Saturday, September 23, 2006

The Rev. Scott Tayler Knocks the Cover Off the Ball

Last weekend, Fausto made his annual pilgimage to his birthplace of Rochester, NY, to drive his mother home from the Massachusetts coast where she spends her summers.

Feeling lazy on Sunday morning after a long drive, he did not bother to attend the services in the church of his infancy, First Unitarian of Rochester. Boy, was that ever the wrong decision. Fausto and mom had dinner Sunday evening with some Rochester parishioners who couldn't stop raving about the sermon.

Fortunately, Rochester is one of those tech-savvy congregations (and why not, since Rochester Institute of Technology contributes many of its congregants) that posts podcasts, streaming audio, and downloadable mp3's of sermons on their website almost as soon as the service is ended. So after a busy week, Fausto finally listened this morning to the sermon he regretted missing last Sunday.

And what a tour de force it is! Building on the story of Noah in Genesis (which is rarely taught in its entirety) and applying it to our nation's response to the 9/11 attacks over the last five years, the Rev. Scott Tayler touches on many of the most difficult themes in contemporary religion, including many of the most controversial in our own UU heritage -- the widespread abuse of Scripture; the inherent depravity rather than worthiness of human nature; the fallibility and mutability of God; the radical reconciling power, usually untested, of unmerited love even for our enemies; the false security of hubris, self-righteousness and vengeance, and the ease with which they seduce even the faithful. He also weaves together religious principle and political witness in a manner that I'm guessing would satisfy even the ChaliceChick.

You must listen to this sermon:

The Religion of 9/12 by the Rev. Scott Tayler (streaming)

The Religion of 9/12 by the Rev. Scott Tayler (mp3 download)


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