Jan 6, 2019 Service about Spiritual Practices

Today's service was about Spiritual Practices Old and New.  This is especially relevant to Unitarian Universalists because we are a group that asks questions, but we don't accept the idea that there is only one answer to be found in answer to the question.  That is to say: a Religion which provides you the one and only correct answer is NOT us.  We (pretty much) reject the notion that there is a place where you are sorted into one of two groups after death.  I have to say "pretty much" because if you believe in that sort of an afterlife, you are welcome here too.

That said, we can continue...  A few weeks ago we talked about the meaningful life, and one of the four fundamental requirements of a meaningful life is to have a sense of "transcendence."  Today, we talked about mindfulness as one aspect of that necessary need for transcendence in life. 

Mindfulness is the basic human ability to be fully present, aware of where we are and what we’re doing, and not overly reactive or overwhelmed by what’s going on around us. 

Mindfulness is usually a combination of the physical and the thought process.  But, in todays world, sometimes mindfulness works out as a combination of the thought process and technology. Not only because there is a mindful.org website to consult, but when some of us are raking leaves while being mindful or baking while being mindful, others of us are checking Instagram while being mindful.

We had an interesting discussion.  Check out Faithful Practices, Everyday Ways to Feed Your Spirit  by Eric Walker and Meditation for Fidgety Skeptics: A 10% Happier How-to Book by Dan Harris.  Also come to our service next Sunday.  We may astound you... then again, we may not.



Remember, Ronald Payne will be here on Jan 20 to talk to us about 1965.  He was there at Selma for the famous march.  Don't even ask me what Selma march... if you are an American, you know what happened at Selma in 1965.  If you don't, then come visit, quietly slip in the back of the room, and listen in on Sunday Jan 20, 2019. 


Dec 30, 2018 Service: Blaming the Victim

This week, Rick (me) spoke about the human tendency to blame the victim.  In researching this, three areas of study have emerged.

(1) The "you could have tried harder" hypothesis. This type of blaming the victim is known to occur in rape and sexual assault cases, where the victim of the crime is often accused of inviting the attack due to her clothing or behavior.  This is also where authoritarians blame the people they wish to discriminate against... you have undoubtedly heard the argument "those people come here and don't even try to learn English."

(2) Fundamental Attribution Errors. This bias involves attributing other people’s behaviors to internal, personal characteristics and ignore external forces and variables that also might have played a role.  This is where poor people are blamed for doing poorly in school when they live in a place where they are underfed or where they fear violence in their neighborhood.

(3) The "Just World" hypothesis. This is the idea that people deserve what happens to them. There’s a really strong need to believe that we all deserve our outcomes and consequences.  People with a belief in an interventionist God may even believe that a person undergoing distress was intentionally chosen for that distress by God.

Thoughtful consideration of this topic is made more difficult because we do know that actions have consequences.  How many of us have been to the funeral of a victim of a heart-attack ...knowing that the person didn't exercise much.  You may very well have been thinking that you exercise more than that person did.  That is a very subtle form of blaming the victim.  When you say "everything happens for a reason" are you saying it because you think there is a silver lining in this bad situation or are you saying it because you think the bad thing has happened to THAT person because THAT person isn't careful (I on the other hand. am careful.)  You may be indulging in a little of the blaming the victim too.


Bad things can and probably will happen to you at some point in your life. So the next time you find yourself wondering what someone else did to bring on their misfortune, take a moment to consider the psychological attributions and biases that affect your judgment. Rather than blame the victim, try putting yourself in that person’s shoes and perhaps try a little empathy instead.  Above all, listen, their story may be much more compelling and interesting than the one playing out in your head.



Hey everybody, remember you are welcome to come and listen in to our discussions any Sunday.  Really try to come on Jan 20, Martin Luther King Sunday, because we are going to have a veteran of the Selma march tell us what it was like being there at one of the most important moments in civil rights history.  And, since this country is at its core a country that has always struggled with the rights of man v.s. the rights of society at large, it was one of the most important moments in the history of this nation.  Don't miss it. 



Dec 23, 2018 Almost Christmas Eve

We come here because we choose to believe in community. We choose to believe in the difficult, slow work of building a this community of spirit.  But, on this particular day we didn't hold a service because so many of us were traveling that we did not have enough people to come to our community gathering.  


Come to one of our future services... every Sunday, except this Sunday (and the first Sunday in August because that is when we attend the Druid services that are held every year at the Dublin Irish Festival.)




Dec 16, 2018 Service about Fossil Fuel

Today Becca spoke about the impact of fossil fuels.  Unfortunately, my vehicle that burns fossil fuels failed me and I missed this service and cant tell you much.  Sorry.