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How Important Are Our Beliefs- eBulletin

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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My Kind of Atheist- Book Review

Book Review of Why I Am an Atheist Who Believes in God: How to Give Love, Create Beauty and Find Peace, by Frank Schaeffer

Although this book is very much about Schaeffer’s own journey to freedom, there’s enough of the good theologian and good biblical scholar in him to delight those of us who can never get enough of that kind of thing. He does a lot with the figure of Jesus as the only lens through which to grasp what God might be like, if God existed (the key God-marker in Jesus, according to Schaeffer: “non-judgmental co-suffering empathy”). He notes that Jesus violated every religious taboo of his time and place: touching dead people, touching lepers, touching women and letting women touch him.

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Samsara- DVD

SAMSARA is a Sanskrit word that means “the ever turning wheel of life” and is the point of departure for the filmmakers as they search for the elusive current of interconnection that runs through our lives. Filmed over a period of almost five years in twenty-five countries, SAMSARA transports us to sacred grounds, disaster zones, industrial sites, and natural wonders. By dispensing with dialogue and descriptive text, SAMSARA subverts our expectations of a traditional documentary, instead encouraging our own inner interpretations inspired by images and music that infuses the ancient with the modern.

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Prayer

O Dear One, light that travels years, darkness that frames the day, creativity that defies our conventions, cataclysm that mocks our smug sense of control, inspiration for the book of Psalms and the Book of Job alike, prayerfully we turn to you now.

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Topics: Prayer and Worship & Liturgy. 8 Points: Point 5: Non-Dogmatic Searchers. Seasons & Special Events: All Seasons. Resource Types: Prayers.

Here Is Bread and Here Is Wine

Here is bread and here is wine,
Food and drink we savor with delight;
Now upon this altar blessed,
Moving us beyond our taste and sight.

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Topics: Arts and Music and Worship & Liturgy. Seasons & Special Events: All Seasons. Rituals: Communion and Eucharist. Resource Types: Audio MP3 and Hymns.

Deeper Love: A Song for Communion

For deeper love we spread the bread
I won’t be full till all are fed
Till every soul has home and bed
The rest of us can’t move ahead

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Invitation to the Sacrament

The invitation is announced
To greatest and to least;
For all are welcome; “Come with us;
Share this symbolic feast.”

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Topics: Arts and Music and Worship & Liturgy. 8 Points: Point 3: Inclusive Community. Rituals: Communion and Eucharist. Resource Types: Hymns.

Prayer for Discipleship

God of love,
source of mercy and compassion,
weave your dream for the world
into the fabric of our lives.

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The kingdom is at hand

A young man roams the city
With anger in his eyes.
His rage glows like an ember,
His soul is cold as ice.

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O God of Peace

O God of peace, be with us now.
Stand here beside us; bring hope this day.
Transform this world of greed and strife,
From domination to your new way.

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Doxology for Humanity

Praise life that makes us change and grow
Praise love that makes compassion flow
Praise peace that ends all strife and fear
Praise hands that work for justice here

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The arms of love

I went to the funeral home last night
to see a friend whose life was entwined with mine.
Someone once told me
that if you want to know the truth about a person’s life
go to their funeral.

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Ring Poem

A Wedding Blessing

To eternity this moment yields
By rings imbued with covenanting power

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Topics: Worship & Liturgy. 8 Points: Point 8: Compassion and Selfless Love. Seasons & Special Events: Wedding. Ages: Adult. Resource Types: Affirmations, Blessings, and Poetry.

For Life and Love, Let All Rejoice

A Wedding Hymn

Like potter’s clay on spinning wheel,
Grasped by strong hands that push and pull,
Our lives take shape in height and breadth,
In form and grace most wonderful.

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Topics: Arts and Music and Worship & Liturgy. 8 Points: Point 8: Compassion and Selfless Love. Seasons & Special Events: Wedding. Ages: Adult. Resource Types: Hymns.

Joined with Love

A Wedding Hymn

In community we gather,
Off’ring blessings on this day.
Friends and fam’ly joined together,
Raising voices now to pray.

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Topics: Arts and Music and Worship & Liturgy. 8 Points: Point 8: Compassion and Selfless Love. Seasons & Special Events: Wedding. Ages: Adult. Resource Types: Hymns.

Developing Rituals With Meaning and Life

Over the last few years I have spoken and written extensively about my concerns with churches that continue to use ancient rituals, hymns and icons that reflect an understanding of a Fourth Century Christianity while the church leadership claims to be part of a progressive or at least “emerging” church. I am referring here specifically to the story that Jesus was the only begotten son of God, came to earth with one purpose, to suffer a horrible death as God’s sacrifice for the sins of the world. More than one critic of religion over the last century has argued that religions control participants with rituals that few ever give rational thought to.

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