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The Waning of the Light

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as preached at the First Unitarian Universalist Church of Houston, December 4, 2022 In the Jewish tradition there is a midrash, an interpretation, of the Torah, the sacred text, about twilight. It points to a spiritual practice that is essential for many Unitarian Universalists. The midrash has to do with what once happened at the waning of the light, that period of time when it is no longer day...

The Ground of Being

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as preached at the First Unitarian Universalist Church of Houston, November 6, 2022 We are in the midst of one of liberal democracy’s great civic rituals: the country’s biennial elections. Their stakes seem to be much higher than usual. In the past weeks, I have talked with more than few of you who have reported losing sleep about their possible outcomes. Pundits, politicians, scholars, and a...

All Souls Homily 2022

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as preached at the First Unitarian Universalist Church of Houston, October 30, 2022 From age to ageOh! I have slipped the surly bonds of EarthLove ends. But what if it doesn’t?Be Thou with us, now and alwaysI have only one picture with him.We will not see it, none of us.Behold, peace shall extend to thee like a river I offer you this jumble of words drawn from the music and poetry of this, our...

Act Upon Hope

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as preached at the First Unitarian Universalist Church of Houston, November 13, 2022 This past summer, I had the opportunity to hear the Commoners Choir in concert. The show was part of their Hope & Anger tour. They are a British folk choir that sings all original compositions. Our choir sang one of their pieces, “Hope,” earlier in the service as today’s special music. It was the song’s North...

Being a Descendant, Becoming an Ancestor

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as preached at the First Unitarian Universalist Church of Houston, October 23, 2022 Listen more often to things than to beings,‘tis the Ancestor’s breathwhen the fire’s voice is heard,‘tis the Ancestor’s breathin the voice of the waters. The words come from the Senegalese poet Birago Diop. The music is from Ysaye Barnwell. She is the renowned singer and former member of the well-known a cappella...

To Give, To Receive

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as preached at the First Unitarian Universalist Church of Houston, October 16, 2022 The Unitarian Universalist theologian Rebecca Parker has always been clear eyed about the purpose of our religious communion. In essay after essay, in book after book, writing alone or with a collaborator, she has told us that we gather in “hope for the recognition and realization of paradise on earth, rather than...

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