This is so absurd and awful I can’t think of anything to say right now.
I saw over at the UU World that cuts in funds to UU theological schools have been approved by the Board of Trustees. The article at UU World notes that in a June email to the school’s supporters Rev. Rebecca Park “urged supporters to contact UUA trustees, emphasizing ‘that support for our Unitarian Universalist Schools is critical to the future of the movement.'”
I know very little about Medville Lombard and Starr King. I would be interested to hear from those out there more familiar with the situation if and why (or why not) you think that “support for our Unitarian Universalist Schools is critical to the future of our movement.”
A group of people were sitting next to me today talking about the webpage business they all seem to work with. I heard this said very casually (as if it was so obvious) and thought it was funny, yet not so funny.
I’ve been working with a church for the past year, so, I am dealing with some very ugly ugly nasty politics.
I did not put two uglies in there. That was what they said.
I just got a huge kick out of what is probably a great book. It is called Meet Jesus: The Life and Lessons of a Beloved Teacher and it is on the front page of the UUA bookstore website. It is so something I would get for my kids (if I had them) but I just envisioned some of my dear and beloved more traditional Christian friends and relatives and how dreadfully horrible this book would seem to them – you might as well give your kid a book called “How to Be Evil.” This goes in the same category with the tradition at my home UU church where everyone is invited to dress in costume the Sunday closest to Halloween and sing a song called “The Witch Song” with the following chorus:
Who were the witches, where did they come from?
Maybe your great great grandmother was one.
Witches were wise, wise women they say,
And there’s a little witch in every woman today.
There’s a little witch in every woman today.
Perhaps you have to come from a Baptist charismatic background to appreciate the absolute horror that these two very nice UU innovations would invoke. Why makes me laugh, I don’t know. It just does. It would so not be funny if these ideas were even ever mentioned anywhere some of my nearest and dearest. Or in my hometown. So not funny.
I know a lot of people freak out about Unitarian Universalists that support/advocate/are okay with relationships that are non-monogamous (often called polyamorists, although I guess I tend to avoid that term since it sounds identity-ish – it isn’t like people in monogamous relationships go around calling themselves monogamists… but I digress). Anyway, I tend to think that all the freaking out or abhorrence or whatever of people who aren’t gung-ho about monogamy is a bit dramatic and not that fair. I’ve been meaning to write a post on marriage/the modern (or post-modern) relationship for a while, so perhaps this is a precursor.
All of this just to point out an article in Salon.com www.salon.com/mwt/feature/2007/06/14/polyamory/index.html that does (I think) a decent job of de-dramatizing people with multiple romantic partners in their life (or who are open to such constellations). I also read a good article in Tikkun about it a while back www.tikkun.org/magazine/tik0701/frontpage/monogamy. Just so no one overreacts, I am not advocating or coming out with an opinion on this – rather, I guess I just feel like relationships, love, traditional marriage, jealousy, monogamy are things that need to be reflected on and assessed. I feel like the whole get married to one partner and stick with that your whole life and be 100% monogamous just isn’t working on a big scale, as evidenced by adultery and divorce rates. I’m not saying non-monogamy is the answer, but rather that we need to consider the current accepted “right” way to do things. These are two reflection pieces around this idea. (I also reviewed a good book on marriage here a while back, which is also part of this overall conversation.)
Also, a note on the blog. I am realizing that I don’t have as much to say as I thought I would. I considered retiring from Elizabeth’s Little Blog, but every once in a while, I DO have something that seems blog worthy. So perhaps that is being downgraded to an occasional blog. It has been that way for a while now, but I suppose I have yet to acknowledge it – always thinking I would get around to posting more often.
I was scoping out some Unitarian Universalist churches in cities we might consider moving (years from now) and I found this statement on the website
No matter what beliefs you hold, you will feel right at home with us.
Hmm. That must be a pretty amazing church. I don’t want to make fun of this or read more into it, since I think it is probably a well-intentioned effort by a volunteer making the webpage, but one could speculate that this is often one of the challenges with UU churches – this idea that is is possible to be all things to all people. And, may I just note that all the churches I am scoping out DO NOT INDICATE HOW BIG THEY ARE. It is such a difference if you have 25, 75, 100, or 200 on a Sunday morning. But usually the “about us” section is the history of the church. Not actual current information. Again, that could be over-interpreted to say something about how too many UU churches (or UU institutions in general) focus a bit too much on the past and all our wonderful accomplishments in history. But, really I think people just don’t think enough about webpages and that is all the interpretation necessary.
Like many in the UU blogosphere, I’ve been following the conversation about racism, UUism, and brown bag lunches. I will write a post responding to all of this, or more reflecting on it, but I have really learned a lot from all the discussion.
While I hear Trivum and Ellis’s concerns (see links below) that this isn’t the most ideal thing to spend so much energy on, I’d like to suggest that the issue is not really about brown bag lunches, but bigger issues of semantics, language, justice, love, race, oppression, and how to handle these issues as congregations, as an association, as a faith, as individuals, and so on. The whole “to say brown bag or not” issue is just the narrow, clearly minor, topic that happens to be the ground on which these larger issues and tensions are being discussed. For me, the question is how can we live out the love and justice that is so important to us? In community and as individuals?
Also, for seminarians, no matter what you think about the anti-racism/anti-oppression work in Unitarian Universalism and how we should grapple with racism, this is an important conversation given the importance of anti-racism in the ordination/MFC process.
In case you don’t have time or energy to track down all the responses and various discussions on this topic, I’ve tried to gather together all the various posts. Let me know if I missed anything.
(As I was proofing this post, I realize that it could seem like I am coming down on one side or the other about this whole thing, which I am not. For now, my point is only that the discussion is helpful to learn about the work that some are doing, the work others are doing, and to take a pulse on how this issue is playing out in the association.)
Original post where Peacebang comments on an article in the Quest Magazine: http://www.peacebang.com/2007/05/28/brown-bag-lunch/ Also note that the comments in this post and many of them are important parts of the conversation as well.
Here is the article in Quest Magazine that Peacebang is responding to: http://clf.uua.org/quest/2007/06/#mummert
Responses and related posts (in no particular order):
Here is short response (in Peacebang’s comments) by Melissa Mummert who wrote the article that appeared in Quest: www.peacebang.com/2007/05/28/brown-bag-lunch/#comment-4301
Ministrare Blog (Rev. Sean Parker)
Left Coast Unitarian: Smells Like School Spirit or Be True To Your School Part II?
Surviving the Workday (Ms. Theologian)
This sort of Sucks (On Issues of Language)
Barry’s Mom’s Blog: Education at Starr King
The Hunan Scooter Blog: Be True to Your School Now!
The Chalice Blog
The Lively Tradition
Philocrities: Brown bag landmines, culling the affiliates, and more
Trivium: Brown Bag – Shmown Bag
Post Office Mission: I’m putting a brown bag over my head
Peacebang: Original post and this one So is this about anti-oppression or is this about school spirit?
Boy in the Bands: Why Starr King?
Making Chutney: My two cents on the Brown Bag Controversy
Paul Wilczynski’s Observations
(very short post) Brown Bag Racism
iMinister: The Brown Bag of Pain
A Perfect World: Beware Evildoer!
We’re visiting my family in Kentucky and it is so nice. It is warm. People are warm. No one has flipped me off once driving. There are fields. And grass. And my cousins. Life is good.