Driving Under the Influence

Some years ago, I served on a six-person jury to determine the fate of a man accused of driving under the influence. The judge appointed me “forelady” of the jury – his choice of words, not mine. (As in, “Madam Forelady, has the jury reached a verdict?” Yes, the judge really did...
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A Psalm of Dog

After our animal blessing service on October 5, many people asked me copy for my dog psalm. Here it is — the psalm my dog Cinnamon wrote, channeling it through me, while I was in seminary. Psalm 1* A Psalm of Dog. (c) 2000 Cinnamon Stocker Alpha Dog is my boss, I shall not...
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Violent Metaphors in Everyday Paralance

Violent Metaphors in Common Parlance As the anniversary of Sandy Hook draws near — and as I witness an ongoing rash of gun-related violence in our culture — I have been thinking about violent metaphors in everyday language. When I recently tried to collect some of...
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World Series Champs

World Series Champs My father was born in 1918, just a few months before the Boston Red Sox won the World Series. A tiny baby, he couldn’t appreciate that sweet victory, but he carried a deep love for the Red Sox for his entire life. Most of the time, he watched the games...
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Sumac Leaves

Sumac Leaves A few weeks ago I passed a stand of sumac bushes on my walk. Something about the way the sun struck the leaves maximized their brilliance. Deep reds offset by lustrous yellows and oranges filled me with awe. I stopped to take it all in, regretting I didn’t have...
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Autumn Reflection

Autumn Reflection Fall seems to be taking its own sweet time falling this year. I still have a yellow lily blooming in my yard long after the frosts should be well behind us. Still, I feel my body, heart, and mind settling in for the darker season. Some changes are already...
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Agnus Dei — Perseverence

Agnus Dei This year, as the organizing theme for Music Sunday, the Worship Committee chose perseverance – especially in the face of transitions. Certainly our congregation is in transition. And we have persevered, continuing the work of our church in our changed and challenging...
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Veterans’ Day 11/11/11

Veterans’ Day 11/11/11 Last week, just before the election, a campaigner showed up at my door. I listened as he described why I should vote a certain way. In the course of the conversation, I learned he was a veteran, returned from a tour in Iraq in 2009. I told him that...
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After the Fire

After the Fire There is story about the Buddha that goes something like this. After he became enlightened, the Buddha began to travel around India. A man who encountered the Buddha recognized he was somehow extraordinary. So he asked the Buddha, “ Are you a god?” “No,” the Buddha...
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The Art of Threshing

The Art of Threshing © Sylvia Stocker And so the autumn has come, with cool nights, pungent fragrances, bird migrations and mammalian hibernations. The autumn has come, with its bright colors, fiery before the long cold, a last gasp of liveliness before the long dormancy. The...
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The Unitarian Minister in the Oval Office

The Unitarian Minister in the Oval Office When President Obama addressed the nation a couple of weeks ago, the people got their first view of the newly redecorated Oval Office. Subsequent news reports have detailed the fine points of the new decorations. Around the edge of a...
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Youth Group Member Received Prestigious Award; Invited to White House Reception

Youth Group Member Received Prestigious Award; Invited to White House Reception http://www.uuworld.org/news/articles/168670.shtml This link brings you to an article about Danielle Smith, a member of our youth group, who received the Student Advocate of the Year award from GLSEN...
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