Amid the many thoughts

From the Boundless Life collection

Amid the many thoughts
Of what we each might be
What images can help us live
With hope and dignity?

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Talking Circles

Talking Circles can be extremely healing as they invite us to slow down, speak our deepest truth, and really listen to each other. The creation of a sacred container in which all voices are honored lets participants feel safe to express their truths freely.

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Keep Watch: John the Baptist, Like Christ Has Many Disguises!

Christ came to me in Karen. “Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.” Christ comes to us in the most unlikely of places wearing the most unlikely of faces.

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Church Without God

Musings

What will be the unifying principle behind this community? Is love and mutual support enough to hang it together? Will some distinctive message or activity or ritual be necessary to give the group an identity and a reason to continue gathering? The experiment is just getting started. The evidence and the conclusions are not in. Meanwhile, Bart’s experiment has the attention of secular humanists nationwide. He’s not a theist any more, but he’s not a normal atheist, either.

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The Waiting is Over

The season of Advent is upon us. For most people it is simply a flurry of activities to prepare for the Christmas and New Year holidays: a time of decoration, a time of shopping, a time of baking, a time of lights and candles. For some, it is simply the most stressful time of the year. But historically, advent has been a time of inward preparation in anticipation of the birth of Jesus. It recalls the themes of a late-term pregnancy: waiting and suspense, hope and expectation. Advent literally means ‘arrival.’

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Beloved Sacred Arts and Music Festival

Beloved is a 4 day camping sacred music and art festival on the Oregon Coast. The intention is to present sacred music to eradicate the illusion of separation from each other, from the earth and from The Beloved.

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Optimist- Zoe Keating- Music Video by Brian Thomson

This video was shot at the Sri Sri Radha Krishna Temple in Spanish Fork, Utah. Their annual Festival of Colors was a great opportunity to test the slow-mo capabilities of my Cannon 7D. After hearing Zoe Keating perform this song in Portland, OR I was inspired to edit this footage to her beautiful music.

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Purify – Music CD

A Sensual Hip-notic journey of World beats infused with Maternal Soul…” ‘Purify’ is a powerful fresh sound of strong dance beats mixed with emotional layers and tapestries of percussion. The sound imbies influences from reggae to R n’ B – to tribal and street roots infused with an undeniable feminine essence.

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Manly P. Hall on Love

Love is not just a single thing. It is not something that is born full-blown from the unknown and the invisible.

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Celebrate at Christmas Time

From the Boundless Life collection

Celebrate at Christmas time
Light that only dark can birth,
Light in every baby’s eyes,
Gift of darkened realms of Earth.

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The darkness and the light

From the Boundless Life collection

The darkness and the light shall be one,
The sorrow and the joy linked in wonder,
Life shall dance,
The song be sung
And the golden fire burn brightly
In the hearts of the children of the Earth.

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Affirmations and Confessions of a Progressive Christian Layman – The Christian Church

The church as we know it came about when one group of believers was opposed by a dissenting group. Then it became necessary for each group to define their concepts of Christianity and to label all others heretics.

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Three truths about stewardship

This has been difficult terrain for many years now. Giving throughout mainline Protestantism has been in free-fall for at least thirty years, and is proving to be challenging even in evangelical traditions that supposedly teach the tithe.

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Awakening- Video Poem

Live recording of Climbing PoeTree’s “Awakening” poem featuring Leah Song on vocals and Biko Casini on Ngoni.

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Five tips for a God-centered December

I might be “preaching to the choir,” but these five December tips are worth remembering.

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The Geometry of Time – Sermon Video

The three major western religions, Judaism, Islam and Christianity, teach that time is linear but goes on for eternity. Many eastern religions tend to view time in repeating circular patterns. Both are guilty of undermining the message of environmental scientists who are telling us that we are simply running out of time. We have no reason to be certain that we will have an infinite number of chances to try again or that God will enter history and take us all away from a dying planet. The savior we are looking for is staring back at us from the bathroom mirror.

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Are You Sure?

A poem by Madeleine L'Engle

There is also a legend that Mary was not the first young woman to whom the angel came. But she was the first one to say yes.
And how unsurprising it would be for a fourteen-year-old girl to refuse the angel. To be disbelieving. Or to say:

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The Marion Diaries

Reflections by Michael Hollingshead

I could feel the warm afternoon wind blowing a few moments before; right through the window where I was standing, stacking some bowls.

A moment later it blew again, only this time it was cool and refreshing, and even smelled sweet like hyssop, or juniper, or jasmine.

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Poem to Mother Mary

“Blessed Virgin Mary, I’m coming full circle
and I want to be your…what is it I want?
I want to be your child and friend again.
May I?”

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“Keep awake! Watch for we know not when Christ comes.

Advent is about waiting and watching: waiting and watching for the coming of Christ. We wait for just the right time to celebrate the birth of Christ in our midst and we watch for Christ’s promised return. But how do we wait and where do we watch?

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Mary, Joseph, Jesus (The Astronomers’ Carol)

From the Boundless Life collection

Mary, Joseph, Jesus,
The characters remain.
Shepherds and the angels,
Truth travellers’ contain
Shaped in ancient story’s
Sweet mystical refrain.

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When the child is at the center

From the Boundless Life collection

When the child is at the center,
When the babe is in the stall,
When the adult nurtures wonder,
When the carols warm us all,
Then the fragments come together
And the vision shines as one

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MARY’s STORY:  Let It Be 

The way you tell the Christmas story, it all sounds so simple. So simple. Oh, don’t get me wrong, I really like it. It’s just that for so long now people have been telling my story and the way they tell it, it all sounds so simple and easy, so neat and tidy, that I hardly recognize myself in the story. It’s not your fault.  It all started a long time ago. Luke and that other fellow Matthew, they started it all.  They wrote my story down and wouldn’t you know it they cleaned it all up. But who can blame them.  Nobody likes messy birth stories. And as birth stories go, my baby’s birth was a really messy one.

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Pregnant with Possibility:  Was Mary a Virgin or Was Mary Raped?

Mary, this enigmatic woman has remained in the shadows for centuries. All too often the epithet “virgin” has been applied to the young woman who fell pregnant so long ago. As her Advent appearance approaches, I this re-post this sermon which I preached a couple of years ago in which I asked some questions about Mary. At the time I was reading Jane Schalberg’s “The Illegitimacy of Jesus”, John Shelby Spong’s “Born of a Woman” and “Jesus for the Non Religious” along with John Dominic Crossan and Marcus Borg’s “The First Christmas” and this sermon is laced with their scholarship.

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Radically New Way To Think About God And Prayer In The 21st Century

Whenever we enter into a conversation about God and prayer, it’s helpful to remind ourselves that despite what some religion’s would have us believe, the Creator or Initiating Consciousness that created of our universe, the Ground of Being we refer to as God, is in fact, Ultimate Mystery. Thus, the concepts in this article are my thoughts and ideas, not absolute truth.

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The Real War on Christmas – Sermon Video

Matthew and Luke tell completely different (and contradictory) accounts of the birth of Jesus. Neither are meant to be taken literally. They were writing a theological message (sermon) to introduce their gospels. Where the two agree is that the Jesus they were going to describe was a messenger who would turn the world upside down, casting down the rich and powerful in favor of the weak and poor. There is our real Christmas story, a story of liberation and justice.

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Shattered Angel

As Christmas draws near, we turn to stories to express the inexpressible. Like the Gospel writers we are at a loss to explain the activity of our God in the world and so we too resort to story telling. Families gather and the reliable old stories are told. And each year new stories are added to our treasure troves as we seek to express the inexpressible and touch the hem of our God who is love. And what better way to touch and be touched by God than to tell stories of God’s love in the world. We all have treasure troves of stories of Christ taking on flesh and dwelling among us. My story took place when I was a young woman determined that my first Christmas living out in the world would be the type of Christmas that dreams are made of.

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Taste and See

From the Boundless Life collection

Taste and see how gracious the Christ is,
Taste and see the wonder of life;
Take the bread, the body of Jesus,
Break the bread, the flesh of the world;
Taste and see the wonder of life.

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O golden cup of life

From the Boundless Life collection

O golden cup of life,
A chalice full of love,
The space beyond all strife
You form our sacred home,
Your ways produce delight,
Your life becomes our own.

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Monthly eBulletin- Life Celebrations in Sacred Community

With such an expansive awareness of our universe and our place in it, it is necessary to pause and honor the corners we turn, the milestones, the past and the present. But meaning is lost when the words are irrelevant, when language is outdated, and practices are dogmatic and un-evolving. As progressive Christians, we are called to walk into the mystery of change, while at the same time keeping close to our hearts the timeless teachings of our tradition. Our life celebrations and rituals must then reflect this call, this necessary aspect of our path. Sacred community is a space to explore these traditions and to create new ones.

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Reckless Generosity – a Sermon for Thanksgiving

We are the wealthy ones on this planet. We live lives that are beyond the wildest dreams of 90 percent of the people who share this planet with us. We are richly blessed. We are wealthy beyond the wildest dreams of most of the generations who celebrated Thanksgivings before us. We have much to be thankful for! Yet, when I remember the poverty of the majority of the people on this planet, all too often I begin to feel not gratitude, but guilt.

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Christmas Prayer: Emmanuel, God is with Us

We rejoice that Jesus led people to discover the sacred in the ordinary: in the crowd, in the lowly, in the everyday life, in human yearnings to be better people, and in being neighbor to one another.

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We Need New Words to Praise the Silent Night Cosmically!

Silent night, holy night is a perennial favourite! T’is the season for nostalgia. But what if we are serious about providing more than nostalgia in our worship? Can we, or do we even dare to offer worshippers new images that endeavour to engage our reality? Can we touch the spiritual but not religious crowds that wander into our sanctuaries seeking an encounter with the Mystery we call God, with a hint of our unknowing. Or are we content to address only the nostalgia seekers with safe images designed only to warm and not excite the imagination? Dare we beckon the nostalgia seekers beyond their memories toward the future? I wonder? Maybe we can summon up the courage to compromise by simply adding a few new verses? The challenge belongs to all of us to write new words to enable us to sing our praise with integrity.

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Who IS God? – Not One, Not Two – a sermon for Thanksgiving Sunday

YAHWEH: I AM WHO I AM. From backseat somewhere far away, we can be heard to cry, “Who is God?” A legitimate question. Big Bang. Stardust, DNA. Evolution. Expanding universes. Quantum leaps. Higgs Boson. Expanding consciousness. String theory. Black holes. 14 or 26 dimensions of space and time. Metaphysics. Metamorphosis. Meta-literal. YAHWEH: I WILL BE WHO I WILL BE. Who is this God? I AM the bread of life. Give us this bread.

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Black as Night- Medicine for the People- Music Video

As a musical collective, our mission is to be the motivation and inspiration for all that have become members of our Tribe. Within our global community, we have access to the tools needed to make changes, take action and spread awareness of how to live in harmony with Mother Gaia herself. We are honored to be a force of attraction for positive and creative minds during these often-corrupt times. With your trust and support, we humbly accept this role and speak our prayers of intention to take direct action… “Hoka Hey” means, “today is a good day to die”, but perhaps with your help, it could transform into a better day to live. Thank you again for your love and support. Tribe members, let us come together today to be the change that we wish to see tomorrow.

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A Joyful Path, Children’s Curriculum Year One – full PDF

Are you searching for a way to connect children with an authentic spiritual experience that is inter-spiritual, creative and multi-layered? A Joyful Path is truly progressive Christian curriculum that is inclusive, joy-full, compassionate, and intelligent.

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