Thursday, September 24, 2009

Begin Again in Love

This is an excerpt of a sermon delivered to the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Gainesville, September 20, 2009. 

For the full sermon, listen to it or download it at the end of this short piece.


(Brown Booby - photo by Aviceda)


What does that mean to begin again in love?  For me, love means never having to say you’re sorry.  I don’t think I’m the first to say that, or think it.  What love means to me is that we are in love with this awesome world – with God, with earth, with oceans and thunder, with family and friends.  It is being in love that leads us to make amends with others, to find ways to change our behavior and to care.


We don’t say we’re sorry or ask forgiveness because we or others are “bad.” That’s not the dream of our 1st principle in Unitarian Universalism which is the inherent worth and dignity of all people.  We yearn for forgiveness because we want to be part of something special, something glorious; we want to be part of this awesome world.  If we can just awake to the beauty within that touches the beauty without we can find healing, atonement, be at one. 


Have you ever been held in that sweet embrace of wonder?  For me it’s swimming in fresh water spring or ocean, held in waves and flow as if in a womb or being born in beauty.  In that moment of purple eel below and brown booby flying above, everything is perfect, even my fumbling and bumbling.  In touching the source of awe and wonder, we forgive ourselves and each other.


Born out of awe and wonder, shorn of our ego’s pride, reborn in humble adoration, may we make our days glad together.



Download Rosh Hashanah 2009 sermon

(To download, click here.  You might need to "right click" and "save target as")


Monday, September 21, 2009

Piracy and Morality



In celebration of International Talk Like a Pirate Day I facilitated a service on Piracy and Morality at the Unitarian Univeralist Fellowship of Gainesville.  The audio recording of the sermon follows below.


Let me lift up the issues of piracy regarding the nonhuman aspects of our communities.  If piracy means taking what belongs to others, often from the sense that “the world owes me a living,” where in your life do you feel that we are stealing from the earth and her beings?  What if we became Universal Pirates, and not just pirates following a code of ethics that serves individual needs or smaller community needs?  What if our every action was based on an orientation to the common good, to biodiversity, to sustainability, and to animal welfare (including humans)?  In this way I’d say let’s become pirates, matey, revolutionaries who take back what belongs to us all by giving back to what belongs to no one. 



(Photograph from "Pirates and Parties")

Download Piracy and Morality Sermon


Sunday, September 13, 2009

Hate Language Flung at Birds


Starling philip heron

European Starling (Photo by Philip Heron)


The Associated Press ran an article “North America’s Most Hated Bird Wreaks Havoc” one week ago.  The reporter compared the European starling’s presence in North America to a Hitchcock movie, described it’s dropping as “corrosive and foul-smelling,” and called their swirling mumurations “intimidating statements.”  It reported the starling’s nuisance qualities and never once said anything about the positive aspects of the bird, such as the species’ inherent worth, dignity, and beauty, the bird’s helpful impact on certain insect populations through foraging, and their song and language abilities.   For me this seemed a case of biased reporting, if not just incomplete, and for my part, disheartening to see the word “hated” referring to any living being.  To do so spreads disconnection and denial of responsibility, and leads to heart constriction instead of compassionate opening which we so desperately need to deal with the complex issues that confound we humans.  What might you feel if the title ran, “World’s most hated religion wreaks havoc,” or “South American’s most hated indigenous culture population surges?”  I know that life is difficult for our species and we make difficult decisions that harm other life to support our own, however, I long that we do so with awareness of the wondrous beauty all around us, in us, and flying above us.  If we could do this, we might, just might, find a way to reduce our harm and see these mumurations as prayerful love language flung throughout the skies to make us ever more wise.  May it be so.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

The Common Good - An Ever Living Stream

This is a homily I deliverd on August 30, 2009 for the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Gainesville.  For this Annual Ingathering and Water Communion I spoke of how we give messages to one another that have far ranging consequences.  What messages will you choose to give to life this day? 

May goodness flow with you all the days of your life.


Download Water Messages Homily

(may need to "right click" and then "save target as")