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What Should We Teach our Children About Religion? – Sermon Video

Progressives are less interested in teaching the beliefs of our or any other religion. We are much more interested in teaching ethics, behavior, justice and compassion. We can demonstrate what it means to be a person of faith by telling the stories of modern prophets and saints: Gandhi, Dorothy Day, King, Mandela, Romero, Mother Teresa and others who have lived as examples of what it means to be people of faith. We must “preach the church to the church” telling the stories of those who are within our own community who have given of themselves in remarkable ways. If we want to raise a generation of leaders and heroes we must accept that we must set the example in the way that we practice our faith.

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Winter Solstice Ritual

On the altar: 4 candles for the directions, a wreath with 4 candles around the edges and a 5th (larger) candle in the middle.

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Topics: Devotional, Spiritual Exploration & Practice, and Worship & Liturgy. Seasons & Special Events: Advent. Resource Types: Full Service Liturgies and Interfaith.

I Will Light Candles this Christmas

by Howard Thurman

I will light candles this Christmas.
Candles of joy, despite all sadness.
Candles of hope where despair keeps watch.

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Topics: Prayer, Spiritual Exploration & Practice, and Worship & Liturgy. 8 Points: Point 4: Act As We Believe. Seasons & Special Events: Advent and Christmas. Resource Types: Affirmations, Prayers, and Readings.

Shall We Still Pray? – Sermon Video

Soren Kierkegaard has said that prayer does not change the One to Whom we pray but it changes the one who prays. If we accept that prayer is not asking a supernatural theistic god to grant us wishes, how then do we pray so that it changes us?

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Thanks for Nothing

A Commentary for Thanksgiving in an Age of Anxiety

American retailers have essentially pre-announced that the annual Thanksgiving observance — when we presumably pause to gratefully remember everything we have — has been cancelled so bargain shoppers can get an even earlier jump-start on their holiday shopping for all the things we don’t have yet.

Meanwhile, halfway around the world a typhoon of record proportion hit landfall only a few weeks ago; nearly wiping an island nation off the face of the earth, and leaving those who survived with virtually nothing. Then last week an unseasonable swarm of twisters flattened whole towns across the Midwest. By comparison, it all makes the plight of those first pilgrims facing the harsh realities of their first Thanksgiving in a brave new world look like a walk in the park.

And, all the while, the airwaves and media have been filled with docu-dramas and documentaries commemorating the half-century mark of those events that shattered an age of relative innocence for those of us old enough to remember it; ushering in an age of extraordinary upheaval and anxiety, starting with what social critics and historians alike attribute to the assassination of JFK. Juxtaposed and taken together, these events represent a seeming un-reality that hasn’t really abated much in the last fifty years. We live in an age of anxiety.

Jesus masterfully taught in the philosophical tradition known as Jewish cynicism, with such parabolic tales and quaint-sounding imagery as the “lilies of the field.” And he did so at a time and age that – while seemingly ancient to our modern way of thinking – may not have been all that different from our own anxious age. Consider then our fretful, misbegotten ways, and the wild lilies of the fields.

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Evolving or Not

A significant number of scholars and commentators are celebrating the dying of what they believe has been and remains a detrimental institution for our society. They often point to the absence of religion in Europe. They note how those countries have aggressively built public institutions for the support of their citizens in need. In some ways, one could argue they have become more Christian in their public actions than the United States.

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Naked in Church

I have many “naked” dreams, easily explained because I sleep in the buff. That may be T.M.I., but it lessens attempts to over-psychologize these dreams, though much could be made of an introvert having such dreams! Of course, I have dreams about being naked in church as well. And it always seems normal and I am unashamed, but sometimes think perhaps I should be, because I am the only one in the nude.

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Where Will the Church Go Next?

I offer that the literal interpretation of this story, being a myth, represents an interpretation of a truth that constitutes one of the most powerful paradigms in history since it is the foundation of the entire Muslim and Judeo-Christian religions. And Paul’s allegorical interpretation (another myth) obliterates God’s justification for the existence of the Muslim religion – a monumental feat. So, which myth deserves to exist? Only the one that serves as a long-term bond to a civilization, which both do. Yet Paul’s myth interpretation of the Muslim faith did not take, while the Muslim myth did.

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