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Faith of metaphor and mystery

Hymn lyrics – general version and wedding/union version
(Can be sung to: Regent Square (Angels from the realms of glory)—Henry Thomas Smart, Westminster Abbey (Christ is made a sure foundation)—Henry Purcell, or Cwm Rhondda (Guide me, O Thou Great Redeemer)—John Hughes)

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My Five Lessons from “On Faith”

It was five years ago this month that we launched On Faith. The idea was to inform and educate about all faiths (and no faith) and to initiate an on-going discussion about the role of religion, values and ethics in our daily lives.

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Good News, Bad News: An Amnesty Gospel for Advent

There’s two sides to every story, and there’s often some good news and bad news. Is the Gospel all good news? That depends. This Advent commentary considers the implications of rethinking and retelling the Christmas story.

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The Coming of Jesus – An Answer to Prayer?

A look at how Christians today still want the kind of physical power Messiah that the Jews hoped for and who will change the world for us, when the actual need is for a spiritual change within ourselves and for us to respond to a vision and a challenge.

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A Voice in the Wilderness

The underlying assumption in this study of Luke (and eventually Acts and the authentic letters of Paul) is that Luke wrote his gospel and his account of the Acts of the Apostles as a subversive counter to Roman oppression, and the Roman imperial theology that proclaimed Cesar (whether Augustus or Tiberias) as the son of God.  The voice of John the Baptist screamed from the edges of civilization about “repentance” until Herod Antipas had had enough.

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Love Breathing

A free ebook, “Love Breathing” is available at www.howtoLoveGod.org.
It relates methods to help people practice loving God better in their daily life.

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Toward a New Cosmology: Advent 2011

In a parody of the story of Caesar’s birth, Jesus of Nazareth was heralded by angels, and born of a virgin.  We can still hope for direct action against oppressive Empire and for distributive justice-compassion; against a greed world and for a share world; against zero-sum gaming of every system devised by humanity, and for a radical abandonment of self-interest.

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Liturgy for Christmas Eve

Four altars will be established at the cardinal directions. Room is set in a quartered circle, with four pathways and a center open space. In the center will be a Central Candle. A hooded figure enters, riding a hobby horse (a broom horse). The Hobby Horse goes to each of the four altars and invokes the directions, beginning with the North: Tune played with recorder and/or violin: Abbot Bromley’s Horn Dance. As the hobby horse arrives at each altar, the tune stops while the spirit is invoked, then starts up again until the hobby horse arrives at the next altar . . . etc.

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Spiritual But Not Religious? Come Talk to Me

As a professor of religious studies I can relate to some degree. I, too, have found myself an unwitting listener to the personal and sometimes bizarre reflections of total strangers on airplanes, who seem to believe that the word “religious” in my job title means I am someone good to talk to.

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Leaders or Obstructionist?

The question that I ask is, in this rapidly changing world, where has the church been and where will it be in the future? What we do know is that in the sixties, some clergy were in the streets, marching for civil rights but it was a small percentage. Many of them lost their churches as a result. More clergy preached about what they thought Jesus would want us to do about the Vietnam War, and their actions caused one of the largest exoduses in church history. Clergy learned that there were consequences in taking a conscientious stand. Today they are learning that lesson all over again when taking a stand for full inclusion for gays and lesbians in the life of the church. And, based on my limited survey, most of them are “tip-toeing” around the Occupiers protests. Denominations are once again being split by righteousness. 

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The Immutability of Change

From: Words and Ways

Wave after wave of natural disasters and eruptions of human conflict set our heads spinning. Despotic regimes are getting overthrown, one right after the other; while the Occupy Movement gains momentum, demanding change of one sort or another. If change is the one constant, why do we resist? If it might reflect the nature of a divine imperative, how might we become agents and co-participants of such change ourselves?

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The Inevitability of the Rise of Progressive Christianity

It is inevitable that Christians who would now be described as “liberal” will be the overwhelming majority of Christians in America. That sea change, the waters of which we already feel swelling everywhere around us, can no sooner be stopped than can the moon passing across the night sky. 

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Do We Need Jesus?

Do we need Jesus? I still do not know how to answer that. But I am pretty confident the modern secular world would not be as good as it is if it were not for the original input from Jesus of Nazareth. In any case, should we not rather be asking – Do we need to love our enemies?

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A Word to the Spiritual Seekers: The New Story

A New Story is beginning to emerge, the foundation of which is The Universe Story. You are a child of the Universe. Everyone of whatever race, colour or creed is a child of the Universe. It is the great uniting story, of which I have written many times.

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Thanksgiving (The Pearl of Great Price)

I am convinced that this movement of the soul has an exact counterpart in the body. What happens to us physically when we smell delicious food? We get hungry.

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There’s no such thing as coincidence.

It's just the secret meaning making itself known.

It is my opinion that the current changes are moving us toward a spiritual awakening, a way of being never before experienced on earth. Something new is coming into existence. We are giving birth, with all its birthing pains, to a Mystery much greater than ourselves.

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