The dreidel's fascinating roots and origins in gambling give one mother (and rabbi) pause about sending "gold" coins to school. A guest contribution from Rebecca Schorr as Chanukah begins.
A guest contributor reflects on how being still with life's deaths and resurrections connects her to the universe.
The first lesbian couple ordained without the blessing of the ELCA discuss coming out, falling in love, losing jobs then gaining them, and feeling God work through them during the AIDS crisis and their hospice chaplaincy. A guest contribution from Sasha Aslanian.
Eddie Long's "anti-homosexual" theology, power, and news coverage. One inside view of the black church.
When I first lived in the upper Great Plains, I did so as a freshman at Concordia College in Moorhead, Minnesota. I still remember the day when my parents’ car pulled away and I was standing by my dorm wondering why I had decided to move almost 800 miles from my home in Montana. While I would miss my parents and friends, I began to miss the mountains almost immediately.
I felt like Beret, the female protagonist in Giants in the Earth who left her home in Norway and moved to Dakota Territory. The vast grasslands and harsh climate nearly drove her mad. When I would look outward, I would think, “There’s nothing to see.” Flat land seemed to stretch everywhere and yet nowhere. Corn fields and soy beans.
There’s spirituality thriving in our houses of worship, often unnoticed and unappreciated. It flourishes in the ordinary give-and-take of congregational life, in person-to-person exchanges that Jewish thinker Martin Buber called I-Thou. And we would do well to better recognize this very common and accessible spiritual opportunity.
“L’art du combat avec son ombre” (photo: Frank Taillandier/Flickr)
Over at The Walrus Blog, David Rusack writes a smart and creative reflection on how his training in a specific martial art form of tai chi (Chen-style chuan) has provided a structure that allows him to see with better-informed eyes the parallels with religious traditions and that “the point of the practice is in its form, not its content.”
A guest contribution from a Christian Scientist on "Splitting Infinity" and the play's balanced depiction of his faith.
A reflection on Einstein's "cosmic" religious sense and how it's deeply kindred with the religious and spiritual yearnings of our age.
Here’s a 3½-minute video snack where a mix of UUs explain how they came to this tradition.
The crescent-topped dome of Masjid An-Nasr peeks through trees of a residential neighborhood in Oklahoma City. (photo: Andrew Shockley/Flickr)
Breathing some new life into an old conversation.
Krista reflects on her conversation with Rabbi Sandy Sasso and the insight that "children can make the essence of religion come alive" and "may ultimately teach us far more than we teach them."
“Everything I write is for spiritual reasons—to help people keep their spirits up, to help transform misery into laughter or healing, to help people remember the truth of their spiritual identities.”
When I was a child, the phrase “Defender of the Faith” did not conjure images of the Latin title Fidei defensor or of the British crown. Rather, it somehow got tangled up with another prominent idiom of my youth, “Masters of the Universe,” which referred to the popular Mattel media franchise starring He-Man. A defender of the faith was a kind of superhero, a person of great strength with an important mission.
These days, the phrase invokes yet another, completely different meaning to me. I now think of a defender of the faith as anyone who attempts to wrestle the reputation of his faith out of the hands of those who, through their actions or speech, disparage it.