Ferguson and Beyond: Next Steps for Justice « Standing On The Side Of Love

SSL Ferguson Montage

I found helpful these advocacy tips from Standing on the Side of Love.

People of faith are called to hold Ferguson, MO, in our hearts and minds as events continue to unfold following the death of Michael Brown last Saturday. Ferguson is not an isolated incident but part of a much larger legacy of violence and criminalization of Black people in the United States. We say the names of those we know but recognize many other people go unnamed.

Unitarian Universalists are taking action in Ferguson and around the country to advocate for justice and love. All of us are needed. During time of trauma and frustration, let us continue to explore ways to learn more, grow, heal, and take collective action. Use the resources below to take your own next steps and encourage others in your life to join you.

via Ferguson and Beyond: Next Steps for Justice « Standing On The Side Of Love.

I like the positive and interfaith foci of this organization.

Standing on the Side of Love is an interfaith public advocacy campaign that seeks to harness love’s power to stop oppression. It is sponsored by the Unitarian Universalist Association and all are welcome to join.

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How You Can Respond to Ferguson

Richard Hudak:

“Be a light.”

With latent social conflict becoming manifest in Ferguson, MO, I found it helpful to read this positive, firsthand, Unitarian Universalist perspective. I offer it for your consideration.

Originally posted on Rev. Thomas Perchlik's Weblog:

This week I have gotten many requests to help us here in the Saint Louis area. Often the offers have been for donations of food. This is my response.

Thank you so much for your compassionate outreach. You may be happy to know that First U took a food collection last Sunday and all our baskets were filled. We took our collection to St. Stephens and they were very appreciative. Other sites, outside Ferguson, in Saint Louis City and in the city of Florrisant have been selected to receive donations of food, and supplies are being distributed from those places. Another collection of non-food items has been initiated and UU congregations are joining in that.

Yesterday (August 21), all local UU clergy went to a Community Center that is just north of where all the violence took place. It was a crowded, but very mellow, scene. We offered counseling, care…

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Fall Teaching: Noontime Nourish

Richard Hudak:

I’m so excited for my return to teaching in the fall. I’m busy recovering from shoulder surgery so I can resume public classes of my own, and this vital practice of teaching yoga.

Originally posted on Wholehearted Yoga:

noontime nourish

Thursdays at noon, starting 9/18/14

I am pleased to announce that after a long recovery from rotator cuff repair, I will be returning to teaching yoga at Sangha Yoga Collective on September 18. On many levels, my injury has been my teacher. I hope to bring to you an enhanced knowledge of shoulder alignment, and an appreciation of the tools yoga may afford for dealing with life’s little surprises.

I am trying something new this fall, a one-hour noontime class I’m calling “Noontime Nourish,” for nine Thursdays beginning September 25, with a free preview on the 18th. The idea is that we’d practice some yoga at noon, and then whoever was available could hang around with a brown bag lunch to talk about yoga philosophy, Ayurveda, or conscious eating.

Personally, I always find Thursdays to be the most difficult day of the week to get through. It has all of…

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Making Sense of Rampage School Shootings

Rampage: The Social Roots of School Shootings by Katherine S. Newman

In this blog, I have written a great deal about rampage school shootings, mainly prompted by the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, CT. But I have been teaching about them for nearly ten years. When I was an the General Assembly of the Unitarian Universalist Association last month, we adopted an Action of Immediate Witness “Affirming Congregational Commitment to Gun Violence Prevention.”

A few years ago, one of the members of our congregation led a service that was essentially a lecture from one of his courses. I thought that I could probably do that.

Summer Service: Making Sense of Rampage School Shootings
Sunday August 3 at 9:30 am: A few weeks ago, the General Assembly of the Unitarian Universalist Association adopted an Action of Immediate Witness that called for “congregational commitment to work for gun violence prevention initiatives.” The Fourth Principle of Unitarian Universalism is “A free and responsible search for truth and meaning.” What does the academic discipline of sociology have to contribute to our understanding of rampage school shootings?

Richard Hudak, President of the UUCiA, will share a close reading of Katherine S. Newman’s Rampage: The Social Roots of School Shootings, which he discovered on a shelf in Memorial Hall Library in Andover. This close reading is informed by nearly ten years of teaching this book to classes in complex organization, introductory sociology, the sociology of war and peace, and death and dying. Learn how this research monograph is a well-executed and important piece of public sociology, what five factors are “necessary but insufficient causes” of rampage school shootings, and what policy options may make rampage shootings less likely.

Please join in dialog about preventing gun violence.

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Midsummer Blessings

Solstice stones on Holt Hill, Ward Reservation

“Solstice Stones” on the top of Holt Hill, Ward Reservation, Andover.

Today is the Summer Solstice, the stillpoint of summer, the longest day in the Wheel of the Year. A few years ago I wrote a stanza of this poem, and I have since “finished” it, by adding a stanza that was missing. (The first stanza appears in a post on Mabon, the beginning of autumn “Tumbling Toward Mabon.” 9/17/12) Please enjoy this time to pause, but also celebrate abundance with abandon.

Surya Namaskar

This time of year I
Like a bit of dry tinder
Easily woken by the birds
Who themselves
Crackle in a blaze of

No creature anchored to this
Blue orb
Can choose but to
Lean toward that fire
Greeting its moist green gifts
Where it kisses the earth.

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Peace, Progress, and the Pause Before the Push


I am enjoying the pause before the final push of the first summer session class. Next week,I get to teach about strategic nonviolence, peace movements, and peace education.

I will miss teaching social movements in second summer session, and I could really us the dough, but I am going to treat July and August as a sabbatical. As an adjunct, I don’t really ever get one.

In a week, I also lose the sling and start driving again. I still won’t be able to carry anything heavier than a cup of coffee in my right hand, but I’ll take it. I got to 145° in the overhead plane in physical therapy Wednesday. Who can say what today will bring? Maybe the surgeon will move me to active range
of motion after I see him on July 2.

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Our precious mother

Chris Wallis, author of Tantra Illuminated, posted a video of “Machi” by Peia on his Facebook feed. He highly recommended taking a few deep breaths, and watching this fullscreen. One experience I had was feel how precious is our Mother Earth, who is so embattled these days.

Here is the album on Bandcamp.

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Mercury Retrograde Body Mitten

Richard Hudak:

On the lighthearted side, there are funny people.

Originally posted on Writing by Alan Annand:

Mercury Retrograde Body Mitten! 


Feeling wobbly, forgetful, and introverted during this Mercury retrograde cycle? This can be a great time for renewal and self-reflection. The Mercury Retrograde Body Mitten (TM) is designed specifically to contain and counteract the powerful negative mental and energetic effects of Mercury retrograde.

Each body mitten is hand-knitted by celibate Virgos using hypo-allergenic squirrel wool inter-woven with strands of unicorn hair that were marinated in lavender oil infused with emerald powder. This energetic matrix provides a comfortable and fashionable garment to create an aware and stable personal environment before, during, and after Mercury retrograde. 

Production of our body mittens follows a strict process of spiritual guidance, prayer, and attunement to the planet. After knitting, garments are dyed a limited range of peaceful colors (aquamarine, blue, green, mauve, teal) in a solution of Clematis, Narcissus, and White Chestnut flower essences to help ground thoughts and calm an over-stimulated…

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I’m halfway through the first summer session at the university. I’m five weeks post-op. My passive range of motion is increasing beyond 90° in the overhead plane.

We pay so much attention to the things that occurred dramatically, all at once. We don’t pay enough attention to those things which occur incrementally. Yet the earth rolls toward and away from the sun each day; it circles the sun every year. The flower bursts forth in its own good time, still managing to create drama. The fruit ripens on vine or branch, and seeds grow in these secret places.


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It only took 28 years to get solar panels back on the White House roof!

Richard Hudak:

This is a wonderful redevelopment.

Originally posted on Grist:

Today, Jimmy Carter gets to enjoy a gleeful chuckle while Ronald Reagan rolls over in his grave. Today is a good day.

After four years of repeated grumblings of “we’re going to do this, we promise,” the Obama administration has plunked some solar panels on the White House roof. And like all great things, they’re American-made, American-installed, and run off of good ol’ American sunlight!

A little bit of backstory: Back in 1979, Carter was ahead of the curve in installing solar panels at the presidential residence. At their dedication, he provided an apt analysis of what they symbolized at the time: “A generation from now, this solar heater can either be a curiosity, a museum piece, an example of a road not taken, or it can be a small part of one of the greatest and most exciting adventures ever undertaken by the American people—harnessing the power of…

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