Anti-Abortion “Outing”

The people who want to make abortion illegal have just been “outed” for a profound inconsistency. Donald Trump, shooting from the hip, suggested that since abortion is murder, women who have abortions should be punished accordingly. The outcry from conservative culture warriors was immediate. Almost all anti-abortion campaigners oppose such criminalization, because they know that advocating for it would create a huge backlash against their efforts.

The right to choose whether or not to have an abortion is the mother of all rights. If you can’t be guaranteed the liberty to sort out something so intensely personal for yourself, what area of anybody’s life is secure from government intrusion? It is not a matter that can be put to a vote. God gave women sovereignty over their own bodies. So abortion is a matter to be decided solely by a woman through her God-given conscience.

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Reading Between The Lines, Adult Curriculum (Electronic)

BibleWorkbench is a lectionary based life-centered biblical resource designed for small group youth and adult education in church and home, for individual study or as an aid to preachers. One of the texts from the Revised Common Lectionary is chosen each Sunday. The exploration begins with encountering the story found in the biblical text. The focus then shifts to how this story is happening in the world around us. Finally the questions turn toward how the story is an event in the lives of the people in the group. The journey through the text seeks life-giving questions that wait to be lived.

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Reading Between The Lines, Adult Curriculum (Hard Copy)

Reading Between the Lines is a lectionary based life-centered biblical resource designed for small group youth and adult education in church and home, for individual study or as an aid to preachers. One of the texts from the Revised Common Lectionary is chosen each Sunday. The exploration begins with encountering the story found in the biblical text. The focus then shifts to how this story is happening in the world around us. Finally the questions turn toward how the story is an event in the lives of the people in the group. The journey through the text seeks life-giving questions that wait to be lived.

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Painting the Stars: Science, Religion and an Evolving Faith

Celebrating the communion of science and faith, Painting the Stars explores the promise of evolutionary Christian spirituality.

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The Mindful Mirror of Passion Week

“Mindfulness is “paying attention in a particular way: on purpose, in the present moment, and non-judgmentally.” … It could have been at the mouth of one of the shallow caves carved by Nature out of the limestone cliffs of Mount Quarantania, facing Jericho on the Jordan River and the Dead Sea to the southeast, that Jesus sat to gaze at forty dawns in the wilderness before he began his ministry. This 40-day season of Lent invites us to join Jesus in practicing mindfulness as he did in the desert.

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Easter Litany (A progressive Exultet)

The pain of our Good Fridays
still lingers among us.
We still dwell inside the long waiting
of our Holy Saturdays.
Old wounds hold us in calloused hearts.
Ancient histories mold our souls in fear.
New worries drag us toward the abyss of dread.

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The Good Samaritan Tax Lawyer

Taxes are the way that people of faith care for the most vulnerable of our fellow citizens, by funding our government’s social safety-net services. Charity through faith communities and other groups is a vital supplement, but no replacement, for the role we give our government in meeting critical human needs. For instance, Bread for the World, an evangelical Christian charity, estimates that the dollar value of all charitable food donations in the US adds up to only 6% of what the federal government spends on feeding hungry Americans through programs like EBT/Food Stamps and federally-subsidized school lunches.

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Mindful Prayer

In my own experience, the best thing I can do for my friends is to listen to them. If I’m doing too much of the talking, then I’m not adequately listening. And when I listen, I do best if I really listen: just be present in silence and give my friend my full, compassionate, truly interested attention. The fourth century Christian mystic, Gregory of Nyssa, said that “we consider becoming God’s friend the only thing worthy of honor and desire.” Mindful prayer is being God’s friend, and letting God be a friend to us: simply being, attentively, with each others’ being.

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The Adventures of a Gay Red-headed Boy in His Search for God

Like the black girl in search of God, this gay red-headed boy’s search has been convoluted and risky. … The gay red-headed boy, in his search for God, now encountered a gay pioneer, who was also, as it turns out, a Hindu scholar.

God is good—and full of surprises.

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Reconciling False Divisions, Part II

Second in a Series exploring the shared Abrahamic roots of three faith traditions

In a world so filled with forced migration and walls of division, the three Abrahmic faith traditions can share a common pilgrimage of faith over belief. It is an act of trust. Put another way, it is an act of submission that draws one into another kind of journey. In this sense, all children of Abraham are “muslims.”

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Affirmations and Confessions of a Progressive Christian Layman – And God Created…

Genesis opens the Hebrew Bible with two conflicting and irreconcilable creation stories. Obviously neither of these creation myths reported actual events. Even so, there are people who believe that the universe was created exactly as described there simply because this is what the Bible says, so it is fact. Those people despise the Darwinian evolution theory, so they stubbornly grasp for an alternative and end up with literalism or Creationism that demands unquestioning acceptance.

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Voting: A Call to Action for Congregations

Voting is liturgical. It’s a ritual expression of love for others when we vote for candidates and for ballot propositions that help to assure the welfare of our vulnerable fellow citizens. Our votes are forms of tithes or offerings that deserve blessing or dedication in worship. By lifting up voting in worship, we take it to heart and commit ourselves to participate. With voter turnout in a steep decline in recent years, congregations are needed more than ever to make a difference. The time to plan election-related events in our churches is now!

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Will Anyone Notice?

… evidence of reincarnation can help fulfill one of Christianity’s greatest doctrines, that we are indeed brothers and sisters, and that we should love one another as such. Religious teachings can contain great wisdom, but at the same time, religions separate and divide us. Wars are based on the perception that the enemy is different from ourselves, which allows us to justify killing. Evidence of reincarnation allows us to see that we are universal souls, which are not bound to any one religion, nationality or ethnic group.

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Affirmations and Confessions of a Progressive Christian Layman – Do I Want to Go to Heaven? by Ed Taylor

Do I really want to go to heaven? The answer depends on what heaven is. If heaven is the eternal presence of God, then that would be awesome. But I do not believe that God resides in some celestial realm. God is in us, all around us, every day. So it is possible to be in God’s presence anytime, anywhere.

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State of the Union: Progressive Christianity

I’m here to give a version of this State of the Union that gives at least a hint of how things are going with this movement globally. And I do it to offer you spiritual encouragement and enrichment. Because understanding our religious identity feeds our spirituality. Knowing who we are in the realm of faith and spirituality helps us to express our religious experiences. And being able to express our spirituality helps us to experience it in our hearts. Language follows experience, but it also induces and inspires experience as well. It’s a feedback loop that helps us keep the faith and feel the presence of God.

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The Words of the Eucharist

This post is a response to a recent article on Tony Robert’s blog by guest blogger Lenora Rand, titled “New Communion Words”.

Rand reflects on her experience distributing communion at the Wild Goose Festival, an annual gathering that focuses on justice, spirituality, music and the arts. The festival is “rooted in the Christian tradition” and is popular among progressive Christians and many involved with the emerging church movement. The name Wild Goose comes from a Celtic metaphor for the Holy Spirit.

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Christian politicians won’t say it, but the Bible is clear: let the refugees in, every last one

But why not all of them? Surely that’s the biblical answer to the “how many can we take?” question. Every single last one.

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10 Ways White Liberals Perpetuate Racism

Somewhere down where we don’t like to go, is a place where racism lives. It’s automatic and hidden. Binding and resistant to change. No matter how well-meaning we are, no matter how open-minded. Like the “root kit” on a computer, racism is hidden and operating without our knowledge.

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