My first settled ministry was in Rutland, Vermont, a town nestled in a remote little valley just west of the Green Mountains. Rutland began as a marble quarrying and railroad center, but by the time I arrived there in 1983, the local economy was dominated … read more.
Category: Minister’s Minilogue
A ‘small word from the minister,’ a bite-sized piece for reflection and, hopefully, response. Written by Rev. Bruce Johnson, these minilogues will also appear in the weekly eNews.
There’s a classic and famous Protestant idea known as “the priesthood of all believers.” It was originally articulated by Martin Luther five hundred years ago. He intended it as a critique of the Roman Catholic priestly hierarchy, which claimed that specialized intermediaries were necessary in … read more.
“The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and science. He (sic) to whom the emotion is a stranger, who can no longer pause to wonder and stand wrapped in awe, is as good as … read more.
“Death is a comma, not a period!” declared the priest at the funeral of my cousin, Gayle (“Cookie”) Hirt. Cookie would have appreciated the metaphor; she loved to write, as anyone who ever received one of her voluminous letters knew, and she was looking forward … read more.
There is an inherent tension in spiritual life – particularly in its liberal forms – between that which is ancient, venerable, ‘tried-and-true,’ and traditional, on the one hand; and that which is fresh, new, progressive, innovative, and ‘cutting-edge,’ on the other. This tension – which … read more.
“In this refulgent summer, it has been a luxury to draw the breath of life…”
So began Ralph Waldo Emerson’s famous “Divinity School Address,” which he delivered in July of 1838, to the six members of the graduating class of Harvard … read more.
“Solvitur ambulando,” wrote St. Augustine — “it is solved by walking.”
I’ve been re-learning the wisdom of Augustine’s words lately. I’ve started walking a mile or so each day as a way to slowly and gently ease my way back into an exercise program. I’m so … read more.
Our Soul Matters theme for the month of May is “Creativity.”
Creativity is often thought of as the province of a lonely genius working in splendid isolation, perhaps starving somewhere in an unheated artist’s garret. But in my experience genuine creative work is more often the … read more.
“Curiouser and Curiouser!” — Alice in Wonderland
Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about “curiosity” I am curious about curiosity. Why do some people seem to have lots of it, and others not so much? Is curiosity a virtue? How can it be cultivated? What is … read more.
The fourth principle of the Unitarian Univeralist Association’s covenant affirms the value of “a free and responsible search for truth and meaning.” Both of the adjectives in that fine phrase are important; freedom and responsibility belong together in a kind of creative tension.
One of … read more.