“We have an absurd amount to learn, or unlearn, about race in this country. America allowed slavery to exist by seeking out personal and regional salvation at the expense of universal salvation. Our country felt better about itself because with the South as the identified patient, it never had to look at its own addiction.”
This reflection by Nathan Ryan is part of healing and of the work we need to be doing.
Photo Credit: UU World
I just heard about this on NPR and I was only casually listening.
“His story was the basis for a segment on the public radio program This American Life, and is now the subject of the new movie Come Sunday, now out via Netflix. (It stars Chiwetel Ejiofor, who we also talked to about his role.) Pearson says he wants Come Sunday to make people examine their faith:
“I just want them to rethink,” he says. “I want them to ask themselves: What do I believe and why do I believe it? What is the difference between what I believe in my head and know in my soul? Because I think there’s a difference.””
But there is a new movie on Netflix called Come Sunday which is about Carlton Pearson and his leaving a Pentecostal church. Here is an article by Ted Resnikoff
“Come Sunday, premiering on Netflix April 13, tells the story of how Bishop Carlton Pearson’s epiphany about God’s love cost him his congregation, affiliation with the Joint College of African-American Pentecostal Bishops, and a lot of money, but it only elliptically explains why he found a home for his faithful, and a place to minister and share his message of inclusion, at a Unitarian Universalist church.”
Hope you get a chance to watch it.
Easter is tomorrow. Sometimes this can be a difficult holiday for Unitarian Universalists. What do we do? How do we celebrate? I found two articles and a meditation about Easter for consideration and thought today.
May we always be looking for new ways to renew our spirits. May we always be looking for hope.
Wrestling with Easter by Doug Muder
Be Open to Resurrection by Scotty Mclennan
Being the Resurrection by Rev. Victoria Weinstein
In the Christian tradition, Good Friday is the day when Christ was crucified and died. It is an integral part of Holy Week and is often used as a day of somber meditation.
For years, I wondered why it was called “Good”. “What’s so Good about Good Friday?” by Justin Holcomb has a good explanation.
I really wanted to focus on what good means and I found a sermon by Rev. Alice King at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Loudon, Virginia that discusses good and perfect. I believe it is a good thing to listen to on this holy day. Perfection is the Enemy of the Good In this sermon Rev. King discusses a familiar and popular song. I will leave a link to the version she talks about most here.
I hope that focusing on good and perfect help you today.
Warmth in Winter
Now has come hard winter,
With whip of wind and slash of snow
and the diamond-bright stars in the black ice of the heavens.
Just as we resist the season with shovel and scraper, wool and windbreaker,
we embrace it with sled and snowboard, cocoa and comforter.
Winter is here: let us find warmth in this time of being together.
As REM said, “Everybody hurts”
But what do we do about it? What do we need? Comfort would be the answer.
Merriam Webster defines Comfort:
1: to give strength and hope to: cheer
2: to ease the grief or trouble of: console
We come to church to find comfort in the fellowship and spirit. We need to bathe in warmth and love. Comfort is necessary to help us keep moving towards all of our goals. We are making ourselves strong for another day when we allow ourselves to be comforted. We are making others strong when we comfort them.
What is power? Who has power? What does it mean to be in a place of power or position of power? These questions are coming up more often and for many, it has become part of a spiritual practice to answer them.
But there are many kinds of power.
Matthew Johnson wrote For Five Thousand Years or More about spiritual power.
There is natural power like the falls in the picture for this post.
So, how can we best use our power? How can we find our power?
What is prayer? According to Wikipedia, “Prayer is an invocation or act that seeks to activate a rapport with an object of worship through deliberate communication. Prayer can be a form of religious practice, may be either individual or communal and take place in public or in private.” Prayer is seen as definitively religious. Prayer can be healing. Prayer can be a destination for our thoughts. There are as many ways to prayers as there are people who pray.
Beliefnet collected The Essential Prayers of World Religions. They are the Refuge Prayer from Buddhism, the Lord’s Prayer from Christianity, the Faitha from Islam, the Gayatri Mantra from Hinduism, and the Shema from Judaism.
Some people sing. Some people use prayer beads. Some color mandalas. Some pray out loud. Some pray silently.
“The Atheist Prays” by Barbara J. Pescan wrestles with the questions about praying when you are unsure if anyone is listening.
I am going to leave you with a song from Kesha’s new album.
Peace and Prayers,