Friday, December 29, 2006

The interdependent web of all CLONED existence

We know its ALL connected. Everything. We are what we eat. So how does taking meat from cloned animals to market impact our health? What does cloning the best looking produce do to the genetic strength of our food supply?

I have no idea. But neither does the US government. I'm of the mind that it is better for us to know which foods are genetically engineered, cloned, and/or irradiated
. How about we maintain the integrity of our food'gene pool, minimize the gamma radiation bombarding the meat in the US school lunch program. UUJERRI sent me an email with a link to the Center for Food Safety. They seem to have good information and offer a number of "Take Action" email campaigns you can use to let congress know what you think.

Check out the Organic Consumers Association's
2006 Genetic Engineering News.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Church Geek Heaven

To my fellow UU church geeks, I just set up a new bookstore. Check it out and please, recommend titles to me.

As for book recommendations I am particularly interested in titles that are necessarily about church, but make you go AHA! that's what we should do... For me the book PURPLE COW is a great example of this.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Purple Alien "Save the Planet" video stats

For those of you interested in the Purple Alien "Save the Planet"video on, I've been tracking of the stats.

Date - Time Online - # Views
October 14, 2006 - New on
October 16, 2006 - 2 days - 200 views
October 28, 2006 - 2 weeks - 1,500 views
November 1,2006 - 2 1/2 weeks - 2,701 views
December 14, 2006 - 2 months - 5,025 views

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Revolution Church - One Punk Under God

Have you heard about Revolution Church, Jay Bakker's church? I just heard about it on CNN. That's right, son of Jim and Tammy Faye has his own ministry and now TV show - One Punk Under God. It looks very cool. Check out some of these the slogans from their merchandise page:

"Equal Rights is a Moral Issue"
"Jesus Is The Saviour, Not Christianity"
"Religion Kills"

I love that Jay is working to move beyond whatever the church has been (and his parents) and is getting to the heart of Christian teaching. Can we UU's do that? Please pretty please? Oh wait. We don't need anyones permission. All we need is some institutional BS to cut through. Wow! We've got plenty.

I know. Peter, you say it over and over. True. But I'd still love for us to do a better job as UU's figuring out - bottom line - what we are about and go do it. And not only do it, but evaluate and measure our success. If more of our congregations new what they were trying to accomplish and how to evaluate THAT we would see a lot of changes.

What do you measure in your congregation? Anything? People and money? Make sure you keep the ones you got and get'em to give more? What? I'd love to know.

My favorite idea person and marketing guru is Seth Godin. In his book Purple Cow he talks about the importance of being remarkable. Good doesn't cut it these days. Life and time are short. Want to grow? Want to matter? If you aren't worth talking about why should any of us bother?

In the book Creating Community Andy Stanley shares that his church is focused on being a relational church. They KNOW what matters and focus. Specifically there are 3 relationships they focus on:

1) Connection or relationships within the congregation
2) Relationship with God
3) Influence outside the congregation

Maybe those are good things for us to do in our own little UU way. We can go with 1 and 3 as is. First, keep track of relationships - make sure everyones connected, caring for others and being cared for. Second, we help people learn to put their faith in action to help in the larger world and to be one more UU voice in the world. Bill Sinkford's voice isn't enough. As for #3, do you know what your equivalent is? Can you state it 50 words or less? If you can get it down to 50 please tell me. The fact that most can't is a stumbling block for us. The point, the objectives need to be clear.

Back to Revolution. Looking over this Revolution Church website I first felt annoyed that we didn't grab the name. I'd love Revolution to be a UU church. That name does more to communicate our values and ministry than anything I've seen. Even more than that little purple alien preaching the cosmic UU principles with a chipmunk voice.

Second, I started thinking about how close our churches are to what a church would look like if some of our younger ministers and/or members were to go out and start new churches. I've heard about the Church of the Younger Fellowship that CLF has. What would happen if that turned from a cyber church into a cyber church planting boot camp?

Tell me what you'd do if you were going to start your own UU Revolution Church. What would it look like? Contact info & anonymous feedback form here.

Check out Bakker's Revolution Church:

Check out the show:

Rockridge Nation Launches Today

I'm a big fan of the Rockridge Institute. How often do you hear the words "frame" and "framing" used these days? All the time -- thanks to George Lakoff, author of Thinking Points and Don't Think of An Elephant. Today the Rockridge Institute launched its "Rockridge Nation" website/campaing.

You should take a look, get involved, and help frame the debates our nation is having (or should have).


From the Rockridge Press Release:

Rockridge Nation Launches Today
Join the web community of progressives working to frame the debate.
Last week, we promised you that we would soon launch an online community of progressives working together to advance our values and vision more effectively. Now, we are excited to be able to invite you to join Rockridge Nation by going to today and becoming a member.

Rockridge Nation is the people-powered website that we have created in response to your suggestions. We built it with the confidence that progressives who recognize the importance of framing can work together to restore progressive values—rooted in empathy and responsibility—to the center of public life.
If you have ever needed help from other progressives in framing an issue or wanted the Rockridge Institute to become a more timely source of analysis and insights, we have built Rockridge Nation for you. For progressives who believe that citizenship demands more than just voting, Rockridge Nation is your community to stay engaged each day as an active advocate for the progressive vision that we share.
As you offer your questions, stories, and commentary, progressives around the country will be able to lend a hand, give encouragement, and foster a productive dialogue. By working together and learning from each other at Rockridge Nation, progressives will become more effective in defining the issues and expressing our values in compelling ways. The Rockridge Institute team will also be following carefully. While we will sometimes comment on your ideas, pointing out relevant resources or asking questions, we believe that the cooperation of a large, diverse community of progressives who understand framing will yield many effective ways to promote our principles.
I and others at the Rockridge Institute will also participate regularly by writing on the Rockridge Nation blog. The blog will draw attention to the ideas of Rockridge Nation members and help amplify your voices. It will also draw upon news from diverse media sources and blogs to foster dialogue at Rockridge Nation about the framing and values of the issues of the day.
To encourage you to join and share your ideas today, we will offer Charter Member status to the most active participants in the spirit of Rockridge Nation between now and December 31, 2006. Charter Members will be eligible to receive more exposure for their writing and additional opportunities to help shape the future of the Rockridge Nation community. We will provide more details this week in the Rockridge Nation blog, but you can get a head start now. Visit the participate section and start adding your questions, framing stories, and nominations, once you understand the purpose and policies of the site.

Is Lay Ministry at a Dead End?

Those of you sharing my interest in turning our congregations, our ministry and our movement inside out and upside down will probably enjoy the following article by KATHYRN PALEN. This is from a previous issue of the Alban Institute's CONGREGATIONS magazine.

Yes, it is true. If UU navel gaze long enough UU and your congregation can accidentlly turn outside in and downside up. Is that why the primary cartoon featured in the UU World is mont after month of character all twisted and inverted? Ahaa!!

A Ministry of All

The headline read “Lay Ministry Is at a Dead End.” I took a deep breath before reading the accompanying article. This was not how I had expected to begin my participation at a national convocation of people working in the area of lay ministry. I had arrived at the event excited about spending a weekend with others who shared an interest ....

Continue reading at

More info about
Alban Institute

Friday, December 08, 2006

The Fountain of UUth?

Are you following Fountain Street's growth and development? If not, you should. Just take a look at their "Century Vision" document. It includes some very clear statements about what liberal religion is about AND a real action plan.

I LOVE THIS because they are aspiring to be a beacon for their exisitng members, not just for their immediate community -- they're in it for the world. That's right. Life change and liberal religion for all who want it.

- Liberal Religion is about spiritual liberation.
- Freeing people to be truly alive is the mission of liberal religion.
- A liberal church exists to make this happen. It does so in three ways.
1. by proclaiming the liberating vision
2. by helping people pursue a life of spiritual liberation throughout life, and
3. by living that life, personally and as a community, in the wider community.

One aspect of their plan is to develop resources other churches can use. WHen this happens I have little doubt that the very UU-like vision of their church and their ministry will spread.

I'm very interested to see what happens with this. Will Fountain Street become a national player like Willow Creek and Saddle Back? I hope so. I hope your church will too. Do you have a plan?

Where will people go to find a liberal religious home over the next 20 -100 years? The UUA member congregations or will they go to the Fountain???

Read Fountain Steet's "Century Vision"

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Video of UUA - UCC meeting this October

This October there was a meeting of the presidents of both the UUA and the UCC. If you missed this event, you can watch a video of this event on the following site.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

George Bush and Our Whole Lives

Take action by clicking the link below. Thanks.

This "political" action alert is being shared as the issue is one which directly challenges long established UU values. If you agree with our association's position on sexuality education please take a moment to

1) sign this position
2) share this post with others.


Many of you know that the UUA and the UCC published a comprehensive lifespan sexuality curriculum called "Our Whole Lives". As a movement we value teaching our children, youth and adults what it means to be in healthy relationships and, at the appropriate age, the facts of life.

George Bush doesn't agree with us. Yes, he is entitled to his personal position. BUT we do need to look at how this position manifests as policy. Empashis on the LOOK OUT!!!!

Our President has just appointed a man in charge of our country's family planning program who is clearly opposes contraception and is against distributing information about birth control.

How can someone with this position faithfully carry out his duties? That's like putting a hard core pro-life in charge of research and development for the PLAN B pill. Uh, not a wise decision. Would George Bush put a Christian peace activist in charge of the Pentagon? No. You've got to be willing to kill if you're going to be in charge of the military.

You can help send a message to our government about the inappropriate nature of this situation -- send kind of a virtual smack upside the head. Hello!!!

Take action by clicking the link below. Thanks.

More from Planned Parenthood:
Eric Keroack was the medical director of five so-called "crisis pregnancy centers" hat oppose contraception and do not distribute information promoting birth control. In Keroack's new role, he will oversee hundreds of millions of dollars in federal funding meant to provide access to contraception and reproductive health information. This politically motivated appointment is not in the health interest of women and families.

Thanks for taking action on this one. I hate watching as our country slips backwards in terms of liberty, civil rights and the values we've worked hard for. I guess we have to remember that when we win certain rights we are only winning them for now...

In faith,