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Doubt

Concrete certainty
solidifies
fluid possibility
and stultifies
natural evolution

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Topics: Belief and Worship & Liturgy. 8 Points: Point 4: Act As We Believe. Seasons & Special Events: All Seasons. Resource Types: Poetry and Readings.

The Soul of the Psalms: from ashes to alleluias

Structured for Lent, but practical for any time of the year, this new resource examines the lament psalms for their connections to contemporary experiences. The introduction acquaints the reader with Dr. Walter Brueggemann’s analysis of the psalms into the categories of orientation, disorientation, and reorientation. A contemporary psalm/poem for each entry discerns the emotional tenor of the psalms and makes it relevant for the challenges of contemporary life and relationships.

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Topics: Fiction and Poetry, Spiritual Exploration & Practice, and Theology & Religious Education. 8 Points: Point 5: Non-Dogmatic Searchers. Seasons & Special Events: All Seasons and Lent. Ages: Adult. Texts: Psalms. Rituals: Lent. Resource Types: Books, Poetry, and Readings.

One Breath, V.2

One breath; one breath at time.
A breath-on-breath is all we get,
and you cannot take it with you

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Topics: New Thought/New Age, Spiritual Exploration & Practice, and Worship & Liturgy. Seasons & Special Events: All Seasons. Resource Types: Readings.

Keep the Channel Open

Written by Martha Graham

There is a vitality, a life force, a quickening
That is translated through you into action,
And because there is only one of you in all time,
This expression is unique.

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Jim Burklo’s Book of Common Prayer- Liturgical Elements

We are here to praise and enjoy God with body and soul, mind and heart, with song and word, with hands and feet.
We are here to give because of the abundance God has given us, to share with each other, and to receive, because God has created us to depend on each other.
We are here to celebrate the differences that otherwise might divide us: differences of age, of body, of culture, of opinion, of ability, of religious conviction.
We are here to put things in perspective: to celebrate what matters, to laugh about things we take too seriously, to cry about things that truly touch our hearts.
So may it be this morning: Amen!

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Ritual in Sacred Community: Reclaiming Eucharist

The central focus for Christian liturgy is the ritual Eucharist. Traditionally Eucharist (which means “thanksgiving”) has reenacted the last meal Jesus ate with his followers before the blood sacrifice of his execution at the hands of the Romans, but with the dogmatic interpretation that Jesus died to save sinners from hell in the next life. Twenty-first century progressive Christians are concerned more with living a life of justice-compassion here and now (as Jesus taught) than reconciling with a god that demands blood sacrifice in exchange for a carefree afterlife. What is required is to act with justice-compassion in radical abandonment of self-interest. Suppose that instead of terrorizing ourselves with the Advent of violent judgment, we were to celebrate the Advent of the Christ consciousness; instead of a Eucharist mourning the personal holocaust of Jesus’s death, a Eucharist of Ordination, in which we recommit ourselves to the great work of distributive justice-compassion? We have the power, at any moment, to transform the way we live our lives. We can choose not to participate in the retributive system of imperial war and systemic injustice. We can step into the kind of ongoing parallel universe of God’s justice-compassion at any moment. We can change our consciousness, change the paradigm in which we live, whenever we have the will to do so. Jesus is not coming again. We are; and when the rare opportunity presents itself, we can break the alabaster jar in remembrance of her.

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A Parable

The kingdom of God is like the leader of a mainline religious institution who needed to hire new clergy to minister to his congregations.

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Corporate Worship

My understanding of the flow of worship is that it is a four act drama beginning with a “gathering” and ending with a “send-out”. The four acts of worship between the gathering and send-out are: 1) CONFESSION; 2) PRAISE; 3) DEDICATION; and 4) COMMITMENT.

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Ghost Ranch NM

Written May 13, 1991

Each tuft of desert grass
God gives a separate place
Profligate with space
That pilgrim feet may pass.

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Topics: Fiction and Poetry, Social & Environmental Ministry, and Worship & Liturgy. 8 Points: Point 7: Integrity of the Earth. Seasons & Special Events: Earth Day. Resource Types: Poetry and Readings.

Living for a Change

Each river, mountain, flower and tree
Are part of life’s rich tapestry
All sharing in our joyous celebration
But nature we can never own
The earth is only ours on loan

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Topics: Social & Environmental Ministry and Worship & Liturgy. 8 Points: Point 7: Integrity of the Earth. Seasons & Special Events: Earth Day. Resource Types: Prayers and Readings.

The “Faith” in Clear Faith

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.

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“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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Good Friday Words

“My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” The quintessential cry of despair, when all hope is lost.

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Topics: Worship & Liturgy. Seasons & Special Events: Holy Week and Lent. Texts: Mark. Resource Types: Readings and Spiritual Journey Reflections.

Crucifixion

A poem by Anna Akhmatova (1889-1966)

“Weep not for Me, Mother, 

in the grave I have life.”

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Topics: Devotional, Fiction and Poetry, and Worship & Liturgy. Seasons & Special Events: Holy Week and Lent. Resource Types: Poetry and Readings.

Wage Peace!

Wage peace!
to acknowledge faith
declare love
confess failure
expose injustice
admit mistakes

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Topics: Peace and Justice and Worship & Liturgy. 8 Points: Point 4: Act As We Believe and Point 6: Peace and Justice. Seasons & Special Events: All Seasons. Resource Types: Affirmations, Poetry, and Readings.

Hosanna in the Highest

The shocking thing about the story of Jesus is that it turns common wisdom on its head.

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