Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Be Spiritual - Episode 16

Gail Donahue is our guest for Episode 16 of Be Spiritual. Gail was raised Irish Catholic, both religiously and culturally. Ironically, it was the Catholic Church that pointed her to Unitarian Universalism. Today, Gail considers herself a proud atheist with a church — not at all paradoxical for a UU.

During the conversation, you'll hear Gail refer to Cakes for the Queen of Heaven. If you're interested in more information about this curriculum in feminist theology, check this web site.



Episode 16 runs about 37 minutes. You may listen with the above audio player, download the mp3 file here, or access it via iTunes.

I welcome your feedback, which you may leave by posting a comment below or by sending an e-mail to comments at bespiritual dot info.

The theme music is Floating Souls by Ambrish, courtesy of the Podsafe Music Network. The chalice artwork was created by Inga Johannesen, of the UU Church of Chattanooga, Tennessee.

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Saturday, January 16, 2010

Be Spiritual - Episode 13

Episode 13 features the continuing spiritual journey of John Sanders. From a childhood of limited religious exposure, John has assembled a rich potpourri of coexisting beliefs and practices: Religious Humanist, Panentheist, Buddhist, Universalist, and Unitarian Universalist. Listen to John’s and my conversation to understand how they fit together.

John serves as President of the Board of the Northern New England District of the Unitarian Universalist Association and President of the Board of the Universalist Heritage Foundation. Previously he was President of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Nashua.



Listen to John's religious odyssey using the above audio player or download the mp3 file here. You may also listen and subscribe to the podcast with iTunes.

I welcome your feedback, which you may leave by posting a comment on the blog or by sending an e-mail to comments at bespiritual dot info.

The theme music is Floating Souls by Ambrish, courtesy of the Podsafe Music Network. The chalice artwork was created by Inga Johannesen, of the UU Church of Chattanooga, Tennessee.

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Saturday, December 19, 2009

Noteworthy

I came across a couple of items this week that you may find interesting.

Garrison Keillor wrote a column in Salon, Don't Mess with Christmas, in which his subtitle reads
It's a Christian holiday, dammit, and it's plain wrong to rewrite "Silent Night." Unitarians, I'm talking to you!
Keillor's thoughts have prompted a bit of a tempest, judging from the response by UUs.

You can sample the discussion coursing through a number of blogs. A good place to start is Peter Bowden's response on his UU Growth Blog. Peter is the growth consultant for the Ballou Channing district and the creative energy behind UU Planet Media.

From my own perusing, I found Paul Oakley's blog post a thoughtful response to Keillor, which he articulated without jumping over the proverbial horse.

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The Word of Mouth program on New Hampshire Public Radio (NHPR) featured an interview with Greg Epstein, the Humanist Chaplain at Harvard University and author of the recent book Good without God. You can hear the interview here.

Listening to Greg, I was struck by two items.

First, he articulates humanism very eloquently and understandably, which is inspiration for honing our own elevator speeches.

His advocacy for faith communities — for non-believers as well as those who identify with a religion — is the second and more profound thought. At one point during the interview, Greg says that congregations are more about community than their underlying religious beliefs. Yes. Through community we can nurture each other and combine our efforts to do good works in the world.

Greg is working hard to build such a community at Harvard. If you're not in that neighborhood, though, and don't have such a community, try a UU church. Whether your inclinations are humanist, atheist, agnostic, Pagan, Buddhist, or your own mash-up, you'll be most welcome.

And do try one of our Christmas Eve candlelight services, where you'll get to sing our version of Silent Night.

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