What Happened and What to Do About It

What Happened:

On November 8, 58% of voting-age citizens cast ballots in the presidential election. In 2008, when Obama was elected, 64% cast ballots. When all the ballots are counted, Clinton will have won the popular vote by at least a million. Trump won the electoral college by squeaking ahead in some of the swing states: he was only 68,236 ahead in Pennsylvania, for example.

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Rituals and a Song for Voting: Worship Nov 6

tation, salute it and say: “I salute all those Americans who risked their lives for my right to vote!”

Ask your friends and family members, or in a ritual in worship, asking parishioners: “With which hand will you be voting on November 8?” Take that hand and hold it with yours, and say: “May love (or the love that is God) guide your hand to vote for the common good!”

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The Mystic Bible

Every once in awhile, we come across resources that are not easily available to our global readership and we feel l it necessary to support and offer them. This kind of creative work we support helps people all along the spectrum understand our intent and theology. The Mystic Bible is perfectly balanced on the progressive spectrum, meaningful for people who are deeply connected to the stories of the Bible, mystical and poetic, and yet innovative and theologically progressive.

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I Belong, Therefore I Am

Another way that religion can do a body good is through the mindfulness practices that are embedded in it. It’s no news that it’s part of Buddhism. But for most Christians, it may come as a surprise to find that it has always been integral to contemplative prayer. You can’t confess the truth of your heart unless you know what’s in it.

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SAVE THE DATE- EMBRACE FESTIVAL- MAY 4-7, 2017

  WEBSITE AND TICKETS COMING SOON!   EMBRACE FESTIVAL is a 3 day, international, sacred community and social transformation event, which will be held May 4-6, 2017 in beautiful downtown Portland, Oregon for those wishing to positively transform their …

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Make Your Mind Your Mecca

The 15th century North Indian poet-singer-saint, Kabir, lived in a time of great tension between two major religions. He honored and bridged both with his bhakti devotional songs. He was claimed by the Hindus to be a Hindu and by the Muslims to be a Muslim. He both inspired and confused both camps with his mystical lyricism. He confounded them even in the legend of his death. The Hindus wanted to burn his body, and the Muslims wanted to bury him. When they looked under the garlands of flowers that had been placed on top of his body, they saw that his body was gone. The Hindus burned half the flowers, the Muslims buried the other half.

One of the five pillars of Islamic practice is the expectation that every Muslim will make hajj, the pilgrimage to Mecca, at least once in a lifetime. For some Muslims, making hajj is an arduous and very expensive journey.

But if your mind is your Mecca, why would you not make the journey to self-awareness every day?

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Face to Face

Every time I enter into mindful prayer, I start by gazing into a mirror, dimly. A dim inner mirror, gazed at with dim inner eyes. Slowly I polish the mirror with loving, open, non-judgmental attention. My inner eyes begin to adjust and focus. And I begin to see not just the face I expect or want to see, but the whole picture of my thoughts, sensations, and urges – physically, mentally, and spiritually. Warts and stray hairs and happy smile and all! Behind the eyes that appear in the mirror I begin to awaken to the subtle eyes of the One who is doing the seeing. And then we begin to see, face to face…

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The Spiritual Child

The New Science on Parenting for Health and Lifelong Thriving

In “The Spiritual Child”, psychologist Lisa Miller presents the next big idea in psychology: the science and the power of spirituality. She explains the clear, scientific link between spirituality and health and shows that children who have a positive, active relationship to spirituality:

* are 40% less likely to use and abuse substances
* are 60% less likely to be depressed as teenagers
* are 80% less likely to have dangerous or unprotected sex
* have significantly more positive markers for thriving including an increased sense of meaning and purpose, and high levels of academic success.

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Sophie, Milo and the Great Change

Have you ever seen a willabee? “What’s a willabee?” you might ask. Well, if you’ve ever been outside chasing a butterfly or climbing a tree or hiking through the woods, I’ll bet some willabees have probably spotted you! They love children most of all and want your world to be beautiful and exciting.

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Skits for Worship: Little Words That Matter

Against or Through? With or For? But or And?

Skits for worship

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Mindfulness is Love

If I were to condense a definition of mindfulness into a single word, agape would be the one.

Every time I teach a five-week mindfulness course for students and staff at USC, I introduce the class with a simple definition of the state we are trying to reach in the practice: a loving awareness of thoughts, feelings, sensations, urges in the present moment, while letting go of judgments about them.

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A Conspiracy of Love:Following Jesus in a Postmodern World

Today, the churches of the Global North are in decline and younger generations no longer seek meaning there. Traditional “church Christianity” is gradually giving way to some new way of faithful living. From a Nazi prison cell, German pastor Dietrich Bonhoeffer imagined a future “religionless Christianity” consisting of contemplative prayer and righteous action in the secular world.

A Conspiracy of Love presents the contours of such a faith based on the “way” of Jesus. It calls us to become troublemakers, revolutionaries, seekers of change, and agents of transformation engaged in conspiracies of love to establish justice and peace in a postmodern world. It offers many different people–those who remain in the church,those who have left, and those who have never ventured near–with a life of faith that is meaningful, intelligent, and passionate.

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How to Love People But Hate It When They Say “Love the Sinner, Hate the Sin”

“Love the sinner, but hate the sin.”

This phrase has been used countless times by some Christians to pretend to offer welcome to LGBT people while condemning the natural consequence of the way God made them. It speaks for a shallow kind of love at most: one that claims to be okay with a person’s same-sex orientation while stigmatizing its fulfillment. This noxious phrase also summarizes the underlying attitude of many people of other religions towards sexual minorities.

It is a phrase whose time has come – and gone. More than ever, it needs to be excised from the vocabulary of faith, once and for all, as it pertains to homosexuality.

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Body and Soul

Many saints of the Church’s history appear to have had contempt for their own bodies. The mortifications to which they subjected their flesh are incomprehensibly grotesque to Christians today. It is hard to reconstruct the cultural milieu in which these mortifications had meaning and purpose. There is a lingering disdain of the body still evident in most branches of the faith, and it is problematic. For too long we have viewed our faith as just a head-trip. We Christians need to take better care of the rest of ourselves, and to embody our spirituality more fully.

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Blessing the Hands That Cast the Ballots

If ever there was a season for progressive-hearted people to urge their friends and neighbors to vote, this would be it.

Ritual is one powerful way to help each other make and keep the commitment to vote.

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Deeper Love: Faithful Rhetoric for Progressive Social Change

Deeper Love is a short, practical guide to the use of religious and spiritual language in progressive social activism. It began as a web resource at PCU-LA.org, offering faith-rooted language for progressive political and social action. It provides activists, lay and clergy people, politicians, campaigners, and organizers with inspiring rhetoric to advance progressive social change, and insight about how to use it. PCU board member, Rev. Jim Burklo, organized the project, with inspiration from our former executive director, Rev. Peter Laarman, and much editorial help from our current executive director, Rev. Dr. Timothy Murphy, and our former associate director, Sean Patrick Coady. Its premise: We can and we must craft a fresh political rhetoric that flows from our shared spiritual experience of compassion, giving life and purpose to our democracy.

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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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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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