Photo credit: Werner Kunz / Foter / CC BY-NC-SA
Rev. Mark Ward
We have spent some time in worship and our small group reflection this month playing with this interesting notion introduced by the novelist David Foster Wallace. Speaking to the graduating class at Kenyon College in 2005, he argued that there are “default settings” that operate in our thinking. He described them as the kind of ideas about which we are absolutely certain, but that, all the same, are, in his words, “totally wrong and deluded.” And chief among these, he said, is the deep belief that “I am the absolute center of the universe, the realest, most vivid and important person in existence.” Of course, he said, we rarely think such things because, in his words, “it’s so socially repulsive, but it’s pretty much the same for all of us, deep down.” Click on sermon title to continue reading or to listen to the audio.
Rev. Mark Ward, Lead Minister
So, today we return to this month’s worship theme of “default settings,” an opportunity for us to examine some of those untested assumptions and routine ways of thinking in our religious lives that get in the way living fully with integrity and peace.
In that context, many of us grew up learning a narrative of history that told of plucky European explorers who came to this continent in the 15th and 16th centuries on voyages of discovery, finding a new world, which they then settled and civilized. Click on the title to continue reading…
Rev. Mark Ward, Lead Minister
On a bright fall morning more than a decade ago, Sam Zurich began the day as he usually does with his radio tuned to NPR. As he was getting breakfast together, his ears pricked up to an item on the news: a couple of jetliners that had left Boston’s airport for the west coast were unaccounted for, and authorities were puzzled as to where they could be. Only minutes later, he heard that apparently one of those planes had smashed into the north tower of New York’s World Trade Center, and within 15 minutes the other plane had plowed into the south tower. Click on the title to read more or to listen to the sermon.
failure to do something required by duty or law; computers: a setting, option, etc., that a computer uses if you do not choose a different one.
As little as 50 years ago, people would scratch their heads if they heard us talking about “default settings,” no less how the term might apply to their religious life. That’s because it’s a term of the age of personal computers. Historically, “default” was as a kind of failure, like neglecting to make a loan payment or to follow through on a commitment. Click on the “Default Settings” title to continue reading…
Photo credit: suphakit73 at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
UUCA Connections, our monthly newsletter, includes service descriptions, columns from the Minister, Board of Trustees President, the Director of Lifespan Religious Education and the Assistant Minister. It also includes upcoming events, timely articles, and one page that is devoted to our Earth & Social Justice Ministry discussions and program offerings. Read Rev. Mark Ward’s column