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Libraries and Restaurants in Oxford

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Friday was my final day in Oxford. And so, consummate foodie and lover of books that I am, I thought I would offer a few comments about libraries and restaurants in Oxford. I spent most of my time working in Harris Manchester College’s Tate Library. The college started life as an institution to train Unitarian ministers and the library is literally crammed with ephemera celebrating past...

Statement of the Houston Unitarian Universalist Ministers Association on the Overturning of Roe V. Wade

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We, the Unitarian Universalist Ministers of the greater Houston area, decry the decision of the Supreme Court of the United States to overturn Roe V. Wade. The first two principles of our faith state that we believe in “the inherent worth and dignity of every person,” and “justice, equity, and compassion in human relations.” To respect someone’s worth and dignity and afford them justice, equity...

Rambling Through Oxford

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Oxford is a quintessential walking city. It is made for foot traffic and bicycles, not cars or even public transit. My morning commute to Harris Manchester College consists of a thirty minute walk through a series of meadows. Along the way, I am passed by numerous bicyclists. There’s a playground, manicured lawns and gardens, several small bridges going across creeks, and so many fields of wild...

Harris Manchester College

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I am spending the first two weeks of my archival research time at Harris Manchester College. It is part of the University of Oxford. It was originally founded as an institution to train Unitarian ministers, but as the fortunes of British Unitarianism have declined so has its connection with the movement. Right now, there are perhaps 3,000 Unitarians throughout the United Kingdom, worshipping in...

Arriving in England

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Though Monday was officially the start of my sabbatical, I arrived in London on Friday. I have mixed feelings about being here. I am grateful for and excited about starting my sabbatical. At the same time, it seems that in the last week a number of folks in the church have come down with COVID. And I am worried about them and the congregation. But part of the point of being on sabbatical is that...

May Day: A Tribute to the Workers Holiday

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as preached at the First Unitarian Universalist Church of Houston, May 1, 2022 I want to begin by thanking everyone who contributed to last night’s fundraiser. It was a wonderful celebration of First Houston and our musical program. Thanks to Dr. Rocke and Chelsea, the choir, the string band, Paige Powell, Jim McGehee, Karoline Mueller, Traveler, the Clear Creek Girls, Rev. Scott, Alma, Tawanna...

Building the Legacy of Tomorrow

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as preached April 3, 2022 at the First Unitarian Universalist Church of Houston It is good to be back in the pulpit. It feels like I have been away for a long time. I have missed you. The last time I was supposed to offer you a sermon I came down with COVID. It was a mild breakthrough case. I completely lost my voice for a couple of days and needed a lot of extra sleep for about a week. But I...

Self-Help

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as preached at the First Unitarian Universalist Church of Houston, February 27, 2022 My sermon this morning is inspired by the person who won the right to “Name the Sermon” in last year’s auction. When I asked them what they would like me to preach about their answer was both simple and capacious: self-help. I responded with a desire for a bit more specificity. What about self-help? The...

Missing Malcolm in Michigan

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as preached at the First Unitarian Universalist Church of Houston, February 20, 2022 “Did you ever talk to Brother Malcolm? Did you ever touch him or have him smile at you? Did you ever really listen to him?,” I begin my sermon with these words from Ossie Davis for a simple reason. Tomorrow marks the fifty-seventh anniversary of the assassination of el-Hajj Malik el-Shabazz, best known as Malcolm...

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