What is wrong with this picture?

Orange County’s latest project cost $35 million and is located on a ten-acre campus with state-of-the-art housing for up to four hundred homeless occupants. Each separate area is entirely soundproof and temperature-controlled. The five-star facility is two stories and over thirty thousand square feet. It features a large reception area with friendly greeters, large outdoor recreational areas, well-marked drop-off locations, outstanding medical facilities, and classrooms for educational activities.

The Orange County Board of Supervisors is extremely proud of this facility, and one of the county supervisors has publicly stated that this huge expenditure serves a critical need in the county.

Did I mention that this facility, built on former a Marine Corps air station, is a shelter for dogs, cats, and other animals?

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The difference authorization makes.

Perhaps the world wouldn’t be better if it conformed to our rules.
Perhaps the world would be better if we were better able to accept reality as it is.

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Jesus’ “Bad” Table Manners

The traditional beginning of the Communion story is “On the night that Jesus was betrayed…” But we did more than betray him that night; we denied him multiple times and abandoned him to the “powers that be.” We expressed shock that any of us would desert him, let alone betray him, and we each said, “Is it I, Lord?” Was our fear of authority figures and the awareness of Jesus’ and our vulnerability already palpable at the meal? Regardless, both believers and betrayers were welcome at his table.

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Right and Wrong Times and Places

Those who believe there is a right and wrong time and place to protest injustices are those whose privilege keeps them from the injustices. Those who with Rev. Dr. M.L. King, Jr., live by the principle that the right time to do the right thing is now, privileged or not, remind us of the immorality of acquiescence, apathy, indifference, denial, negligence, and procrastination in confronting injustice and evil.

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Our Witness: The unheard stories of LGBT+ Christians

I have met thousands of LGBT+ Christians around the world, and have witnessed the work of the Holy Spirit moving through them in the most profound ways. I have been blown away by how many Christian leaders have reached out to tell me that they too have felt the Spirit of God nudging them to step forward and embrace LGBT+ people as faithful members of Christ’s Church. I have watched as societies around the world have stepped closer and closer to affirming and embracing LGBT+ people as equal and essential parts of their communities. And I have seen true revival breaking forth in the midst of LGBT+ Christian communities.

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Getting Old or Getting Better?

Our culture over values youth and devalues those who are elderly, bringing us to a point where the suicide rate is rapidly growing among those over 85. We must accept that while the mortality rate is 100%, there are qualities that are of value to every stage of life. We must always bear in mind the “why” we have for living even when the “how” of life is challenging.

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Spiritual AND Religious

A sermon for Pentecost 12B – John 6:35,41-51

Bread, Bread, Bread, the gospel according to John: “I am the bread of life. I am the bread that came down from heaven. This is the bread that comes down from heaven, and if you eat it you’ll never die. I myself am the living bread come down from heaven. If any eat this bread they will live forever.” Bread, Bread, Bread, for five weeks in a row, preachers all over the world are doing our darnedest to serve up Jesus as the bread of life, bread for the world, bread that comes down from heaven, bread that provides eternal life. Bread, Bread, Bread. I who am not supposed to be letting bread pass my lips; I have been called upon to create sermons that will satisfy the lectionary’s insistence that we gorge ourselves on words and images which offer up Jesus as bread for the world.

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Affordable Health Care: Why It’s a Right for Everyone

The debate continues on whether or not healthcare is a right for everyone or only for the privileged. Often people ask if healthcare is an act of charity or a luxury. No matter which side you take on this issue, we should all agree that everyone should be taken care of, especially in times of sickness. Healthcare can be expensive and finding the right affordable resource for you and your family is vital. Here are a few reasons why affordable healthcare should be available to all families, no matter what their faith is.

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Souls “Flung Up to Heaven”: Maya Angelou and Hildegard of Bingen

Recently I co-lead a contemplative retreat at Sacred Heart Monastery in Cullman, Alabama. Four years ago on this site, Dewey Weiss Kramer gave an uplifting course on Hildegard of Bingen for Columbia Seminary’s Spiritual Formation Program. I decided to adapt today’s post from my reflections on that experience

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Meaningful Fellowship

The question of meaning and human motivation is not an easy question. It might be necessary to first ask, what is meaning? Is the meaning of life to simply survive? To maximize pleasure? Perhaps the “meta” meaning of life, generally speaking, is to discover a purpose within it? Or is it something deeper?

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Be My Neighbor

Why I want to be like Mr. Rogers when I grow up

“Who is my neighbor?” the lawyer asked, leading Jesus to tell the story of the Good Samaritan.  Every kid in America was neighbor to every other when they entered into Mr. Rogers’ realm. 

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“We’re a Nation of Laws…”

I often hear the retort “we’re a nation of laws.” Usually, it is given by someone justifying the exclusion of immigrants and a lack of compassion for their very difficult, often mind-numbingly horrific circumstances.

But what these folks probably don’t realize is that they are saying more about who they are than about immigrants. When you say “we’re a nation of laws,” you are setting a standard for yourself–and a good one.

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Hymn: Building a community

Building a community of love and grace
Reaching out and drawing in we make a place
Where all can live in unity and find the space
To live and grow in such amazing grace

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The Economics of Happiness

The happiness of Americans peaked in 1956 and has been going downhill ever since. People around the world are now taking matters into their own hands to forge a different future from the one governments and big businesses want. Find out how.

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Humanity’s awakening is the change you wish to see in the world.

As the moment for humanity’s Grand Awakening draws ever closer the energy of the Tsunami of Love continues to intensify to assist you in your preparations for this most wondrous event. I know that many of you have doubts, because it seems that you have been waiting for this divinely promised event for a very long time, while chaos and conflict throughout the world seems to be increasing and intensifying. You do have a lot of issues to resolve, each and everyone of you presently incarnate as a human, before the awakening can occur. It is a question of acknowledging all that you are aware of having thought, said, or done that is not in alignment with God’s Will, namely judgment, bitterness, resentment, hatred etc., and the letting go of any right you feel you have for restitution for wrongs done to you.

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Jesus’ Encounter with a Literalist

Scripture Lesson: John 3.1-21

Nicodemus may not have been the first or last literalist that Jesus encountered, but he is one whom most of us would least imagine to be one. He was “a leader of the Jews,” which meant he was well-educated and versed in the scriptures. He would have been very familiar with the nuance of words, and the various meanings that religious words might have. So it seems odd that he would not have known what Jesus was talking about when Jesus spoke with multivalent words.

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Is there a Creator of the Universe?

Has humankind invented God to look after life after death? One can say this in connection with many of the Gods in the Bible and elsewhere in man’s evolution, but is there a Creator of the Universe? If so, after studying the cosmos, one must conclude that it must be entirely different from what we have assumed, so far. If so, this might explain why we have produced such a cruel world with most of us thinking only of our own survival. But, again, there are so many examples of selflessness and good!

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San Francisco’s Grace Cathedral’s Beyoncé Mass

Finding God at a Beyoncé Mass

Beyoncé is undeniably the most powerful force in pop culture. So it makes sense that someone decided to bring her music and philosophy into church, where it belongs.

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