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Lots of Love

Gary’s third and final book – Lots Of Love – is an urgent and loving testimonial to the simple but fundamental building blocks of our human and spiritual DNA – that “love is the beginning and the end of our journey.” Each day physical life may conspire to ebb out of Gary’s body but his spirit flows through his pen and his glorious fight to bring us all a message of hope at the holiday season. Lots of Love is an ornament to be hung on every tree, a candle to be lit on the last night of Hanukkah, an Eid prayer at Ramadan and a strand of lights at the new moon of Diwali.

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Progressive Christians and God Talk

But we keep pruning away, and as we prune, domino after domino falls, whether it be connected with revelation, the person and role of Jesus, the meaning of salvation, doctrine, worship, prayer, death and afterlife.

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Christmas Liturgy

Good morning… I am ___________ of this Community of Love… and on this 4th Sunday of Advent, we welcome you all to this inclusive spiritual community that invites and supports ALL people to know God’s love… and we join together with UNITY churches all around the world to proclaim our commitment…

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Winter Solstice Liturgy

We welcome you to this inclusive and universal Celebration of Light, on this Winter Solstice—the longest, darkest night of the year.  Since ancient times…this drama around the return of the actual physical light that sustains us…has served as the basis for myth and ritual—symbolizing perennial new life, the birth of Gods, and the center of Hope—throughout human history

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Poem-Leaving Home

Published on the online newsletter/blog of John Shelby Spong, www.johnshelbyspong.com “I want to share with you something written by a priest in the Church of England, who is under pressure from his Bishop to conform to traditional Church teaching and practice. He is, so far as I can discern, a faithful priest who is caught in that awkward position where he must violate his own conscience and integrity in order to conform to ecclesiastical expectations. Many clergy live in that place today as the Church becomes more and more closed minded and afraid and as its leaders move to put unity ahead of truth. I was so impressed with his work that I wanted to share it with you.” ~ John Shelby Spong

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Topics: Fiction and Poetry. Resource Types: Articles and Poetry.

Christmas

Christmas both mutes and heightens this impression that something under the sun is ferhoodled. On the one hand, people are often more civil and decent to each other. On the other, anything painful or ugly stands out more glaringly against the festive background, even taking on a tint of moral injustice. If people die in June, it’s sad; if they die in late December, it’s “a shame.”

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The Leap of Advent

By: Chuck Queen,  The “Advent” of God in the person of Jesus not only challenged old ways of thinking about God and old patterns of relating to God, Jesus’ Advent marked the beginning of a spiritual revolution, a conspiracy of love.

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The Christmas Myth is the Story of the Human Family

From Living Waters: if one is to pass beyond the childish and the external to the core of what Christmas is all about, it’s an essential step. What one has to realize first of all is that the story of the birth of Jesus is a myth. No, not a fairy tale, not a legend, not a piece of fiction to be seen through and dropped at puberty or before, but a spiritual myth-in other words, a truth so vast and so important to our human condition that it can only be told in the most profound language of all, the language of symbolism, allegory and metaphor.

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What Gift Will You Give?

I trust it will come as news to very few that the canonical gospels offer us two Christmas stories, and to those who have actually read the accounts it is clear that the two bear little resemblance to one another.  To be sure, the names of the infant, his mother, his nominal father, and the place of birth are the same; but nearly all the other details stand in striking and irreconcilable conflict.  Does this mean that Matthew’s narrative or Luke’s—or both—are simply to be rejected as wildly unreliable? Not if we adopt the strategy of understanding the two tales not as failed attempts at history, but as brilliantly conceived and wonderfully effective parables.

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God Concepts

It seems to me we can best say what God is not and leave it at that which will leave that which God is but cannot be said remaining. Although God can not be proven in the physical sense alone to someone else, God can be and is subjectively experienced by being the substrate of existence/Life itself.

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8 Points: Eight points and Point 1: Teachings of Jesus. Resource Types: Articles.

In Search of Paradise

What is paradise like and how do we find it? Is it actually a place or a condition or is it the way we approach life?

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Topics: Spiritual Exploration & Practice. 8 Points: Eight points. Resource Types: Articles.

Spiritual Abuse

A layman’s perspective on the pursuit of damnation within the Christian faith. I feel the fundamentalist and/or conservative (and/or mainstream?) view of Hell and damnation is akin to an abusive marriage: If you don’t come to God, and do it in this precise way, you go to Hell and that’s that. Similarly, an abusive marriage works on the same principles if you think about it.

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8 Points: Eight points. Resource Types: Articles.

What is Interfaith?

What a powerful affirmation of Interfaith-God “takes anyone who does
what is right” and “it does not matter to what nation they belong”.

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Religion is Not about Belief: Karen Armstrong’s The Case for God

Until well into the modern period, Armstrong contends, Jews and Christians both insisted that it was neither possible nor desirable to read the Bible literally, that it gives us no single, orthodox message and demands constant reinterpretation. Myths were symbolic, often therapeutic, teaching stories and were never understood literally or historically. But that all changed with the advent of modernity.

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Love the Hell Out of Each Other

Hell is a religious myth intended to hold you captive to fear and the church’s teachings. Stand up to the myth and pull its beard. You will find that it comes off in your hand. You can not be denied. You are an adventurer, storming the gates of hell and fear.  The good news- There is no reason to believe there is an actual place of eternal suffering after life called hell.

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Myth and the Genesis Stories

It is impossible for us today to fathom the world view that the ancients who created these stories must have had. We really cannot grasp what it was like to look out in the stars, to travel, to watch the days get shorter with no obvious reason, to deal with the seasons, watch babies be born without an understanding of basic biology, science, without airplanes, space ships, Hubble telescopes, physicists, calendars, let alone computers and GPS. These were people, after all, who believed that the earth was flat and covered with a dome that had holes in it. For them, the stars were God’s or the god’s light shining through those holes.

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Authenticity

The way to be all that you can be is to be more yourself. I mean you right now, not after some spiritual makeover; but as you are now, without any pretence and with the layers of conditioned thinking stripped bare. When you hear an inner voice say, “Yes, I am fully myself and authentic in this moment”, then follow that voice. I’m talking about the sort of moments when your skin tingles with the goodness of life and your place in it. sbnr.org

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Review of ButterflyFish Music CD

After listening to it dozens (hundreds?) of times now, I’m pleased to report that this is the real deal: an album that kids adore, and that grownup folks will also continue to enjoy after countless hours of repeat listening. The album is musically vibrant, surprising and exciting: it blends styles as diverse as bluegrass, country, jazz and gospel, in a way that brings out that characteristic joy and lilt and humor of American folk music. And the lyrics (all written by Matt Boulton) are quite wonderful: linguistically inventive, poetically playful, and at times also theologically serious and reflective.

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