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Blog roundup, Summer 2011

Online responses to UU World.
By Kenneth Sutton
Summer 2011 5.15.11

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Many people discuss Unitarian Universalism and UU World stories on blogs. Keep up with the online conversation: Read UU World’s blog, “The Interdependent Web,” which highlights the best blog commentary each week.

Craig Fischer, writing at “The Panelists,” a group blog focused on comics, disagreed with Doug Muder’s Winter 2010 cover story, “Reclaiming Krypton,” and he also didn’t think much of the mini–comic book that accompanied it.

“[T]o claim that the Boomers were about defying authority is to miss important counter-movements that would rise to prominence after the ‘’60s’ (i.e. 1965-1975) came to an end.” (March 4)

The Rev. Ron Robinson thanked us at “The Welcome Table Church” for writing about his ministry in Turley, Oklahoma, and recognized the people who are involved in the ministry. He added some context for the Spring 2011 UU World cover photograph.

“It was taken in the old parsonage next to the old abandoned church building we purchased and are transforming. It is still like it is in the picture. It is very typical of the many such houses in the neighborhoods surrounding us where 40 percent of all empty homes, and there are vast numbers of them, are no longer trying to be sold or rented.” (February 21)

Myriam Renaud’s Spring 2011 essay, “Got God?” was affirmed at “iMinister” by the Rev. Christine Robinson.

“There are many good reasons for not believing in God. But there is no good reason for a grown up to insist that the guy in the sky is the only kind of God and that all believers in God believe in that kind. That’s a patent falsehood about theology and about people, and UUs, dedicated as we are to truth, have no business espousing it.” (February 27)

Two bloggers responded to Jane Greer’s news report on the January 2011 UUA board meeting, “Board focused on planning for 2012 Gen­eral Assem­bly.” (uuworld.org, Feb­ruary 7) Matt Kinsi at “Spirituality and Sunflowers” was excited by the proposal to eliminate Actions of Immediate Witness. (February 9) The Rev. Scott Wells of “Boy in the Bands” highlighted the importance of proposed changes to the bylaws relating to congregations, how they are defined and formed. (February 9) UUA Board member Linda Laskowski continues to blog about UUA board meetings at “UUA View from Berkeley.” (January 12, 20, 21, 22, 25)

Bloggers commented on the firing of Cilla Raughley, former executive of the Pacific Central District. (“District board protests firing of its executive,” uuworld.org, February 28; see page 45 for a summary)

The Rev. Dan Harper at “Yet Another Unitarian Universalist” invited conversation about the firing, raising questions about co-employment, accountability, and the health of the Pacific Central District itself. (February 4)

Tom Wilson posted a letter at his blog, “Musings and Essays,” from Lynn Thomas, who says, “the sequence of events for [former district executive Cilla Raughley] in the PCD was eerily similar to my experience as (now former) district executive in the Clara Barton District.” (March 6)

Joel Monka at “CUUMBAYA” complained about “the moral authority of the UUA and leadership. . . . When you think about it, ‘Do as I preach, not as I do,’ seems to be our motto.” (March 6)

The Rev. Scott Wells at “Boy in the Bands” finds that his blog posts get more readers when they are critical of the UUA: “I don’t relish a reputation as a crank or malcontent. Still, there aren’t many people who write critically of the Unitarian Universalist Association, and there’s clearly a market.” (March 19)

Anna Snoeyenbos wrote an open letter to UUA President Peter Morales, urging him to publicly welcome the “new universalists” such as the Rev. Rob Bell, an evangelical pastor whose book, Love Wins: A Book About Heaven, Hell, and the Fate of Every Person Who Ever Lived, created waves (among evangelicals) for questioning the doctrine of eternal damnation.

“So many bright, probing, incredibly talented and wildly popular evangelicals are shaking the ground of Christianity, discovering for themselves the truth of God’s vastness and boundless love without ever needing us to tell them. In fact, let’s be clear—Universalism and the Way of Love manages to find a way into people’s hearts without us. That’s what’s happening right now—hence this letter requesting that we get on board someone else’s train.” (March 1)

Bell got a lot of attention from UU bloggers, including a post by Morales at Huffington Post.

“[W]hen we speak of universalism today, let us speak in terms of compassionate love for all people. No matter how we interpret Bell’s writing or his personal theology, let us be tolerant and kind in our dealings with one another, regardless of our faith. Most of all, let us stand on the side of love, always.” (March 15)

“Earthbound Spirit” read Bell’s book, which may or may not espouse universalism, and came to a conclusion: “Rob Bell is a theological tease.” (March 27)

John Beckett at “Under the Ancient Oaks” found Bell’s book “concise and engaging.” (March 28)

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