A feature of food pantries in December is the distribution of groceries tied not only to day to day survival, but also to the provision of a festive holiday meal. Client counts rise, lines grow longer, as do the volunteer lists. An added feature this year at the Maple Park/Morgan Park community Food Pantry on Chicago's Southwest side is environmentally friendly dish washing soap. Fully recyclable dispensers of non-toxic, biodegradable Method soap, manufactured in a LEED platinum certified factory just a few miles away are handed out (separately bagged as per health regulations) along with the turkey's, yams, cranberries and other seasonal staples. The first delivery of 100 18 oz bottles was made on December 8, by Roger Brewin (who helped set up the pantry more than 30 years ago) on behalf of UU Humanists. Read more about SOAP for the Holidays and the New Year »
Submissions on the subject of "Naturalism" are sought by UU Humanists for the Spring, 2016 issue of the Journal of Religious Humanism, to be mailed to UU Humanist Association members and subscribers in May, and distributed at the 2016 UUA General Assembly in Columbus, OH., in June. Opinion pieces or short essays should be in the 800-1500 word range; a 3,000 word limit and a request for footnotes apply to longer articles of a more scholarly nature. Those submitting sermons are asked to convert to a suitable form for print publication, including citations, and the removal of protected text, such as complete hymn lyrics. Writers may submit completed pieces for consideration, or receive a preliminary decision on publication by sending an abstract. Read more about Call for Papers on Naturalism »
The Fall 2015 issue of the Journal of Religious Humanism has now been delivered to active members' mailboxes and/or Inboxes.
Humanism is so often described as being in opposition to, or at best in a creative tension with religion, that the path of interfaith cooperation can seem highly problematic, and perhaps more trouble than it is worth. Yet increasingly, individuals and Humanist groups join with their religious counterparts on specific social justice and service projects, and simply to further the goal of living side by side, even if in an uneasy peace. The fall 2015 issue of the Journal of Religious Humanism explores these efforts from several points of view - from the humanist organizations that have embraced particular events and coalitions, to individuals of many persuasions who have struggled with what it means to work and celebrate with those whose basic perspective on life is very different. Read more about The Fall 2015 Issue of the Journal: The Threading the Interfaith/Interpath Needle »
[Editor's note: this is the first of a new monthly column that Rev. David J. Miller is writing for the UU Church of Worcester, MA, where he is Minister Emeritus.]
If we truly wish to make people, and especially minorities, feel welcome in our congregation, it is not enough to sloganize “All Are Welcome!” People will feel welcomed when we greet them by name as Pope Francis did in the course of his recent speech in Washington, when he asked his audience to pray for him and added, "And those who are not believers and cannot pray, please send me your good wishes."
Many non-believers hunger for the kind of recognition and inclusion represented by Pope Francis’ words.
In contrast, not so long ago a family member said to us in reference to our Humanism: “You are the kind of people who are ruining our nation.”
And I know a young man who was thrown out of his family home while still a teenager when he told his parents that he no longer believed in God.
And I know a person who was fired from his job when it became known that he was a non-believer. Read more about Welcoming the Closeted »
When primates began to look at the stars in wonder, humanism was born. Far from the cliche of superstitious creatures huddled in caves, Homo Sapiens have from the beginning been engineers and artists, philosophers and scientists discovering how to adapt to our environment and make the most of our brief time on the planet.
Humanists then and now ask a question: What are we to do with the life that we have? The Humanist difference is that we do not accept ready-made answers. The ideas and ideals of humanism have sprouted in many times and places.
Among animals, human beings are unique in that we have developed methods to conceptualize time and ways to preserve and communicate knowledge and culture across generations. Humanity evolved complex social relationships and unique solutions to complex challenges, yet we are also prone to superstitions and hatreds—aspects of ourselves that must be transcended. Read more about Humanism, Like Mushrooms »