Our congregation spoke about our experience with fathers and fatherhood today.  We start with a child's version of the 7 UU Principles:

1st Principle: We believe that each and every person is important.

2nd Principle: We believe that all people should be treated fairly and kindly.

3rd Principle: We believe that we should accept one another and keep on learning together.

4th Principle: We believe that each person must be free to search for what is true and right in life.

5th Principle: We believe that all persons should have a vote about the things that concern them.

6th Principle: We believe in working for a peaceful, fair, and free world.

7th Principle: We believe in caring for our planet Earth, the home we share with all living things.

Andy related a story about growing up with immigrant parents.  His parents came to America from Ireland in the 1920's.  They were poor and uneducated in ways of schooling.  They would be surprised, he thinks, that their grandson teaches at the University.  He told us that his great grandfather's butcher shop still exists back in Ireland and he has been there to meet his cousins.  The modern world has put the little butcher shop out of business.  His cousin also owns the house that their great grandparents lived in.  Except that the cousin lives in a better house and they rent out the old one.  They rent it to a Chinese guy who came open a restaurant in the town.  Globalization is everywhere,

We get a sense of duty and responsibility from our fathers.  A sense of honor often pervades fathers.

A dry sense of humor seems help a father be a father.

Also it is very important that everyone know that step father is a father too.

Poem: "Father," by Ted Kooser, from Delights and Shadows. © Copper Canyon Press.


May 19, 1999

Today you would be ninety-seven
if you had lived, and we would all be
miserable, you and your children,
driving from clinic to clinic,
an ancient, fearful hypochondriac
and his fretful son and daughter,
asking directions, trying to read
the complicated, fading map of cures.
But with your dignity intact
you have been gone for twenty years,
and I am glad for all of us, although
I miss you every day--the heartbeat
under your necktie, the hand cupped
on the back of my neck, Old Spice
in the air, your voice delighted with stories.
On this day each year you loved to relate
that at the moment of your birth
your mother glanced out the window
and saw lilacs in bloom. Well, today
lilacs are blooming in side yards

all over Iowa, still welcoming you.