Bill’s Blog

Thanksgiving: an Origin Story

This time next week many of us will be enjoying Thanksgiving meals, often with extended family. Some of us will be serving meals in shelters. The youth of the church will have delivered boxes of food to former guests at our 13 Salmon Family Shelter. As religious people, both the expression of gratitude for the … Continued

One Year

The Progressive and even the non-partisan or “fake” news was filled with the Democratic victories in Virginia, yesterday. All three state-wide offices were won by Democrats and it seemed the lower house of the legislature might turn from red to blue as well. The new Lt. Governor is African American. One of the newly elected … Continued

Transform or Transmit?

  “If we do not transform our pain, we will most assuredly transmit it.” — Richard Rohr Last week I traveled to Washington, DC. It was a trip that had several parts including a board meeting for the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice and reaching at the ordination of a new UU military chaplain. The … Continued

To Thine Own Self

My sermon last Sunday seemed to resonate with many. I want to thank those who wrote to me in response. Let me affirm that holding our hearts open through these divisive days is no small feat. It is a real spiritual discipline, for me and for many of you it seems, to remain true to … Continued

Surprised by Sudden Beauty

This morning, when I opened my newsfeed and read down through the tragedies of the day, I discovered a collection of images of Dewali, the Hindu festival of lights which begins today. I found myself stopped and scrolling through all the many images of the Dewali lights and remembering that the seasons are turning once … Continued

Where Are You From?

Every plane leaving Puerto Rico is full and 80% of them land in Florida. The “natural disaster” of Hurricane Maria has been followed by the human-made disaster of failed emergency support. The response of many on the island has been to leave. Florida with a population of over 1,000,000 citizens of Puerto Rican descent, already, … Continued

Partial Knowledge and Uncertain Results

The tragic slaughter of human life in Las Vegas calls up in me a demand for a positive and final solution to gun violence and our national love affair with firearms. I want such violence never again to take place. I want our elected leaders to give back every dime they have received from the National Rifle … Continued

Dog Whistle Politics

I get stuck. I confess. Whenever racism dominates the news, as it does so frequently, it gets a response from me. I am like a Pavlovian dog, and I know it. The focus on NFL football players “taking a knee” during this last week is the latest example. A significant number of the players are … Continued

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