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Todd’s Thoughts – October 2019

In The Gadfly Papers I speak of the historic and unresolved theological differences between Unitarianism and Universalism. Unitarianism is rooted in humanistic, rationalistic, nontheistic, and nonsectarian values. Universalism has been more traditionally theistic and sectarian in its approach, especially when it comes to worship. These differences often manifest in our congregations with some members preferring … Continued

Todd’s Thoughts – September 2019

“Freedom of the pulpit,” is a phrase I’ve been hearing much in recent weeks and want to discuss a bit about what it means and why it’s meaningful in Unitarian Universalism. Most everyone has heard of the Protestant Reformation, which began in 1517 when Martin Luther challenged the authority of the Catholic Church by posting … Continued

Todd’s Thoughts – August 2019

Reason, freedom of conscience, and uplifting our common humanity. These are the principles that drew me to Unitarian Universalism and still bind me to it. These were the principles that caused me to stop performing weddings fifteen years ago, in defiance of State laws prohibiting me from performing same-sex marriages, a decision that led to … Continued

Todd’s Thoughts June 2019

In his 2013 book, Regaining Balance, Michael Werner, a Unitarian Universalist and past President of the American Humanist Association, writes, “Unitarian Universalism has been taken over by a narrow ideology of toleration, the historical focus on rational religion has been abandoned, and the lack of purpose and focus is resulting in a sharp decline in … Continued

Todd’s Thoughts May 2019

We recently postponed a special congregational meeting to decide whether or not to show a controversial film, “Occupation of the American Mind,” that some in our local Jewish community considered anti-Semitic. We did so, out of respect, given our meeting was supposed to occur only hours after the terrible mass shooting at a synagogue in … Continued

Todd’s Thoughts April 2019

April not only marks the beginning of Spring, but also our annual generosity campaign, during which we ask our members to commit a specific amount to help support next year’s budget. This year we’re trying something a little different. Firstly, we’re asking you to consider making your pledge ongoing, meaning we can expect it to … Continued

Todd’s Thoughts March 2019

Folks have been curious about what I did during my month-long sabbatical, so I though I’d take this opportunity to give you all the juicy details. Peggy and I spent the first weekend in Leavenworth, WA, a small Bavarian style village. We were able to stay in a quaint hotel in the heart of the … Continued

Todd’s Thoughts January 2019

Beginning January 21st, I’ll be taking a brief, month long sabbatical. This is a common practice in the Unitarian Universalist churches. In general, UU ministers take a 4-6 month sabbatical every five years. I’ve been at UUCS more than seven years and have opted not to take an extended leave until now. This is so … Continued

Todd’s Thoughts December 2018

When I was a child the Internet was called the “Sears Roebuck Catalog,” and I couldn’t wait for it to arrive free each year just in time for Christmas. Mom used it to pick new school clothes for my siblings and me, to replace those she’d ordered the year before that had become too small—“floods,” … Continued

Todd’s Thoughts November 2018

Fall is upon us and the mornings already greet us with a chill. The political and social situation in our country also gives us chills. So does climate change, and the rise of authoritarian leaders around the world. It light of such big concerns, it’s difficult to think about Thanksgiving, about giving thanks during these … Continued