The form of the blessing differ, but the essential message is the same: we give thanks to the Love that is God for the good that comes through our taxes. They are a special form of our “offerings” in worship. Many blessings flow from them, and divine guidance is needed for us to have the wisdom to see to it they are spent for the best purposes.read more
The terms faith and beliefs are sometimes used interchangeably, but I think it is useful to make a distinction between them. Beliefs are things you think are true, like “I believe in God.” “I believe that there is life after death.” These are improvable opinions (or they would be accepted by all as “facts”). A list can be made of beliefs.read more
Love one another as I love you all;
In others’ needs hear my insistent call.
I bid you wear with me love’s seamless dress,
Welcome the outcast from the wilderness.
I sometimes wonder if God ever tires of our prayers. Weekends must be the worst Friday prayers at the mosques Saturday appeals in the synagogues Sunday petitions from the churches. An endless round of requests. Do this, …read more
Do you ever find it odd that worshipers are greeted as they leave the sanctuary? This rite of transition from comfort to challenge. The grasping of hands, a warm smile, a word of encouragement as if to …read more
In the afternoon we went to Tucson’s US Federal Court to witness Operation Streamline. About 70 migrant in chains, wearing the same sweaty clothes in which they were caught crossing, sat in the upper level of the courtroom, waiting to be tried for the crime of illegal entry into the United States. This proceeding happens in several border cities as a way to criminalize them in an attempt to deter them from entering the US immediately after being deported. “Culpable… culpable… culpable…” they said, pleading guilty, and then walking out in chains to be jailed and then deported. Students from around the country, also doing spring break border justice programs, were in the courtroom with us – many of them in tears as they witnessed the silent parade of misery before them.read more
Jesus Christ is alive and lives in me
As I touch the Christ within,
As I open my life
To the power of God’s love
I obey the Risen Christ.
If I think that I am wiser
But you feel that you are right
We don’t need a fight to settle
What is black and what is white
(Boys) I don’t have to be king of the castle,
I just want to be me.
(Girls) I don’t have to be queen of the castle,
I just need the courage to be,
We’re really like the onions
With skins beneath our skin.
Each face has ways of masking
The private worlds within.
“Be The Change You Wish To See In The World” — Mahatma Gandhiread more
to acknowledge faith
Ride on: ride on in majesty;
The palms affirm with certainty
Their claim – you are Messiah King.
The crowds join in and loudly sing.
The shocking thing about the story of Jesus is that it turns common wisdom on its head.read more
Some of the articles in last month’s exploration of sacred community lamented the difficulty in creating a community where one is supported and valued for who one is, where one can be vulnerable and real. Some had encountered such communities, usually when a group faced real issues together over a period of time. Usually the creation of such a community seemed just to happen. It was not planned. It raises the question of what, if anything, spiritual communities and groups can do to break down barriers between individuals and provide a place where participants can create a closer connection.read more
Welcome! One thing is for certain. We are all welcome. This is the Jesus way. He called people to him; he asked people to come to him; he welcomed them; he got cranky with his disciples when they tried to prevent anyone, anyone at all coming to him. He ate with outcasts, those despised; he befriended tax collectors, those regarded as thieves; he encouraged children, usually ignored in adult community, to sit on his knees; he had meals with the elite and the riffraff; he conversed publicly with women although that was taboo; unlike the religious leaders of his day, he sought the company of all kinds and types of people, to affirm them, to challenge them, to call them to an abundant way of life. So we are all welcome. This is the Jesus way.read more
CLEAR is what I want to feel and be when it comes to something that means as much to me as FAITH. I want to be at peace with what I believe and choose to say and do, with regard to my way of living in faith. I want to own it whole-heartedly. I don’t want to apologize or make excuses for beliefs that don’t make sense, saying things like, “You just have to take that in faith. Someday it will make sense to me, even if it doesn’t now. God’s ways are not our ways.” With Clear Faith, I am at peace.read more
The traditional Christian church with its traditional message and image is becoming increasingly irrelevant. It happened in Europe a long time ago, and is happening now in the US. More and more people who try to do good identify themselves as secular humanists rather than Christians. More and more Christians identify themselves as progressives for whom the traditional gospel story is meaningless. It really is time to rethink and reform how we understand both church and world.read more