Tag Archives: Unitarian

How Unitarians Saved Christmas

Rev. Clay Nelson

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Rev. Clay Nelson © 11 December 2016

This week it was reported that one of Donald Trump’s surrogates, his first campaign manager, told Fox News that President-elect Trump had saved Christmas from Obama. Apparently he had won the war on Christmas, declaring it is now safe to say “Merry Christmas” again. In a world of fake news stories where pizza joints can be shot up because of outrageous lies generated by fake news sites, it isn’t surprising President Obama was plagued by such stories. One in particular was that being a “Muslim,” he never said, “Merry Christmas” or called a Christmas tree a “Christmas tree,” in spite of hours of videotape recording him doing just that. Continue reading How Unitarians Saved Christmas

Being Grounded

Rev. Clay Nelson

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Rev. Clay Nelson © 2 October 2016

Being grounded doesn’t always have the best connotation, especially if you are a teenager being restricted after misbehaviour, but in religious terms it captures the spiritual revolution that is transforming religion. Last week, in discussing the evolution of Unitarianism, I touched on this revolution when I said many of today’s Unitarians are rejecting Kant’s “religion within the bounds of reason alone” as lacking any mystical or spiritual dimension. They are embracing what has been described as “ecstatic naturalism.” They seek an experience that is beyond the capacity of words to describe, except perhaps in poetry and music. Continue reading Being Grounded

What Is Beauty?

…and what has it got to do with us?

Rev. Clay Nelson

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Rev. Clay Nelson © 28 August 2016

At last year’s Service Auction Jonathan Mason bought the right to choose a sermon topic. He wanted a sermon on beauty, and fortunately not a beautiful sermon, although the former is not without its challenges.

Though “beauty” has been defined frequently and variously, it is also famous as a word that should not be defined, and perhaps, cannot be. Continue reading What Is Beauty?

New Member Sunday

Rev. Clay Nelson

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Rev. Clay Nelson © 10 July 2016

Every year, countless people choose to leave work, skip school, and possibly come together to form a group to celebrate… The people come in all shapes and sizes, and nationality or religion need not be an issue. What do they celebrate? It doesn’t matter.

July proves it. If we are American, we celebrate the Fourth of July. If French, Bastille Day, but there are plenty of other celebrations for everyone else, Continue reading New Member Sunday

The Rise and Fall of Higher Education

Rev. Clay Nelson

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Rev. Clay Nelson © 3 July 2016

Even if you have been attending worship here only for a short time you know about the Seven Principles that guide Unitarians in our efforts to live life in an ethical, compassionate and just manner. The banner that lists them is hard to miss in our sanctuary. But even life-long Unitarians are often not aware of the six sources that inform our living faith tradition. They are like wells from which we draw the waters of wisdom and spirituality that give life to our tradition. They include our direct experience of mystery, wisdom from world religions, our Jewish and Christian heritage, reason and science, Earth-centred traditions, and the one that inspires my thoughts on higher education today: “Words and deeds of prophetic women and men which challenge us to confront powers and structures of evil with justice, compassion, and the transforming power of love.” Continue reading The Rise and Fall of Higher Education