Monthly eBulletin – Transformational Series, Part 1- Personal Transformation

Although radical transformation takes time and practice, stepping out of suffering and pain and opening ourselves to all that is possible in this human experience does not have to be a lifetime challenge. Transformation can actually happen in the space of one moment.

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O Sapientia — Wisdom’s Feast

The butterfly lives in a seamless realm, a matrix, poetically in the palm of God/dess’s hand, not alien or estranged. Is it possible for us to find that kind of confidence, or trust in the nature of the Universe itself? Let’s take a moment or two to think about Wisdom, and our place in the Universe. What kind of liturgy, or worship experience, would celebrate the kind of inclusive, nurturing community the butterfly knows without thinking about it?

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The “End Times” Scenario

Creation through God, the Divine Force — humans look to the facts
As I write this, even as you read it — those are certain human acts

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Word Jazz

To be recited with the accompaniment of a saxophone

In the beginning is the Word
W-O-R-D
And the Word is with God
And the Word is God
And the Word is the bird
That Jesus talked about

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Worship Materials: Transfiguration

From the Festive Worship collection

THEME The Vision that Transforms
THOUGHTS FOR REFLECTION
1. To see Christ in another human being is illumination. To see Christ in all human beings is transfiguration.

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Michael Beckwith – The Answer Is You

Visionary teacher Michael Bernard Beckwith delves deep into practical methods for manifesting prosperity and health, living a rich and fulfilling life, understanding universal laws and gaining greater self-awareness, courage, and self-reliance.

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Time to Talk about Trinity, Monotheism and Panentheism

Jesus Seminar scholars (Marcus Borg, Karen Armstrong, John Spong) talk about the panentheism beyond traditional monotheistic faith. We can love and cherish the concepts of trinity, atonement, substitutionary faith without taking them literally. God is too big for any one religion.

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Bishop John Spong on the Bible as a Source of Truth

Bishop John Spong’s provocative book is “The Sins of Scripture.” In it, Bishop Spong deplores the way the bible has been used to justify most of the world’s evils; from gender inequality, homosexuality and child abuse, to capital punishment, the environment, and birth control. In the interview, he discusses the rise of muslim fundamentalism and laments that congregations at mainstream churches are in freefall.

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Pivotal Questions for the Consciousness Movement

Originally brain-stormed by and created for the Generation NOW Meeting in 2009. This video can be used as a tool for deep inquiry and discussion.

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God Is the Rock

From the Boundless Life collection

God is the rock of mystic presence,
Christ is the rock that points the way,
Earth is the rock that births our life-force ,
Flesh is the rock where lovers play.

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Through the star-filled realms of evening

From the Boundless Life collection

Through the star filled realms of evening
Shines heavenly light.
Daylight gifts a space for working,
Rest comes with night.

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Baptism Service

Written by Wayne Fraser

God’s Love
 Priest: Dear friends, God is love. We love because God first loved us and in baptism we respond to that love.

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Life to the Full

In being baptised by John, Jesus recognised that a new phase of his life was beginning. John was also publicly acknowledging that a new abundant phase of life for the world was also beginning

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Worship Materials: The Baptism of Jesus

THEME: Awareness of Divinity –
Access to our Inner Well.
Immersion in water –
Immersion in the Earth’s life.

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Seven Things We Forget When Our Resolutions Fail

Our resolutions fail around the sixth day of January—or maybe the fifteenth if we’re really disciplined and really imaginative and really motivated—not because our inner child/artist/ is injured, or because we don’t actually want to change.

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Transforming our Lives

The New Year is as good a time as any to work on the transformation of our lives. And isn’t that what life is really all about – transformation. We all go through the usual transformations from being a child, to a teenager, a young adult, a mature middle aged person, and then to become life’s senior citizens.

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Eric Alexander Interviews Hemant Mehta About Similarities and Differences Between Atheists and Progressive Christians

Hemant Mehta is one of the most well-known atheist bloggers (The Friendly Atheist) in America.

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Transformation by Touch – Reiki Healing Touch as a Spiritual Practice

The body is inspired, and the spirit is embodied. That affirmation describes the heart of today’s holistic spirituality. Long before dualism infected Christianity, the Christian movement believed in the healing energy of touch. Jesus touched people and transformed cells as well as souls and social position. A woman with a flow of blood touched Jesus, and energy flowed from Jesus to her that transformed her physical and spiritual health, and liberated her from social stigma. (Mark 5:24-34) A few decades later, the apostle Paul described the body as the temple of the Holy Spirit, alive, holy, and transparent to divine inspiration. (1 Corinthians 6:12-20) The Christian movement saw the flow of divine energy from God to us and from one person to another as inherent in the natural processes of cause and effect, and not an external supernatural violation of the laws of nature. The early Christians believed that we lived in wonderful world and that the body was spirit-filled and reflective of divine wisdom.

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Eve, Adam, and Self Transformation

The theme for this month’s e-bulletin is transforming our lives. Probably the most famous statement of self transformation in western culture is the Yahwist narrative of Eve and Adam in the Garden of Eden. The story describes what we might call a negative transformation- the pair “fell” from a state of childlike innocence and were banished from paradise. Understanding that transformation, however, can help us to reverse it. Here’s the story.

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Transformation

Jesus called on people to change. Not just a little, but dramatically. The ‘kingdom of God’ is the term Jesus used to express his vision of a profound transformation of human beings and human institutions—social, political, economic and religious—to fully express the character and nature of God—a God of love. To accomplish this vision, Jesus worked toward the creation of a new kind of community dedicated to values of compassion, generosity, peace, and justice. He was creating a movement for change, a people engaged in a vast conspiracy of love.

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The Need to Transform

I find it fascinating that an institution which at its very core is about transformation, does all it can to resist change. Ironically from its earliest manifestations, the Christian path has always been about transformation. The Jesus story is first and foremost about changing our perspective, our purpose and ultimately our lives. What else but transformation could the story of a poor peasant who becomes a respected rabbi, a teacher of a new way of living, mean? How else can we interpret the intent of Jesus’ actual teachings like breaking down social barriers, forgiving our enemies and loving abundantly without qualifications than with steps to an inner and social transformation? What could being spiritually born again mean other than transformation? What does the symbol of resurrection mean other than transformation?

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The Bible as Personal Transformation Guide

The Bible is, in my mind, the best witness the Western World had to the evolution of human consciousness. That is a story in itself – I’m working on the book. However, what is true on the grand scale of one tradition’s journey toward wholeness is also true as a map for our personal growth. We can see the ages and stages of our own lives against the background of the biblical story. I will touch on some main points.

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Jesus: Uncovering the Life, Teachings, and Relevance of a Religious Revolutionary

The focus of this book is to tell the story of Jesus that is “persuasive, compelling, inviting – and challenging” so that we can see his relevance today as the person in whom we see God’s character and passion.

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The Future is Calling Us to Greatness

A worldwide movement is emerging at the nexus of science, inspiration, and sustainability. Beliefs are secondary. What unites us is a pool of shared values and commitments—and the vision of a just and healthy future for humanity and the larger body of life. This historic series of 30-60 minute Skype interviews showcases the work of many of today’s leaders and luminaries regarding what to expect in the decades ahead, what’s being done—what still needs to be done—and how to be in action despite enormous challenges. These 55 experts represent a veritable Who’s Who of prophetic inspiration.

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Honoring Dr. Marcus Borg

We are sad to share that Marcus Borg passed away on January 21, 2015. He was a brave leader in the Progressive Christian movement and his work helped many people on their spiritual journey. He was an honorary advisor for ProgressiveChristianity.org for over 15 years, a dear friend and respected colleague. He will be greatly missed. Our loving thoughts and condolences go out to his friends, fans, and family. To honor his life and service to the movement, we created a short and simple tribute.

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“Kill your own child” God seemed to say (Abraham and Isaac)

From the Boundless Life collection

“Kill your own child” God seemed to say with firmness,
“For children satisfy a god’s desire.”
So Abraham brought Isaac in obedience
To sacrifice upon the altar’s fire.

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As Swimmers Dare

A poem by Denise Levertov

One of Marcus Borg’s favorite examples of how poetry enriches liturgy:

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Marcus J. Borg Quotes

Rather, the way of Jesus is the way of death and resurrection — the path of transition and transformation from an old way of being to a new way of being. To use the language of incarnation that is so central to John, Jesus incarnates the way. Incarnation means embodiment. Jesus is what the way embodied in a human life looks like.”

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Memorial to a Beloved Advisor, and Friend – Marcus Borg

Marcus became one of our most active Honorary Advisors, making suggestions and contributions over the years. We ended up several times at the same conferences and we usually found time to catch up on things from books to family. He never hesitated to let me know when he felt we had published something that was incorrect or with which he disagreed. We always appreciated his input. Marcus and I did have an ongoing, energetic conversation about the role of reciting ancient creeds which made statements we no longer believed, but we finally managed to agree to disagree. Those things are easy when you respect and love someone.

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The cup of our living

From the Boundless Life collection

The cup of our living flows over its rim
And minds have no room for the fresh or the new,
For minds that are sated have stopped in their tracks
And ceased to be open to God’s widening view.

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Behind the world of images

From the Boundless Life collection

Behind the world of images
There’s nothing we can see.
Behind the realm of sound and word
There’s nothing we can hear.

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Marcus Borg on Christianity

“Christianity’s goal is not to escape from this world. It loves this world and seeks to change it for the better.” ~Marcus Borg

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Let Opposites All Share

From the Boundless Life collection

Let opposites all share a common space,
The inner and the outer be as one;
Each mind reflect life’s interweaving grace
And hearts all find God’s presence deep within.

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Some Assembly Required: A Church Without God

I thoroughly enjoyed the Sunday Assembly. Clearly it addresses a felt need of many people for a community without religious content. I sensed that some folks were there in reaction against religion, but it looked like most were just looking for a wholesome community with which to connect.

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Within, between and far beyond

From the Boundless Life collection

Within, between and far beyond
Form journeys of the pilgrim way
Exploring myst’ry’s sacred realms,
Entwining darkness with the day.

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Spirit of All Freedom

From the Boundless Life collection

Spirit of all freedom,
Mystery unconfined,
Breaking bondage,
Freeing mind,
Life-force we embrace.

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