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Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Around the UU blogs, with G.A. dining news!

(Special General Assembly bonus at the end!) Several Unitarian Universalist bloggers this week are trying to help their readers understand the basics of their religion. CK, at Language Games and Miscellaneous Arbitrary Marks, offers a UU FAQ. The Happy Feminist calls her version Unitarian Universalism 101. And Peter Bowden, the small-group ministry guru, has launched an entire website focused entirely on what newbies need — and calls it, naturally, Frequently Asked Questions about Unitarian Universalism. They join several other recent projects, including Jess Cullinan's Best of UU directory. (My own quirky contributions to this genre are Do Unitarian Universalists have morals?, A handful of liberal religious definitions, and (at great length) Unitarian Universalism: In search of a definition. But I don't think I've ever bothered to write my own definition. Hmm.)

By the way, I'm eager to meet CK at the General Assembly in St Louis next month. She's hard at work on a process-theology thesis, which interests me a great deal because Alfred North Whitehead is in the upper ranks of my personal pantheon. (True story: At my first job out of college, I was in the habit of reading one of his books at lunch each day, making my slow way through Adventures of Ideas and Modes of Thought. Because the Free Press editions I owned all featured the same photo of Whitehead on the back cover, I and my coworkers started calling it "the daily showing of Whitehead." A kind of darshan, you might say. Also true: Mrs Philocrites has forbidden me to name a son Alfred. That's okay: North will do.)

A brief note of thanks to several new contributors to the UU Blogs advertising campaign: We're funded for several more weeks. Thank you very much! On a related note, I've noticed that Beacon Press is now advertising some of its books via Google's AdSense network. I suspect that over time other UU-related groups will also begin advertising this way, making the ads that show up here and on other UU sites increasingly relevant.

It's practically impossible to keep up with all the good UU blogging, much less with all the various religion blogs and other interesting writing on the Web, so I hope you'll promote great conversations you've come across or unjustly neglected posts you've seen (or written!). I scan the UUpdates aggregator a couple times a day, but I confess I don't have time to click through to even a fraction of them. I'm trying to keep my guide to UU blogs current, though, so if you have started writing a UU-themed blog (or even a very occasionally UU-themed blog), please let me know.

And now for the General Assembly bonus: It looks like we're going to have a great turnout of bloggers at the UUA General Assembly in June. Peacebang is organizing a Friday evening dinner for bloggers between the last afternoon workshop session and the "prime time" plenary session. If the company isn't enough to draw you to dinner, consider the menu: Tapas! Folks, please RSVP for this. Let Peacebang or me know you plan to attend so we can let the restaurant plan for us.

I have started looking through the G.A. program book [5M pdf!] to see when else we might propose a blogger Q & A session. If dinner on Friday isn't good for you but you want to be sure to talk with other UU bloggers, please leave a comment expressing interest. Last year we ended up with a late-night session that was impossible for people with family obligations or early-bird tendencies. There may be enough of us this year to set up a few meeting times that could accommodate different groups. See you in St Louis!

Copyright © 2006 by Philocrites | Posted 17 May 2006 at 10:38 PM

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May 17, 2006 11:17 PM | Permalink for this comment

Philocrites, I'll have to hit you up for comments on my process-related thesis postings! I'm excited about it, too, though I'm sure I'm over my head.

I'd recommend the Happy Feminist's version over my FAQ, since it's a very short post--but thanks for highlighting it!

Christine Robinson:

May 18, 2006 01:13 AM | Permalink for this comment

I've been using technorati to search for blogs with the word Unitarian in it and at least half of the resulting posts are not from UU's but from people who have taken that beliefnet quiz and come up Unitarian. They have some interesting and not always flattering comments about us. But what I was wondering is if there is any way to have our advertisements pop up as people get the results of that quiz. I've also been making comments on some of those blogs, telling people I'm sure they'd feel welcomed at a UU church, where to go for more info, etc. I think we could make an impact on people's searches for a faith by following up on these blogs. I invite others to join me in this bit of evangelism. The more the merrier!

Ron Robinson:

May 18, 2006 11:58 AM | Permalink for this comment

Philocrites, please add to your list of new UU blogs. thanks.

Speaking of process theology I came across my yellowed copy of a sermon I heard Charles Hartshorne give in 1980 that changed my life, and I guess started the process that ends with my anecdote of my reading Process and Reality in the grocery store checkout line in 1984, the book in one hand and my young daughter in the other. As you might have "preapprehended" she wasn't thrilled with my attention to the book, and I also think I still have that copy of PR with the marks of her "creativity" on its pages, pretty close to my favorite line that God is that factor in the universe that relates the what is to the what is not yet.

Hope to see all at GA. Speaking of dinners there, if you want to hear Rev. Thom Belote speak, get a great catered dinner (including veggie and vegan) without waiting in long lines on Saturday night downtown (6 to 8 p.m.), have the ambiance of a national historic landmark (Christ Church Cathedral Episcopal) and a hymn sing, all for $20 you are all invited to the UUCF-sponsored Banquet. You can pay at the door but RSVP for you and guests to me at


May 18, 2006 12:51 PM | Permalink for this comment

I'll be there and happy to attend blogging events.


frog philosopher:

May 18, 2006 01:50 PM | Permalink for this comment

i'll do a little p.r. for frog philosopher! thanks for the offer! i figure if my blog survives 9 months, i will start asking to be placed in lists like you have provided. and thank you for providing us with great stepping stones through UU blogging.

Joseph Santos-Lyons:

May 20, 2006 01:07 AM | Permalink for this comment

i've noticed recently that there are so many sites on uupdates, that i don't use it as much.


May 20, 2006 12:50 PM | Permalink for this comment

The UU Blogs Digest at Kinja is more selective, if also more sluggish in updating. It's worth pondering what kinds of aggregation would be ideal for different audiences...

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