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Humanism

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Braver/Wiser: A Weekly Message of Courage and Compassion

  • By Erika A. Hewitt
    When it comes to living our expansive, inclusive, anti-oppression faith, we fall short.
  • By Lindasusan Ulrich
    If justice is to be realized, our voices must speak loudly—even boisterously—of love.
  • By Rayla D. Mattson
    People of color—and other marginalized people—can’t just want things to be different. It has to be everyone wanting things to be different for everyone.
  • By Alix Klingenberg
    When we can gently hold things steady, change comes from within; that’s where the real growth happens.
  • By Karen G. Johnston
    I call the tall bush on my back patio “Burning Bush” because in autumn its leaves are a fiery red. All winter long I overlooked three uninhabited nests inside of it. For months and months I could have perceived—but didn’t—what was in plain sight. ...
  • By Lindasusan Ulrich
    We can’t always predict which choices will wind up having a huge impact on us, whether it's bringing home a stuffed animal or taking a particular train to Oxford Circus.
  • By Rebekah Savage
    A haircut, a cup of coffee, or just an honest “How are you?” can be transformed into a powerful moment between two people living in a hard world.
  • By Monica Dobbins
    What could you accomplish this week if you knew you had a ground team wishing you well? Who are the other explorers around you, needing a word of encouragement that would mean so much coming from you?
  • By Amanda Poppei
    It's an impulse of the human self to be known fully, and that’s almost never possible unless we risk the conversations that help us see past our initial impressions.
  • By Robin Tanner
    This is a story of in-the-middle for those wondering how their story ends.
  • By Teresa Honey Youngblood
    People move places for jobs, relations, opportunities, escape, hindering our ability to put down new roots. And yet, we carry a constancy: the still, quiet voice within.
  • By S.J. Butler
    I’d gotten in the habit of keeping my head down and hardly noticing where I was or who was around me. On this day, I decided to greet the world differently.
  • By Elea Kemler
    I choose to believe in community. I choose to believe in the difficult, slow work of building a common life.
  • By Mandie McGlynn
    Tell me the story of my birth, and help me understand how you were changed the day I entered the world. Help me know love, deep in my bones.
  • By Lindasusan Ulrich
    However imperfectly I may be living this life of mine, there’s no one better at it, and there’s no one else who can do it for me.
  • By Rayla D. Mattson
    My heart broke the day my son stood in the bathroom crying. He handed me a pair of scissors and told me to just cut it . I told him how beautiful his hair was and how sad I would be to see him cut it.
  • By Amanda Poppei
    In real life, we can only place the pieces, one by one, and see what kind of picture we create. Sometimes we turn out to have chosen the wrong piece. Sometimes the picture is wildly unexpected.
  • By Connie Simon
    What if we encouraged and celebrated each other for who we are? What if, instead of criticizing, we challenged with love, affirming the good we see in one another?
  • By Nathan Ryan
    Last year for Lent, I decided to say yes to any request. I made it all the way to Easter without having to honor my decision.
  • By Elea Kemler
    I wanted so much to believe that God was watching over this boy, that God was tender and protective and fiercely on the side of life and that this boy would not slip away.
  • By Lindasusan Ulrich
    Spirit of Compassion, remind us that our task as humans is not perfection, but faithfulness.
  • By Mandie McGlynn
    I’m not the same person who stood in that tattoo parlor eleven years ago. Still, I don’t for a minute regret being permanently marked with this snapshot in time, of my wounds and my hope.
  • By Teresa Honey Youngblood
    Liking somebody, even loving somebody, is not enough to protect them from shade that you cannot even see, much less understand.
  • By Erin Powers
    It’s been said that it’s easier to untangle a string of lights if you plug them in; it’s no different for people. Humans, just like strings of lights, are wired for connection.
  • By Erika A. Hewitt
    "How complicated it is to break silence: to open all of the secrets in all of our broken hearts. But silence does break; truth seeks the light. We're unraveling silence because we have determined that our power with one another is greater than the power someone once had over us."
  • By Lisa Bovee-Kemper
    Someone whispered to me, “Can you pray?” All eyes turned to me. I had no earthly clue what to say. It was a profound gut-level panic. It was the moment I learned to speak the truth as best I understand it, and to hold space for it to bloom.
  • By Becky Brooks
    “If I ask you a question, do you promise to tell me the truth?" For future reference, if a child asks you this question at Christmas time, EVADE.
  • By Robin Tanner
    We, the willing, follow the threads to one another; past rightness and quips and tweets. We will find one another and persist past sunrise.
  • By Elizabeth Harding
    Life is full of seesaws: it offers us moments of extreme wonder and moments of fear. Sometimes you have to live through the fear for the wonder to arrive.
  • By DeReau K. Farrar
    How many times do I need to make mistakes at the expense of other people, or people’s groups, before I’m ready to admit that I’m not any better at this than the bigoted and willfully ignorant? If I am to “be change,” I must commit to humility and refuse to settle for my own comforting achievements.
  • By Elizabeth Harding
    Remembering is the art of holding a memory and sharing it; it’s drawing upon that memory so it can help us to grow into people who live lives of meaning and service. As a practice, remembering connects us deeply to each other and to the love that sustains us.
  • By Aisha Ansano
    What happened in Charlottesville is nothing new. We know how to fight it, and it is done in community—wherever we can find it. Spirit that runs through us all, remind me to look up, to reach out, to find those doing this work alongside me and join them.
  • By Seanan R. Holland
    In the moment that I switched to “teacher mode,” I recalled moments in which I had inadvertently said ungracious things. I was fortunate enough to have professors, ministers, and friends illuminate my clumsiness for me. They did so in a way that was gracious enough that it increased my appreciation and respect for them, and clear enough that I will never forget the teaching.
  • By Aisha Ansano
    Our souls and minds need sustenance as much as our physical bodies. May we delight in the ways we find to provide this nourishment to our whole selves.
  • By Elea Kemler
    My son, Caleb, and I went to Starbucks on a recent Saturday morning. We often do this as a prelude to the weekly grocery shopping. It...
  • By Tim Atkins
    The most important lesson pottery has taught me is to not be attached to the final product. Every time I’ve put a piece in to the kiln with a certain expectation of how it’ll come out, I’ve been disappointed. When I don’t much care in the end how it looks, I end up pleasantly surprised. I can’t be attached to those final outcomes — the process matters more than the product.
  • By Teresa Honey Youngblood
    Light We Seek, wherever I am on the journey toward wholeness for all of us—that is, toward racial equality—help me to forgive myself and others for missteps and missed opportunities, and guide my efforts to build up the relationships where love, justice, and understanding grow.
  • By Becky Brooks
    What DO we do in the face of evil? Anything. Everything. Pray, protest, bake, hug, grieve, wail, laugh, explain, linger, research, fight, cry. What we absolutely must not do is ignore it.
  • By Jake Morrill
    What's my favorite weather? When the wind whips your face, you're alive, and you can think what you will.
  • By Sean Parker Dennison
    I’ve been doing a lot of guest preaching lately and it’s always a little awkward. I often don’t know how the congregation is used to doing...
  • By Erika A. Hewitt
    There we were, two strangers idling at the red light―but I felt seen, and blessed, by a stranger.
  • By Robin Tanner
    I had finally begun to relax—a bit. We were en route to Pennsylvania. My friend, a formal part of our “framily,” was visiting. We decided a...
  • By Sean Parker Dennison
    About six months ago, I got a new tattoo. It’s a lit match on my right wrist, added to an arm full of paintbrushes, pens and other art...
  • By Erika A. Hewitt
    When I picked up her call, Kira’s voice was thick with tears. Kira, one of my best friends, is the mother of 4-year old twins, working full...
  • By Jake Morrill
    .I want liberty and justice for all in my country. That will ask of me—and of many of you—the discipline of discomfort.
  • By Marisol Caballero
    Everyone needs comadres and compadres . What are those? Well, Latinx* people have way more relatives than many other families. Most people...
  • By Daniel Gregoire
    Here we are on the cusp of the Winter Solstice, when the light comes back! To celebrate, I went to the discount store in search of...

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