Conversation I had with our senior minister yesterday:
Senior minister: I’ve been thinking about low turnout in our evening classes. What are we going to do about adultery?
Me: Wha—? Oh! — you mean “adult RE.”
Senior minister: Um, that’s what I said. [Looks at me strangely.]
Me: [explaining that when one pronounces “adult” with a soft “a” sound and the accent on the second syllable, “adult RE” sounds like “ah-DULT-ah-ree.”] So you have to say it: “A-dult”.
Senior minister: [laughing]
Carol and I have been playing around with the new UUA logo. Carol doesn’t like the way the flame in the new logo is disattached from the candle-chalice thingie. I don’t like the way the sides of the chalice-thingie act as walls which keep the flame from being seen from the sides.
Mind you, it’s way too easy to be a Monday morning quarterback. No logo can ever be perfect, and certainly the UUA logo is a pretty good design, and more than adequate. But it’s way too easy to play around with graphics on our laptops, and Carol and I had nothing better to do on a sleepy Saturday morning, so we spent half an hour revising the UUA’s logo. Here’s what I came up with:
Compare it to the official UUA logo below. See what I mean about the sides coming up around the flame in the official logo?
(Now that I look at this again, I wish I had made the sides of my version even lower, but I’ve already wasted too much time playing with this.)
Jesus said something like (and I’m paraphrasing here): “Neither do people light a candle and put it inside a red and orange bushel basket, the walls of which extend halfway up the flame, so the people below us cannot see the flame.” Buddha supposedly said (another rough paraphrase): “Thousands of candles can be lit from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened; but if your candle is inside a red and orange chalice thinige, others will burn their fingers trying to light their candle from your candle.” The new UUA logo is a pretty accurate graphic representation of what our denomination is actually like; my revision of the logo represents the way I wish our denomination were.
Update, 3 hours later: Continue reading
What do you call a Unitarian Universalist without any eyes?
A Untaran Unversalst.
In response to this comment, here’s a really stupid UU joke:
Werner Heisenberg was a Seventh Day Adventist. Then he became a Unitarian Universalist. After becoming a Unitarian Universalist, he still went from door to door, but if you opened the door and asked what he was doing there, he was uncertain.
The finance committee of First Unitarian Universalist Church of Aipotu was trying to develop a budget that would finally pull the church out of the red. One member of the committee presented a severe austerity budget. “If we follow this budget,” he said, “we can cut our operating expenses in half.”
The chair of the committee said, “I have an idea how we can live on less than that.”
“How?” everyone asked.
“Live on two budgets.”
I interviewed Nick Page for the uuwolrd.org GA blog, and he told this joke. I reproduce it here just as Nick told it:
“Ernie came from Dartmouth [College], where he heard a lecture on altruism. And he said, we all have to learn to share. So I said, if you had two pigs, would you give me one? Yes, he said, if I had two pigs, I would give you one. If you had two horses, would you give me one? Yes, he said, if I had two horses, I would give you one. If you had two wheelbarrows, I said, would you give me one? Dammit, he says, you know I got two wheelbarrows. And that speaks to the future of Unitarian Universalism.”
You are now invited to exegete this joke, and say how exactly it applies to the future of Unitarian Universalism
A newcomer took a seat in one of the pews at First Unitarian. When the minister began preaching about liberal theology, the newcomer became more and more enthusiastic, and finally shouted “Amen!” when the preacher definitively proved the use of reason was essential to religion.
There was a long-time member of the church in the next pew, who leaned over and glared at the newcomer. “In this church, we do not shout ‘Amen’ during the sermon,” hissed the long-time member.
The newcomer, looking flustered, said, “But I’ve got religion!”
“Well,” hissed the long-time member, “you did not get it here!“
The Unitarian Universalist was out in his boat fishing when suddenly the Loch Ness Monster rose up out of the lake and attacked his boat. The Loch Ness Monster grabbed the bow of the boat in its huge mouth, flipped the Unitarian Universalist way up into the air, and opened its mouth wide, prepared to catch the guy in its mouth and eat him.
As the Unitarian Universalist fell towards that huge mouth filled with sharp teeth, without thinking he said, “Oh my God, help me!” Suddenly time froze. As the guy hung there in mid-air, a huge voice boomed out, “I thought you didn’t believe in a personal God on whom you could call in times of crisis!”
“Hey, give me a break, God,” said the Unitarian Universalist. “A minute ago I didn’t believe in the Loch Ness Monster, either.”
A Unitarian Universalist was walking through an old graveyard, and saw a tombstone with the inscription “I still live.”
“Huh,” said the Unitarian Universalist, “If I were dead, I’d own up to it.”
Amy sent along a link to a news story that is of great importance to anyone involved with religion: Report: Majority Of Money Donated At Church Doesn’t Make It To God.
A source within the financial department of the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) said that her department has been aware of this situation for some time. “We have known for some time that the IRS has been investigating where church donations actually go,” said the source. “Fortunately, with our congregational polity, we have long counseled Unitarian Universalist congregations to retain all their revenues for use in their own congregation, with the exception of expenditures on social justice, and dues paid to the UUA and districts.” The source, who asked to remain anonymous because she wasn’t authorized to speak to the press, added, “We feel that most Unitarian Universalist congregations have nothing to fear from the ongoing IRS investigation.”
However, there’s potentially serious news for Unitarian Universalism at the end of this article. Virginia Raeburn, a spokesperson for God LLC, stated that God “may be forced to shutter a number of under-performing religions.” It is widely rumored that God LLC is taking a hard look at Unitarian Universalism because the religion has so few members. However, Professor John Quackenbush at Starr King School for the Ministry, an expert on God LLC, stated he believes the real reason is that Unitarian Universalist congregations send too little money to God. “My analysis has God LLC cutting all formal ties with Unitarian Universalism within a year,” said Quackenbush. “They can put up with the humanists and atheists, but the lack of revenue puts God LLC in an awkward position.”