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Back in the spring, I gave a sermon entitled "The Eighth Commandment Renewed: You Shall Be Generous of Heart". It was in part a reflection on the original Eighth Commandment, "Thou shalt not steal", and alternative ways of interpreting that admonition. It may be worth reading/listening to again, in this season when we are encouraged and asked to be generous as in no other time of the…Continue
I had my second conference call today with other members of the "Justice" 2012 General Assembly Program Development Group. What a dedicated bunch of people I get to work with, as we prepare to choose the programs that will inform, inspire and enrich the individuals who attend GA, and by extension, their congregations and wider communities.
This afternoon, we addressed issues such as our accountability to the people at GA who will have Spanish as their primary language; how we will vet…Continue
Added by Rev. Carlton Elliott Smith on November 23, 2011 at 6:25pm — No Comments
At last Wednesdays New UU course, as the newcomers to UUCA were gathering and getting to know each other, I posed a question for each of us to contemplate in anticipation of my sermon this Sunday, "Feels Like Home". I asked, "What feels like home (here at UUCA)?" Here are some of the responses I noted about our experiences of feeling at home:
- where you are known and you belong.
- where I feel welcome, comfortable ... where I can be me. Where I can grow intellectually…Continue
Added by Rev. Carlton Elliott Smith on November 22, 2011 at 9:19am — No Comments
To have Gini Courter, the Moderator of the Unitarian Universalist Association, giving our sermon yesterday: How special was that? I'm very grateful for her leadership, her vision, her humor, her commitment to our faith ... and perhaps most of all, her love for Unitarian Universalists and people in general.
Gini quoted Laila Ibrahim, who is the Director of Religious Education at our congregation in Oakland, California. Many years ago, when I was one of the three ministers on staff…Continue
Added by Rev. Carlton Elliott Smith on November 21, 2011 at 3:14pm — No Comments
Yesterday morning I was at Cedar Lane UU Church in Bethesda, attending a program with other regional Unitarian Universalists on local immigration issues and preparing for General Assembly 2012. The event was sponsored by Unitarian Universalists for Social Justice (UUSJ) and the Chesapeake Unitarian Universalist Growth Committee (CHUUG). There were six of us there from UUCA. My big take-away from the morning was this: There is a lot that we at UUCA could be doing to support other…Continue
Added by Rev. Carlton Elliott Smith on November 20, 2011 at 8:46am — No Comments
Because the response from UUCA members and friends to the two recent "kitchen actions" has been so strong, I wanted to get the word out about the latest opportunity to show support ...
This Sunday, November 20, there will be a table in Fellowship Hall where you can make a financial contribution after both services to OccupyDC's Thanksgiving dinner at New York…Continue
Added by Rev. Carlton Elliott Smith on November 19, 2011 at 7:00am — No Comments
This Sunday, Nov. 20, is the day set aside to remember transgender people who have been killed because of hatred and fear. In addition to acknowledging these senseless losses of life, it is an opportunity to raise awareness of hate-crimes against transpeople.
We have transpeople in our congregation, as well as parents, friends and family of transpeople. Some ministers in our Unitarian Universalist Association identify as trans as well. We stand together in love, as we affirm the…Continue
With Gini Courter at UUCA this weekend, it's a great time to consider about our participation at "Justice" General Assembly in Phoenix, June 20-24, 2012.
Gini, in fact, was a large part of my inspiration to become involved with immigration. Before the 2010 General Assembly in Minneapolis, I saw immigration policy important, but it wasn't an issue that captured my imagination. Once we…Continue
Added by Rev. Carlton Elliott Smith on November 17, 2011 at 10:20am — No Comments
The inspiration for the service I will lead the Sunday after Thanksgiving comes from this song written by Randy Newman. I first heard a Bonnie Raitt version of it in the John Travolta film "Michael" many years ago. You can watch it below in a clip from the Rosie O'Donnell Show of Bonnie performing it with Randy Newman himself.
While the song is a romantic one, I am more interested in the universal experience of feeling at home. Why does 'home' hold such grip on our imagination? What…Continue
Added by Rev. Carlton Elliott Smith on November 16, 2011 at 8:00am — No Comments
I got to the church at around 3:30 yesterday, just as the Kitchen Activists were finishing up two big, deep pots of delicious-smelling chili for the OccupyDC folks at McPherson Square. Just outside the kitchen was a cart laden with bread and desserts other Kitchen Activists had brought in, and in inside the kitchen were three large boxes of apples to go to the October2011 camp at Freedom Plaza. Within a short while, we delivered all that food. The energy around UUCA was high -- I could feel…Continue
If you were unable to make it to either of yesterday's services, I highly recommend you avail yourself to Rev. Michael's moving sermon, "A Time for Healing". It's a message to share widely! You will definitely see yourself and those you love in his words about the fragility of our existence as human beings, the naturalness of disease, and the possibility of wholeness whatever our lot.…Continue
Added by Rev. Carlton Elliott Smith on November 13, 2011 at 7:00am — No Comments
So you've gone through the New UU course, gotten to know a minister or two, perhaps have children in the Religious Education program, and perhaps even made a financial pledge to the congregation.
What's next? I'd like to suggest Membership!
Nothing says you are a part of UUCA quite like signing the Membership Book. When you write your name, you join the hundreds of dedicated laypeople over the generations who have made up the core around…Continue
Added by Rev. Carlton Elliott Smith on November 12, 2011 at 5:36pm — No Comments
<Mic check!> <Mic check!>
Based on the overwhelming support for feeding our neighbors at the OccupyDC and October2011 protest sites, UUCA is gathering its folks once again to do another Kitchen Action this Monday, Nov. 14. The goal is to provide dinner for 150 people -- 75 at each site.
Specifically, we need
16 people to prepare or buy bread of any kind for 10 people (due by 4 p.m. Monday)
16 people to prepare or buy dessert of any kind for 10 people…Continue
UUCA "Faith in Action" Meeting
Saturday, November 12, 8:45 a.m. to noon
All of UUCA's leaders, activists and concerned citizens are welcome to take part in a bold new experiment in the congregation's life. In this first in a series of three quarterly meetings, we will celebrate the models we have put our faith in action by working together for justice across our various ministries (i.e., Worship, Administration, Creative Arts, Religious Education, Social Justice, Community Building,…
Added by Rev. Carlton Elliott Smith on November 11, 2011 at 1:22pm — No Comments
When I opened my copy of the UU World yesterday, I was delighted to see an article about the New Life School in Kkindu, Uganda. It was founded by Rev. Mark Kiyimba, the minister of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Kampala, who will give the sermon at UUCA Sunday, Jan. 15 for our Martin Luther King, Jr. services. Rev. Mark will be visiting several nearby UU congregations in the days leading up to the…Continue
Added by Rev. Carlton Elliott Smith on November 11, 2011 at 12:58pm — No Comments
Last night at Mount Olive Baptist Church, I was one of four clergy invited by the Arlington Committee of 100 to be on a panel about the social justice work our congregations do and the religious motivation for that work. My colleagues Imam Johari Abdul-Malik of Dar Al-Hijrah, Rabbi Jeffrey Saxe of Temple Rodef Shalom and Rev. Dr. James…Continue
Added by Rev. Carlton Elliott Smith on November 10, 2011 at 8:19pm — No Comments