Todd’s Thoughts June 2020

I woke up this morning with two bits of information before me. One was the memory of a dream I had during the night in which I was describing an actual interview I’d seen on the Today show between host Bryant Gumbel and economist John Kenneth Galbraith in 1992. The other is a sermon a … Continued

Todd’s Thoughts April 2020

On Friday March 3rd, in response to the recommendations of health officials, I made the decision to cancel services, events, and meetings at our church for at least three weeks. I’m glad I did. Social distancing and isolation have been shown to immediately flatten the otherwise exponential growth of the coronavirus. In fact, just a … Continued

Todd’s Thoughts January 2020

How about a 10-million-dollar endowment? Sound crazy? Sound impossible? A short time ago some thought I was crazy suggesting we strive for a half million-dollar endowment fund. Thanks to much generosity, we’re now well on our way toward a million. I used to think endowments should never be allowed to grow too large. Afterall, if … Continued

Todd’s Thoughts – December 2019

As Daniel Patrick Moynihan famously said, “You are entitled to your own opinion, but you are not entitled to your own facts.” I recently ran into some interesting facts you might be interested to know. In 2018, membership in the Unitarian Universalist Association grew for the first time in a decade. It grew by 0.67 … Continued

Todd’s Thoughts – November 2019

Zeno, the founder of Stoicism in 300 BCE, taught that our virtue is the greatest good because it’s the only thing that’s useful in all circumstances. I take this to mean it is our moral values that hold us steady, even when change, chaos, and disruption are happening all around us. Today we live in … Continued

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