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I mentioned a couple of things in my <a title=”Three-Day Weekends” href=”http://uufamily.org/2010/01/19/three-day-weekends/&#8221; target=”_blank”>last post</a> that I’d like to explore further. One is the notion of intentionality, as in Bill Doherty’s <em><a title=”The Intentional Family” href=”http://www.harpercollins.com/books/9780380732050/The_Intentional_Family/index.aspx&#8221; target=”_blank”>The Intentional Family: Simple Rituals to Strengthen Family Ties</a></em>. The other is the idea that congregations need to be intentional about family faith development. Of course, these two ideas go hand-in-hand: healthy families are intentional about being families; and congregations can play an important role in that. What I’d like to propose is, that while congregations need to support families as families, the number one priority for congregations should be helping families develop their faith. More here.

Here’s a not-so-secret secret: my wife and I met online. That’s a fairly common thing these days, I guess. The twist in Julia’s and my story is that once we met in person, we found out that we actually grew up in the same county in Indiana, about twenty miles away from each other. Now counties are a big deal in Indiana. In fact, the state’s license plate number system used to be based on the county you lived in. The prefix for each tag started with the numerical equivalent of the first letter of the name of your county, in alphabetical order. So Elkhart county plates started with the number 20 because Elkhart was twentieth on an alphabetical list of Indiana counties. You could always tell when auslanders were driving around your territory by the number on their tags. At any rate, when Julia and I feel like having a little fun with folks, we tell them that we met at the Twin Cities Chapter of the Elkhart County Lonely Hearts Club, and that we were the only two people there, so we figured we should get married. And now the club’s disbanded. Read more here.

I remember the question well. It was during the Unitarian Universalist Ministers Association (UUMA) Professional Days at the 2004 General Assembly in Long Beach, California. The presenter was Ernesto Cortés, Jr., a community organizer affiliated with the Industrial Areas Foundation (IAF). He had just reached what I thought was the main point of his presentation, namely, that the most important thing progressives could do in order to bring about better world for everyone is to “stand for families.” He made a comparison to standing with a person in a court of law. “Someone must stand with the accused against the might of the state,” is how this legal imperative is sometimes phrased. When it came time for questions and comments, one of my colleagues asked him a perfectly legitimate question: “What Do You Mean by ‘Family’?” The implication was, I think, that it would be difficult, if not impossible, for this group of liberal religious ministers to agree with him wholeheartedly if his definition of family was anything less than all-inclusive. Read more here.

Maybe you’ve noticed them in an advertisement or a newsletter: smiling, happy people much like the ones pictured in the banner for this blog. They appear to be multicultural and multigenerational, abled and differently abled, single and partnered, gay and straight. They are, quite simply, a visual representation of what many of us would like to see our culture be. Welcoming. Inclusive. Even joyful. And if you keep your eye out for them, you might even notice that some of these people show up in different, sometimes mutually exclusive, places. Read more here.

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