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Responding to the Trauma of the Presidential Election in Four Dimensions

The 2016 presidential election triggered an unexpected and nearly unbearable trauma for over half of the American people. For many, it felt like the death of a loved one, or the assassinations of John Kennedy, Martin Luther King, and Robert Kennedy, or the nightmare of 9/11. It felt like a wrecking ball shattering our nation’s fragile architecture of decent human values, urgent climate plans, and steadily expanding civil rights. Like many, I shared my distress wherever I went – in my men’s group, spirituality group, conscious aging circle, and conversations with loved ones, and knew that this threat to our way of life was magnitudes worse for vulnerable peoples – immigrants, religious and racial minorities, and the poor. We discussed protests, marches, political action and civil disobedience. I imagine that many of you had similar conversations in your communities as disbelief, shock, grief, tears, fear, insomnia, and horror fragmented psyches all across our land.

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Pastor Fordie’s Parting Sermon — A Story of Liberation

This is a work of fiction but the content as far as thoughts, convictions, beliefs, etc. is reflective of my own. My intent is to say that anyone at any time of life can “come out of the closet” (as it is called) in expressing oneself along more progressive lines.

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Jesus: Uncovering the Life, Teachings, and Relevance of a Religious Revolutionary

The focus of this book is to tell the story of Jesus that is “persuasive, compelling, inviting – and challenging” so that we can see his relevance today as the person in whom we see God’s character and passion.

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Can God perform a miracle such as the bodily resurrection of Jesus?

I have to say that I have more respect for panentheism than classical theism because it at last respects the problem of evil and suffering more than classical theism. However, I want to ask a question: can God (from a panentheistic view) perform a miracle in history such as the bodily resurrection of Jesus? 

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Christianity began as a breakaway sect of Judaism

The Scriptural evidence of this has always been right before our eyes. Yet, it is only in recent years that we have come to appreciate the Jewish roots of Christianity.

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The Transcendentals

The timeless and universal aspects of life are known as beauty, truth, and goodness. They are endowed properties of all beings, some more than others. In mortals, they are sprinkled in just enough quantity to preserve and leaven the whole, but not nearly enough to straighten the irregular timbers of humanity wholesale.

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Salvation for All

Are we “saved” together, or “saved” separately? It is certainly a living question for Christians to ponder, but it is worth asking in the context of other religions – or in that of no religion at all.  Are we “all in the same boat”, or not? 

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Stations of the Cross: Confronting and Contemplating Climate Change

A practice for individuals and churches

You can “walk” these stations by practicing one station per day, from March 20 through Good Friday, April 2 – or at any other time or manner during Lent (Ash Wednesday, February 17, until Easter Sunday, April 4).  

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Honest About God: A Review of “With or Without God” by Gretta Vosper

  With or Without God: Why the Way We Live Is More Important Than What We Believe by Gretta Vosper is a book designed to reconstruct the Christian church, to free it from doctrine and superstitious belief. …

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What is Centering Prayer?

I keep hearing about “”Centering prayer” but I’m not sure what this is exactly. Can you give me a definition or where I can read about it?

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1-6-21

The events of Jan 6th can be seen from both a micro and a macro perspective. At the micro level various elements combined to create mob rule with murderous intent.

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Pondering Godliness During a Pandemic

The year of our Lord 2020 provided a perfect storm of agitation and opportunity. We wrestled our way through a contentious political season where we witnessed pillars of moral society abandoned or subverted to advance partisan agendas.

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Creation’s Wisdom: Spiritual Practice and Climate Change

If creation is in crisis, then our spirituality must directly engage this creation and articulate a spiritual framework that will allow us to relate to both the world and the crisis we face that is both life-giving and healthy.

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Begging Your Pardon: A musing on mercy

So as this nightmarish era in American politics comes to an end, let us get spiritually prepared to temper justice with mercy – for the sake of the Love who is God, for the sake of democracy, and for the sake of us all.

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Christmas for Adults: When Jesus Isn’t the Reason for the Season

Jesus is, in fact, no longer the reason for the season. But the reason this is so extends far beyond the cultural and commercial contamination of a quaint old tale.

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Pondering the Existence of God: A Review of “The God You Didn’t Know You Could Believe In” by Jeffrey E. Frantz

The Rev. Dr. Jeffrey E. Frantz was a minister in the United Church of Christ for more than forty years. In writing about God, the great mystery that challenges all persons of faith, in The God You Didn’t Know You Could Believe In, Frantz was speaking to his congregation. He knew just the right topics to cover and the right questions to answer for any layperson seeking to bring depth to his or her faith.

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On Losing and Keeping Faith

I became a Christian believer as a teenager in a conservative evangelical church. Since then I have lost much of my youthful faith. For example, I have lost faith in a literal Bible. It’s beyond me how people in the twenty-first century can still believe everything in the Bible should be taken literally.

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Wisdom in a Time of Pandemic: A Chat with Matthew Fox

Matthew Fox has been one of my dearest friends for 25 years as well as a beloved mentor and inspiration. We have worked together innumerable times and I continue to be amazed at his focused mystical brilliance and the ceaseless flow of amazing work that has poured from him.

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Is There Desire in Your Prayer?

  A prayer without desire in it, a prayer without sincerity in it, a prayer without soul in it, a prayer without Spirit in it is a fruitless prayer. – Charles and Cora Fillmore, Teach Us to …

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Discovering Your Inner Light

During the Christmas holiday, we often see the Magi or “wise men from the east” depicted in numerous nativity displays. The journey of the Magi to find the Christ child however, is actually celebrated after Christmas on the Christian calendar, beginning January 6th with the Feast of Epiphany and lasting to the beginning of Lent. 

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Truth Telling About the Bible

In the pursuit of ‘Truth-Telling’, I believe the church has some difficult ‘Truth-Telling’ to do about our past particularly regarding our sacred book, the Bible.  Why the Bible?  Because it comes to us from our somewhat distant church past.  This ‘Truth-Telling’ is not absent but I believe it has to be far more obvious to the general public and also needs to be given more voice within the church to help our members confront the issues this ancient book raises.  By this, I believe the church may gain again some credibility in our world today.

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The Gospel according to H. L. Hix

First we have to talk about the elephant in the room – though that might not be the
most polite term for Jesus!  For many millions of people around the world, Jesus is the
Son of God, the divine source of their salvation, his story told in the familiar four
gospels of the Bible, and any tampering with that story understandably will be met
with suspicion, distrust, even hostility.

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Eden, Babel, and a Divided America

The 2020 US presidential election put on full display a country divided. 74 million voters hoped for a repudiation of Trumpism that they did not get. 70 million others voted to stay the course, and made it painfully clear that we live in a fragile democracy. The current moment in American history is fraught with the danger of disintegration.

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Connect a Multimedia Film by The Black Chapel Collective

Set in the shadows of a climate crisis and Covid-19.

In our present world today the impact and consequences of Climate Change and Covid 19 have been staggering.

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A New Wager (or perhaps not)

Blaise Pascal wagered that it is better to believe in God as if God existed than not believe as if God didn’t. He argued that if God exists and we believe, then we are positioned by our beliefs to gain eternal happiness; whereas if we don’t believe, then we might have positioned ourselves for eternal torment in hell for not believing. The gains or losses are therefore infinite if God exists.

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Will people will return to church and prayer in a time of chaos and crisis?

I would be interested to learn if you think people will return to church and prayer – in a time of chaos and crisis? Do you think people need something to “cling to?”

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Julian of Norwich: Wisdom in a Time of Pandemic-And Beyond

Julian of Norwich lived through the dreadful bubonic plague that killed close to 50% of Europeans. Being an anchoress, she ‘sheltered in place’ and developed a deep wisdom that she shared in her book, Showings, which was the first book in English by a woman. A theologian way ahead of her time, Julian develops a feminist understanding of God as mother at the heart of nature’s goodness. Fox shares her teachings in this powerful and timely and inspiring book.

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Is there a God? If there is, how can I worship authentically?

To step away from a dogma or faith tradition that does not resonate with you is one of the bravest and most important things you can do.

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Gratitude for the Great Fullness of Life Is Only the Beginning – Thanksgiving

Our gratitude for the great fullness of our lives is only the beginning of what it means to be alive. It is not enough to simply be grateful for all that we have all that we will receive. Our gratitude for the reality that our cups are filled to overflowing with blessings leads us to thanksgiving.

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The Church and The Bible

I have done considerable reading and spent a lot of time reflecting on my own faith journey in my retirement. Much of the church’s theology no longer has meaning for me, but my faith in Jesus’ call to “Follow me,” is my inspiration and draws me to love the world and its people.

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Fault Lines: Hypocrisy as Tragedy

From the Greek word, hypocritis, the hypocrite is a ‘play actor.’ While misfortune is befalling us on a massive scale these days, true tragedy is the result of the hypocrite who has the choice to decide to act otherwise.

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Review of the Book: The Liberating Birth of Jesus: A Birth Story Able to Reverse Our Planet’s Perils

The Liberating Birth of Jesus by Lee Van Ham is a groundbreaking book for me. My passion for the last fifty years has been the study of the New Testament. According to Van Ham, I have gone about this study in the wrong way. This revelation both hurts; and yet, in a more important sense, is immensely helpful.

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Commentary on a Parable about Forgiveness that Is Unforgiving, Matthew 18.21-35

I used to think that the addition of ‘another member of the church’ was a cop-out, and that we really should forgive everyone without counting. Yet in another place Jesus specifically tells his disciples to kick the dirt off their feet as protest to those who will not accept them. This doesn’t sound like forgiveness.

Was he contradicting himself? Some would say ‘yes.’ I have even done so myself. But my own cultural circumstances in 2020 have made me revisit this and come out with a different conclusion.

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Loving Wastefully

I believe what Spong was referring to was the idea that the most profound way we can be in relationship with God (the Divine, Great Mystery, Nameless One) is to love one another and to love deeply.

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Commentary on a Parable about Forgiveness that Is Unforgiving

Matthew 18.21-35

Let us use our moral imaginations to try to give Jesus the benefit of the doubt (just as we should do with each other in our daily lives). We all know that there are those who are poor and suffering who still side with the wealthy and healthy rather than with their own people. It is ironic, but we see such things common even in our own time.

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The Soul of America: A meditation on the spiritual foundation of the USA

In this election season, let us pray that our candidates speak in the rhetoric of this spiritual humility – for a change. America has a soul. Our nation’s heart is still burning to express our transcendent values through the structures of our society.

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