Unitarian Universalist Congregation East

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June 15

Today we observed Father’s Day.  For many years psychologists had assumed that the father-child bond was far less important than the mother-child bond.  They believed that so strongly that there were almost no studies commissioned to study the impact of fathers on the lives of their children.  Only since the 1970′s have the psychologists had any real appreciation for fatherhood, and even now, there are far more studies about Mothers than there are about Fathers.  However, it should be said that Fathers, even if they are only the breadwinners for the family, have a significant impact on their child’s life if only that keeping the family out of poverty has a significant positive impact on children.  In the 1970′s a researcher who had dared to look more closely at the Father-child bond found that “the interaction that at least some infants have with their fathers is enjoyable and marked by highly positive emotions on both sides.”  Being a father myself starting in 1981, I have to say that the scientific community was a little slow off the mark.  I took my kids to lessons, took them to school, cooked, cleaned and did all manner of things with my kids.  Judging from the way the treat me in 2014, I have to say that my relationship with each of my children goes far past having an enjoyable relationship with highly positive emotions.  I taught them to cook, and to clean, as well as how to cut the grass and plant bushes and flowers in the yard.  There is a refrigerator magnet for sale that says “Life doesn’t come with an instruction book, that is why we have fathers” … They sell a lot of these in their store, so I was not the only one with positive emotional benefits on both sides.

Here are a few other memories of fathers discussed in our 2014 salute to fathers at our little church building that looks like a house on Lancaster Road, Reynoldsburg, OH:  Sometimes our fathers are more of a worrier than our mothers.  A dad’who played with fire when he was a child grew up to be a chemist who was an expert in combustion processes.  A dad who grew up as a farmer who had to learn to be a prison guard during WWII.  A grandfather who grew up under an alcoholic father, quit school to help earn money for the family and provided for his own children so well that his son was the first member of the family to go to college.  Many people remembered fathers who were in the military, some who supported their own children’s entry into the military and some who did not.  Many people remembered that their fathers were the ones who made sure their children never were as hungry as they had been in the depression… a special shout out to the father who said “you can eat a possum, but you have to be really hungry.”

Dads are handy and can build stuff with old boards and bailing wire… sometimes the old boards were re-used from packing crates.  And we remembered dads who were really good at what they did for a living.  One dad was a policeman who solved as many crimes as a detective.  He did not want to be a detective because detectives were subject to political influence.  He warned his child to stay away from politics because somebody had to do real work in this world.  Being a street policeman was where things got done and a man could be proud of that.

Here is more about fathers and their recent reexamination by science:  http://www.sciencefriday.com/blogs/06/12/2014/proving-dad-s-worth-with-science.html?series=33

Peace,
Rick

Posted 2 months, 1 week ago at 12:07 am.

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June 8

Today Lauren spoke to us about how hard it is to be a teenager receiving mixed messages in the modern world.  Lauren has some credibility in this area, that being that she is, indeed, a teenager.  This is the first time that Lauren has run a service in our little congregation on Lancaster Road… so, yay Lauren.

“If we are always arriving and departing, it is also true that we are eternally anchored.  One’s destination is never a place, but rather a new way of looking at things.” -Henry Miller.

Lauren started off by pointing out that our cultural stories divide the world into absolute good on the one hand and bad on the other.  When you grow up you find out that people do some very bad things who are not necessarily bad people.  This is puzzling.  She then showed a short video with the theme of embracing chaos instead of retreating from it.  When you are a teen and so much of the world is unfolding, I suppose it all looks like chaos.

“yesterday I was sad, today I am happy! Yesterday I had a problem, today I still have the same problem!  But, today I changed the way I look at it! – C. Joy Bell C.

To live a happy successful life, you have the ability to change the way you think.  Whatever hardships you endure you can decide that you are going to suffer or you can decide that you can celebrate an opportunity to make things better.  Quoting Wayne Dyer and his experience living in an orphanage:  ”all you have to do is look around and see the opportunities all around you.”  Perception is the key point.  You have to be willing to contemplate a different view on the situation.  You can’t figure out flight by studying gravity.  All the gravitational expertise in the world will not put you in a position to contemplate the shape of a wing and how it can create a force to counteract gravity.

Thanks to Lauren for putting these thoughts in front of us to think about.  You appear to us to be the kind of person who has the ability to change the way she thinks… so we with you all the success in the world, and don’t hesitate to lead our service again.

Peace,

Rick

Posted 2 months, 3 weeks ago at 4:58 pm.

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June 1

Comedy Tonight.  No… comics… in fact we talked about Religion and comics.  We talked about Jack Chick graphic novels without recommending any of them.  Crumb first rose to prominence after the 1968 debut of Zap Comix, which was the first successful publication of the underground comix era. The image from his “Keep on Truckin’” strip, were among his popular creations.  He created a full graphic novel of the Book of Genesis.  He said it stands on its own a a lurid comic, it doesn’t require any parody.

We talked about the problems of religions that do not allow depictions of god, or, for that matter, Mohammad.  We talked about Jesus and Mo, a British webcomic created by an artist using the pseudonym Mohammed Jones. The comic is published on its eponymous website twice a week.  Also check out www.freethunk.net.  Its tag line is You’re not crazy, they are.  When they presented Moses and the 10 Commandments, they also included the comment thread.  Also check out www.lacklusterworld.com.

Peace,

Rick

Posted 3 months ago at 11:21 pm.

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May 25

Today was book forum day.  Instead of a formal presentation, we exchanged knowledge about good books we have read recently or books that have influenced us greatly.  First up was George Bernard Shaw’s Man and Superman.  Betty suggested that we do a reading of the section of the book called “Don Juan in Hell.”  Stay tuned for that.  Alice in Wonderland was suggested as a good read and wonderful memories.  The Golden Compass by Phillip Pullman is an excellent book we are told, and the first of a trilogy, so if you like it, you can keep on going.  It deals with multiple worlds that operate simultaneously… which has never worked for me.  Andy suggested a biography of Deng Xiaoping ( 22 August 1904 – 19 February 1997).  A Chinese politician and reformist leader of the People’s Republic of China who, after Mao Zedong‘s death, led his country towards a market economy. John suggested the Grapes of Wrath.  It is what got him interested in the plight of the poor as a class.  David Goldfield’s America Aflame was suggested.  It is a new history of America from the Revolution to 1876.  His theme that the Civil War in America may have been unnecessary because industrialization and slavery can’t co-exist has already started debates for-and-against.  Pride and Prejudice was suggested by two people:

It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.

However little known the feelings or views of such a man may be on his first entering a neighbourhood, this truth is so well fixed in the minds of the surrounding families, that he is considered the rightful property of some one or other of their daughters. -Jane Austen

Living Beautifully: with uncertainty and change by Pema Chodron was suggested.  The title is self explanatory… let go a little bit, embrace change a little bit, and reach out to those other people who can support us.

Finally we have Tom Robbins’ first book: Another Roadside Attraction.  Wild and wacky, it combines a modern hot dog stand and the beginnings of Christianity.  Watch out for that plot twist.

Peace,

Rick

 

Posted 3 months ago at 11:03 pm.

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May 18

Today Jan spoke about  ”Famine, Food, and Prejudice. The Irish and America.”  Unfortunately, I was unable to attend.  I will try to get the details from Jan.  Meanwhile, don’t forget that we have a community theater production of “The Prosecution of Judge Waite” in our sanctuary on Saturday June 21.  Invite everyone, there is a pot luck following.  The play is a dramatization about the 1886 US Supreme Court Case of Santa Clara County California vs. Southern Pacific Railroad Company that brought us the first mention of “Corporate Personhood.”  It used to take 18 years of training and heartache to build a citizen, now all it takes is $200 filing fee and a couple of days of paperwork.

Peace,

Rick

Posted 3 months ago at 10:27 pm.

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