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Ryan Bell’s Year Without God

I thought I’d pretty well covered the territory in a “musing” I wrote a few years ago called “The Varieties of God”, a listing of the many alternatives along the spectrum between traditional theism and atheism. But Ryan Bell has added a new one: provisional atheism. Godlessness for the time being. He’s gone public with this status, and I intend to follow his “Year Without God” blog to see how it goes for him.

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Topics: Atheism, Emerging/Emergent Church, and Theology & Religious Education. 8 Points: Point 3: Inclusive Community and Point 5: Non-Dogmatic Searchers. Seasons & Special Events: Easter and Lent. Ages: Adult, Teen, and Young Adult. Rituals: Lent. Resource Types: Articles and Meditations.

“I Am…” – A Reflection for Holy Week

Being a child of God – for Jesus and for the rest of us – is a poetic way of describing our direct, personal engagement with Ultimate Reality. It is an artful expression of ourselves as physically integrated with the divine essence of the cosmos. Being the son or daughter of God does not mean that any of us can leap off the cross in a single bound.

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Easter Meditation

From Jim Burklo’s musings of April 2011

Close your eye and relax.
It’s dark. It’s silent. You are limp, unmoving.
You were defeated, destroyed, ruined: crucified, dead, then buried.

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Topics: Devotional and Worship & Liturgy. Seasons & Special Events: Easter. Resource Types: Meditations.

Beyond Debate: Science, Religion, and Fear

Recently there was a debate at the Creation Museum in Kentucky between its founder, Ken Ham, and Bill Nye, the “Science Guy”. If anything resembling scientific evidence mattered to people watching it, they would have been persuaded easily by the Science Guy’s arguments. But even Nye implicitly understood that, for many in the audience, the debate wasn’t about facts.

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We Need a Site

But what our guide told us next has stayed in my memory for the almost twenty years since my visit. With a shrug of his shoulders he explained, “Well, we need a site. An important event—we need to have a site. Do we know exactly where it happened? No. But we must have a site so that we can remember.”

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Message in a Bottle

A message in a bottle
In an ocean swirled with trash
Would there be someone to read it
If the ecosystem crashed?

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An Exhalation on Ministry

It’s always ourselves we find in the sea. We find that Self, quite often, by unfinding. By recognizing what is not who we really are. When you go to the beach, you have to leave a lot behind. Half the fun of it is reducing your belongings to what fits in a wicker basket, and wearing as little clothing as possible. And when you get into the water, there’s no carrying the wicker basket. Or even the flip-flops. Is this not the work of ministry – the work of pastoring? To teach people to swim – to move freely and joyfully in the waters of the soul, unburdened by all the baggage of habit and culture. To help people shed their assumptions, drop their dead dogma on the sand, and soak up the sun of love and peace and total acceptance?

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Creed for January 2013

I believe in God.

(Except when I don’t.)

When others tell me who God is,
I’m believing not so much.

When I kiss my daughters goodnight,
my belief is overwhelming.

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22 Ways to Feel Welcome on the Path of Practice

Whether you are affiliated with one of the world’s religions or are more comfortable with a free-floating spirituality, whether you are conservative or liberal, experienced or just beginning, there is room for you on the common ground of practice. A chief characteristic of the path of practice is its inclusivity. Everyone belongs.

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God in the Belly

Full of God, full to birthing,
Mary howls: head back, hair tossed,
Hands skyward with joy
That wrongs are about to be righted,
Salvation’s about to be sighted.

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Topics: Fiction and Poetry. 8 Points: Point 6: Peace and Justice. Seasons & Special Events: Christmas. Ages: Adult, Teen, and Young Adult. Texts: Luke. Prayers: Invocation. Resource Types: Meditations and Spiritual Journey Reflections.

Blessing for Advent – Celestial Brightness

Follow a star that’s twinkling with courage,
blazing with possibility
to the space, the essence that is God.

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Advent Prayer

We crouch with Mary on the straw of our messy lives
letting go of everything but this moment.

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Answers for Lukas

My “musing” a few weeks ago focused on a 7-year old boy’s question:  “What ideas do you have about how to stop the mean people?”  Since seeing his question on a poster he made and placed on …

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Stations of the Cross for Progressive Christians: Grow in Love as You Journey with Christ

A Lenten tradition in Western Christianity is to meditate upon the journey Christ took to Calvary. These stations or steps are found both in the Scriptures and in the traditions and legends of catholic Christianity. For many this practice is used to participate in the suffering and sacrifice endured by Christ. I encourage you to also take up this journey seeing within each station a calling for the modern, progressive Christian to grow in the ways and love of God. Meditate upon each station considering the questions or thoughts presented with a Scriptural verse to ponder and a brief prayer of the heart. In John 15:12 Jesus tells us, “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.” Only by walking with Christ and seeing just how much he truly loved everyone can we begin to love others in the same fashion.

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I Am

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 am…
said Jesus.

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Prologue: Before is Now

Before the Beginning,
Being,
The Egg,
Simply, infinitely being,
Unimpeded, and
Bang!
The Word.

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