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Arousing the Spirit: Provocative Writings

These writings by author-poet Susan McCaslin offer fresh and alternative ways of seeing and understanding our relationship with Spirit. Christian-based, the 14 pieces that make up this collection (on topics such as perfectionism, paradise, the Beatitudes, Revelation, and presence) range beyond the compass of traditional Christianity to reveal universal wisdom and meaning.

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Arbitrarily Close to God

I like to think that my job at our Office of Religious Life at the University of Southern California is to facilitate the experience of goosebumps, when students discover how all things fit together into the Holy Whole. Sometimes, of course, religion itself gets in the way of this experience. Denial of science and common sense by dogmatic theology is a sure way to dull the kind of glow that illuminated Nicolas of Cusa’s face in 1464, and prevent the kind of tingle that went up my back in calculus class in 1975. Happily, within religion there are cures to be found for religion’s diseases.

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The Eight Points in Process: Point Three – Theology and Spirituality of Inclusiveness

A Theolgocial Vision of Process Theology and Progressive Christianity

Progressive Christianity aspires toward a lively inclusiveness that transforms opposites into contrasts as it looks for holiness everywhere. The postmodern project challenged all universal narratives, philosophical systems, and theological doctrines. Postmodernism affirms the importance of personal, communal, and tribal narratives as windows into understanding the universe. No story encompasses everyone but the sharing of many stories provides great insights into the nature of the human adventure and the ambient universe.

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The Eight Points in Process: Point Two – Wisdom and Salvation are Everywhere

A Theolgocial Vision of Process Theology and Progressive Christianity

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.

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A God of Sensations

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.

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Topics: Devotional, Health and Healing, and Jesus Studies. 8 Points: Point 1: Teachings of Jesus and Point 5: Non-Dogmatic Searchers. Seasons & Special Events: All Seasons. Ages: Adult, Teen, and Young Adult. Resource Types: Articles.

Poetic Proverbs

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.

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“Blessed Are the Job-Creators…”

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)…

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Ayn Rand Was Consistent

Individualism vs Collectivism

I would say that belief in either God or spirituality goes hand in hand with collectivism. Spirituality is about “the whole enchilada.”

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Topics: Devotional and Political Concerns. 8 Points: Point 1: Teachings of Jesus, Point 3: Inclusive Community, and Point 4: Act As We Believe. Seasons & Special Events: All Seasons. Ages: Adult, Teen, and Young Adult. Texts: Matthew. Resource Types: Articles.

The World is our Cloister – A Guide to the Modern Religious Life

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.

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Spiritual Care for the Liberated

We, Too, Need a Verse to Chant

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.

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The Nicene Creed: Ancient Words in the Light of Modern Faith

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.

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Blessing of Hands

(for people in the healing professions)

A blessing ritual for those in the healing professions.

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Living as One Human Family

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.

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Tagore Grace

I slept and dreamt that life was joy, I awoke and saw that life was service. I acted and behold, service was joy.   Rabindranath Tagore (1861-1941)

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Topics: Devotional and Worship & Liturgy. Prayers: Table grace. Resource Types: Prayers.

Justice Grace

God bless this food we are about to receive. Give bread to those who hunger; and hunger for justice to us who have bread.  Amen

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Topics: Devotional and Worship & Liturgy. Prayers: Table grace. Resource Types: Prayers.

Grace

For each new morning with its light…

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Topics: Devotional and Worship & Liturgy. Prayers: Table grace. Resource Types: Prayers.

A Prayer for the Grieving

May the Love of those with dear ones lost
Be strong.

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