How do you see the Holy Family? What do they look like? “Ordinary”?—what does that mean? Iconic? A nativity scene or an artist’s impression? Surrounded by shepherds and angels and animals, or isolated and on the run from Herod—or from dubious family members still unsure of Joseph’s wisdom in marrying Mary? Perhaps you see a pageant—a filmstrip of images one after the other, screening numerous family scenes and mythologies and narratives. Hold them in your mind’s eye…read more
Young adults are already a part of a re-visioning of Christianity that is translating what it means to follow Jesus in today’s world – so help them Dream, Think, Be, and Do with all their heart, soul, strength, and mind!
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The book stirred my blood. It inspired me to work harder to change history, not just lament current repetitions of old, bad patterns.read more
Perhaps being a souljourner requires the same willingness to look foolish that is required in order to learn a language. I remember the crazy stuff I said when I was studying Spanish in Mexico years ago. I certainly embarrassed myself – and turned others beet-red a time or two, as well. But as long as I showed humility and a willingness to get it right the next time, people seemed to cut me lots of slack. Perhaps the most important ingredients in etiquette are genuine openness, curiosity, and an attitude, if not yet a correct appearance, of respect.read more
We worked all day. Dad and Rachel were on one team, Father Crespi and I were on another, refilling tanks, cleaning up trash around them, and placing new ones. Five new blue flags, marking the new tanks, waved defiantly against the demon of thirst, and fluttered in the breeze over the desert at sundown that evening. The crew enjoyed a dinner at Rachel’s house prepared by the Women’s Society of the Federated Church.read more
An excerpt from SOULJOURN, my new novel (Chapter 6): I went home, said goodnight to Dad, and went to bed. The moonlight bathed my bedroom. The silence seemed to beg to be filled. I opened the bedroom …read more
Updrafts from the Rio Grande Valley pounded a white anvil against the stratosphere as the jet moaned over New Mexico while I looked out the window. I’d just finished reading the letters of Everett Ruess (in “A …read more
The presence of God unfolds in minds
Exploring mystery’s haze.
Yes, God is found within the minds
That search for wisdom’s ways.
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
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