Harvard and the Unitarian Universalist Association: Parallel Histories


Since the start of the pandemic, the First Unitarian Universalist Church of Houston has been posting a weekly ministers’ forum online. In this week’s episode I talk with Dan McKanan, the Ralph Waldo Emerson Unitarian Universalist Association Senior Lecturer at Harvard Divinity School, about the parallel histories of Harvard Divinity School and the Unitarian Universalist Association.

Site Under (Re)Construction


Welcome back to my site! I am excited to have it back up! It is still a bit under construction and I have a lot of content (specifically sermons) to add that I have created (or more accurately preached?) since the site was being worked on. This new site is a work in progress and I am still figuring out how to add audio, video, and images to go along with the text. One feature I am particularly...

Common Sense, Thomas Paine


Thomas Paine, Common Sense (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2010 [1776]) Paine’s famous pamphlet on why the colonists should rebel against the English monarchy is broken six sections: Introduction; Of the Origin and Design of Government in General. With Concise Remarks on the English Constitution; Of Monarchy and Hereditary Succession; Thoughts on the Present State of American Affairs;...

Books Read in 2019


I keep a running list of the books that I read all the way through–as opposed to read selectively in, which is how I approach most works of academic history, critical theory, and theology. For a few years I posted this list to my blog with commentary on some of the books. I fell away from that for awhile but am now getting back to it. I will be posting a list of all of the books I read over...



Angoulême is the largest city in the region where we’ve been staying. Over the last few days Gilles and Nicole have been showing us around. We’ve explored the Château de La Rochefoucauld and Sers. We’ve also visited a bunch of other places. Here are a few of the most interesting: Musée de la Bande Dessinée Also known as the International Comic Strip Museum, the Musée de la Bande Dessinée is...

Sipping Rose While the World Burns


The crisis in the United States keeps getting worse and worse. Today as I wandered through Arles members of my congregation in Houston participated in protests against President Trump’s planned ICE raids. His administration’s anti-human and anti-immigrant policies are part of the larger global crisis. I have been thinking about the crisis a lot since I have been in France. Much of the photography...

Words from Your Minister for February 2018


Dear Friends:I hope that you’re excited about pizza and games tonight! Asa and I are looking forward to it. We’re bringing a few of our favorite games and one of Asa’s friends. It should be a lovely time in the fellowship hall. Our religious community doesn’t just exist on Sunday morning and gathering to share food and fun is just as important as worshipping together. It is a wonderful way to...

Two Bodies, One Heart (Ashby)


as preached at the First Parish Church, Ashby, MA, January 21, 2018 This week marked the year anniversary of the inauguration of Donald Trump. Shortly before he was inaugurated, I preached a sermon to a different congregation in which I said that one of our most important tasks for the coming years was to nurture the spiritual practices that would sustain us through difficult times. Today, as...

Professional Update


I have been more than a little negligent in keeping this blog up to date. Trying to complete my PhD in five years has been keeping me busy (also my computer died, and I’m currently reduced to working on my iPad, but that’s another story). I have a lot of professional news to share. Rather than breaking it into a bunch of small posts I decided to share everything in one swoop. ...

Follow Me