Yes I and all the rest of us must, even today, realize that we are still part of movements in history that are larger than the century we live in. in this fast food, instant movies, Twitter land, Facebook, “electronic device in every pocket” world that we live in there are still movements that are larger than today and we are, all of us, part of something grand.read more
We are here to praise and enjoy God with body and soul, mind and heart, with song and word, with hands and feet.
We are here to give because of the abundance God has given us, to share with each other, and to receive, because God has created us to depend on each other.
We are here to celebrate the differences that otherwise might divide us: differences of age, of body, of culture, of opinion, of ability, of religious conviction.
We are here to put things in perspective: to celebrate what matters, to laugh about things we take too seriously, to cry about things that truly touch our hearts.
So may it be this morning: Amen!
When the world reveals a fractured face,
When the parts diverge to form extremes,
Can we build a world by joining hands
To fulfil the Gospel’s many dreams?
I sometimes wonder if God ever tires of our prayers. Weekends must be the worst. Friday prayers at the mosques, Saturday appeals in the synagogues, Sunday petitions from the churches. An endless round of requests. Do this, …read more
If there is one overarching characteristic of a fundamentalist, it is a mindset fixated on certainty of truth, that one possesses the absolute truth, the Bible. My faulty logic went something like this: since God is an absolute being, His word is then absolute and since the Bible is God’s word, it is absolute and since I have God’s word in my hand- I possess absolute truth. There is no arguing with that kind of mindset. Oh, by the way, it was only a short step in the flow of the logic when I began to unconsciously view myself as god-assuming I possessed all the answers and everyone else was wrong.read more
All religions are the product of a culture’s attempt at expressing their most closely held beliefs, values and the morals they want to pass on to the coming generation. We should no more say that one religion is better than another than we would claim that one language is superior to another or that my favorite music is “right” any everyone else’s favorite music is “wrong.” There are healthy and unhealthy religious beliefs and practices but in the 21st century we need to learn from one another and challenge one another to repent of our prejudices, oppressive practices and out dated values so that we can all become the best Jews, Christians, Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus, etc. that we can be.read more
Perhaps being a souljourner requires the same willingness to look foolish that is required in order to learn a language. I remember the crazy stuff I said when I was studying Spanish in Mexico years ago. I certainly embarrassed myself – and turned others beet-red a time or two, as well. But as long as I showed humility and a willingness to get it right the next time, people seemed to cut me lots of slack. Perhaps the most important ingredients in etiquette are genuine openness, curiosity, and an attitude, if not yet a correct appearance, of respect.read more
Divine Wisdom, we come seeking your guidance in our efforts to work together for peace. We come from diverse ethnic groups, cultures, and religions. We believe these differences enrich us all. Lead us on your paths to lasting and true peace.read more
Visit our Pluralism Sunday page, hereread more
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.read more
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.”read more
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.)read more
The Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life has just released an interesting report on religious groups around the world. It is a compilation that is ”… based on analysis of more than 2,500 censuses, surveys and population registers…” covering …read more
To me, one of the most problematic, psychologically damaging things about Evangelical theology is the focus on salvation… what constitutes it, how it is obtained and held onto, etc.read more
Traditionally this is a time to learn from our mistakes and commit ourselves to do differently in the new year. I wonder what resolutions Jesus would have made? For some, it may seem shocking to suggest that …read more