Actually, that’s a lie. It was a coincidence. I’d gotten it from the library weeks before and I just didn’t get to itContinue reading “Ambiguous Morality in Everything Is Illuminated by Jonathan Safran Foer”

Bye, Bye Miss American Pie: Failing at Forgiveness

One of the great things about attending service at a Unitarian Universalist fellowship is how the services draw on so many religious traditions. Today was the Days of Awe service celebrating the ten days including and between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. The focus was on remembering the year past, particularly those we have lost toContinue reading “Bye, Bye Miss American Pie: Failing at Forgiveness”

You Scratch My Back…

Now that the local Unitarian Universalist congregations are done with their summer schedules and are back to regular Sunday services, we’re back to visiting churches. Today, the minister offered a reading in which Rev David Bumbaugh suggests that the fall of mankind wasn’t caused by an apple or a conversation with a snake, but ratherContinue reading “You Scratch My Back…”