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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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The Subversion of Jesus by the Rich and Powerful, Part Three: The Resurrection

The resurrection of Jesus happened before the crucifixion. Furthermore, I suspect it was the rich and powerful who reversed the order of events. Confused? Let me explain.

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If we are to take Jesus’ teachings seriously, we must look beneath the surface!

Looking upon the sea of interpretations of the story about Jesus walking upon the waters of the Sea of Galilee, makes me feel like that young monk who continues to sink each time he tries to find his way across the lake.

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Reimagining Christianity For Our Times

Humanity’s history is not great. It is marked by individual, clan, religious and nationalistic violence.

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Encountering Silence

One of the reasons Encountering Silence is a real leader in spirituality podcasting is their unflinching commitment to examine systemic injustice today, showing how rootedness in the spacious silence of Christian mysticism helps us find our voice and speak up against racism, homophobia, and the forces of dehumanization everywhere.

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God–Endless Mystery, Always Evolving

Because the nature and reality of God are always more than our language about God, the only language we have for conversation on God is the language of metaphor.  In other words, in our God talk it is not possible for us to be more definitive or precise because, finally, God cannot be reduced to our verbal assessments about God. 

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Following the Golden Rule

I grew up in a context where interfaith work was considered radical and borderline dangerous. Yet, it is this exact realization of the Golden Rule’s existence in such a wide variety of faith traditions that compelled me to interfaith work in my community.

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LOVE, which we call God, IS a STRANGE ATTRACTOR!

To the powers that be, Jesus’ execution was little more than the routine death of a homeless, outcast who spent far too much time creating social unrest. Nothing more than the insignificant death of a troublemaker without influence in the halls of power, who would not or could not moderate his own behavior. An insignificant troublemaker dies, under the rule of law, and yet, the impact continues to reverberate all around the world, nearly 2000 years after it should have been long forgotten.

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Sighs Too Deep

  “Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but that very Spirit intercedes with sighs too deep for words.”  (St Paul, Romans 8: 26) I …

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Deconstruction and Death

Perhaps you can resonate with the idea that we are, at our core, in our truest selves, spiritual beings which transcend physicality and 3-dimensional reality. Like me, maybe you can find comfort in the idea that when our time of being inside this physical reality is over, we return to Spirit, and to our truest and most brilliant selves.

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Requiem For George Floyd (1973-2020)

    Son. Father. Uncle. Friend. Human being. Child of God. What blindness could keep anyone from seeing the sacred life in this man? Bystanders saw it. And cried out that his precious life be spared. Only …

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The Crumbling of a Monumental Pedestal: Reconstructing the Divinity of Jesus

Along comes the dispute over the monuments of famous historical figures now considered worthy by some of being knocked off their high horses. It is a reminder for us all to reconsider just who, or what, each of us believes is of such monumental importance and value that we would elevate it to a place of prominence. For those who would follow claim to be followers of a Jesus figure of our own understanding, one might do well to reflect on whatever “divine” attribute one might accord such a revered figure.

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Sacred Living

  “Every religion gives its prescription for bringing sacred into daily life. The Native Americans have as one of their most noble ideals that we learn to walk on the Earth in a sacred manner. Yet vast …

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The BLM Movement, and a Privileged White Response

As reactions to racial inequities have boiled over once again in recent days, the question is now repeatedly asked whether or not our country has at long last reached a tipping point? For those of us who are persons of white privilege, we are not guilty for the sins of our forebears, but we are responsible. We can’t change the past, but we can take hold of the present, and – for the sake of our national fabric that is so tattered and torn — amend our lives and our social order, going forward. How?

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“The Great Commission” Birthed White Supremacy! – Trinity Sunday Sermon

How did we get here? All over the world people are marching in the streets proclaiming, “Black lives matter.” Millions have defied the fear of the corona virus, and taken their lives into their hands to venture out into the streets to protest the systemic racism that permeates institutions all over this planet.

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At Death’s Door: And Other Tales

Printed together with several short inspirational works, At Death’s Door is a fictitious account of a meeting between a dying man and an old fellow who just might be God! In this story, philosophy meets theology, and human love meets divine love.

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Manifesting Love and Justice by Dismantling White Supremacy

In response to the killing of George Floyd, the latest victim of racist violence against persons of color in the United States, Melanie DeMore, vocal activist and friend of URI, wrote on Facebook, “I feel the pain of loss deep in my bones. Another innocent lost…blatant brutality.” And then she sang the words of an African-American Gullah lullaby, “Somebody’s baby just killed someone else’s baby, leaving somebody’s baby, cryin’. When will it all end?”

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The Place of Faith and its Relationship to Science

Some people are highly devotional because it is scary having one’s paradigm shattered. This is to be exposed to the chaos of one’s own mind (the devil!). It is much easier to cling to the established artifacts of one’s own thinking then to fall into the pit of chaos. Most people would rather die than admit that the belief system/paradigm that they have carried most or all their life is wrong in spite of proof of error time and time again.

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Voter Suppression is a Theological Issue

By Jim Wallis, Barbara Williams-Skinner

We believe all human beings are made in the “imago dei,” the image and likeness of God — it’s a core tenet of ours and many other faiths. So any strategy that would negate people’s votes because of the color of their skin is not just a partisan tactic, but rather a denial of their imago dei, a theological, biblical, and spiritual offense to God.

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The Great Event: Dark Night and Rebirth

I hold in my consciousness two previously unimaginable opposites; on the one hand the possible even likely extinction of humanity and on the other, the potential for our unimaginable birth of a new embodied divine humanity, the mutation realized and resplendent.

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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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Thoughts on Incarnation

Incarnation is about that which is divine becoming real in what is natural, banal, human, or secular. What is the divine?

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Jamieson Spencer Interviews Rick Herrick on his new book “A Christian Foreign Policy”

Dr. Rick Herrick’s work reconsiders foreign policy from the perspective of Christianity. It considers all the issues concerned with foreign policy through a religious frame of reference.

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Aging with Vision, Hope and Courage in a Time of Crisis

As the coronavirus burst upon the scene, I realized that climate change was only one of a new “Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.” The storied marauders of old – death, plague, war and famine – had morphed into the coronavirus pandemic, climate change, uncontrolled population growth, and the unraveling of modern civilization.

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