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Seeking a Moral Compass

By: Julia Baird.  From Newsweek.com.  Few would argue that the recession should not force us to rethink what we want and love—and how we behave toward those who have less than we do. It is clear that we should be self-sufficient and not rely on debt. That we should live more simply, consume more wisely, think of generations to come, and wonder what desires we want to plant in children’s hearts.

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Not the Easy Way

The ultimate problem for most of the early theologians was their need to identify Jesus as a divine messiah sent by an intervening God to save humanity from humanity’s God-given nature. Rather than accepting Jesus as a profound teacher of another way to experience reality (The Kingdom of God), all the emphasis has been on an outside force, (being), going through some horrible heroic act on our poor behalf, and then only if we repent.

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Christianity and the Child-Free

A small article discussing a common criticism in the mainstream to being a Child-Free Christian.

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Charter for Compassion

A call to bring the world together…We urgently need to make compassion a clear, luminous and dynamic force in our polarized world. Rooted in a principled determination to transcend selfishness, compassion can break down political, dogmatic, ideological and religious boundaries. Born of our deep interdependence, compassion is essential to human relationships and to a fulfilled humanity. It is the path to enlightenment, and indispensible to the creation of a just economy and a peaceful global community.

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Drop The Stone

There is a kind of moral rigidity that is the province of youth. The less experience one has of the slings and arrows, the easier it is to see the world in primary colors; a sense of moral nuance, like an eye for tints and shades, takes time and experience to develop.

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What About Sin?

Obviously how we think about sin changes how we think about repentance, forgiveness and reconciliation.  If we understand sin to be primarily personal… the burden is on us individually to change our behavior. Change in personal behavior is always good when we identify behaviors and thoughts that we know we need to change.  But personal change does not adequately deal with destruction and hurt and evil that can come from the corporate, communal sin. For example: we might know that we have to change our attitudes toward homeless persons…and be more generous in our personal charity.  And it is good to do so.  But that still does not change the structural economic and political situations that will continue to result in more and more homeless people.  Or we might become aware that we personally need to be more open minded to those who are different from us.  So personal transformation is good.  But that does not change the systems of racism, sexism or homophobia. That infuses much of our cultural landscape.

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November 6-8, 2009: TCPC President to Lead Regional Event in Lafayette, CA

Guiding your Church through Change in Our Changing Times:Guiding congregational change requires a healthy sensitivity to the various dimensions of change that are taking place within the life of your community. Fred Plumer, TCPC President, will share a multilayered approach to guiding change within the vibrant life of your congregation that harnesses current cultural trends and the emerging spirit of Progressive Christianity.

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On Using Religious Language in Public, Right and Left

That is why I’ve gone on at such length on the subject. It occurs to me that using religious language as a gloss to indicate moral seriousness doesn’t take faith seriously. For that matter, it doesn’t take seriously the idea that there are competing worldviews at work in our political discourse, let alone offer a meaningful alternative.

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A Voice from the Ocean Depths

America’s problems extend beyond these obvious structural weaknesses. An intellectual depravity that avoids lasting solutions has settled over large segments of the body politic. As a result, congress is often divided on critical issues between far right and left. Important legislation often turns into polarized partisan battle. Compromise to find passage demeans the rigor of clear hard fought thought leaving only a flaccid attempt to solve the problem at hand.

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Ecology, Spirituality, and the Evolution of Consciousness

It is my task to speak on ecology, spirituality, and the evolution of consciousness. My intention is to describe the characteristics of an ecological spirituality be for the 21st century. Such a spirituality would transcend, yet include, all traditional religious expressions of spirituality. Each religious tradition, including my own – Christianity – is faced with the challenge of interpreting this ecological crisis through the lens of its tradition and mobilizing its constituency to take action. We either do this, or risk irrelevance. This is what I set out to do in my book, Darwin, Divinity, and the Dance of the Cosmos: An Ecological Christianity. Yet there is a need to broaden the definition of spirituality in a way that speaks to that growing demographic – especially in Cascadia – that define themselves as "spiritual, but not religious".

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Environment in Relgion

written by Vladimir Tomek

Destruction of nature, whether quick and immediate, like the slash-and-burn agricultural practices, or gradual, such as the destruction of the ozone layer, dulls our sensitivity to the presence of God in the natural world.

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Global Ecology- How Big Is Your Backyard?

Will you love with a love so broad that you know that what happens in your backyard affects and is affected by what happens in the planetary backyard that we call the earth?

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Hope For Environmental Stewardship

I am fully aware that 2,000 years ago Jesus hadn't even heard of global warming and nuclear weapons. However, his teachings and his lifestyle were in direct opposition to all attempts in every age to exploit the weak, the poor, human life and nature itself.

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Spirituality of Mother Earth

I have come to realize that it would be impossible for me to have a holistic spirituality that was not somehow connected and grounded in an awesome appreciation of our Mother Earth. We are of the earth and the earth is of us. The idea that the Universe was created by a theistic God outside of us, for our needs has perpetuated the duality myth that no longer fits our understanding of reality or the cosmos. It allows us to produce Christian spiritualities that function in a certain isolated context without regard for the larger society or the very earth that sustains us.

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Oneness

As my eyes opened this day..and again awakened into a new morning, the thought arose in my mind: ”I am part of all of this”….and I smiled! My heart is most grateful…for every experience lived, I know Love and its living Source. I can walk, run, dance and hop,…I can breathe…I can breathe..not only that! I can smell and detect the exquisite fragrances and scents of flowers…my favorite magical children of the earth…they are children in disguises ..you know?

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Hope for the Elimination of Terrorism

Terrorism is a religious disease.  Jesus, however, refused to take up the sword. He turned their weak violence into powerful non-violence. "No more of this!" he said. And he touched the Roman soldier's ear and healed him. In that symbolic act, Jesus turned the "military industrial complex" upside down. "My kingdom," he told them, "is not like this one. Choose this day whose kingdom you will serve."

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Faith Talk

Summary~"It is by talking about our faith and how our faith impacts our lives that is the way that people come to their understanding of their own faith. It is by sharing our faith with others that others come to their faith. Traditionally evangelism has been that one person shares their faith with another so that they believe the same. There is demand and threat there. This practice has done much damage in our world and has turned so many people off from their faith. How can we talk about our faith in a way that communicates the hope that we have without being oppressive, without being offensive to the faith that someone else has?"

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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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