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When Your Heart Is Feeling Blue

From the ‘Sing Young, Sing Joyfully’ collection

When your heart is feeling blue,
Feeling blue, feeling blue,
Count your blessings and give thanks,
Give thanks to God.

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If My Eyes Are Full of Tears

From the ‘Sing Young, Sing Joyfully’ collection

If my eyes are full of tears,
If my heart is numb with pain,
Give me hope that does not die;
Bring me back to life again.

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Our Spirits Are Like the Trees

From the ‘Sing Young, Sing Joyfully’ collection

Our spirits are like the trees of the forest,
Or trees as they stand guarding a park.
Our spirits can reach as high as tall timber.
Praise God for Spirit’s sacred life.

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I Don’t Have to Be

From the ‘Sing Young, Sing Joyfully’ collection

(Boys) I don’t have to be king of the castle,
I just want to be me.
(Girls) I don’t have to be queen of the castle,
I just need the courage to be,

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We’re Really Like the Onions

From the ‘Sing Young, Sing Joyfully’ collection

We’re really like the onions
With skins beneath our skin.
Each face has ways of masking
The private worlds within.

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Is There A Perfect Church?

As we are inching our way back into church, I wonder whether finding the perfect church is fair to any of them. Is a church closer to humanity — imperfect and growing? Or closer to God — a light to the world? And if I’m going to compromise, what is most important to me? Where am I willing to bend?

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A Joyful Path, Year One, Lesson 7: Concentrating Our Energy

The Monkey and the Well

To succeed at any undertaking requires the ability to calmly focus our energy. Without concentration even our best efforts are weakened — even our efforts to love, meditate, or simply pray.

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Patheos Public Square: Faith in the New Security State- Panel

Since 9/11 Americans have largely accepted the idea that national security requires a trade-off between government power and freedom. However, recent revelations about the extent of government surveillance have raised serious questions about overreach, abuse of power, and the limits of democracy. How should people of faith respond to these revelations? Amid wide-spread public apathy over drone warfare, surveillance, and open-ended wars on “terror,” how can faith leaders provide stronger moral leadership? Do our faith traditions have anything distinctive to say in relation to alleged government overreach, whether by the NSA or the CIA? And how do we assess the ethics of those who expose secret government operations in the name of preventing abuse?

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Secular Spirit: Samhain Sandy (Hallowe’en 2012)

Millions of children in the Northeast quadrant of the United States will have to miss their annual spook-fest and candy shake-down on October 31 this year. Something far more terrifying than any Halloween slasher film rose up from the tropics and swooped onto the mainland in the last few days of October. Like a fell creature from JRR Tolkien’s Middle Earth, the “Frankenstorm” named Sandy, spinning counter-clockwise (the Devil’s own widdershins), spread its Nazgûl wings from North Carolina to the Great Lakes. What began as a late-season Hurricane (strange enough) was sucked into an early Arctic cold front, and created a weather system never before experienced in recorded human time.

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A Joyful Path, Year One, Lesson 35: Experiencing God as Joy, A Christmas Lesson

We know true joy when we experience the reality of God’s presence within. The word joy is used at Christmastime so often that it is almost synonymous with the season. When we have an inner awareness of the presence of God, we experience joy. When we celebrate the birth of Christ, we celebrate that living presence born on earth. Joyful day! God’s presence can be experienced in every moment of our lives when we become aware that the reality of God never changes; it is not dependent on circumstance or season.

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Answers for Lukas

My “musing” a few weeks ago focused on a 7-year old boy’s question:  “What ideas do you have about how to stop the mean people?”  Since seeing his question on a poster he made and placed on …

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The Donkey’s Dream

A beautifully illustrated story of the Nativity. He was just an ordinary donkey, but on his back he carried a miracle. He carried the Virgin Mary to Bethlehem on the night she gave birth. Along the way he dreamed he was carrying a city, a ship, a fountain, and a rose. He dreamed he was carrying a lady full of heaven–and he was. Barbara Helen Berger’s glowing artwork and lyrical text perfectly convey the beauty and majesty of the story of the Nativity

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Baptism Liturgy

Baptism is a symbol, reminding us that God has given us all the gift of life, and through the grace of Jesus Christ, all are united as one family. We are assured that we are a part of the eternal love of God. Those who participate in this symbol are marked for Christian discipleship, and are initiated into the fellowship of the Church. Jesus made it abundantly clear that children are important in the scheme of God’s creation. Remember how he said, “Let the children come to me, do not hinder them; for to such belongs the kingdom of God”.

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