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    Floods.I am against them.  From childhood, I distinctly remember the passage in Genesis in which we are told that God was so moved by the destruction after the Great Flood that God decided never to subdue the earth with floods ever again, leading us to conclude we cannot blame God for the hideous storms of life that flood our lives, east and west, north and south, and too often in our own harbors. We can hardly look at the images of suffering, displacement, and immense loss of material things associated with Hurricane Harvey.  It is right that we mourn material loss also, because the material is part of the realm of the holy.  The material is associated with being alive and having a body, without which we would have no form and substance. Because words fail us, grieve well.  Let your hearts be broken and may they be filled with compassion for all those who suffer from, yet, another great storm of the Gulf coast. (As we go to press, ways to help UUs in the Houston area are being posted in blogs and websites.)

    Some of my best friends are books. In my sermon on 8/20/17, The 400 Level Course, I listed my imaginary syllabi with real titles for us to read, discuss, and deepen our lives. Stay WOKE, good people. The nation is at a pivot point for broadening and deepening a discussion on the subject of race.  Our Board, desiring for our church to be anti-racist, anti-oppressive, and multi-cultural, for a second year in a row, included this vision in their Annual Vision of Ministry for our congregation. We are already committed for a third installment of Beloved Conversations, to be held here next year on February 23-24. We are hungry for this work and feel called to do it. At the suggestion of several members, I share below a list of subjects and titles mentioned in The 400 Level Course.

I Am Not Your Negro, James Baldwin

Enroll in our workshop: Beloved Conversations, next February.

Tears We Cannot Stop, Michael Eric Dyson

Just Mercy, Bryan Stevenson

Study: The Emmett Till case of 1955

View online:  "Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack," Peggy McIntosh

View online, the work of Robin DiAngello

Study: Philemon, Paul's letter in the Christian Bible.

Racism Without Racists, Eduardo Bonilla-Silva

Learning to Be White, Thandeka

Race Matters, Cornel West

2018. Autumn is the time when our congregation begins thinking about our new program year 2018 along with financial commitments to sustain a vital church and its various ministries. Please do attend the Congregational Meeting, September 24, at 12:45pm to adopt our goals.