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Pluralism Sunday

Pluralism Sunday

Pluralism isn’t just diversity;
it’s something we create out of this diversity.
Dr. Diana Eck, founder and director of the Pluralism Project

 

On the first Sunday in May

 
The first Sunday of May is the day that many progressive Christian congregations observe as Pluralism Sunday. Since 2007, we have been affirming that . . .



By calling ourselves progressive Christians, we mean we are Christians who affirm that the teachings of Jesus provide but one of many ways to experience the Sacredness and Oneness of life, and that we can draw from diverse sources of wisdom in our spiritual journey. (from The 8 Points of Progressive Christianity)

How we do that varies from congregation to congregation. Some create interfaith worship services and invite participants from other traditions. Some have discussion forums on a variety of topics related to our multi-religious milieu. Some take on the question of what it means to be a Christian pluralist.

This year’s observance is May 6th – although you can schedule yours for any day of your choosing. In fact, some churches have taken a whole month and even an entire summer to explore what it means for them to live, worship, and minister in their particular settings. Other churches have declared their commitment to pluralism to be part of their everyday identity.

It doesn’t matter where you are on the spectrum – just dipping your toes into the water or completely embracing a pluralistic program – Pluralism Sunday is a great time to reflect on where you are, where you’d like to go, and what you’d like to do.

If you have questions or are looking for resources, I would be happy to help. You can contact me here.

Yours in plurality,

Susan

SIGN UP your congregation to be listed as a participating church for 2018 – by emailing Susan Strouse, Pluralism Sunday Coordinator for ProgressiveChristianity.org.  (Churches can celebrate the event on other dates and still be listed as participants – indicate your plans for the event to Susan so these details can be listed on our site.)


The 8 Points of Progressive Christianity

(Get the poster here)

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Additional downloadable resources for planning your celebration of Pluralism Sunday:

 
Pluralism IV
Easter V
Pluralism Sunday Liturgy

 

HOW CHURCHES CELEBRATE
PLURALISM SUNDAY:

 
UNITED STATES

ARIZONA
Federated Church in Flagstaff, AZ .

CALIFORNIA
The Congregational Church of San Mateo is participating in pluralism Sunday with celebrations starting May 6th through May 27th. Penny Nixon – pnixon@ccsm-ucc.org

Northbrae Church in Berkeley is delightful to find kindred spirits in you. Northbrae Church in Berkeley has a century-long tradition of honoring diverse religious traditions, embodied quite beautifully in our chapel’s stained glass windows. Built in the late 1940s, the windows feature Jesus and Paul, but also Buddha, Lao Tsu, Mohammed, St Francis, Emerson, Gandhi–all the way down to Albert Einstein.

Belmont Congregational Church (UCC)
We have been celebrating Pluralism Sunday since its beginnings in 2007. Each year we explore our diversity in new ways. We have had speakers from many faith backgrounds share. We’ve had music from classical to modern jazz in the mix. Recently we’ve invited our own members to share their unique perspectives on the sacred. There is plenty of pluralism within our congregation and this gives us a chance to honor and celebrate that diversity. We are always learning from each other! Thanks for starting this great tradition. Belmont, CA. Rev. Kristi Denham, Pastor – revkristi@aol.com

Fairview Community Church, Costa Mesa, CA. Rev. Dr. Sarah Halverson – revsarah@ocfairviewchurch.org

Irvine United Congregational Church, Irvine, CA. Rev. Paul Tellstrom, Pastor – paul@iucc.org

First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), Lompoc, CA. Rev. Robert Cornwall, pastor – drbobcornwall@msn.com

First Congregational UCC, Long Beach. Rev. Elena Larssen – elarssen@firstchurchlb.org

First United Lutheran Church, San Francisco. Rev. Susan Strouse, Pastor – pastorsusan@fulc.com

Episcopal Church of Saint Anne,Stockton. Rev. Lyn Morlan – stannestkn@sbcglobal.net

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA
Westminster Presbyterian.
Rev.s Ruth and Brian Hamilton, pastors – rwh@westminsterdc.org

INDIANA
Rock Church Life Enrichment Center/’The Rock’ Cromwell, Indiana. Sarah Tuttle – smtuttle@ligtel.com

ILLINOIS
New Covenant Community in Normal IL will observe Pluralism Sunday on May 6 – we are inviting members to share a spiritual practice that they utilize which comes from a tradition other than Christianity. A Hindu Meditation, Animal Medicine Cards, and Mindfulness will be shared. Susan Ryder – susan@nccnormal.org

MINNESOTA
Robbinsdale UCC, Robbinsdale, MN – As a Progressive Christian pastor, every Sunday is Pluralism Sunday. May 6th will highlight that commitment once again by remembering Jesus as a leader in reformation, not forming, a religion. We are known, not by doctrine or dogma. We are known by our love. T. Michael Rock – Tmichael@robbinsdaleucc.org

Open Circle Church, Burnsville, MN. Rev. Jay Steele, pastor – jhsteele58@gmail.com

NEW HAMPSHIRE
Deering Community Church, Deering, New Hampshire. Rev. Beardslee – billwfb7@gmail.com

NEW YORK
The Stone Church of Cragsmoor.
Rev. Jeffrey C. Slade, Pastor – jeff@cragsmoor.net

NORTH CAROLINA
Remarkable Life Ministries (R.L.M.) – Remarkable Life Ministries (R.L.M) is a progressive interfaith community & discussion group that honors the wisdom revealed in all faiths and all cultures. We follow the principles of inclusion, peace,compassion &unconditional love Rev. Dontavius T Brown A.K.A Rev D.T Brown Is the founder and pastor . It is located in Charlotte NC. We celebrate pluralism with our discussion group The purpose of this discussion group is to increase our understanding and respect for others through a better understanding of shared values. We discuss any and every subject including but not limited to religion,current events, social justice and how to make our community and our world a better place. Refreshments will be served. We will enjoy, enlighten,educate,empower,and encourage each other We welcome into our community individuals of every race,ethnicity, language, age, gender , sexual orientation,physical or mental ability, economic status, occupation and faith background. We bless and honor all committed relationships and families, and welcome all who genuinely desire to be a part of our community. Dontavius Brown _ remarkablelifeministries@gmail.com.

TENNESSEE
First Presbyterian Church, Elizabethton.Rev. Brian Wyatt – info@fpcelizabethton.org

TEXAS
Dallas Universal Life Church in Dallas TX. Although we strive for pluralism throughout the year, Dallas Universal Life Church will highlight our efforts this Sunday May 6th 2018. The Most Reverend Mark D. Manning, D.D. will deliver a sermon about love and being men and women for others and how leading that way of life includes all of God’s creation. We constantly teach the importance of the facts that All Paths lead to God and that there are so many different paths that lead to so many beautiful and unique mansions in God’s Kingdom. Our service will conclude, as always, with our post-service roundtable discussion at which time the congregants can share more on their thoughts about pluralism and other pressing topics related to their path with the Bishop in a casual, open-minded setting. Bishop Mark D. Manning,D.D. – revmark@dallasulc.com

VIRGINIA
Lynnhaven Colony Congregational Church, United Church of Christ in Virginia Beach.

WASHINGTON
Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, Marysville, WA. We are a Unitarian Universalist congregation so celebrating and embracing religious diversity is part of our culture, but we wanted to join our progressive Christian community in dedicating a day to it. Dawn Fleishman, RE Director -redirector@evergreenuu.org

Richmond Beach Congregational Church, United Church of Christ in Shoreline, WA will be celebrating Pluralism Sunday. Paul Ashby Pastor – pamandpaul@yahoo.com

WISCONSIN
The members of Sunday Assembly at Holy Wisdom Monastery, Middleton, Wisconsin commemorated Pluralism Sunday for the first time on May 6, 2018. Pluralism was a main theme in the homily and the special prayers and music of our Sunday Eucharist. We are an ecumenical community. We believe that ecumenism means understanding one’s own religious/spiritual identity in a way that not only makes room for people of other faiths, but also invites us to live with and learn from people of other faiths, and to understand ourselves as a faith community in a way that doesn’t denigrate others. Pluralism Sunday is a welcomed addition to our church calendar and we look forward to expanding our celebrations in the future. Lynn Lemberger – llemberger@benedictinewomen.org

AUSTRALIA
The Church of St James, Canberra. Rev. Rex Hunt, Pastor – rexae@optusnet.com

NEW ZEALAND
St Marks Methodist Church, Christchurch, New Zealand will be celebrating Pluralism Sunday on 6th May 2018. Andrew Donaldson – revandrewdonaldson@gmail.com

UNITED KINGDOM:
Southernhay United Reformed Church, Exeter, England. Rev. Iain McDonald, Pastor
– Iain.Robert.McDonald@gmail.com

Celebrations in years past:

 
First Congregational Church of Tacoma, WA, will hold an Interfaith Celebration Service and Dialogue on Sunday, April 22nd. An interfaith inspired service happens at 11am with speakers from several different faiths. Afterward a round-table discussion will run from 1p-3:30pm

At First Presbyterian Church, Normal, Illinois, the youth will be leading worship on May 6th. These services will be a culmination of what students have been learning about religious diversity. The theme that the services will rely on is ‘agape’, love which is a tradition that is found in all of the major world religions.

Niles Congregational Church, United Church of Christ, Fremont, CA, celebrated Pluralism Sunday on Sunday, May 8, 2011 with a dialog sermon (by the Rev. Jeffrey Spencer and the Rev. Steve Kindle) based on Matthew 2:1-12 and Acts 10:9-16. It covered topics such as how we become Christians, the implications of our stories of becoming Christians, why (given the plurality of religions that exist) we are still Christians, and (given that neither claimed that Christianity is superior to all other religions) what we think about the validity of other religions and the purpose of evangelism for progressive Christians. You are invited to listen to the audio of it here.

On May 6, St. Augustine’s Episcopal Parish, Tempe, Arizona, will host Imam Yahya Hendi and Rabbi Gerald Serotta as co-preachers for the 10:30 AM service.
On Sunday, May 22, 2011 at Plymouth Congregational UCC in Helena, Montana, Rev. Cathy Barker preached on religious pluralism and use the wonderful “Reading from Many Traditions” from the Tanenbaum Center, with special music with Native American drum and flute.

Countryside Community Church, UCC, Omaha, Nebraska will conduct “The Faith of Jesus in a Pluralistic World” starting May 6, which is the first 6-part series in a chain of TWELVE 6-part series called “By This Way of Life – Twelve Journeys Into the Heart of Christian Faith”.

The Unitarian Church of Weymouth, MA, featured a Pluralism Sunday sermon by the pastor, Richard Trudeau, on May 1 titled “More Like an Eddy than a Rock,” presenting the basic ideas of Buddhism, contrasting them with those of Christianity, and pointing out ways in which the two supplement each other.

First Presbyterian Church of Elizabethton, TN, celebrated Beltane on Pluralism Sunday, May 1, 6 pm. Bel was the Celtic sun god who was in his glory during the light half of the year. In the old traditions, this feast day celebrated the new growth and fertility of the land and all of its inhabitants. The Peacemaking Committee celebrated with dancing and dining at the church, and will hold the rite outside if weather permits.

The Congregational Church of Belmont, CA, on May 1 heard a local Baha’i leader speak in worship and the pastor of the church, Kristy Denham, preached on “Many Streams, One River”.

First Congregational Christian United Church of Christ, Chesterfield, VA on April 10 had Malik and Annette Khan of The Islamic Center of Virginia to do a presentation of Islam with the church’s Adult Faith Formation gathering. It also celebrated pluralism in its May 1 worship.

Celebrations of Pluralism Sunday include many other creative ways of embracing religious pluralism as integral to our Christian faith. Mt. Hollywood Congregational UCC in Los Angeles included in worship a performance by the students of the Shanti Interfaith Choir from the University of Southern California. St. Paul’s Church in Laramie, Wyoming, read the Golden Rule in 6 different religious traditions. Other churches focus on sermons about religious pluralism: Rev. John Shuck, First Presbyterian Church of Elizabethtown, TennesseeRev. Christine Paulus, St Luke’s Church in Philadelphia.

SIGN UP your congregation to be listed as a participating church for 2017 – by emailing Susan Strouse, Pluralism Sunday Coordinator for ProgressiveChristianity.org.  (Churches can celebrate the event on other dates and still be listed as participants – indicate your plans for the event to Susan so these details can be listed on our site.)

PLURALISM SUNDAY is initiated by ProgressiveChristianity.org. Congregations worldwide have adopted its “Welcome Statement” (see above) that affirms that other religions can be as good for their followers as Christianity is for us.

Learn here what churches around the world are doing to promote religious pluralism as a profound expression of the love and the humility that Jesus preached and practiced.  You’ll find sermons, litanies, book reviews, and other resources your congregation can use to create a celebration of PLURALISM SUNDAY that is appropriate for your community.