A Joyful Path, Year One, Lesson 36: Experiencing God as Love

Jesus taught that we should love everyone, even our enemies. In this age of multi-media information, we are made aware of all the reasons people can be difficult to love; loving everyone appears even more daunting than it must have two thousand years ago. However, if we remember that universal divine love exists within and flows throughout all creation, it becomes clear that our part is not to make ourselves love, but to allow love to flow through us at every opportunity. Every moment is an opportunity.
Jesus was a pure channel for universal love; love flowed through him without interruption or corruption. The power of that pure love could be felt by all who opened their heart to the experience, and we can experience it as well if we open our hearts to the possibility.

read more

A Joyful Path, Year One, Lesson 37: Palm Sunday

In the last lesson about living courageously, the emphasis was on discovering the courage that exists within our divine nature. The Easter story of Jesus shows how courage in the face of ignorance and fear is ultimately an expression of true selfless love. His appearance in Jerusalem despite the threats against him was not a grand gesture to show how brave he was but a selfless act of friendship and love. His life was an expression of love for all people, and he lived each day as a messenger of that light. Considering his personal safety would have been an ego affirmation, which he strongly rejected when Peter expressed fear for his teacher’s life.

read more

A Joyful Path, Year One, Lesson 38: Easter

Like all spiritual and religious celebrations, Easter can be experienced and understood on many levels. In the cycles of nature, we see examples of renewed life: animals being born, trees sprouting leaves, and flowers bursting with color in the spring. Our hearts respond with deep yearning for inner renewal as well. Springtime rituals in the northern hemisphere have always been a way to welcome the awakening life energy of the earth and the return of light, but they are also symbolic of the inner awakening that all souls experience. In the southern hemisphere, Easter is celebrated in the fall and is a time to celebrate the fall harvest and the gathering of family and friends.
A Christian scholar, the Venerable Bede (672–735 AD), first asserted that Easter was named after Eostre, the great mother goddess of the Saxon people in Northern Europe. Her name was derived from the ancient word for spring, eastre. Pagan festivals associated with birth, the renewal of life, fertility, and sunrise date back to long before Christianity. Pagan religions in the Mediterranean area are recorded as having a major seasonal day of religious celebration at or following the Spring Equinox. Many of the present-day customs of Easter have their origins in these festivals.

read more

The Dragon King

The Dragon King is an overcoming all obstacles children’s hero story inspired by the real life circumstances of a boy named Ethan who was severely burned in 2006. It’s a story about magic–and dragon fire, a razor sharp horn, a battle in the sky, green scales and dragon tears. But more than that, it is a remarkable journey of courage, compassion and the power of imagination to forge one’s own destiny.

read more

Little Bear – Winter Solstice – Snowbound (Video)

This lovely video would be wonderful to share with the little ones during Winter time. Little Bear is an educational Canadian children’s animated series based on the Little Bear series of books written by Else Holmelund Minarik, and illustrated by Maurice Sendak.

read more

Aaron Ableman – “ForestNation” #pledgetoplant

Fun and inspiring music video for the kids! This video asks: “Can you imagine a world where everyone grows their own trees?”

read more

Lamentation for the Victims of “Death by Religious Christianity”

I used to be religious. I immaturely believed my beliefs were what led to my salvation. If organized in just the right ways, I would somehow “know” God. In Christianese, I would “be saved.” Of course, this begs the question: “saved from what?” If it is salvation from a monster god—one that abhors us as if we were some loathsome insect—I’m not sure what a damn bit of good my “correct beliefs” were going to do for me.

read more

Rise Up Singing: The Group Singing Songbook (15th Anniversary Edition)

By Peter Blood

Lyrics and guitar chords for nearly 1,200 songs are arranged in a compact, easy-to-use format in this comprehensive collection. Folk revival favorites; Broadway show tunes; Beatles songs; hymns, spirituals, and gospel standards; songs about peace, freedom, labor, and the environment; and chanteys are among the types of songs included.

read more

Calvary Baptist Church on the Anti-Gay Naughty List

Some days it’s as though we are actually living in a dream. Or maybe it’s more like having gone through a time machine. I question how in the year 2015 of the common era, people are still hateful against gays simply because they do not understand how to interpret an ancient collection of stories assembled into a holy book (which was commissioned by an LGBT King no less!) Then I realize, no, I am not dreaming, this is reality. People are actually reading the stories of 5000 year old ancient tribal theocracies and believing that they are literally the verbatim dictation of the creator of all existence

read more

Follow Jesus: a Hymn

I heard a contemporary hymn on Sunday morning during the Eucharist and fell in love with the melody. It was the “Untitled Hymn (Come to Jesus)” by Chris Rice. It reminded me of Randy Newman’s music—a soft …

read more

5 Steps to Dealing with Christian Fundamentalists

If you are a Christian of a progressive persuasion, you will know that one of the hardest types of people to get along with can be a fundamentalist Christian. Some are kind, accepting, and non-confrontational, but many …

read more

Interfaith Golden Rule Poster

Published by Scarboro Missions

The Golden Rule, known also as the Ethic of Reciprocity, is arguably the most consistent, most prevalent and most universal ethical principle in history. Many regard it as the most concise and general principle of ethics.

read more

A Storm of Islam? Or of Hate Speech?

Flanked by the charm of purple flowers, red bricks, and the slogan of “Imagine,” Bellevue Baptist Church did what churches sometimes do best, which is to bundle a message of deep contention and division into a pretty …

read more

Progressive Christianity: Fact or Fiction

Under the cover of darkness Monday night, the progressive Christian movement received a strong endorsement. The endorsement was a well funded and concerted smear campaign launched against it; and it was acknowledgement that the progressive movement is indeed progressing.

read more
}

Progressive Pastor Seeks to Serve Expat Church

Ordained American pastor experienced in both church start-ups and growing existing churches who’s fluent in Spanish seeks to serve “expat” church in country where Spanish is spoken. The church would have a mission somewhat like this: “To …

read more

INSPIRING MOVEMENT 2013 – THIS IS LIFE – Andrea Catozzi ( Expression Acrobatics Dance )

I’m sorry…I don’t want to be an emperor, that is not my business. I don’t want to rule or conquer anyone. I should like to help everyone, if possible. Jew, Gentile, black man, white. We all want to help one another. Human beings are like that. We want to live by each other’s happiness, not their misery. We don’t want to hate and despise one another.

read more
}

Why the Church Died

                  by Eric Alexander Yes, I can hear some of you right now talking back to your screen in response to my title saying  “he’s crazy, my church didn’t die.”  …

read more

Earth Day: 12 Spiritual Practices to Honor the Earth

Spiritual practices are the best ways we know to demonstrate kindness and courtesy toward the Earth, to express our gratitude and wonder, to yield to the mystery and the beauty of it all. In observance of Earth Day we offer a set of practices (based on the Alphabet of Spiritual Literacy) you can do to honor the Earth over the next months.

read more