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Mercy and Truth Will Meet, What It Takes To Be a Movement That Matters

Bill Coffin said, Liberal Christianity, or what we today call progressive Christianity and what some call “seminar room Christianity” has until now had a really unhelpful taint of elitism around it. We need to change that. So let’s just agree to get the conversation started. Let’s begin to grow in faith. Find strength in one another. See the world more clearly. And in and through all this, liberate ourselves and liberate one another for the sake of social transformation. If we ourselves can become the first fruits of the change we seek, then change itself-real change-cannot be far behind.

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Eckhart Tolle and the Christian Tradition

Although Tolle is not a Christian teacher, we must not assume that makes him an anti-Christian teacher. Today we need whatever methods or help we can receive to allow the Christian message to take us to a deeper level of transformation. Our history, and our guidance of Western history, shows this has clearly not been happening on any broad scale. This is an opportunity for us to understand our own message at deeper levels. It would be a shame if we required him to speak our language and vocabulary before we could critically hear what he is saying-that is true and helpful to our own message.

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Soul Sunday

Because my husband is Jewish, and I, Christian, we have a special need to explain both our faiths and to help our children develop their own personal identities. One day we hope they are able to find answers to spiritual questions and create a path to God on their own. Soul Sunday grew out of the need to bring us together, as a family, to talk and understand, and to explore our faith. We wanted to create a specific time for questions, discussion, and voicing concerns.  The results have been enormously rewarding, as each child has learned about faith, and also about the diversity of the world. Best of all, they have become more self-confident, introspective, and compassionate individuals.

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The Emerging Church

This book presents the biological principle of emergence and applies it to culture shifting in congregations. The universe knows how to do life from the inside-out. By moving away from cultures of command and control to a more natural organic model, congregations discover the key to their power and the secret to sustained vitality.

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Breakfast with the Dalai Lama

The Seeds of Compassion organization is a very interesting organization and I believe it has a lot to tell those of us that are still trying to grow Christian churches. The organization came through the collaboration of the Kirlin Foundation and the Venerable Tenzin Dhonden and many other religious, educational and spiritual people from the area. These dreamers wanted to bring concrete public awareness, public will, and an empowering call to action to address our local and global need for the social and emotional well-being of children…As an outcome, they seek to bring social and emotional learning into families, to caregivers, and to schools so that all who touch the lives of children have the tools and empowerment to provide the foundation for kinder and more compassionate children, communities, and society. (Quotes from their own brochure)

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Kindred Spirits in Moderate (Progressive) Islam

The progressive movement in Islam, though small and not well organized, is interested in regaining the true spirit of Muhammad and Muslims through the centuries, a spirit of peace, compassion and mercy. Those we would consider progressive Muslims more often describes themselves as moderate Muslims to distance themselves from the fanatical terrorist wings.

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Topics: Interfaith Issues & Dialogue. Resource Types: Sermons.

Time To Break For Lunch

I attended a conference a few years ago that was devoted to exploring the virtues of interfaith dialogue. . .The four keynote speakers were made up of a conservative Jewish scholar, a well respected Muslim scholar, a Buddhist author and a traditionalist Christian. . .Later, I realized how ironic it was, as we ambled off to our respective lunch gatherings, that so much of what we have reconstructed about Jesus was about the table commensality as a way of practicing radical egalitarianism, as John Dominic Crossan referred to it . I tried to imagine the Jesus of my faith, having lunch with the unique kind people who seemed to gather around him. Did he worry about their religious affiliations? Did he care if they had it right? Did he believe his religion was the only way to connect with the Ultimate Reality? When he said, "Do not judge another" did he mean don't judge except for their religion? Or did he look directly into the hearts and souls of others without religious, tribal, ethnic, or gender concerns or thoughts? Was he able to transcend all of those things that tend to separate us into divisive groups that so often turn into violent differences?

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Topics: Interfaith Issues & Dialogue. Resource Types: Articles and Interfaith.

Tribal Religion, Transcendent Religion

There is a story about a Christian minister living abroad during World War II. His congregation sends him money so that he can return home for Christmas. When he doesn’t come back, they ask him why. He says that he used the money to help a group of Jews escape Hitler’s death camps and flee to safety.”But they’re not even Christian,” writes one member of his congregation.”Yes, I know,” the minister responds. “But I am.”

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Topics: Interfaith Issues & Dialogue. Resource Types: Articles.

Murder on the Subcontinent

Washington Post, On Faith. The essence of India is pluralism, the idea of different communities retaining their uniqueness while relating in a way that recognizes they share universal values. More than two thousand years ago, the Indian emperor Ashoka, a Buddhist, said, "Other sects should be duly honored in every way on all occasions." The great poet and contemporary of Gandhi, Rabindranath Tagore, wrote, that the "idea of India" itself militates "against the intense consciousness of the separateness of one's own people from others."

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Topics: Interfaith Issues & Dialogue. 8 Points: Point 2: Pluralism. Resource Types: Articles.

Just Ways to Repair an Unjust War

Full disclosure: I am among those who opposed the invasion of Iraq before it happened. I opposed it for Christian reasons. Moreover, I think those reasons have a pragmatic function: they would have prevented us from embarking on a pre-emptive war that has proved to be disastrous.

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Jesus Through the Eyes of Rumi, a Sufi Mystic

Occasionally throughout history, someone comes along and moves a religion
from being a pond religion to an ocean religion.  Someone comes onto the
scene and blows the lid off the top of religion, reforming it, transforming
it.  Jesus was one such figure.

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Topics: Interfaith Issues & Dialogue. 8 Points: Point 2: Pluralism. Resource Types: Sermons.

Gateway into God’s Realm

Text: John 10:1-10  During World War II the famous American pilot, Captain Eddie Rickenbacker, was flying on a special mission to the Pacific Islands. The plane crashed, and Rickenbacker and his crew were lost at sea for …

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Topics: Interfaith Issues & Dialogue. 8 Points: Point 2: Pluralism. Ages: Adult. Texts: John. Resource Types: Sermons.

The United Religions Initiative

I was invited to research and write what turned out to be a chapter entitled, “Anglican Attitudes and Behaviors Concerning War,” in an Anglican Ethics text book edited by Paul Elmen, The Anglican Moral Choice. The gist of it is that Anglicans are second to none in being for peace in peacetime, and for war in wartime. This illustrates the unfortunate tendency of religions to sanctify violence.

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Many Voices, One God: Remodeling Christianity for a Pluralistic World

In the four years that I have been back in the US and teaching, I find one of the hopeful signs of Christianity is being able to be a relevant and meaningful religion. One of the hopeful signs is TCPC. I am not saying this to say how wonderful you people are. Those of us who are following the development of religious tradition see that the capacity of a religious tradition to reorient itself to the world in which we have come to live is one the important signs of the possibility of survival.

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Topics: Interfaith Issues & Dialogue. 8 Points: Point 2: Pluralism. Resource Types: Articles and Interfaith.
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