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Blessing of a child

The Blessing of Sophie Thompson Steel

A “christening” type of ceremony for a family that did not want to use traditional baptism terminology.

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Topics: Worship & Liturgy. 8 Points: Point 3: Inclusive Community. Seasons & Special Events: Ordinary Time. Rituals: Baptism. Resource Types: Full Service Liturgies.

Mother us gently, Father us lightly

“Mother us gently, Father us lightly, God of our being, ground of our care…”

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Peace in Jerusalem

I thought for sure I would live long enough to see peace come to Israel.

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Amen: What Prayer Can Mean in a World Beyond Belief

In Amen, Gretta Vosper, United Church minister and author of the controversial bestseller With or Without God, offers us her deeply felt examination of worship beyond conventional prayer, a new tradition built on love and respect rather than on the rituals of ancient beliefs.

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The Spirit Within, or Where the Wild Things Are

It is that elusive and intangible spirit that is within us … that constitutes both that tenuous thread and tether of a relationship with whatever we might call the holy divine.

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Quote from Gulley’s “Evolution of Faith”

An evolved Christianity will not insist we believe the absurd, affirm the incredible, or support a theology that degrades humanity. It will be a friend of science, working joyfully alongside the best minds in the world on a common mission to embrace and enhance life.

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Traditional Marriage: One Man, Many Women, Some Girls, Some Slaves

Well, it’s been quite a whirlwind week for same-sex marriage, from North Carolina to Obama to Colorado—and, of course, to the many outraged conservatives concerned with preserving traditional marriage, i.e., the time-honored sacred bond between one man and one woman. Why, just last week, Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council said that marriage has meant just that for over five thousand years.

Huh?

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Wounded Healers

Henri once wrote that the “J. M.” in the middle of his name could stand for “Just Me.” He believed that the minister (again, every Christian) was called to live a life offered to others. The autobiography or memoir is said to have first appeared in The Confessions of Saint Augustine, and spiritual autobiography has long had a place as a means of doing theology. I lead workshops and retreats on spiritual autobiographical writing, encouraging participants to tell their stories.

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Creedless Religion: Work Out Your Own Beliefs

It is always interesting and sometimes perplexing to come across religions that readily admit that they hold no creed. It seems so strange because when people think of religion, they still often think of a set of rules or beliefs that one must believe in and live by in order to be “saved.” (And such creeds are often the reason that people have no time for religion).

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Resurrection Reflections

Dogs Barking in the Distance

I still remember the existential gut wrenching I felt when I first read John Dominic Crossan’s assertion that underneath the resurrection story that cracks like holy thunder on Easter morning was the more likely scenario that the crucified body of Jesus was probably consumed by wild dogs.

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How to Read the Bible

2) The Hebrew scriptures, or the Old Testament, represent a religious tradition that is independent of the later Christian faith. The Hebrew scriptures aren’t about Jesus, although the Christian scriptures include many references to the Hebrew scriptures. To honor the fundamental differences between the two sets of scriptures doubles the spiritual significance of the entire Bible.

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DEAS…and Other Imaginings. Ten Spiritual Folktales for Children

Somewhere between zen and folktales, somewhere between child’s play and wisdom, somewhere between dreaming the world and healing it. Read these stories aloud – to your child, to your love, or to yourself beneath a sacred tree.

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