Freedom Fest 2019

Rabbi Brian reminds us that the point of Easter and Passover is that we are forgiven, liberated, free. We forget that, cause we know the story too well. Imagine if you didn’t. And, imagine what you need freedom from?

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Celebrating Life

We respond in awe to our life in God’s realm.
The Essence of Creation encompasses us,

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No Human Being is Illegal

Sermon by Rev. Elizabeth Durant delivered on June 18, 2018 at First Congregational UCC Portland.

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ProFuture Faith: The Prodigal Species Comes Home

Order before April 22nd for half-price: $74.50

Featuring eco-theologian, author, and TEDx speaker, Rev. Michael Dowd, ProFuture Faith is a dynamic eight-session DVD and internet-based course that bridges the gap between head and heart, science and faith. The basic format for each 1 – 1-1/2 hour session includes conversation around the readings, a 20-minute video presentation and guided discussion.

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We need safe spaces of worship

The high holy holidays of Passover and Easter are fast approaching and Ramadan is in May. Attacks, however, on places of worship are becoming too frequent in this global climate of intolerance. As a worshiper, I need our president to make us safe.

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A Requiem for Notre Dame de Paris, The Soul of a Nation

The psychologist and genius Otto Rank, author of the classic work Art and Artist, said that if you want to know the soul of a nation go to its architecture first.  Notre Dame de Paris and the entire gothic revolution of the 12th century Renaissance that it encapsules (along with Chartres Cathedral 30 miles beyond Paris), tells us much about the soul of France.  And our own souls.

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The Future Is Calling Us To Greatness

With series host Michael Dowd + 55 Experts

A worldwide movement is emerging at the nexus of science, inspiration, and sustainability. Beliefs are secondary. What unites us is a pool of shared values and commitments—and the vision of a just and healthy future for humanity and the larger body of life. This historic series of 30-60 minute Skype interviews showcases the work of many of today’s leaders and luminaries regarding what to expect in the decades ahead, what’s being done—what still needs to be done—and how to be in action despite enormous challenges. These 55 experts represent a veritable Who’s Who of prophetic inspiration.

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Why We Don’t Say ‘Illegals’

In much the same way, undocumented immigrants should not be called “illegals” nor should asylum seekers be said to be “sneaking in.” These terms paint a misleading picture—no doubt to discredit and reduce sympathy for these people. However, spreading a misleading testimony about others is a violation of one of the 10 Commandments.

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Why do so many churches mostly practice charity rather than justice?

Why do you think so many churches mostly practice charity rather than justice?

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A Conversation with Bishop John Shelby Spong

Rev. David Felten interviewed Bishop John Shelby Spong on September 18, 2018 at his home in Virginia.

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Negative Racial Stereotypes in Popular Kids Movies

I’ve been immersed in watching animated films these days along with my toddler. Two of the movies in our daily rotation include Trolls and Sing (both 2016). Both are very well done. Both went to great lengths to offer something for parents as well as for children. And both, I believe, made efforts to avoid negative racial and cultural stereotypes. Yet, in both movies, some unfortunate mistakes fell through the cracks.

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Outside the Lines: How Embracing Queerness Will Transform Your Faith

Mihee Kim-Kort is a wife, a mom, and a Presbyterian minister. And she’s queer. As she became aware of her queer sexuality, Mihee wondered what that meant for her spirituality. But instead of pushing her away from God, it brought her closer to Jesus and taught her how to love better.

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A Bigger Table: Building Messy, Authentic, and Hopeful Spiritual Community

No one likes to eat alone; to approach a table filled with people, only to be told that despite the open chairs there isn’t room for you. The rejection stings. It leaves a mark. Yet this is exactly what the church has been saying to far too many people for far too long: “You’re not welcome here. Find someplace else to sit.” How can we extend unconditional welcome and acceptance in a world increasingly marked by bigotry, fear, and exclusion?

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Rehearsing Scripture: Discovering God’s Word in Community

We can study it carefully. We can listen to sermons on it and read what the experts say about it. But in the end, says Anna Carter Florence, Scripture needs to be rehearsed and encountered—and we can do that best in community with others.

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Mel White Quote

If there is any one message the Bible delivers, it is the message that God loves outcasts and that Jesus was born into the world an outcast to rescue and renew outcasts from religion gone bad. He was born poor and died poor, yet the legacy of love he left us, the legacy of inclusion and acceptance and understanding, will endure forever.

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Sensible Gun Laws Save Lives

Six days after the attack on mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand has outlawed military style weapons. Australia had done the same thing just 12 days after the Port Arthur massacre. From Columbine to the present, we have had more than 50 well publicized mass murders. While we can be frustrated by a government that ignores the fact that 75% of Americans want more sensible gun laws but what can we say about the silence of 400,000 churches in the face of this crazy situation?

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Two New Books by Deacon Norm Carroll

Deacon Norm Carroll has published two new books: “Miracles, Messages and Metaphors: Unlocking the Wisdom of the Bible” and “The Whole Story: The Wedding of Science and Religion”

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The Comanche and the Horse | Native America | Sacred Stories | PBS

Today the image of Indians on horseback is iconic. But Native Americans never set eyes on a horse before the 15th century when Europeans bring them to America as a weapon of conquest. The Comanche and other native peoples adapt the horse as a powerful ally in the fight to protect their land and way of life. The Comanche consider the horse a relative and a gift from the Creator.

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