Water Communion 2021


as preached at the First Unitarian Universalist Church of Houston, August 22, 2021 This is the second year in a row that our annual ingathering service has taken place under difficult, uncertain, circumstances. Last year, our service took place entirely online. This year, some of us have gathered in-person and others of us are participating via our livestream. This year, like last year, as the...

We Would Be One


as preached at the First Unitarian Universalist Church of Houston, August 8, 2021 “[O]ne God, no one left behind.” This morning’s sermon is on that often awkward topic: Unitarian Universalist evangelism–the sharing of the good news. We Unitarian Universalists have good news. We should be sharing it. “[O]ne God, no one left behind.” Most Unitarian Universalists I know, including many of you...

Supporting Black Agricultural in the Wake of the arctic storm


As many of you know, last week First Houston partnered with the Unitarian Universalist Association to distribute 14,000 liters of water. Working with volunteers from our congregation and Project Row Houses, we provided water to more than five hundred households in need. These include people located in the Cuney Homes and Project Row Houses and those connected with the S.H.A.P.E. Community Center...

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...

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