The world, and near and far

As the news broke today that the NDP is seriously considering doing away with Daylight
Savings, so did the news of the fall of Aleppo, the on again off again cease fires to let
the innocent escape, and the culmination of all the horrors of that siege. Suddenly
Daylight Savings (which I loathe from the depth of my being) seemed like an awful
insignificant ‘first world problem’.

One UCE Board member mused last evening about how the our concerns around
Christmas seem so very small compared to that massive tragedy and failure of the
international community.

Part of me agrees wholeheartedly. I feel shamed for humanity as a whole. Sure, we took in a lot of refugees, but the UN and the world community did far too little to lessen the horror.

Yet, another part of me knows that personally taking on all the world’s despair and suffering only serves to crush our souls. As an individual and as part of a church community that did step up, we did what we could in sponsoring and continuing to support a family of refugees. Still, it doesn’t feel like it was enough.

This is one of the challenges of the information age. We can choose to know so much more about the horror in the world than our parents ever could know. We have to set some boundaries, if only for our own sanity. How do we decide which issue we will ‘let in’? When is it okay to turn off the news and care for our own souls and needs? These are ethical questions that we each face and we each answer in a personal way.

In January I will offer a four session course on ethical decision-making. It is based on Richard Gilbert’s “Ethics: An Exploration in Personal Morality”. Richard has been a longtime leader in UU social justice circles.

We will do this over four evenings, January 17, 24, 31 and February 7 from 7-9 p.m. If there is sufficient interest, I will offer it in the afternoons as well. Please sign up on the credenza or let Janet know at

Reviewing how we make our ethical decisions and taking an inventory of the tools we have to help us make those decisions is a useful exercise, worth doing every few years. If this intrigues you, come struggle along with me.

See you in church and may 2017 be a little brighter than 2016 has been.