Pluralism is a reality and it always has been. Diversity is built into the nature of life, whether in flora, fauna, or religious experience. Today, the diversity of religious and cultural experience shapes virtually everything we do. Every congregation and Christian lives with diversity: some deny, some evade, some attack, and others embrace the unavoidable and often blessed diversity of life.read more
But there is another way I believe God and spirit may be experienced: kinesthetically. It is primal and pre-rational, our first encounter with something beyond ourselves. It begins in our mother’s womb, immersed in embryonic fluids, nourished and protected by our mother’s flesh. We feel the pulsing of her heart. On a men’s retreat, I heard the Franciscan Richard Rohr speculate that men’s love of drumming may come from that early memory of our mother’s heartbeat.read more
When I want to get under the surface of things, I re-read the “proverbios” of the early 20th c. Spanish poet, Antonio Machado, and those of the later 20th c. Argentine poet, Antonio Porchia. Both men lived simply, loved deeply, and are cherished still as poets in their respective homelands.read more
More enervated than inspired by this year’s campaign season, I thought of writing a parody of Jesus’ Beatitudes (you know, “Blessed are the job creators…”) or maybe collect Jesus’ sayings about the way things are and the way things should be and place them in contemporary U.S. contexts (such as the parable of the laborers in the vineyard whose time cards differed but whose pay was the same)…read more
I would say that belief in either God or spirituality goes hand in hand with collectivism. Spirituality is about “the whole enchilada.”read more
The World is our Cloister is about the new religious life: a life to which a Protestant, Catholic, Hindu or those with no label can relate. It is a guide to living the devotional life, not behind the walls of a monastery, but in the world.read more
We have a new 2011 updated version of our Welcome Poster and our 8 Points. Here is the text of the new 8 points.read more
The first sermon in which I included gay people by name among “the least of these” for whom Jesus cared, my text was the story from Acts of Paul and Silas in prison. An earthquake frees them, and the jail keeper prepares to take his own life, thinking they have escaped. But Paul shouts out, “Do not be afraid, for we are all here.” That was my sermon title, and I explained that despite their liberation, they take time to convert the jail keeper, recognizing he too is imprisoned. I’d like to think that, almost to the day that I gave that sermon 40 years ago, I still have some of that youthful idealism.read more
The Nicene Creed was both a religious and a political tool, a humanly constructed statement of belief that gave order and meaning to the world of its time. The question this book raises is whether it still gives order and meaning to our world–or rather, what kind of order and meaning does it give to our world.read more
Let’s face it. The walls dividing people today have gotten taller and thicker, whether between men and women, young and old, gays and straights, developed and developing worlds, haves and have-nots. Yet the spiritual dream of unity persists. We believe that God is a Weaver of Oneness who wants us to live in harmony — neighbor with neighbor, communities with communities, religions with religions, and nations with nations.read more
We pray for those who are struggling with addiction,
Filling their void with more emptiness.
May they find the pure Fullness that is God.
Jesus’ parables tell us how use our creativity to subvert the putative rulers of Earth. Jesus got into trouble for suggesting that the way to assure that all of the people have food to eat is to share whatever they have. And don’t assume that your traditional enemy has no soul. The very powers that are supposed to have your best interest at heart will pass you by on the other side of the road while you die in the ditch (“The Good Samaritan” Luke 10:30-35). To love your enemies is to have no enemies.read more
Wandering, I stumbled upon my purpose,
Adrift, I made port,
Unbidden, love arrived,
Asleep, I learned my lesson,
In silence, notes danced across my score,
Dreaming, my problems solved themselves.