Sunday, April 17, 2011

What I Did Today

Once again, it is Sunday. I got up earlier this morning and went to Restoration for a special program that starts an hour before the 11:00 am service. We are watching the video series "God in America," which can be seen for free on the Internet. Today we watched the program about the rise of individualism in the religions brought over from Europe. Anne Hutchinson was one of the key figures examined today. Did those who came over to the colonies fail to anticipate that some of their contemporaries would apply their new freedom to their religion?

We decided that next week, instead of watching an hour-long episode with only a few minutes left for discussion that we would wtch only a half hour of the next episode and have 30 minutes left for discussion. Unitarian like to discuss things. That reminds me of a cartoon I saw a few years back. The scene is near heaven and shows two sign posts. One reads "To heaven" and the other reads "To a discussion about heaven." The Unitarians opt for the second path.

Which reminds me, last night I downloaded a fairly new book to my Kindle. One written by Robin Meyers, who I have heard speak twice -- once many years ago in Tulsa and most recently back on April 4 of this year in OKC. The title of the book is Saving Jesus From the Church. Meyers is pastor of the Mayflower Congregational Church in OKC.

Writes Meyers,"Among a myriad of fictions in the land today is the one that theology doesn't matter, and that whatever people want to believe is okay. But in truth, our national nightmare is not just political. It is theological. And "As long as Christianity is the dominant belief system in America, we cannot afford to be biblically or theologically illiterate." Forgive me, but one more quote: "Yet the people in the pews are not just reading The Da Vinci Code, The Secret, or The Prayer of Jabez. They are also reading Marcus Borg, John Dominic Crossen, and Karen Armstrong." Okay, no more quotes from Meyers...for today. These quotes are all from the first chapter, incidentally.

Back now to the church service. April is "National Child Abuse Prevention Month." (I sometimes wonder how they come up with all these national months for this and that, but that's another topic.) the heading on the order of service reads "Poetry Month & National Child Abuse Prevention." Mary "Dependable" Rounds led the silent meditation, candle lighting, prayer, plus sang the special musical selection, and then gave the message. A real workhorse she is.

I had with me a check for $75 from the Humanist Association which I gave to Vanessa. We humanists will be using the building for three months, as a trial period. If things go well and our membership likes the facility, we will continue to meet there. Already space in the building is being used by the Quakers, Tulsa Peace House, Secular Organization for Sobriety, Center for Racial Justice, and a Muslim group. There are several rooms in the builing making it possible for more than one group to meet at a time.

Since today was poetry day, the poem I chose to read was Langston Hughes's Harlem Sweeties. The poem begins with the words "Have you dug the thrill of Sugar Hill?" Sugar Hill is an area within NYC's Harlem area.

After the service was over, I drove to Wendy's and got a couple of chicken sandwiches, not my usual serving of chili. When 2 pm rolled around, I was at Randy's for a meeting of FFRF Tulsa. We talked about an upcoming effort using billboards featuring the faces of some of our members. Each billboard (as many as ten in all) will have the face of one of our members. "Our" being HAT, TAM, and FFRF Tulsa.

On Saturday, April 30, All Souls Unitarian Church is sponsoring an event called "Seminary for a Day." The speaker is going to be Brandon Scott, a charter member of The Jesus Seminars. There will be three sessions. Session I is titled "A Quiz: What Do You Know About Resurrection?" Session II is "An Investigation: Pauls' Letter to the Philippians." Sessions III is titled "A Discovery: The Empty Tomb." If I am here on April 30, I would like to attend this seminar.

After the FFRF meeting was over at Randy's, I came on home and moved my topsy turvy planter (I have two this year) to the front porch and watered it.

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