Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Prayer for Academic Beginnings

Oh gracious living, loving, laughing God,
Great Spirit of Life,
You who are known by so many names,
And yet by no single name fully known-

Ours is a petition for nothing less than transformation.

We come bearing textbooks, steeped in study,
Overcommitted, overindulgent, overexpectant;
We come with cares and concerns,
Joys and sorrows,
Twitches, tremors, tosses and turns.

Surprise us, o God, with the miracle of new joy;
Open our eyes to the pregnant promise of new hope;
Attune our minds to the profound prospect of new faith;
Awaken our souls to the purifying potential of new love.

Call us, o God, to our knees.
Call us, o God, to break bread and praise life.
Call us, o God, to serve one another and this world with humility and grace.

As Your wind lifts up the birds;
As Your sunlight colors the seasons;
As Your rainfall nourishes our gardens;
Grant us Your strength, Your light, Your sustenance;
So that love may surround us
Everywhere, everywhere,
We may go.


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Sunday, September 6, 2009

Freedom From Religion?

With all the blogosphere hubub surrounding the recent advertisement in UU World for the Freedom From Religion organization, I couldn't help but take a look at the spread myself. While I wholeheartedly welcome humanist, even atheistic, perspectives, my issue with the advertisement derives from its rhetorical campaign not against God, but against religion itself. A Freedom From Theism or Freedom From Peeping Tom in the Sky organization would be welcomed by some in our denomination - which is fine. However, the notion of a religious magazine publicizing an organization committed, at least in name, to the eradication of religion seems at best counterintuitive, at worst ludicrous. 

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