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Ritual in Progressive Christianity

When we look at Christianity in particular, there are three issues to address: the role of the sacraments of baptism and communion in the future, new ritual created by and for small progressive groups, and thirdly, ritual that would be inviting to all people, regardless of religion.

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The Power of Ritual

In the short interval between hearing the words and partaking of the symbolic body of Christ, I was enveloped in one of those rare moments of total oneness with all that is. The word “body” became present to me in a way I had not previously experienced. A feeling of connectedness with all mortal life swept over me. And beyond that an awareness of my aliveness being one with the aliveness of the earth and universe.

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Ritual as Part of Life

Let us hold gently to those rituals which have had meaning for us, but examine them diligently to be sure they are inclusive of others. Let us find richness in rituals which honour the Earth, our home; which revere the non-human community; and which draw together the human species in strength and compassion.

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Eucharistic Prayer on Pentecost

Presider: God be with you
People: And also with you
Presider: Open your hearts
People: We open our hearts to God

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Topics: Prayer and Worship & Liturgy. Seasons & Special Events: Pentecost. Rituals: Communion. Resource Types: Ceremony, Full Service Liturgies, and Prayers.

Long Years Ago

Tune: How Great Thou Art

Long years ago the promised Holy Spirit
With wind and flame, in resurrection might
Inspired true love, compassion rich within it,
And now as then rekindles vision’s light.

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Topics: Arts and Music and Worship & Liturgy. Seasons & Special Events: Pentecost. Resource Types: Hymns.

A Parable

The kingdom of God is like the leader of a mainline religious institution who needed to hire new clergy to minister to his congregations.

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Corporate Worship

My understanding of the flow of worship is that it is a four act drama beginning with a “gathering” and ending with a “send-out”. The four acts of worship between the gathering and send-out are: 1) CONFESSION; 2) PRAISE; 3) DEDICATION; and 4) COMMITMENT.

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Beyond Ritual – a Life of Prayer and Action

Bonhoeffer believed that in the future a religionless Christianity—stripped of its religious garments—would be limited to two things: prayer and action.3 He believed that through these two acts Christians would learn to see the world from a new perspective, with the eyes of those at the bottom of society—the people that Matthew called “the least of these.” For Bonhoeffer, prayer—especially intercessory prayer—becomes important because it creates a powerful sense of empathy and solidarity with the people one brings before God. This, in turn, motivates one to engage in “righteous” action—the seeking of justice in human society.

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Leadership Learnings from “Down Under” (Part 1)

In the mid 1980’s I was invited to be the ministerial leadership for the Uniting Church of Australia in Frankston, Victoria. This congregation taught me a great deal about the church as community.

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Holy Week – An Exploration of the Meaning of Kenosis

A sample of Sea Raven’s work, a free PDF download of the Bible Study found in Appendix Two of The Year of Luke, is available: “Holy Week: An Exploration of the Meaning of Kenosis.”

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Silver Linings Playbook: Aging & The Christian Church

So I thought I’d check out some Christian communities where I thought I might perhaps fit in. I attended Quaker meetings for awhile, and while there is much to be said for simplicity and silence, I need more stimulation. So I thought I’d check out this mainline Protestant church, where I’d find a more familiar structure, including hymns and a sermon. Here are some thoughts after visiting this particular congregation twice…

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God Incarnate In Us (John 20:19-23)

Jesus wants his disciples to know that their betrayal, their breach of covenant loyalty, did not dissolve the covenant, did not result in their rejection. They are loved and accepted. This is where we all have to start or, perhaps, come back to – that we are accepted in spite of all our failures and betrayals, that we are accepted even though we do not deserve to be accepted. But to claim acceptance for ourselves means that we have to claim acceptance for everyone else. God’s gift of peace is not just for our group, it’s for the cosmos, and we who have heard that word and accepted it, are called by God to spread that word

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Forgiveness Refrain

From the Boundless Life collection

Forgiveness is our most precious gift,
The most Christ-like blessing we can share.

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Topics: Arts and Music, Devotional, and Worship & Liturgy. 8 Points: Point 1: Teachings of Jesus and Point 4: Act As We Believe. Seasons & Special Events: All Seasons. Resource Types: Audio MP3, Chants, Hymns, and Music.

Litany of Praise and Confession

Come to us, God of peace.
Come with your healing and your reconciling power.
Come, that fear may be cast out by love;

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Topics: Devotional, Prayer, and Worship & Liturgy. 8 Points: Point 1: Teachings of Jesus and Point 4: Act As We Believe. Seasons & Special Events: All Seasons. Prayers: Invocation. Resource Types: Prayers.

Prayer of Confession

Jesus, you set before us the way of wisdom: to care for the poor, feed the hungry, share instead of hoard our possessions, but it is a way that is counter to the ways of the world.

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Topics: Prayer and Worship & Liturgy. 8 Points: Point 1: Teachings of Jesus and Point 4: Act As We Believe. Seasons & Special Events: All Seasons. Resource Types: Prayers.

Guide Us All

Guide us all in the way everlasting;
Guide us all in the Way.

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Topics: Arts and Music and Worship & Liturgy. Seasons & Special Events: All Seasons. Resource Types: Chants.

Guest House

by Rumi

This being human is a guest house

Every morning a new arrival.

A joy, a depression, a meanness,

some momentary awareness comes

as an unexpected visitor.


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Topics: Fiction and Poetry and Worship & Liturgy. Seasons & Special Events: All Seasons. Resource Types: Poetry.
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