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What Child Is This? The Reason For The Season

What can we learn from the Christmas story? I believe that just as Jesus seemed to be aware of the Divine Spark (or Christ) presence within him, which allowed him to love almost unreservedly and break boundaries, so too we are invited to see this Divine Spark within ourselves. God is literally with us. And isn’t this what we need in today’s world, where we see atrocities and tragedies such as the ones I listed above? If each of us were to acknowledge our inner divinity, and then recognize our neighbour’s inner divinity – regardless of their religious beliefs or non-beliefs – would we then see larger stepping stones toward global peace?

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Venture Out – with Alan Watts

If you awaken from this illusion and you understand that black implies white, self implies other, life implies death (or shall I say death implies life?), you can feel yourself – not as a stranger in the world, not as something here unprobational, not as something that has arrived here by fluke – but you can begin to feel your own existence as absolutely fundamental.

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I am greater than my thinking

From the Boundless Life collection

I am greater than my thinking
Or the follies of my heart,
I can grow in self awareness
That promotes a brand new start,

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Visioning isn’t enough

Incremental steps are where the transformed life occurs. One wholesome meal, followed by another. One time of choosing family first. One act of kindness. One act of self-restraint in the face of provocation. One assignment done carefully.

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Bishop Spong on God

True religion is, at its core, nothing more or less than a call to live fully, to love wastefully and to be all that we can be. That is finally where life’s meaning is found. All else is background music.”

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When we discern Earth’s fractured face

From the Boundless Life collection

When we discern Earth’s fractured face,
When parts diverge to form extremes,
Can joining hands suffice to build
A world fulfilling Gospel dreams?

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The Birth of Jesus – New Bishop Spong book!

While Luke’s narrative, the most detailed account of the birth of Jesus, is lyrical and inspiring, in the Birth of Jesus, Spong persuasively demonstrates it is allegory. Layer by layer, Spong weighs every element of the New Testament stories against Old Testament legends building a convincing case. Spong’s essays step backward and forward through the scriptures demonstrating why each element was chosen by the early CE writers to establish Jesus’ lineage and divinity. It is a fascinating and persuasive journey and a remarkable illustration of Biblical scholarship.

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Worship Materials: Advent

From the Festive Worship Collection

Theme: Dreamtime Reality — Season of Hope
Thoughts for Reflection
To travel hopefully is the mark of a pilgrim. To believe one has arrived is the mark of the insecure.

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O Ultimate Mystery

O Ultimate mystery,
who comes to us in many pictures,
grant that the story of Christmas may
awaken the child within us

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Did Jesus and King David know “The Secret”?

A few years back a book called The Secret took the world by storm, and it is still prominently displayed on the shelves of most bookstores today. The message of the book was to invoke the laws of attraction and intention to attain a life and circumstances that we desired. And because of its popularity I was compelled to grab a copy to see what all the hype was about. I wondered how a book could really promise those kinds of results, and why so many people were swearing by its results. And then it hit me that the best selling book of all time really isn’t all that different. And this got me to wondering if Jesus and King David may have been teaching us this same “secret” thousands of years prior?

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The Bloom TV at Beloved Festival

Through the ages, we have called upon the One for Whom we yearn in countless ways, through myriad names. The term, “The Beloved” embraces all of these names and forms of the Divine, affirming their Unity. Beloved is also a 4 day camping, art, and music festival on the Oregon Coast. We intend to present sacred music to help eradicate the illusion of separation from each other, from the earth and from The Beloved.

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Christmas Celebrations 2014 with songs

I invite you into the way I celebrate Christmas. It may be different to the way you celebrate and think about Christmas, but I ask you to join me as I bring you into what I think can be a joyful way of celebration in the 21st Century. One of the biblical scholars has helped me crystallise what I find difficult about the traditional presentations of Christmas. Greg Jenks, in his book ‘Jesus then and Jesus now’ has asked the question, “Has the Jesus tradition become a giant fairy-tale for children, and little more than an annual exercise of ‘let’s pretend’ for grown-ups?” (Page 123) That is the question which plagues me every Christmas.

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