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The “Faith” in Clear Faith

The terms faith and beliefs are sometimes used interchangeably, but I think it is useful to make a distinction between them. Beliefs are things you think are true, like “I believe in God.” “I believe that there is life after death.” These are improvable opinions (or they would be accepted by all as “facts”). A list can be made of beliefs.

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Love One Another

Love one another as I love you all;
In others’ needs hear my insistent call.
I bid you wear with me love’s seamless dress,
Welcome the outcast from the wilderness.

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Topics: Worship & Liturgy. 8 Points: Point 1: Teachings of Jesus and Point 4: Act As We Believe. Seasons & Special Events: All Seasons and Easter. Resource Types: Hymns.

Wage Peace!

Wage peace!
to acknowledge faith
declare love
confess failure
expose injustice
admit mistakes

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Topics: Peace and Justice and Worship & Liturgy. 8 Points: Point 4: Act As We Believe and Point 6: Peace and Justice. Seasons & Special Events: All Seasons. Resource Types: Affirmations, Poetry, and Readings.

“Let me make this perfectly CLEAR … “

CLEAR is what I want to feel and be when it comes to something that means as much to me as FAITH. I want to be at peace with what I believe and choose to say and do, with regard to my way of living in faith. I want to own it whole-heartedly. I don’t want to apologize or make excuses for beliefs that don’t make sense, saying things like, “You just have to take that in faith. Someday it will make sense to me, even if it doesn’t now. God’s ways are not our ways.” With Clear Faith, I am at peace.

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The Doorway

As our lives tread onward, we find ourselves on the Earth side of a “door”
Mortality certain to face us, we wonder what’s beyond –what is the “more?”

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Topics: Aging, Spiritual Exploration & Practice, and Worship & Liturgy. Seasons & Special Events: All Seasons and Life Celebration (funeral). Resource Types: Poetry and Readings.

Sing a New Love Song

Sing a new love song; for in every moment, compassion does marvelous things: its power dissipates hate and revenge. Compassion creates contagious miracles

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Topics: Devotional and Worship & Liturgy. 8 Points: Point 8: Compassion and Selfless Love. Seasons & Special Events: All Seasons. Resource Types: Readings and Spiritual Journey Reflections.

Salt of the Earth Liturgy

From St. Mark's Episcopal Church, Washington D.C.

Presider: It was a dull, tasteless thing;
People: This life, before salt.

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Topics: Worship & Liturgy. 8 Points: Point 1: Teachings of Jesus and Point 6: Peace and Justice. Seasons & Special Events: All Seasons. Texts: Matthew. Rituals: Communion. Resource Types: Full Service Liturgies.

Stewards of the Climate

We are the stewards of this wondrous earth
With all its teeming life of priceless worth;
In all creation God is thus revealed
In birds and beasts, in forests and each field;

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Topics: Arts and Music, Social & Environmental Ministry, and Worship & Liturgy. 8 Points: Point 7: Integrity of the Earth. Seasons & Special Events: All Seasons and Earth Day. Resource Types: Hymns.

Benediction

May the peace of God surround you
Like the trees of the forest
May the peace of God warm you all over
Like the sun in the sky

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Topics: Devotional and Worship & Liturgy. Seasons & Special Events: All Seasons. Prayers: Benediction. Resource Types: Blessings and Prayers.

Sanctuary

Shafts of light
Through cathedral windows.
Dappled shade
Upon the leaves
Beneath my feet.

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Acts and Christian Beginnings: The Acts Seminar Report

Acts was long thought to be a first-century document, and its author Luke to be a disciple of Paul—thus an eyewitness or acquaintance of eyewitnesses to nascent Christianity. Acts was considered history, pure and simple. But the Acts Seminar, a decade-long collaborative project by scholars affiliated with the Westar Institute, concluded that it dates from the second century. That conclusion directly challenges the view of Acts as history and raises a host of new questions, addressed in this final report.

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An Interview with Elaine Pagels

Westar

In this one-on-one interview, bestselling author and MacArthur Prize recipient Elaine Pagels tells a wide-ranging story. She explains how Billy Graham’s preaching sparked her interest in religion, and talks of her early encounters with Gnostic texts and with Jerry Garcia of the Grateful Dead. Through the interconnections between the personal and professional, Pagels addresses the problem of how we are to define Christianity meaningfully in ancient and modern times.

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God’s Dearest Work of Art

God’s dearest work of art
we long have called the heart,
The depth within from which begin
the prayers that we impart.

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Topics: Arts and Music and Worship & Liturgy. 8 Points: Point 4: Act As We Believe. Seasons & Special Events: All Seasons. Resource Types: Audio MP3 and Hymns.

Doxology

Sung to the traditional tune

Praise God who gives us life to live
Praise God who calls us all to give
Praise God whose image we all bear
Praise God whose love we now can share

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Topics: Arts and Music and Worship & Liturgy. Seasons & Special Events: All Seasons. Resource Types: Chants and Hymns.

The First New Testament: Marcion’s Scriptural Canon

The earliest version of the New Testament, now in English for the first time!

History preserves the name of the person responsible for the first New Testament, the circumstances surrounding his work, and even the date he decided to build a textual foundation for his fledgling Christian community. So why do so few people know about him? Jason BeDuhn introduces Marcion, reconstructs his text, and explores his impact on the study of Luke-Acts, the two-source theory, and the Q hypothesis.

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Eternal Spirit, Earth-maker, Pain-bearer

From the New Zealand Prayer Book

Eternal Spirit, Earth-maker, Pain-bearer, Life-giver,
Source of all that is and that shall be,
Father and Mother of us all,
Loving God, in whom is heaven:

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Topics: Worship & Liturgy. 8 Points: Eight points. Seasons & Special Events: All Seasons. Prayers: The Lord's Prayer. Resource Types: Prayers.

Admissions and Confessions of a Progressive Christian Layman – Jesus’ Followers

The four gospels divide Jesus’ followers into three groups. The Greek word “ochloi” refers to the crowds who gathered when Jesus preached; “Mathetes” refers to the followers who stuck around for more teaching; and “Apostolos” refers to the disciples, those chosen by Jesus as his inner circle.

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