I Came From Joy! is a beautifully conceived, non-sectarian tool for developing a child’s inner, spiritual life–ideal for parents, teachers, youth group leaders, and religious educators. Written for children age 5-11, but adaptable for all ages, I Came From Joy! offers fun and uplifting exercises that teach children values such as kindness, love, concentration, happiness, discrimination, sharing, patience, security, and how to be a success.read more
“Voting is irrational.” This jarring statement comes from Paul Woodruff, professor of philosophy at the University of Texas in Austin, in his wise book, REVERENCE: Renewing a Forgotten Virtue. Paul came to USC a few months ago, hosted by my office, to give a series of talks. He’s a person who emanates the virtue that he teaches, speaking with a calm, reflective demeanor. Woodruff posits that unless we understand voting as a ritual, we’ll miss the point of it, and continue to see a decline in voter participation.read more
- a book of poems by Gretta Vosper As I review my involvement in the progressive Christian movement over the last decade and a half, I face a seeming contradiction. On the one hand, I’m amazed that …read more
I am, said God to Moses from the burning bush. I am the light of the world… I am the way… I am the gate… I am the vine… I am the bread… Before Abraham was, I …read more
May the sacred spirit of life’s adventure
Keep me safe when I feel afraid
Make me steadfast when I am sad
Why may the majority of scholars be right, that the Bible is not a reliable book of history, although much of its historical sections are indeed based on actual events and real places in the larger picture?read more
We are one with the creatures,
One with the plants,
One with the life of Earth.
It was never fully hidden but now, for sure, the tendency of religious institutions to quash doubt and keep it under wraps has succumbed to an end-around play. People can connect cross-country and around the world, and do so anonymously if they want! This is a big, big help to many. It is only one expression of a broad and accelerating shift in the way religion and spiritual life are viewed and practiced.read more
The battle for growth is not just conceptual or “spiritual.” It is also practical – monetary, social, interpersonal, etc. “Culture wars” and the growth boundaries they often represent, are not separate from practical issues like making a living and social relationships but are intertwined with them. It is similar with religious and other belief systems.read more
“In this powerful and provocative book, Jim Burklo brings to life the faces of those whom we so easily marginalize, and in the process redefines the spiritual life.” Retired Episcopal Bishop John Shelby Spong, author of Re-Claiming the Bible for a Non-Religious Worldread more
If the new “Papa Francisco” (has a nice ring, huh?) can inspire us all, Catholic or not, to greater dedication to the Gospel of Jesus he will have bolstered our faith (in God and/or humanity) and created a better world. (In this I think the non-religious can be included as well, if they are willing…. I’m not at all far from them myself.)read more
This past week, I’ve engaged in a couple of intense conversations about manhood in America. A lovely, thoughtful young friend of our family, age 25, was lamenting that she could not find men her age who were …read more
I believe there is great value in gaining some understanding of the leading developmental stage theories, and particularly how they relate to one another. This can be valuable for use for oneself as well as it is, often highly so, for working with other people who may have less insight into themselves and less knowledge of either social science findings or spiritual development than you or other “people helpers” do.read more
Sadly, some people do stop thinking in terms of their growth except as it relates to occupational skills or promotions perhaps. But I think most people are quite aware of their need for ongoing growth throughout life. Are there, then, some meaningful markers to see how we are doing? Can such markers be used by scholars or “people helpers” who want to size up anyone from individuals to entire societies in terms of development?read more
Children ~ This first Sunday of Lent, we give up the idea that we have no voice.read more
The recent mass murder of children in a Connecticut school has resulted in at least some redemption, in the form of the current effort by the President to introduce sensible gun laws. Banning assault weapons and imposing …read more
Lend your ears, lend your hands,
Lend your movement, anything you can.
Come to teach, come to be taught.
Come in the likeness in the image of God.
Cause, you can be like that.
With all that humbleness, and all that respect.
The Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life has just released an interesting report on religious groups around the world. It is a compilation that is ”… based on analysis of more than 2,500 censuses, surveys and population registers…” covering …read more