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Monday, June 23, 2008

My 10 lb 4 oz excuse for skipping General Assembly.

Philo Jr in his spiffy hatReally, could you wave goodbye to this little guy — who weighed in at his one-month visit to the pediatrician at 10 lbs. 4 oz. — to spend a week covering the annual UUA General Assembly? Happily, UU World will be well represented in Florida without me, with daily news coverage by Jane Greer, workshops by Kenneth Sutton and Don Skinner, a booth in the exhibit hall with Sonja Cohen, and magazine coverage by Kimberly French. Visit the UU World General Assembly blog to keep up! I'll be providing long-distance technical support, but spending my nights burping and changing young Philo Jr.

P.S. I have finally added some more photos to my Philocritot album, for those of you who want to say, "Aww!"

Posted by Philocrites, June 23, 2008, at 08:32 AM | 4 comments

Thursday, June 19, 2008

New 'UU World': Paradise, Sources cantata, counting UUs.

UU World, Summer 2008While I was offline welcoming my adorable son into the world, UU World's summer issue arrived in subscribers' mailboxes; most of the issue is also available online. Some highlights:

  • Theologians Rita Nakashima Brock and Rebecca Ann Parker present one of the central arguments of their new Beacon Press book, Saving Paradise: They argue that the Crucifixion was not the central image of salvation in Christianity's first thousand years. Instead, they write, early Christian worship was oriented around images of the restoration of an earthly paradise. The Crucifixion came to dominate Christian worship and art only as the Holy Roman Empire and the First Crusade began killing people in Christ's name. Brock and Parker hold up aspects of the Universalist tradition as helping us reclaim a doctrine of salvation focused on this world.
  • Kimberly French profiles composer Jason Shelton and lyricist Kendyl Gibbons, two UU ministers who composed a cantata celebrating Unitarian Universalism's Six Sources. The "Sources" cantata will be performed during the opening ceremony at this summer's General Assembly.
  • Rich Higgins takes an in-depth look at the Pew Forum's U.S. Religious Landscape Survey, which found that 3 in 1,000 American adults identify their religion as "Unitarian" — a number significantly larger than the number of people who belong to Unitarian Universalist churches. (Although the UU blogs discussed the survey when it came out, Higgins interviews a number of sociologists who have studied American religious affiliation, so he's got material none of the rest of us had access to.)
  • Also in the summer issue: Forrest Church tells his congregation that his cancer has returned; Jeff Wilson reviews Philip Gura's new history of Transcendentalism; Tad Waddington recommends thinking mythically about your goals; and Alice Blair Wesley gives a shout out to the Puritan "Cambridge Platform," the root of Unitarian Universalist "congregational polity."

    Members of UUA congregations receive a subscription to UU World as a benefit of membership. Others can subscribe in the U.S. for only $14 a year. Visit for articles from the magazine's current and past issues, online-only essays and blogs, and fresh news. And be sure to sign up for the magazine's weekly email newsletter.

    P.S. If you want to write a letter to the editor, write to world {at} and include your name, address, phone number, and congregation; only your name and city will be published with your letter.

    Posted by Philocrites, June 19, 2008, at 08:38 AM | 2 comments

    Monday, June 9, 2008

    When lolcats light a chalice.

    Denizens of the interdependent web, you'll either think this Unitarian Universalist take on an Internet fad is funny or makes no sense whatsoever. [Link updated!] Those of you in the latter category will probably find Wikipedia's entry on lolcats illuminating, although perhaps not sufficiently to make them compelling. (Hat tip, Dubhlainn.)

    Posted by Philocrites, June 9, 2008, at 11:27 PM | 6 comments

    Thursday, June 5, 2008

    JK Rowling at Harvard on failure, imagination.

    Mrs Philocrites and I listened to JK Rowling's wonderful Harvard commencement address this afternoon on WHRB, and commend it to you: "The fringe benefits of failure, and the importance of imagination."

    Posted by Philocrites, June 5, 2008, at 07:38 PM | 0 comments

    Sunday, June 1, 2008

    Philocritot's birth refutes Nat'l Geographic redhead scare.

    Philocrites & Philocritot

    Ever since Philocrites Jr (aka Philocritot) was born May 20, he has been charming people with his alert little face and red hair (ha! take that, National Geographic!). He has also been impressing his parents with his innate supercuteness and his courtesy in sleeping for 3- and 4-hour stretches at night. Nevertheless, as you can see here, we're a tired bunch here at Philocrites World Headquarters, where both mom and dad are enjoying parental leaves and the assistance of our respective mothers. I'll forthrightly admit that I underestimated the degree of exhaustion that comes with being new parents.

    Mandatory new baby details: 8 lbs. 3 oz., 21.5 inches. Born May 20 at 3:27 a.m. after 33 hours of labor (yikes!), from which Mrs Philocrites has recovered very well.

    If I should decide to make additional baby photos available to the general public, you'll find them here.

    Posted by Philocrites, June 1, 2008, at 09:25 PM | 26 comments

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