Friday, November 19, 2010

Screening Precious Human Bodies

I have three thoughts about what looks to be the most interesting...and in some ways very important...news of the moment...That a fellow refused to go through the new scanners at the airport, told a screener,  "If you touch my junk I'll have you arrested"  (while filming the whole thing on his phone...hummmm....).

My first thought is that I'm sorry that men have taken to calling their sexual organs "junk".   How self-demeaning that is?  If it's just junk, why be so pissy about it being touched?   Think, guys! Your bodies are sacred.  That's the point of all this upset.

My second thought is this.  Has anyone who objects to someone in a room far away scan the unclothed outline of their body for 20 seconds before discarding the picture come up with a better idea for how to manage safety in a world in which people put bombs in their underpants?  If they have, I'm all ears.  I think that the TSA has done a great job thinking out the necesseties of this kind of scanning and making it as unhurtful as possible.  Albuquerque has had these scanners for a couple of years now...we were a test site.  Believe me, folks, they are quite benign.   And I'm willing to trust that they are safe, (as much radiation as 3 minutes at 30,000 feet they say...not even pilots can object to another three minutes.) until I hear something a little less hysterical than I've been hearing about safety.

So...actually, I don't have much sympathy for people who refuse to go through these scanners and then get upset about the indignities of the pat down.

But I believe that there are some people who, because they have knee replacements and such, have to go through the pat down every time.  And that pat-down does sound pretty invasive to me.  Not quite as invasive as what a doctor does, of course, but still...it would take the pleasure out of flying for me if I had to do it every time.

So here's my idea for a compromise.

Let's we Americans grow up, buck up, adjust to the new realities, and thank TSA for making this new kind of  scanning safe, painless, and dignified.  In return, let's demand that those who for reasons they can't help, like medical hardware,  have an alternative to an invasive, uncomfortable procedure every time they fly.

Of course, we could decide that it's ok with us if underwear bombs go off in airplanes every once in a while, because safety procedures are just too onerous.   It probably wouldn't happen very often, and the carnage would be less than the number of highway deaths in the nation for that month in any case.  Whatcha say?

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Integrating High Schools, then and now

A generation of GLBT teens is in the process of integrating the nation's middle and high schools.  That's the truth of the matter..most GLBT teens in previous generations didn't come out in High School, didn't ask to bring same sex partners to proms, didn't demand equality.  This generation and their parents are, and apparently they are taking it on the chin.  Some are taking it so hard they are committing suicide, and you know many more must be succumbing in more moderate...but still very dangerous to their long-term mental health... ways to the depression which causes suicide.

In the 1950's-70's a generation of African American teens integrated often very hostile schools, sometimes in situations where adults were a part of the hostility, and, as far as I remember, there was no rash of suicides.  Depression and long term consequences of a difficult adolescence is harder to measure, of course, and non-experts like me wouldn't know about them.

But I wonder if anybody learned anything about racial integration in teen society that could be applied to GLBT integration of teen society.

Just as a for instance, I imagine that many Black teens believed that the abuse they were taking was in the service of something important for society.  Do GLBT kids feel that way?  If not....perhaps besides telling them that "it gets better", perhaps we should be telling them that they are courageous, strong, and the vanguard of a better world for us all.

Monday, October 25, 2010

A Doggy Diatribe

I have loved a few dogs in my life, but lately, I've od'd on them.  Not on the dogs themselves, actually, but on the role they seem to play in people's lives, which is attention getting/intimacy avoiding.

That really cute dog who jumps around, needs to be told to sit, given a biscuit, made to lie down, let outside,  let in again...told to stop barking....what that pretty much prevents is a real conversation.  We just chat about the dog.  

Babies have a similar effect on the social life of parents of course, but babies grow up and the attention lavished on them is needed and worthy.   But people get dogs and let them rule their relational life on purpose.  

You can, of course, have a dog to cuddle with AND have good friends...just put the dog in its crate or yard or back room when friends come, or train it to curl up and sleep and not insist on being the center of attention.  


Sunday, October 24, 2010

A Thick Story

I went to a workshop in New Orleans last weekend and, among other things,  heard  about "thin" stories and "thick" stories.  Thin stories are stories about other people, and tend to be short on detail, on understanding what was really going on, on meaning.  Thick stories are about ourselves, what we wanted, meant, hoped for...much more useful.

With that in my mind, when the New Orleans cab driver started in on stories of rape and murder in the convention center during Katrina, thin stories and not even mostly true ones, I interrupted to ask him about his own  experience of the hurricane crisis...and he had an extraordinarily story to tell.

Although he lost his home and everything in it, he feels very lucky, because he had homeowners insurance and had an easy time getting both emergency money and re-building money for his destroyed home.  Most of his neighbors were not so fortunate.  Warming up to his own story, he told us that he had been a manager at WalMart at the time, and had evacuated to Baton Rouge.  When he presented himself to the management at WalMart, they saw to it that he was paid his salary and then, headquarters sent him back to New Orleans as soon as it was possible to return, deputized to find as many former WalMart employees as he could and issue them checks for $2,000.  He remembered with pleasure that he had been empowered to be helpful to others in that difficult time.  

That was a story worth hearing, thick as molasses...and it's still sticking to me! 

Friday, October 15, 2010

Blue Blogging


Today is Blog Action Day 2010, and the invitation is to blog about water...quickly becoming a limiting factor in our global life.


  1. Did you know that more people die because of lack of clean water in our world than because of all forms of violence combined?  
  2. Did you know that more people have access to a cell phone than a toilet? (and of course you realize that this is intimately related to #1)
  3. Did you know that here in Albuquerque, a high desert climate, more than half of water use is for landscapes, playing surfaces like soccer fields and golf courses,  and pools? 
  4. Did you know that one gallon of reverse osmosis bottled water takes 7 to create?  
  5. Water is not very portable, so no amount of saving water in Albuquerque will help the folks in Africa. But it may be that the US is maxing out its more abundant water resources pretty fast. (see this article, for instance: http://www.treehugger.com/files/2010/10/is-the-us-already-past-the-point-of-peak-water.php)
What to do?   The most important thing we can do for our local water supplies is to take a hard look at what we are using outside.  Appropriate landscapes, covering pools we use and filling pools we don't use, and sweeping with a broom rather than a hose are all things to consider.  The most important thing we can do to help people in other nations is cut down on consumption of imported meat.  Meat is the most water-intensive thing we eat and so often, the nations that produce it are allowing the rich to get richer by using all the water to produce meat to sell while the poor go without this necessity of life.  





Saturday, August 07, 2010

Ghost Bicycle


Two Ghost Bicycles have appeared in my life, both on the same street, my major commuting street, about five miles apart.   Ghost bicycles commemorate bicyclists killed or severely injured, usually by cars.  They are stripped down bikes, painted white, labeled with the name of the bicyclist, and since this is New Mexico with our major Hispanic influence, decorated with flowers like the roadside crosses which commemorate motorist deaths in our state.

The project started in St. Louis, just 7 years ago, when a homeowner saw a car strike and kill a bicyclist in front of his house.  Horrified, he painted an old bike white,  added a sign,  "A cyclist was killed here", and locked it to a signpost.  He noted the effect this had on motorists and got together with a few others to post 15 more bikes where cyclists had died in the metro area.  From this humble start, Ghost Bikes have appeared around the world.   There have been some controversies, of course, about where the bikes can be, but most cities are eager to be bike friendly, and it's good for everyone to remember that the worst can happen in a moment of carelessness.  This particular bike was moved so far off the road that I hadn't seen it from my car in months; I met it when I took the bike path.

Cyclists have to be reminded to ride safely and sanely, of course, but the vast majority of the bike fatalities in this nation are the fault of the driver of the cars.

So...be careful out there!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Get mad at Girlfriend, Kill a bunch of people.

It's a common formula. It happened today, here in Albuquerque.  It happens a lot.  Here are some of the most infamous..which is to say, the ones where more than two people died.  The dots on the map of fellows who "just" kill their girlfriend would leave very little white space.  (and there'd be a tiny scatting of pink dots representing gals who killed their boyfriends.  Usually because he abused her.  Has there ever been a girlfriend murdered boyfriend just because he left her?   I can't remember it.

When guns are allowed freely in society, there is nothing you can do to protect yourself from gun violence.   Which is too bad.  In a universe without the current interpretation of the second amendment, this kind of violence would be almost fully preventable.

And you can bet that a man who walked into a crowded office conference room intent on knifing his ex-girlfriend to death would not have been able to do it and would not be now wandering the streets of Albuquerque.

Instead...six dead, four wounded, gunman at large.  What a tragedy.

Monday, May 31, 2010

The Secret of Kells


Our son the animator took us out to see this lovely film tonight, an imaginative, loving, and visually rich little story about how one of humanity's greatest books might have come into being.  Look for it with the Inde movies and catch it if you can! 

Friday, May 28, 2010

Thirty Years in Ministry


There was a kind of strange movie out a few years ago, called “Into Great Silence”  It was a movie about a monestary so austere that the monks live in silence and solitude, eating most meals in their cells, doing chores and spending hours in silent prayer.  They eat together…in silence…once a week, and speak to each other only for a few hours on Sunday afternoons.  They clearly thrive in this life.  

The movie was mostly silent, the charm of it in the beautiful work of the camera detailing the daily work of these men’s lives.  The Monestary is located in the Alps, so the scenery is beautiful, and these monks live in well-kept buildings and rooms.     It all looks so peaceful, so restful, so…orderly.

And then the camera comes to the Father Abbot’s office.  Alone of all the spaces we have seen so far, this one is cluttered and strewn with papers.   It takes only a little French to see that Father Abott has been writing a fund raising letter.  It’s a kind of a shock…this surreal place needs money!  Furthermore, on Father Abbott’s desk is a telephone.  Alone of all the monks, their leader has been talking to the world. 

The camera left this scene quickly, having made the point that this place of other-worldly beauty and silence is sustained by the world and its work, and that while the lowly junior novice may live in silence and in prayer, his religious leader has to talk, raise money, and endure enough stress that he never gets his desk cleared off.   Apparently Father Abbott thinks it's worth it.  

On Tuesday, I will pass the 30th anniversary of my ordination.  I think it's worth it, too.  


Saturday, May 22, 2010

Let's Lose That Word, "Hate".

I'm sorry to say that I know Hate.  I know it from news of young men tied to fence posts and left to die in a snowstorm because other young men were afraid of their sexuality.  I know it from pictures of houses torched because the owner was planning to sell it to someone of a different race or religion from the rest of the neighbors.  I know it from the personal experience of escorting patients into the Planned Parenthood clinic...shouting, angry men waving bloody overblown pictures at women who mostly were there to get birth control so that they would never have to make the choice the men abhorred.  That didn't matter to the wrought-up men.  They spewed their fury at anybody who walked in the parking lot.   I know it...just once...from the snarled words of a man who believed that God hated women ministers and needed me to know it.   It was just once, but I remember it well.  Words of hate, someone said, leave footprints in the mind.  


Hate is dislike gone rogue, and there is no doubt it exists in our world and does terrible damage.  It's a stage of conflict where you're not looking for a solution or even a separation, or even an effective end to your pain.  All you want to do is hurt the one you hate.  


It's a strong word, and when hateful behavior needs to be named and stopped, we need a strong word.  


So...let's not waste the word "hate" on the current immigration debate; at least, not the part of the debate that is taking place in the most civil and democratic way, as it is in Arizona.  Call Arizona bill 1070 misguided, unconstitutional, dumb, ineffective; point out all the ways it will hurt the innocent, like children separated from parents and legal residents who don't happen to have their "papers" on their person when they have run a red light, and all of us as our civil rights are eroded.    Work endlessly for it's repeal, march and write letters and refrain from entering such a backwards state if that's how you feel.


But let's not throw around that word,  "hate."   No doubt there is some, but the majority of legislators who passed it don't hate anybody, and they know it.  They are trying to solve a big problem that nobody else has been willing or able to solve and they may be misguided and the result unconstitutional and dangerous, but I see absolutely no evidence of hatefulness.  It is possible to do great harm, be foolish, and hurt people, all without hate. 


To call someone hateful is a very strong accusation.  Do it too much and you lose a word which you need when someone has been lynched, when a wayward policemen has spit into anybody's face, when emotions are way out of control and doing terrible, memorable damage for the sheer hell of if.  Throw that word "hate" around too much and those you accuse start writing you off as inarticulate and without a real case.  Call other people and the causes they think are legitimate "hateful"  and it gets harder and harder to convince people that you are standing on the side of love, harder and harder to join the fight, harder and harder to make the compromises which are the essence of politics.  


The Buddhists call that "unskillful"; a word which, for it's sheer, understated glory, is unmatched.  

Friday, April 02, 2010

Macaroon Season

iMinister has a friend who has been writing a Passover Haggadah for about a decade (It's a very cool interfaith sort of Haggadah which has finally been published with layout by my husband...you can find it here)
Because of this project, iMinister has been invited to many seders and long ago developed a reputation for making amazing macaroons.  Although all she did was follow a recipe from Cooks Magazine, her macaroons never failed to get rave reviews from her friend's mostly Jewish friends who claimed they had never imagined that macaroons could taste so good.   It's a pretty easy recipe, once you've found the ingredients.  Read carefully!

You will need:
1 cup cream of coconut (the stuff used to make pina coladas; you will find it with the alcoholic drink mixes.)
2T light corn syrup
4 large egg whites
2t. vanilla extract
1/2 t. salt
3 c. UNSWEETENED coconut, shredded (8 oz.)  (try the health food store)
3 c. SWEETENED coconut, shredded (8 oz)

1. Preheat oven to 375 and line two cookie sheets with parchment and spray with cooking spray.
2. Combine the two kinds of coconut  in a large bowl , break up lumps and toss with your fingers.
3. Combine the other ingredients well, and pour over the coconut and mix until evenly moistened
4. chill dough for 15 minutes
5. Drop heaping tablespoons of dough on the cookie sheets, 1 inch apart.  Use your fingers to shape into little pyramids.
6. Bake until light golden brown, about 15 minutes, swapping trays if necessary for even baking.
7. Cool on cookies sheets 2 minutes before removing to cooling racks
8.  Dip the bottoms of  cooled cookies in melted chocolate chips if desired.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Facebook-Security

The Rev. Cynthia Landrum has some good tips about Facebook's security settings...a good review for everyone, which you can find here

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

adddendum to Multi-site Bibliography

Alban Institute's Susan Beaumont has written about the emerging area of multi-site in mainline congregations here:   She has some interesting observations from her work, and the differences between the ways Mainline congregations do Multi-site and how Evangelicals do them.  Since most of the multi-site literature assumes the Evangelical mindset, this is interesting stuff!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

The Blogger's Hot Stove, week II


This will be most of the news that's fit to print about the matchmaking between UU churches and ministers.   Here is the list of candidates as far as I know them.   I hear that five churches are still actively looking for candidates, and at least two have extended their search to another year.  And it seems likely that lots of announcements were made in church this morning which have not been posted to websites yet.  


Congratulations, all around! 


Leslie Becknell Marx - Ashland, 

Peter Boullata - 1st Parish Lexington 

Eric Kaminetzky - Edmunds, Wa 

Kathy Schmitz - Orlando, Fla 

JD Benson and Mary Ganz - Brewster, MA 

Tom Perchilik - Tacoma, Wa 

Bill Sinkford - Portland, Or

 Lois Van Leer - Woodenville, WA

 Lilia Cuervo - Cambridge (associate)

 Shana Lynngood and Melora Lynngood - Victoria, BC 

Matt Tittle, Paramus, NJ
Meg Riley  Church of the Larger Fellowship
Angela Herrera  First Unitarian, Albuquerque (assistant)  (a special Yeah! from iMinister on this one!)
Carmen Emerson,  Meadville, PA  (another special, yeah! to Abq's current intern)
Andrew Millard, Newport News, VA (ditto for a former intern!)
Robin Tanner, Piedmont (Charlotte, NC)  (ditto for a current ABQ resident!) 
Stephen Sinclair,  Indianapolis
Erin Gingrich, Reston, VA
Scott Alexander, Viro Beach, FL
Debra Faulk, Calgery, AB
Jeffery Jones, Marietta, GA
Victoria Ingram,  Hamilton, Ontario, Canada



Iowa City...Search extended another year
Charlottesville, VA....Search extended another year




Thursday, March 25, 2010

Facebook for Ministers -Boundaries

A colleague has asked about Facebook for Ministers, specifically, how to use Facebook without encouraging or (heaven forbid) engaging in boundary violations, and how to use Facebook without it being a time sink.

Boundaries

The most important thing to get clear on is that this world has "friends" and it has "facebookfriends", and they are not the same thing at all, even if the share a syllable.  Ministers need to be careful about having "friends" in their congregations,  that is to say, people the confide in, let their hair down with, giggle and share and travel with and so on.  There are so many good reasons for ministers to be careful about having friends in the congregation that many ministers don't have friends in the congregation at all.  These reasons include:

  • Most people who actively court their ministers as friends don't really want to befriend the person who giggles and shares and travels, they want to befriend the MINISTER and partake, somehow, in the ministerial glitter. (or worse, use the ministerial glitter or the minister's ear to advance their agendas in the church, or, worst of all, what to befriend the minister to assure themselves that scary people like ministers are really just regular joes.)  Any sensible minister avoids this like the plague for personal and professional reasons.
  • Even when the minister develops relationships more naturally, with healthier persons who actually want to know the minister as a person, giggles and glitches and all, there will be some others, who, seeing this relationship, can become jealous and make the minister's professional life difficult. 
  • And when things go south politically in a church, among the very painful things for the minister is to lose friendships just when one most needed them or to see one's friends become estranged from their congregation because of their friendship with the congregation's minister.  
Some wise ministers have no friendships in their churches, and some wise ministers have a few, carefully developed friendships with very mature people which, while not secrets, are conducted out of the public eye.   All wise ministers nurture friendships outside of their congregation, whether or not they have friendships with members of their congregations

"Facebookfriendship", however, is a completely different critter from friendship.  Facebookfriendship is to real friendship what coffee hour is to an encounter group.    Facebook is a way of keeping in touch, briefly and pleasantly, with aspects of people's lives in one sentence, one picture, one "read this that I've linked to" bites.

Does FacebookFriendship have boundary issues for ministers?  It depends on what you post, not on who your Facebookfriends are.   To my mind, the minister's Facebook life should be conducted the way the minister's semi-public life always is...carefully.

I think of it this way.  If I was in a long airport security line and behind me was someone from my church...or even someone from my former church,  I would not ignore them out of anxious concerns for boundaries or my privacy.  We'd exchange news about the doings of our children, our gardens, our political opinions.  We might mention things we were reading, how we are feeling, and talk politely about the people we know.  That's the kind of stuff I put on my Facebook update.

So, my policy is I Facebookfriend anybody in my church who asks.  Any UU who asks, actually.  I set all of my security to "only friends can see this".  I don't say anything I wouldn't say in the airport line or post any picture I wouldn't, under the right circumstances, show around at coffee hour.  And I doubt that I will unbefirend people when I leave this church, any more than I would refuse to talk to them if I found myself in their company.

I only very occasionally leave comments on congregant's posts, although I do very often click "like" when they are reporting happy news.   When I read things on congregant's posts which warrent a pastoral response, I send a private messange, an email, or pick up the phone.  I've also used the live chat feature in what seemed to be dire circumstances.  The point is that the minister doesn't play favorites or have "special" Facebookfriends, at least not on the public side of Facebook.

Therefore...nobody gets any "ministerglitter" from being my facebookfriend, any more than they get it from watching a video from the church website.  It's there for everybody.  Nobody gets jealous. There are no political implications.  There is connection, but not real friendship.  But those connections are interesting and valuable.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Why Facebook for Ministers?

A colleague has asked me why she should be involved in Facebook, what the boundary issues are, and how to not let it be a time sink.  Good questions.  Here are my answers.

One reason to be on Facebook is to interface with the many ministerial colleagues who are on Facebook.  In terms of keeping us in touch with each other, our families, transitions, and daily lives, Facebook rocks.  The UUMA Chat (email list) is fine for asking people's opinions of things.  Facebook is for whose kids have graduated from preschool, whose parents are dying, who is having a rotten week, who has what hobbies.   It's for sharing links to articles and crowing over the perfect sermon title.  It's quick to post, quick to read, quick to comment on.  I feel MUCH more connected to my colleagues than I ever have before.

A second reason to be on Facebook is that the people of our churches are on Facebook, from the 9 year olds to the 70 year olds.  They, too, are commenting about what they are reading, how they are feeling, what's going on with their parents and kids, what the stresses and joys of their lives are.  The savvy pastor can, in minutes, respond to those things with a quick click on "like", or easily send a private message of support or congratulations.   The preacher who is wondering what her people are thinking and worrying about will be very interested in the links they post, and enriched by reading the articles and comments.

A third reason to be on Facebook is that if you serve a mid-sized or larger church, only some of your congregation will have the opportunity to know you the way all would in a smaller congregation...that is, know about your children, your parents, your hobbies, your reading interests.  They might ask you about such things if they caught you around church in an idle moment, and you'd probably respond, but...they mostly can't get to you.  Through Facebook, they can see the public side of the minister's life.  They like that.

A fourth reason to be on Facebook is that your church should have a page on Facebook, for the same reason it has a website; people will look for it and use it to get information and work up their courage to visit.  If you want to see that page, you need a Facebook account.  The fact that the minister has a Facebook page is an important signal to trend-setting Facebook users, that this church and its leaders are a part of the culture in the 21st century.  You want to appeal to anybody under 50 and many over, you want to send that signal.

A final reason to be on Facebook is that the wise minister has fun, and lots of people find Facebook to be a fun way to keep up with friends, relatives, and culture, and they use it as a platform for computer games.  Speaking for myself, I love knowing what my niece and nephew are up to and there's nothing as relaxing after difficult board meetings than working on my Farmville virtual crops.  But...that's optional.

Guest Postings

The Rev. Harlan Limpert, VP of the UUA, has asked to be an author on this blog to get input and feedback about ministerial matters from this distinguished group of readers. He will write more about his work and his questions in the next few days.   I hope you will welcome and comment on his posts.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Blogger's Hot Stove

The real "hot stove" list of invitations from churches to ministers to candidate is being kept on Facebook this year.  Some people are still slogging away without Facebook, and for those readers, here is the list so far.


 Leslie Becknell Marx - Ashland, 

Peter Boullata - 1st Parish Lexington 

Eric Kaminetzky - Edmunds, Wa 

Kathy Schmitz - Orlando, Fla 

JD Benson and Mary Ganz - Brewster, MA 

Tom Perchilik - Tacoma, Wa 

Bill Sinkford - Portland, Or

 Lois Van Leer - Woodinville, WA

 Lilia Cuervo - Cambridge (associate

 Shana Lynngood and Melora Lynngood - Victoria, BC 


There are many more matches in the making which have not yet been made public, but it should be a great week for matchmaking!

And by the way, for all of you readers who don't "do" Facebook....you really should! The times they have a chang-ed.   

Friday, March 12, 2010

Hot Stove II: The Cooperative Enterprise

Posting all the candidates for new UU pulpits as they are announced in the next week is a big job and I'll need lots of help.  For starters, the list of churches in search is always a work in progress.  Search Committees which asked that their application period be closed are no longer on the list, for instance.  So, the first task for all of us interested folks is to compile the list of churches expecting to settle ministers in this search season.  Here is what I know.    Readers?  It's up to you!   Are there other "pregnant" churches out there? 


Church in Search
Calgary, Alberta
Birmingham, Alabama
Victoria, British Columbia
Fremont, CA
Danbury CT
Jacksonville FL
Orlando FL
Very Beach FL
Athens GA
Iowa City IA
Bloomington IL
Stockton, IL
Indianapolis IN
West Lafayette IN
Beverly MA
Billerica MA
Boston, CLF
Brewster MA
Cambridge, MA  (Associate)
Lexington MA
Newton MA
Plymouth MA
Sharon MA
Martha's Vinyard
Portland ME
Bloomfield Hills MI
Brighton MI
Detroit MI
Troy MI
Kalispell MT
Omaha NE
Concord NH
Albuquerque NM  (Assistant)
Bowling Green OH
Hamilton On
London ON
Portland OR (First)
Bethlehem PA
Meadville PA
Aiken SC
Sioux Falls SD
Houston TX (First)
Charlottesville VA
Newport News VA
Reston, VA
Edmonds WA
Eau Claire WI

Thursday, March 11, 2010

the "Hot Stove"

Because my church has an intern and staff member in search and is itself in search, and because I was listed as a reference for several colleagues in search, I've taken a greater-than-usual interest in the search process this year.  In past years another blogger has taken on listing who is going where but that blog is off the books now.  If no one else is planning to provide this public service to the UU world, I will volunteer for the blogsphere and Facebook.  Monday is the first day churches are making official matches, but yesterday the UUA announced their pick for the next Transitions Director (coordinates UUA services to churches and ministers in search), so that seems to me to be the fitting opening of the endgame of the season.  So, dear readers, please do let me know when you discover who is going where....

Keith Kron    -Transitions Director

Monday, March 01, 2010

Twittering

iMinister has made a discipline of studying the Tao Te Ching for many years.  At the moment she has set herself to creating a twitter reminder of each chapter. (Twitter rules: only 140 characters to a "tweet".  Just call this modern Haiku.)  You can follow her on Twitter.  www.twitter.com,  under "revcrobinson".

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Thought for the Day

I have  three treasures

Simplicity, Patience, Compassion   -Tao Te Ching

Friday, January 08, 2010

Multi-Site Bibliography

One church meeting at multiple locations is a very hot trend in American church life, for lots of reasons. I wish it were a hotter trend in the Unitarian Universalist world, but two churches are actively trying it, mine and First Unitarian in San Diego. There are lots of variations on the theme, and here's some of the media buzz on the subject. If your church is thinking about multi site, please leave a comment..I'm feeling very lonely!

http://www.usatoday.com/news/religion/2009-12-17-1Amultichurches17_CV_N.htm?csp=usat.me (New York City: one pastor preaching live in several locations)

http://www.outreachmagazine.com/index.php?news=3367 (Impact of multi-site on the Evangelical side of the religious world

http://www.thirdquarterconsulting.com/ Blog devoted to Multi-site (Evangelical perspective)

http://www.thirdquarterconsulting.com/ audio of a panel discussion with one dissenter about the benefits of multi site (Southern Baptist Theological Seminary)


http://www.christianpost.com/article/20091001/mergers-with-larger-churches-revive-dying-ones/ Multi-Site as an alternative to closing churches which have become too small.

Five books on the subject can be found at Amazon by clicking the link on the right of this blog and searching for "multi-site" (If you buy anything, the church gets 5% of your purchase...thanks!)