The Transmutation


Following the lead of Emerson in so many ways (including his honesty to leave a ministry that believed the rite of “communion” changed wine to blood ), I feel the need to move progressive liberalism from the base-metals of RevOrd to the true gold of COVE . Why? Personally, I can no longer — honestly — use the title of Rev (Reverend) that’s used by the evangelicals, white supremacists, and all Christian denominations wherein Jesus is Lord, the Bible is Dogma, Sinners to Hell, Believers to Heaven, Original Sin for All, Prayers are Divinely Answered, God is in Control of Existence, and some are “called” to be Persons of God and Ordained to be Reverends: and some celebrated as “chosen of God” to lead humanity.  I believe none of those things as they do. Therefore, the title of Reverend (REV.) doesn’t apply to me — nor the ceremonies of Ordination that make one so. That Christians&Godists can believe so is legitimate in their traditions of Faith, and so they are so. But that’s not me — and I don’t think it should be so for the advance of liberal religion, which I  reference as  liberal humanitarian spirituality of the free mind. So it is, I take the title of Covenend (COVE) O’Kelly.

I write much about “covenant,” because it is the primal/manifest sacred spirit of our human experience. In the past this covenanted spirituality was with some distant Divinity in Control of the earth and human destiny.  That concept has, increasingly, been realized to be most evident in the covenating of all peoples with one another, with the Earth, and with the advances of economics-science-reason for directives of our existence as a species: ever-minding/working/hoping on a planet in a vastness of unknown universes and universals totally unknown to exist in ancient cultures.

Three times in my ministry as a Unitarian Universalist, I had to change the by-laws of Ministerial Associations to be inclusive of a non-Biblical based ministry — that’s inclusive of many spiritualities and a dominant-growing tradition of “religious humanism” and “religious liberalism”: with sermonic texts coming from many secular traditions —  and a persistent liberal trust tradition of address from the advances of human reason. The labels Unitarian ( One God verses Two-Three or more ) and Universalist  (eventually a Good God will Save All Valiants to Eternity — GO/GO-SAVE), are no longer operative across the persons of this persuasion.  There is no essential disputation of this ——— unless there are those in leadership moving backwards rather than forward.  Seems, every Church & Society of the UUA should have a questionnaire with relevant questions on these matters for a current response. So many REVs sign-off — “In the Faith.” That Faith needs more current definition in an increasingly SPIRIITUAL BUT NOT RELIGIOUS age and the growth of FreeThought, atheistic, and Humanist organizations. For me, that Faith, is faith in the reality of the covenantal spirituality that’s universal in humanity: and increasingly a commandment of our planet and peoples. This is truly sacred. I call myself a Sacral Humanist in this regard.

Now, I would transmute the base directives of RevOrd to those of COVES ( Covenend-Covenation ). Yes, these COVES rhyme with DOVES&LOVES — and the quest for peace, love, and sustainable ecosystems of our planet — are all embodied. I would make the change from a Religious Denomination to a Spiritual Denomination. Call that new SD — The UniEartharian Advance.  Or some such SAYING TO THE WORLD AND TRUTH that is truly true to the beliefs most operative in the UUWorld — and its “calling.”

I am no longer an “operative” in this World. And some will refer to this “covenanting” as the rages of an elderly and inconsequential minister —  formally retired in 2016, exactly 50 years from Ordination. I would hope, however, that those in leadership would do a “think-tank” on such issues —  to “spirit” the UU World to its best calling for today’s human spirituality. It won’t be easy for it to do so. But, then, we don’t want to live a lie in a world of fake news and alternative facts. I am not a Man (Person-Woman) of God and the Bible. I do not comply or manifest the title REV. The honesty is not there, as with the rite of wine-blood communion: no matter how traditional such are in the world of “religion.” In my mind, I envision revolutionary referendums at General Assemblies to recharge and renew the advance of the visionary spirituality Emerson and his time kicked into play. I can’t believe the vision-vitality of religious liberalism is clouded by the gusts of the past so stirred in our day. Alas, it is so much safer to stay within the fold of “religion” — even as a stray. So, it is that this “epistle” will appear on my website — even as I send it to the UUWorld for publication. It goes there to continue and clarify articles (dated 6/4/18, 7/9/18, 7/20/18, 10/20/18) on my site ( with its Poetries of a New Spirituality. Spiritually, we need tradition-structure-community-purpose that we can believe and that nourishes our need for faith, truth, and beauty. New ground can be broken which sustains and advances these dimensions. In AUGURIES, the third book of my Trilogy, I documented my visit to Paris 11/29 – 12/8/15, which occurred following the massacre of 11/13/15 and during the COP21 Paris Accords, which I attended. I saw it as a time for Humanity’s Global Covenant at a pivotal-axial-augural moment in human history. Being there — between those times — convinced me that the time has come to renew and recharge the reality of COVENANTING & COVENANT as the spiritual calling of our time. Things have not changed and have obviously worsened. O to not balk at the brink: but to cross a threshold into tomorrow. With a lot of covenant tradition behind me and a lot of covenantal challenges before me — I am a Covenantal Minister.

Yours Truly in the Faith ( as covenantally described ),

Cove Michael D. O’Kelly.

—- Covenantal Vinification of Existence is an Arconymion seeking Valiant Voice Validation Vision. — Indeed, “vinification” (real grapes into real wine — real-life alchemies of transmutation) is a true Eartharian concept of “communion.” (No myths of blood to wine and water to wine here —  and it pairs with Earth’s ecologies/economies/energies both ways,  as good wine leads to better grapes, and quid pro quo). It is truly UniEartharian and reflects our best covenanting with the gifts of our planetary existence — and ever-evolving consciousness with the “musts” to be accomplished with them.  — Since no one knows of the title COVENEND in the world out there, I keep it for personal use for now — and simply continue as mdok,poet. However, as circumstances require, I express my preference clearly.  I trust I’ve shared this with stewards/servants/savants/spiritualists of the Free&Open Mind.    —

Behold This! On day after the above, May 31, 2019, the USA Today had a full page ad (with over two hundred signatures of Reverends, Rev. Doctors, and others associated with Christian religious organizations) — calling for June 2, 2019 to be a Special Day of Prayer for the President. Biblical quotation was from 1Timothy 2:1-3 NKJV that calls for blessings “for all in authority…in the sight of God our Savior.” “God Himself,” they say can” fix our problems…God Bless our President.” And this June 2 Presidential Prayer Day is being voiced by other media. Such a play, indeed, to keep alive the call of many Reverends to hail this President as God’s Chosen. Like, I said, I can’t honestly use the same title/label as they. To do so would be to proclaim that we share the same ministry. That’s not the case. Integrity always begins with a capital “I.”  — mdok

Emerson in his THE CONDUCT OF LIFE, (Riverside Press, 1889, p. 299) — wrote as follows:

“The religion which is to guide and fulfill the present and coming ages, whatever else it may be, must be intellectual. . . . There will be a new church founded on moral science; at first cold and naked, a babe in a manger again, the algebra and mathematics of ethical law, the church of men to come, without shawns, or psaltery, of sackbut: but it will have heaven and earth for its beams and rafters; science for symbol and illustration; it will fast enough gather beauty, music, picture, poetry. Was never  stoicism so stern and exigent as this shall be . . . .It shall send man home. . . .The Laws are his consolers, the good Laws themselves are alive, they know if he have kept them, they animate him with the leading of a great duty, and an endless horizon. . . .always feels himself in the presence of high causes.”