Bill’s Blog

DACA and the Meaning of Sanctuary

The politics around immigration continue to challenge us to defend the value of a pluralistic America and our dreams for the Beloved Community. This week Attorney General Jeff Sessions visited Portland to berate us as a “Sanctuary City” and to beg us to stop being “the trafficker, smuggler or gang member’s best friend.” At issue … Continued

Something Left Over

This Sunday we will be installing the members of our Board of Trustees. It is an opportunity for all of us to see these congregants whom we have selected and who have said “yes” to senior leadership at First Unitarian. It will also be an opportunity for us to thank them and to bless them … Continued

Life Transformed

Last Sunday’s “Question and Answer” service was wonderful. At least I enjoyed it…as I do each year. The unscripted, more informal quality speaks to many of us, but the questions you submit are its great strength. I responded to questions on theology, social justice, church finance, the culture of white supremacy and the erasing of … Continued


Much of the American public is already wearying of news from Houston and the Gulf Coast. But the real story of the devastation will only be revealed as the waters recede. I find myself bracing for much more heartbreaking news. Living through this disaster and through the inevitable ups and downs of the recovery process … Continued

A Theology Adequate for the Night

The eclipse is now old news, dimmed by the daily rush of images and messages in our politics and happenings in our personal lives. Yet I remember the power of the gathering darkness and the stillness as the world seemed to enter a time-out-of-time. One person I spoke with described the experience of watching the … Continued

Beautiful Monuments

History, so the saying goes, is written by the victors. People of color in this country know that the North won the Civil War on the battlefield, but we also know that white nationalism won the peace. From the failure to distribute land to the formerly enslaved people as promised (“40 acres and a mule”), … Continued


Aretha Franklin got it so right. “All I want is a little respect.” And then, just in case we didn’t get the point, she sang out that yearning and that demand over and over…”give it to me, give it to me, give it to me…a little respect, just a little bit.” Amen. I was called … Continued

Glad to be Back

I am glad to be back in Portland and glad to be turning my attention to the coming church year at First Unitarian. My brief return to the UUA as one of the three Interim Co-Presidents was very challenging and much appreciated. That service ended in New Orleans on June 25 with the election of … Continued

Endings and Beginnings – Rev. Thomas Disrud

It is already June 1, and that means that the end of the church program year is almost here. This has been a full and challenging year in all kinds of ways on the local and the global level. Most of you know that Rev. Bill Sinkford has been serving since early April as one … Continued