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Prayer of Dedication — Offering

Oh Dear One, may these scraps of paper and bits of metal serve as symbols of our deep desire for your Love to transform our time, effort, and substance into works of creative compassion for each other,

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Topics: Worship & Liturgy. 8 Points: Point 3: Inclusive Community. Seasons & Special Events: Ordinary Time. Ages: Adult, Teen, and Young Adult. Texts: Matthew. Prayers: Call to Worship. Rituals: Dedication. Resource Types: Liturgical Element.

Awe Fills Us

Watch mountain shadows run
Allelujia! Amen!
Clouds gilded by the sun
Allelujia! Amen!
Hear tumbling water sing
Birds calling on the wing

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Topics: Arts and Music, Devotional, and Worship & Liturgy. 8 Points: Point 7: Integrity of the Earth. Seasons & Special Events: Ordinary Time. Ages: Adult, Pre-Teen, Teen, and Young Adult. Resource Types: Hymns, Meditations, Music, and Poetry.

Silver Linings Playbook: Aging & The Christian Church

So I thought I’d check out some Christian communities where I thought I might perhaps fit in. I attended Quaker meetings for awhile, and while there is much to be said for simplicity and silence, I need more stimulation. So I thought I’d check out this mainline Protestant church, where I’d find a more familiar structure, including hymns and a sermon. Here are some thoughts after visiting this particular congregation twice…

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Creed for January 2013

I believe in God.

(Except when I don’t.)

When others tell me who God is,
I’m believing not so much.

When I kiss my daughters goodnight,
my belief is overwhelming.

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You Who Delight Me – Poems of love & Words of spirit and faith

“you who delight me” is in two parts:
poems of love—secular and spirited writing about people, places and events; and
words of spirit and faith—inclusive language, contemporary liturgies for individual contemplation and progressive faith communities.

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Prologue: Before is Now

Before the Beginning,
Being,
The Egg,
Simply, infinitely being,
Unimpeded, and
Bang!
The Word.

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Writing Scripture: History to Story to Theology to New Story; Repeat

Why may the majority of scholars be right, that the Bible is not a reliable book of history, although much of its historical sections are indeed based on actual events and real places in the larger picture?

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The problem with being an atheist

The problem with being an atheist
is the lack
of imagination.

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Topics: Atheism and Worship & Liturgy. 8 Points: Point 5: Non-Dogmatic Searchers. Seasons & Special Events: Ordinary Time. Resource Types: Poetry and Readings.

The Need for a Psychology of Spiritual Journeying

It was never fully hidden but now, for sure, the tendency of religious institutions to quash doubt and keep it under wraps has succumbed to an end-around play. People can connect cross-country and around the world, and do so anonymously if they want! This is a big, big help to many. It is only one expression of a broad and accelerating shift in the way religion and spiritual life are viewed and practiced.

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The Opportunity in Front of Us

The battle for growth is not just conceptual or “spiritual.” It is also practical – monetary, social, interpersonal, etc. “Culture wars” and the growth boundaries they often represent, are not separate from practical issues like making a living and social relationships but are intertwined with them. It is similar with religious and other belief systems.

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The Two Alberts: Pioneers for Science and Spirit (One You Know, One You May Not)

Second, both Albert’s sought a grand theory. Einstein, a “theory of everything” or the “unified field theory” of physics; Schweitzer the common, most basic ethic for all cultures and humanity. He felt he had discovered it while pondering and traveling (at the key point of insight, on a river amid a herd of hippopotamuses at sunset. One is again reminded of Einstein’s insights sometimes coming amid his imaginary “thought experiments”). The by-then double-doctor (PhD, MD), Schweitzer, reports he had been pondering and writing notes, “….struggling to find the elementary and universal concept of the ethical that I had not discovered in any philosophy…” Then, quite suddenly, “… there flashed upon my mind, unforeseen and unsought, the phrase : “Ehrfurcht vor dem Leben” [“Reverence for Life”]. The iron door had yielded. The path in the thicket had become visible.”

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Electing the Pope and Crises of Faith

If the new “Papa Francisco” (has a nice ring, huh?) can inspire us all, Catholic or not, to greater dedication to the Gospel of Jesus he will have bolstered our faith (in God and/or humanity) and created a better world. (In this I think the non-religious can be included as well, if they are willing…. I’m not at all far from them myself.)

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