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    • Gary A. Wilburn
    • Dr. Wilburn was the Senior Pastor of the First Presbyterian Church of New Canaan, CT, from 1995 through 2007, when he retired to return to his native California to write. He previously led the First Presbyterian Church in Stamford, CT. and in Los Angeles, CA, the historic Immanuel Presbyterian Church, the Knox Presbyterian Church, and the Bel Air Presbyterian Church. He was the Fraternal Delegate for the United Presbyterian Church (USA) to the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in Southern Africa during apartheid, as well as the president of several Interfaith Councils in Connecticut and California. Recipient of the “Clergy of the Year” Award by the Council of Christians and Jews in Lower Fairfield County, he currently serves on the Board of The Center For Progressive Christianity. His latest book, The God I Don't Believe In: Charting a New Course for Christianity (ProgressivePublications, 2007) is already in its second printing. He lives with his wife, Bev Wilburn, in the San Diego area.
      “I am a parish minister,” says Wilburn, “not an academic; and I have repeatedly seen this new approach to faith work in real life. Our large congregation of mostly young adults has doubled over the past decade and is rapidly growing because of our clear commitment to progressive faith. In his recent book, A New Spiritual Home (Polebridge, 2006) Hal Taussig identifies our New Christianity which is emerging at the grass roots.”
      Gary is a graduate of the Regent College in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, where he earned the Master of Christian Studies Degree, and of the Princeton Theological Seminary, where he earned the Doctor of Ministry Degree. In addition, he has studied at New College, Edinburgh, Scotland, at Canterbury Cathedral, England, at the College of Preachers, Washington, D.C., at the University of Southern California, and at the Claremont School of Theology in Claremont, CA, where he served on the President's Advisory Committee

Lots Of Hope

Entitled “Lots of Hope,” his book is a discourse on the powerful role that hope plays in the lives of individuals and communities, particularly his own.

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Show Us God

By: Gary Wiburn.  Last week I spoke of our defining identity here at First Presbyterian as being four things:  a Christ-Centered faith, a place of Creative Celebration, of Compassionate Caring, and Inclusive Community.  These are some of the primary ways in which we understand ourselves as a Center for Progressive Christianity, which means nothing less than trying to embrace the essential teachings of Jesus.

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Lots of Love

Gary’s third and final book – Lots Of Love – is an urgent and loving testimonial to the simple but fundamental building blocks of our human and spiritual DNA – that “love is the beginning and the end of our journey.” Each day physical life may conspire to ebb out of Gary’s body but his spirit flows through his pen and his glorious fight to bring us all a message of hope at the holiday season. Lots of Love is an ornament to be hung on every tree, a candle to be lit on the last night of Hanukkah, an Eid prayer at Ramadan and a strand of lights at the new moon of Diwali.

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Hope For Environmental Stewardship

I am fully aware that 2,000 years ago Jesus hadn't even heard of global warming and nuclear weapons. However, his teachings and his lifestyle were in direct opposition to all attempts in every age to exploit the weak, the poor, human life and nature itself.

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Outrageous Hope

The great question of Easter is not, "Who rolled away the stone?" But rather, "Have you and I encountered a risen Christ? Have we been touched by an Everlasting Love?"

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The God I Don’t Believe In: Charting a New Course for Christianity

Dr. Wilburn leads us on a spiritual journey from the comfort of conventional Christianity into a new world of religious openness and inclusivity, where those of all faiths and none, and those of all sexual orientation and political persuasion are welcome as equals in God's Family. Gone are the days of exclusive privilege or expensive indulgences. Dr. Wilburn writes about Jesus' message in the language of Progressive Christianity in contrast to intolerant theological dogma; yet he does not lose Jesus' teachings in a swamp of situational ethics.

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Gateway into God’s Realm

Text: John 10:1-10  During World War II the famous American pilot, Captain Eddie Rickenbacker, was flying on a special mission to the Pacific Islands. The plane crashed, and Rickenbacker and his crew were lost at sea for …

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Sacrificial Lamb or Enemy of the State?

Text – Matthew 21:1-11   Six months ago, on the morning of September 11, 2001, aerial assaults on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon killed thousands of innocent men and women and left even more innocent children, …

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