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When the World Reveals a Fractured Face

From the Boundless Life collection

When the world reveals a fractured face,
When the parts diverge to form extremes,
Can we build a world by joining hands
To fulfil the Gospel’s many dreams?

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Topics: Egalitarianism and Worship & Liturgy. 8 Points: Point 2: Pluralism and Point 4: Act As We Believe. Seasons & Special Events: Pluralism Sunday. Resource Types: Hymns.

Advancing in the Spirit

‘Advancing’ in the spirit by which we can be fed;
Our search for truth is central in all that’s done and said;
In openness we search but it’s not for certainty,
For God is not restricted to our theology.

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In Praise of Doubt

If our beliefs prevent our search
For new and different creeds;
Let us beware of narrow views
Where dogma often breeds;
With new, exciting facts we learn
Much love can come about;
Yes! Those who grow in their beliefs
Can sing in praise of doubt.

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The Tie that Binds

The questions before us in this e-bulletin are two: How important are beliefs in an evolving faith? and, Does community need to agree on belief? More generally, the issues pertain to the tie that binds community and the experience that underlies that tie.

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Way of the Cross

Rev. Sam Alexander is Pastor of First Presbyterian Church of San Rafael, CA. He is a graduate of Sarah Lawrence College, B.A., and Union Seminary in Virginia, M.Div. Sam has served congregations in Maryland and in the San Francisco Bay area and is currently Pastor of First Presbyterian Church of San Rafael. He serves as an Adjunct Instructor in Homiletics at San Francisco Theological Seminary. What they call, “his provocative sermons” have inspired, disturbed, and delighted his congregations.

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Along the Way

The Right Moral Way has not changed over time and remains psychologically sound. In a “Psychology Today” article entitled ‘The (Only) Seven Spiritual Principles We Need to Succeed’, Karl Albrecht reveals traditional key values for moral living that are still crucial in contemporary times.

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Easter Essay: Believe the Story or Trust the Promise?

Easter calls attention to the traditional, fundamental “beliefs” associated with the Christian religion – if only for a day. The secular world pays little attention to the nuances of Christian “faith” in a post-Christian world. Easter is a liturgical season that lasts for seven weeks. In Christian tradition, the time between the resurrection of Jesus and his “ascension” into the sky (Pentecost) replaces the time between the Jewish Feast of the Passover and the giving of the law to Moses on Mt. Sinai. Not only do most Christians concentrate on the resurrection story – often literally. Editorial writers for supposedly sophisticated secular media seem to feel obligated to attempt to find meaning in the traditional religious legend of a dead man walking out of his tomb. But “faith” does not mean “belief.” “Faith” means “trust.” “Faith” further means “confidence.”

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Beyond Belief: Spiritual Practice as the Focus of Christian Community

Dogma and doctrine should not get in the way of practicing Love, who is God. Doctrines can be interesting: they help us understand the origins and background of our religion. But repeating creeds is not the price of admission into Christianity. Instead of caring whether the story of Jesus’ resurrection was a fact or a myth, let’s look in the story for inspiration to turn from the way of death to the way of life. Let’s care about our neighbors without jobs or health insurance, face the resentment in our hearts that needs to be released, become activist citizens, and learn to bring our careers in alignment with our highest values. Let’s gather in churches, soup kitchens, work-places, living rooms, and cafés to support each other in doing things that matter, and let go of old doctrines that don’t.

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Monthly eBulletin – How Important Are Our Beliefs

As we gather to support each other in sacred community, or as we search for sacred community, shared beliefs and common ideas have great value. But is it essential that we all agree on what we believe to be true?

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We Are One with the Creatures (Sato)

We are one with the creatures,
One with the plants,
One with the life of Earth.

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Topics: Arts and Music, Social & Environmental Ministry, and Worship & Liturgy. 8 Points: Point 7: Integrity of the Earth. Seasons & Special Events: Earth Day. Resource Types: Chants and Hymns.

Ghost Ranch NM

Written May 13, 1991

Each tuft of desert grass
God gives a separate place
Profligate with space
That pilgrim feet may pass.

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Topics: Fiction and Poetry, Social & Environmental Ministry, and Worship & Liturgy. 8 Points: Point 7: Integrity of the Earth. Seasons & Special Events: Earth Day. Resource Types: Poetry and Readings.
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