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 But meaning is lost when the words are irrelevant, when language is outdated, and practices are dogmatic and un-evolving.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.read more
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.read more
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.read more
My spirit shall rejoice in God
Who breaks my chains of guilt and fear;
For God upholds each person’s worth
Throughout the ages of this Earth.
This past year, at my congregation on Cape Cod, we began to celebrate the seasons of the year as part of our affirmation of this good Earth. Our congregation’s proximity to the ocean sensitizes us to the …read more
Most Christians, however, have a different take on the monistic approach, and believe that a divine presence inheres in all that is. God is. And God is everywhere, although hidden except to the eyes of faith. As progressive Christians, this is where we must take our stand. The sacred and the secular co-inhere. The one is in the other. With this as our basis, the questions now become: what language do we use? to whom are we speaking? do we speak directly of God? Let’s assume that we are at a ceremony of some sort, perhaps a wedding, a Thanksgiving dinner, a Christmas day gathering, a funeral. Let us also suppose that the crowd is mixed: some Christians, some Jews, some secularists. Is there a language that not only will not alienate anyone but will also communicate to them the depth of the moment? I believe there is.read more
When Christmas comes it brings great joy;
This story of a baby boy;
The birth of life – divine event
That tells us all of God’s intent
To be at one with human life,
In all its beauty, all its strife.
If cobwebs fill the corners
That lurk within our mind
Our faith can help us brush aside
Each clinging thought we find
O child within the Christmas scene
Come play with us today.
Melt all the ice within our hearts
And warm us as we play.
To our winters Jesus brings
Light and warmth and dancing,
Melting frozen lives and hearts,
Freeing and enhancing.
From grains, bread connects us to soil and a three billion year old process. Photosynthesis, first begun when ocean organisms, earth’s first populations, with neither brains or bibles, learned how to create a chlorophyll molecule. Since then all biological life is able to trap, store, and convert sun’s energy into food that sustains both the plant and that specie’s place in the food chain. Like the elements connect Christians to the nourishing ways of Jesus, food unites us to our ecology and the life-sustaining ways of nature itself. Communion, it is not only a rite of Christianity, it is the evolutionary levan in the Earth story itself.read more