Testimonials from Friends of Progressive Christianity
On this page are some quotes and testimonials from people all over the world who consider themselves part of the ProgressiveChristianity.org community. If you’re wondering Why we do what we do, here are some examples of what continues to motivate us to bring to the world an inclusive, just, informed, compassionate, loving Christianity.
Don’t you think Jesus would be horrified with what much of the world has done with his message of love? We hope to remind people and inform people what his true message was. He stood up against exclusion, tyranny, violence, and hate. So do we. He stood for compassion, peaceful protest, inner-wisdom, God in All, and boundary-less community. So do we. Thank you for supporting our mission as we support your evolving faith.
Fall and Winter 2013
“Thanks so much for all your efforts in helping to make Christianity a way for even thinking people to pursue their spiritual journeys. Your material is insightful, thought-provoking and inspiring. Keep up the good work.” ~Bruce
“My name is Tony Russell and I am a cohost on FITZ in The Morning and a former full-time pastor. I have been on quite the spiritual journey for sometime, and it has lead me to your website. For the first time in my life I feel like there is a “label” that describes my belief system, which is a progressive Christian.”
“I love your site and all of John Spong’s writings. They have affected my ministry greatly. Working on establishing truly progressive Eucharistic community here in Bloomington.”~Fr. Daniel
“So thankful for your emails. So glad there are others who belong to the new consciousness. Peace.” ~Ellen
“Thank you for the work you do and for offering an alternative view of Christianity.” ~Jerry
“I love what you guys are doing!” ~Linda
“Thank you for the work you do and for offering an alternative view of Christianity.” ~Martha
“You are a point of sanity in this chaotic world. Thank you!” ~Linda
“Congratulations on all the amazing things you are doing and achieving! I love the Joyful Path curriculum!” ~Diana
“Keep up your awesome work!” ~Anne
“Love your facebook!” ~Todd
“You’re the good ones!” ~Barbara
“My church, Church of the Good Shepherd, in Albuquerque is using one of your children’s curricula this year. I’ve got to check if my church is listed as a global member; if not, I’m bugging them ” ~ Helen
“I love supporting your important work.” ~Lila
“Keep up the good work!” ~Candace
“I appreciate you guys!” ~Karen
“I love Bishop Spong and all his works!!!” ~Dorothea
First of all, I wish to thank you with all my heart. Through your site, we were able to find a perfect match for our posting for Senior Pastor of Emmanuel Lutheran Church in Rockford, Illinois. We are all truly grateful for your website. Thank you again so very much. ~Karen
“At 94 years of age I am more interest in God and his “INFINITE PRESENCE.” We see His presence if we just take time to look around at His creation. It exists everywhere from the farthest star to the least atomic partical. What kind of a mind could design such a complex environment and life itself. It is beyond my comprehension. Thank you for what you do Fred. It is so important.” ~Robert
“Just a note to say how delighted I am to have discovered your inspirational website today. I am a 71-year-old retired Christian pastor from a conservative denomination. Since my retirement I have become strongly attracted to alternative spiritual paths, especially Wicca, that revere nature and strive for peace and love of the environment. I am especially happy to have learned that deity has a feminine aspect, and I feel very liberated and uplifted intellectually and emotionally, as well as spiritually, by that knowledge. I am happy to have discovered you. You seem to have grasped the truth that the teachings of Jesus can inspire us not only to have a deep respect for other people’s religious traditions, but to actually incorporate many aspects of those religious traditions into our own spiritual life. I am, of course, still a novice in my understanding of the wonderful alternative spiritual paths that I never really acknowledged before. I think that your website can be of great help to me. Thank you and blessings on your ministry.” ~Rev. Roger
“When I came across your website, I was moved to tears. What I read deeply resonated with me. I thought I had to leave Christianity because I was so disillusioned with my faith, but coming across likeminded people has marked a turning point in my life. THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU! Keep spreading the message! X” ~Katherine
“I thought that I was “one of a kind” until I discovered that I was a Progressive Christian and didn’t even know that my thoughts and beliefs had a name.” ~Hoyt
“Aloha, Fred, Deshna,and the rest of the wonderful staff at ProgressiveChristianity.org -
Wow, what a year it has been! The organization’s updated website, the continued development of the children’s curriculum, Fred and Deshna’s visit and conference this past March, and Fred being skyped in to our interfaith open table meeting on progressive Christianity this past October — that is what I have participated in or observed you all doing — what I and others do not see are the thousands of total hours that all of you have devoted to this important cause, which I think I can say on behalf of all who are also on this email (all on here are very theologically progressive and interfaith-affirming and have participated in the progressive Christianity dialogue this year) that we truly appreciate all of the work you have done over the years, and will continue to do. I was very encouraged when Fred shared that the number of Internet hits to the website seem to be growing in numbers every day, and that more people are discovering an expression of walking a path with Jesus in a manner that is much more spiritually healthy and affirming to all and not just a self-selected few. Mahalo plenty for your fine work.” ~Lisa
ON THE LAUNCH OF PROGRESSIVE CHRISTIANITY.ORG
At the appropriate time and place, since I cannot be there in person, would you please impress upon everyone who worked so tirelessly on the new website my profound gratitude and admiration. Many years ago, when the opportunity to become affiliated with TCPC first presented itself I had no idea of the great heights to which this amazing group of people could take this cause. The new website will be a legacy of love from this small, impassioned, and brilliant team to countless, hopeful seekers clinging to spiritualities that become more and more difficult to frame in an age of modernity. This new, virtual “Center” for progressive Christianity throws open windows to sunlight and breeze for many trapped in the stuffy confines of religions that won’t breath. Everyday, long after the fanfare of this launch, lives will be changed, hearts will be lightened, and hopes will be saved not merely by the functionality of the site but by the expression of care and leadership of those that dedicated this portion of their lives to making it happen. The highest tribute I can pay is to say that I am jealous of the pride you should feel in knowing that you are changing the world! Yours truly with highest and warmest regards, Dan Donoghue
I am still exploring the site and finding new and wonderful elements that I had heard discussed only to stumble into them and pausing with amazement. Wow, I had no idea it would look like that… jeez that’s clean… ohhhhh that’s a good idea… and on and on. You should all be very proud of what you have achieved. After hearing Pedro describe the meticulous work that was facing you all, it is amazing that such a beautiful site has rolled out rather than the boys in white jackets rolling in and hauling you all off to the asylum. We are grateful for all your work. It shows….Dan Senter
I’ve been waiting with growing excitement, and you have met every possible expectation. You have produced an incredible new tool that I will be proud, proud, proud to send to our new bishop here, as well as to every friend I can think of. I’m having a great time playing with it and trying it out. And, while we are celebrating, I’d like to celebrate all that you do day in and day out where you bring both your high professionalism and your energy, enthusiasm, and ever welcome ideas to the cause of progressive Christianity. Knowing you are there empowers me to step forward boldly to talk about our approach to religion and spirituality in the many different circles in which I often find myself. In sum, THANK YOU. Janice
Having watched each of the iterations of our website over the last 15 years I must say that this is not an advance from one generation to the next in a linear fashion. This is indeed a quantum leap ahead and will serve us for many generations to come! Congrats, Madison Shockley
Huge congratulations on getting the website up! Having done many of these projects before, I know “the devil is in the details” and it’s always worse than you think!!! But you did a great job and we’re off to the races now. But the most important part of this project to me is that we’ve somehow managed to balance the needs of our older, original constituency (the folks for whom church is still a viable structure, and who are making changes within that structure) and our younger, newer constituency (for whom spirituality is encountered in non-church structures). All of Christianity seems to be in flux right now — and everyone has an opinion about where it’s headed — so to create something new without completely abandoning the old is a major contribution to navigating the transition. Blessings on all your hard work and vision, Polly
“I just recently found your website and am grateful you exist”~Kisaye
“I just wanted to tell you I loved your article “Will The Real Progressive Christians Please Speak Up?” I am a Unity Minister and we as a movement are also progressive New Thought Metaphysical Christian. Thanks for being there and helping to connect the thinkers.” ~Rev. Joanne
“Just this morning, I’ve visited the website for Progressive Christianity after listening to an online speech by Bishop Spong. I was very impressed by the contents of his speech and am equally impressed by the contents of your website, especially by the 8 points with which I find myself in total agreement.” ~R. E. Markham
“Thank you for your help. I highly value ProgressiveChristianity.Org. Thanks for all the good you do!” ~Allen
“Thank you for your remarkable ministry to, with, and for all of us who wander on God’s precious planet…and, perhaps more importantly, for those who will wonder at those tracks in the sand…. My best!” ~Jim
“When I was full time Christian educator at FUMC I purchased Joyful Path. My SS teachers loved it as did I. I have found another great use for the material. I direct a program for cognitively impaired adults. This material, with some adjustments, works great with them. I certainly hope that you will continues producing this material.” ~Sue
“Thank you for your Christmas greetings. May your Christmas season also be filled with love, laughter, joy and light. From those of us who celebrate this season in the summer solstice where the Christmas season is the lightest and warmest of all our seasons!”~Christine, PCNet SA, South Australia
“Very excited to hear about the developments for the new website. The ideas and actions resonate with love and inclusiveness. Can’t wait to see the new site, and to become more involved.” ~Deborah, New Zealand
“Thank you for all you do. You are one of my lifelines.”~Bruce
“Some feedback about how “A Joyful Path” has been working thus far at the Eliot Church in Year one- great! The activities have been experiential, holistic, centering, diverse, and age-appropriate. The stories are great, and the activities deep and meaningful to our children. What a gift to finally have a curriculum for youth that finally resonates fully with the adults teaching it! Thanks so much for your hard work in making this curriculum available.” ~Matt
“I’m a former fundamentalist (Missionary Baptist) pastor. I left the pastorate and organized fundamentalism in 2000 and have been out of church since that time. I now know what I’m looking for and I think this resource will help me find it. Thanks for the site.”
“I just joined this group and am very pleased that I have done so. I have been looking for this type of group for quite a while. Finally I can communicate with folks who may be having similar experiences as me – born and raised in a “traditional” Baptist Church but questioning some of those traditions and trying to reconcile the actual events occurring and the cultural realities of modern society with the traditions and interpretations of scripture.”
“Fred, your article in the latest online journal was poignant and frightening and inspiring. It brought tears to my eyes. Thank you.” ~David
“Fred, I really enjoyed “How Far Do We Go.” the “going” has been a bit rough these last few years, and you gave me strength.” ~Candace
“Fred, Thanks for a great article, and for taking up your cross where you found it!!” ~Bob
“Discovering ProgressiveChristianity.org was one of the highlights of 2010; I share your belief that Jesus is wildly misunderstood, and I’m so grateful for people like you all, who are devoted to getting the real word out.” ~Althea
“This email was one of the best Christmas presents I have ever received. So many GREAT articles, and the Creed was just the best I have ever read. Everything in the email speaks to me. I sent it to my minister, who said she would take the creed to the Worship committee! Many thanks. Keep up the good work. When will the mainline churches ever change??” ~Bobbie
Many thanks for your wonderful children’s curriculum. I’m in the process of reviewing it for the St Francis College – Roscoe Library, in Brisbane, Australia. I’m thoroughly enjoying the experience and wanted to know more of what you do! Cheers, Fiona
“Just heard from folks in my church using your new Sunday School curriculum. They love it! Not only is the theology great, but it is structured to make it easy for volunteers to use it. Congrats!” ~Tom
“As a pastor that doesn’t quite fit into the “conservative” thinking of the area in which I live, I want to thank you for giving me hope! It’s refreshing to know there are others out there that find the current state of our religion something less than desirable (to put it mildly). I look forward to reading more.” ~Rev James
“It is strange to me but seems to be true, that addressing this issues of our day, seems to be heard as “politics” which many feel is not appropriate from the pulpit or in church discussions, even for many in our quite progressive Episcopalian congregation. They are afraid some will be offended and leave the church, which has been true in a very few cases. It is interesting however that some seem to be finding their way back, after trying other venues. How, I wonder, does one get the message across that peace and justice are the church’s business, and that Jesus was very political about these issues in his time? I’m learning that to teach this I have to be very patient — and I’m not a very patient person in this matter. Thanks again for your response. I enjoy the web site and find it affirmative. Blessing and Peace” ~Christie
“Hi Fred. It was such a joy to hear your hopeful suggestions on Saturday. The progressive movement already lives in my bones so your words washed over me like healing water. The affirmation and freedom that you brought to us (who are more progressive) and who live in the midst of a conservative-fundamental, sometimes hostile environment was well received and timely. Thank you.”
From students at the Chaplaincy Institute in July re: Fred Plumers presentation:
The most valuable aspect of this class was Rev. Plumer’s presence himself. He brought excellent research with him and I appreciated the presentation of that research immensely. It dovetailed so well with all the other information we were processing from other presentations and literature.
He clearly defined the “progressive Christian” movement for us and did not sidestep the difficult questions, including mine!
Fred was delightful to listen to and be with … also a wonderful, humble, compassionate, authentic presence.
Fred was great! He clearly stated his thesis and how he is working on bringing this to church consciousness around the country. For me personally, his ideas helped to shape my nascent practicum, praise be!
Likely the most exciting class of the entire module; this man holds the fate of Christianity in his hands. What a privilege to have heard him speak!
“You have been providing those of us who have been floundering these past couple years with new energy and hope, and wonder of wonders, our small congregation is going for it.” ~Joan
“Dear Fred, Your class was amazing! Our students were delighted to cross paths with you, even for a small window of time. Progressive Christianity so resonates with the interfaith paradigm that our seminarians are exploring. Your presentation brought many threads together, all running through the fabric of your lived experience. The afternoon that we shared with you was priceless, and will have many positive ripples. Thank you!”
-Rev. Jan Thomas, Program Director, The Chaplaincy Institute
“I’ve been teaching children for many, many years. My teaching style is open, loving, flexible – a combination of many influences, Rudolf Steiner, Bev Bos, Miss Frizzle. I rarely find faith curriculum that is not condescending, stifling and controlled. I generally create my own lessons/activities, taking bits and pieces from various places. Joyful Path is different… loving, smart, uplifting, inspiring. Thank you!” ~Love and light, Jodie, Minister to Children and Families
“Dear Fred, I have been trying to re-connect with Christianity but have been thinking for about a year ‘Take him off the Cross’. So your words were like music to my ears!! I thought I couldn’t call myself a Christian. I have studied comparative religion at Sydney Uni and am aware of the origins of much of the Christian ‘myth’. I am an archaeologist and dream of one day finding original Biblical texts that can be translated straight into English. I look forward to learning more. I think 16th May was a turning point in my life. Regards” ~Linda
“Hi, I live just outside of Jerusalem, I am a progressive christian, I have searched for progressives in Israel, Egypt, Lebanon, Syria, Turkey,etc. I have not found a single one! Is there any chance that you can point me in the right direction for some fellowship with like-minded people, be they progressive Muslims, Jews, or Christians.“ Can anyone help?? Email us firstname.lastname@example.org if you can!
It is always a joy to open and read the ProgressiveChristianity.org email. This edition takes on what may well be the most emotionally charged issue our society faces, at least the society in which I am enmeshed.
“And may I say, may God continue to bless and guide ProgressiveChristianity.org for all you are doing in the world! I am so spiritually “hungry” for learning and a community, but I have come far enough in my journey that I now know it absolutely must take place in an inclusive environment. Someday, I hope to find a church or group in our area where the members feel the same — but for now, reading books and finding online resources such as yours are feeding our souls.” ~ Jessica, Pennsylvania.
“Fred, Your definition of “repent” and your closing paragraph are spot on — high points in a fine piece.” ~Tom
“My spirit literally leaped when I found your web site (it was reccomended in one of our resources). There is hope! Shalom.” ~W. Hargrave, Canada.
“Fred, A big thank you for some brilliant work in getting these talks together. We don’t really need to go to church anymore for more of the stand-up sit-down yawn yawn scratch scratch stuff that we’ve been plagued with all these years. We now have TCPC. I am so stimulated and inspired. The quest for my spiritual destiny has never more been so real. Thanks a million.” R. Halsey Spearweood, Australia
“Your newsletter (eBulletin) is like rain from heaven in an arid land.” ~J. Barton
I had a terrible experience in church on the first Sunday in Advent, (http://www.beatitudessociety.org/beatitudes-posts/122-a-tough-lesson-learned-in-church) and it threw me into a tailspin about “what and how am I teaching my kids about faith?” As a progressive christian, I was stumped about how to *translate* the 8 points and Elnes’ 13 Affirmations into something to tell kids. I wondered if there was anything out there and googling “progressive” “christian” children” “teach” (or something like that) I found news of TCPC’s Children’s Curriculum project. Hallelujah! Thanks so much. Is it available for individuals? I will suggest it to our church, as well. Thanks, S. Borrett”
“THANK YOU for this website! I live in France where I have found several liberal churches, and this is where I feel I belong. I am fond of exploring my faith, of finding more information, sermons, articles about progressive theology. I love meditating on Christian issues and on the way we comprehend God. Unfortunately, when I looked at American christian websites, I could only find a very narrow-minded Christianity, claiming that they hold the Truth, and that anybody who thought in another way, who did not share their beliefs, was wrong and was not a Christian. Such an attitude can only fuel intolerance, which I believe is in stark contrast to the message of the Gospel. So when I came across your website, what a wonderful surprise! I am delighted to see some people actually open themselves to new horizons, and do not pretend to possess the Absolute Truth. So thank you for your commitment to this website, and may your message reach the millions! Sincerely, Florian”
“I teach children at Bryant Memorial Uniting Church in Busselton Western Australia (250kms south of Perth on the coast) I am really looking forward to this curriculum. I have been struggling to develop ideas of my own with a group of primary school aged children who come from mainly very at risk backgrounds. So, I am waiting with a great deal of anticipation for this new curriculum.” ~M. Hodge (Community Minister – retired)
“Thanks so much for what you and the others at TCPC are doing to promote the cause of Progressive Christianity, and assist pastors and churches in our ongoing efforts to grow in progressive faith. Can’t wait to see the new children’s curriculum! Also, our church is in the midst of some major restructuring of organization, ministry and programs. We are using Bruce Sanguin’s book, The Emerging Church, as our primary model. Thanks a bunch, and have a Merry Christmas.” Rev. Dr. Mike Holland, Pastor, Church of the Foothills
“My child is one of about three at our tiny Episcopal church in Texas. We are enlightened but there is an abundance of dull, simplistic, vapid curriculum for children which i believe tends to alienate children. I am thrilled that you are finishing this project–the topics look absolutely dynamic.” ~E. Hodges
“I am thrilled you are developing a progressive Christian curriculum for our kids. I am currently chairing our Family Live Ministry and a program like the one you are developing would be awesome! Any information about what you are doing would be very welcome. Sincerely, A. Colby”
“Please keep me updated on the creation and availability of the inclusive children’s curriculum that you are producing. I am often lamenting that there is not enough resources out there to teach our children and youth a more progressive and open form of Christianity. Why wait until we’re adults? Thanks so much!” B. Steiner
“Someone recently called out the “emerging church” as a cult, recently in my presence on an internet forum I frequent. This person stated that people are questioning the Christian faith and attempting to “re-write” Christianity itself. I responded… do you mean the Progressive movement? Because I am a Progressive Christian, and proud of it… and I personally have no intentions of re-writing Christianity… but rather, the progressive movement for me is about getting back to what Christianity should be, at it’s core. A movement of acceptance, love, tolerance, beauty, peace, and uniqueness under God. These things are often thrown out of the Christian mainstream churches of today, in favor of intolerance, judgment, and sometimes even hate — a place where people are controlled by other people’s way of thinking. I’d call -that- a cult before anything else. I just wanted to say that I’m thankful for finding TCPC. I worship in a progressive community because of TCPC (I found my church through you), I’ve discovered I’m not alone through TCPC, and I’ve even launched a website (http://www.reclaiming-god.com/) outlining my personal beliefs (I’m not a scholar — just a woman with views that I believe matter)…. I can’t thank TCPC nearly enough for just existing. I believe Progressive Christianity is the future of the Christian faith. Long live progress, always ♥” ~A. Siemens
“Dear Friends, I wish You Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. Life is easier with liberal Christianity, It learns to think. Your supporter from Europe Poland.” Krzysztof (Christopher) Kezwon.
“The September 2009 piece (Religion and Science in Progressive Christianity) is outstanding, it’s layout, graphics and most especially the articles. Keep up the good work.” ~Alan, South Carolina
“I also have been one who asked questions about issues of faith that others could not answer. I have come to delight in the quest. It is almost as though the answer does not matter as long as I remain in the quest. Well, that is incidental to the purpose of this note. Please accept my appreciation for your opening comments in the eBulletin. I know very little about Buddhism, save reading a few books about it. You have raised some wonderful issues I believe worth my exploring further. Thank you.” ~John David
“Your article on change just made me so happy! Honestly, I’m constantly persecuted by my super conservative christian family, mostly my grandparents, for listening to certain music or being friends with gay people, they even go as far to say because of these things I can’t possibly be a Christian. But I’ve felt in my heart all this time, that I do have a personal relationship with God, but I don’t feel like to help others we should damn them. I’ve felt like a closet Christian for a while, because when you tell people your a Christian they automatically expect you to be like George Bush or to wear skirts past your knees, and only listen to Christian music. And with those expectations I’d look like a hypocrite. So recently I’ve been trying to explain to people that I’m not religious. I’m spiritual. I have a personal relationship with God, and I believe in him and all he wants us to do. We need to change this world. Not just sit back and condemn everyone. That’s ridiculous. And your article just made me feel so much better, because now I don’t feel alone. I feel like other people understand where I’m coming from, and it gives me great peace. Thank you so much!” ~Jessica -a 20 yr old college student 2/22/09
Your article on “Change ” was AWESOME! I’m 59, so I do understand how many of your seatmates found the presentation weird but, as you say, the fundamental message is that you have to meet people where they are in their journey. Fascinating. Thank you so much. ” Margie 2/20/2009
“Your organization makes a difference in the lives of people within the community and in the world. Please know that we support your mission.” ~Renaissance Unity
“For many months, I have been inspired by your site. I am so grateful to this congregation for their decision to support you. Thank you for all your hard work. May we go forward together with honesty and courage.” ~A UCC church in TN.
“Thank you for the many ways that your work has enriched our lives. Two years ago, we found a wonderful new church, because of its affiliation with TCPC. This has been an amazing blessing! We can finally be a part of a worship community where we fit.”
“After receiving your eBulletin, we felt like we had taken a shower on the inside. The printed materials from your website become exciting reading to our study groups. We have come to the point of requesting you to make a visit to our study groups. We are sure you will be great blessing to the work of TCPC Kenya.”
“Thanks for all the work you all are doing. When I first came back to the church a few years ago (after 35 years of disdaining organized Christianity) your organization gave me hope – allowed me to go forward on my journey in more peace. So thank you for all of that – as well as your most thoughtful reply.”
“TCPC has been a light in my life; I’m so glad I discovered you relatively recently. Thank you for all you do. I couldn’t make a better investment, right?”
“Finding your site has been the single most exciting discovery of the past year for me.”
“I’m a former Graduate Theological Union student who graduated from the University of Chicago Divinity School, where I worked with Martin Marty. Raised in a very conservative family, my intellectual quest set me on a course to make sense of the nexus between mind and faith; between tradition and new knowledge. I could find no one within the mainline tradition at that time who really grasped what I was talking about.”
“I appreciate your insightful articles. They have been so helpful to me as I talk with my country (rural) neighbors and friends who are confused and distressed by the disarray in their various churches’ lives. You give me gentle tools to be used to help them understand their heart beliefs and to learn to ask for what they need from their churches (they don’t always get it!). So THANK YOU! You make a difference in my life.”