Monthly Archives: August 2010

Summer school quick notes

I’ve just been at summer school. Things that happened that I thought were brilliant:

  1. sado-masochism as spiritual practice was (briefly) defended in a talkback session
  2. a couple of kids came to sit at my table one lunchtime
  3. an onion formed the basis of one of the epilogues [end of day worship]

I’m glad I’ve got the bank holiday to recover.

Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar

Why does it always have to be spark of the divine that makes people brilliant, why can’t it just be that people are brilliant?


I’m currently at Summer School at Hucklow, where the theme is ‘Talking about God’ and this was a comment that someone made in response to some of the initial theme talks. It really struck a chord with me. Not that you need to agree with me, just that you might, if you felt like it.


Building beloved community

I’ve been at Opus – the North American young adult conference. There were many fine workshops, environmental action helping to restore prairie, fun,  and inspiring worship. One thing in particular stood out in my mind. It was around symbols and expressions of Unitarian faith.

Out in the parking lot, most of the cars had Unitarian Universalist bumper stickers. One car had, as an expression of faith and identity, a Darwin fish – a satirical parody of the Christian fish symbol.

In the workshop on the history of the flaming chalice symbol, we created our own designs. One of the participants created a beautiful chalice which used the Christian fish symbol as its integral part.

Both of these people are equally Unitarian and each of these views of the Christian fish symbol – the parody and the inspiration – are equally Unitarian. Within the Opus community, these different people did not merely tolerate, or accept each other, but recognised each other as new  friends, whose opposing views form part of the tapestry of our shared faith.

This is what it will take for us to build beloved community.