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    • Lauren Van Ham
    • Rev. Lauren Van Ham, MA was born and raised beneath the big sky of the Midwest, she holds degrees from Carnegie Mellon University, Naropa University and The Chaplaincy Institute. Following her ordination in 1999, Lauren served as an interfaith chaplain in both healthcare (adolescent psychiatry and palliative care), and corporate settings (organizational development and employee wellness). Lauren’s passion for spirituality, art and Earth's teachings have supported her specialization in eco-ministry, grief & loss, and sacred activism. Her essay, “Way of the Eco-Chaplain,” appears in the collection, Ways of the Spirit: Voices of Women; and her work with Green Sangha is featured in Renewal, a documentary celebrating the efforts of religious environmental activists from diverse faith traditions across America. Her ideas can be heard on Vennly, an app that shares perspectives from spiritual and community leaders across different backgrounds and traditions. Currently, Lauren tends her private spiritual direction and eco-chaplaincy consulting practice; and serves as guest faculty for several schools in the San Francisco Bay Area.

The existence, activity and power of the individual soul/spirit after death

Q&A WIth Lauren Van Ham

What are your thoughts on the existence, activity and power of the individual soul/spirit after death?

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Questioning those who feel Progressive Christianity is a dangerous belief

Everyone has their opinion and why would people who write these books be judgmental?

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There are many ways to the truth (salvation)

If there are many ways to the truth (salvation), can we preach that Krishna (or any other God) as one of the ways to attain salvation? Or, can we proclaim “In the name of Krishna your sins can be forgiven”?

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The Cross as a symbol

I find the notion of human sacrifice abhorrent, and yet the whole dogma of the church is based on the crucifixion of Jesus.   The cross wasn’t even used as a symbol for a hundred years AD, and yet we have it used in church today.  How do I cope?

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God, Prayer and Healing

Does God have to heal all the people who ask me to pray for them?

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Do we really need a savior?

After reading near death experience reports, and the all-encompassing love that seems to accompany folks in a near death experience, I am wondering why we need a savior.

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What do you consider the Bible to be?

What do you consider the Bible to be? Is it uniquely inspired by God? Is it different from other literature? Is it authoritative? If it is not all authoritative, how do you determine the parts that are? If the Bible is not divinely inspired, where do moral truths come from? Are moral values eternal and universal for all cultures?

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Are Humans Innately Superior?

I pray that as we humans expand our own spiritual consciousness we will outgrow all of the assumptions we’ve nurtured about our innate superiority.

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Seeking closure with the deaths of my mother and father

y name is Heather, I was born into a family that, at the time, was a MO Synod Lutheran (my father was an ordained minister and my mother was a K-5th grade teacher and was also very active with the church; whose father was a minister that also was a missionary in Brazil, was in a concentration camp for two years. We, as a family dealt with a lot of issues behind the scenes. A LOT BEHIND THE SCENES!!!

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Why are we pursuing Christianity when Jesus himself did not?

Some while ago Dr. Spong replied to a message from me in which I stated that possibly there could be some thought devoted to the idea that, “God” is both within a person and everywhere. This makes sense to me and I have been living this understanding successfully.

The concept of a “Deity” or of “Deities” is well-known, documented and practiced as well as awareness of knowing truth within us. There is room for tolerance. Why are we pursuing Christianity when Jesus himself did not?

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Where is God in the universe?

I  read Bishop Spong’s fine book “Unbelievable”; in one chapter, he talks about advances in science (such as the size of the universe) that have forced us to reconsider the tenets of our faith that were codified before those things were understood.

I also read Neil Degrasse Tyson’s most recent book: he says the universe is estimated to be 90 billion light-years across and contains 100 billion galaxies.

My question: where is God in the universe? Is God bigger than the universe? How can God be both so big but small enough for us to have a chance of comprehension?

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Is God a person?

In my theology, “Yes, and…”

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