The Parent Café Speaker Series: Nurturing the Spirit in Our Families- Seattle- Fall 2013

Raising children and building strong families brings great joy, yet can also be a lonely journey that challenges the mind, body and spirit. As adults striving to instill a spirit of gratitude, a sense of mystery, and a commitment to progressive values in our children, we often overlook our own need for spiritual nurturing. Join us for this three part series led by local and national speakers who will share practical ideas for how parents, grandparents, teachers, and friends can nurture spirituality and build lives filled with meaning, both for ourselves and for our children. Light refreshments and childcare will be provided. Validation for parking at the UW Bookstore is available.

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Syria: Groupthink or Grouppray?

With morbid fascination, I’m watching the leaders of the United States group-think their way into a counter-productive use of American military force. It’s disturbing to observe otherwise intelligent and well-motivated public servants drift into a bad decision.

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Try-Alls and Tribulations: Interfaith Etiquette

Perhaps being a souljourner requires the same willingness to look foolish that is required in order to learn a language. I remember the crazy stuff I said when I was studying Spanish in Mexico years ago. I certainly embarrassed myself – and turned others beet-red a time or two, as well. But as long as I showed humility and a willingness to get it right the next time, people seemed to cut me lots of slack. Perhaps the most important ingredients in etiquette are genuine openness, curiosity, and an attitude, if not yet a correct appearance, of respect.

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Dying for a Drink

We worked all day. Dad and Rachel were on one team, Father Crespi and I were on another, refilling tanks, cleaning up trash around them, and placing new ones. Five new blue flags, marking the new tanks, waved defiantly against the demon of thirst, and fluttered in the breeze over the desert at sundown that evening. The crew enjoyed a dinner at Rachel’s house prepared by the Women’s Society of the Federated Church.

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Changing Church

Orion Pitts, Director of Music & Administrator, First United Lutheran Church, San Francisco

Over the years, I have become much more discerning about the music and the texts that we use. There are many—MANY—hymns that I have dearly loved since childhood, that I just will not use any more, because the theology in them does not reflect an experience of the Divine that I wish to perpetuate.

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Inclusive Hymns for Liberation, Peace, and Justice

Words we sing in worship have great power to shape our beliefs and actions. This is the second collection of hymns by Jann Aldredge-Clanton with composer Larry E. Schultz. These hymns, like those in the first collection, will contribute to an expansive theology and an ethic of equality and justice in human relationships. Inclusive Hymns for Liberation, Peace, and Justice will empower people to take prophetic action on gender, race, interfaith cooperation, sexual orientation, ecology, and other social justice issues.

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The Collapse of the Three Story Universe

The purpose of this book is to try and present a series of images that will allow us to understand how it is indeed possible for an invisible being, God, to be part of our material reality, …

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Interfaith Day of Prayer

Held in an interfaith chapel or prayer garden

Divine Wisdom, we come seeking your guidance in our efforts to work together for peace. We come from diverse ethnic groups, cultures, and religions. We believe these differences enrich us all. Lead us on your paths to lasting and true peace.

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The Arts of Manhood

This past week, I’ve engaged in a couple of intense conversations about manhood in America. A lovely, thoughtful young friend of our family, age 25, was lamenting that she could not find men her age who were …

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The Spiritual Power of Nonviolence: Interfaith Understanding for a Future Without War

Religion and violence—the two concepts seem incompatible given the emphasis in religion on virtue, love, forgiveness and compassion. Yet many scriptures contain martial images and stories of god-inspired military conquest. The Spiritual Power of Nonviolence confronts this …

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Religion in the World and Its Implications

The Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life has just released an interesting report on religious groups around the world.  It is a compilation that is  ”… based on analysis of more than 2,500 censuses, surveys and population registers…” covering …

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The Consciousness of Christmas

This past Saturday night, my wife Roberta and I stood with a group of people on Hollywood Boulevard, holding flickering candles. Passers-by might have assumed we were Christmas caroling. But we were holding a vigil for the …

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Awakened World 2012: Learning to See in a “Wholly holy Way.”

Awakened World 2012, http://www.agnt.org/awakened2012.html was recently convened and hosted in Italy by three American organizations. I learned about the conference through the Association of Global New Thought, one of the sponsoring organizations, http://www.agnt.org/charter/conveners.html.  240 participants came from more than 15 …

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Is a Bad God Better than No God at All?

The issue of the gods we believe in made headlines this week when Richard Mourdock, a Tea Party Republican candidate for US Senate in Indiana, stated that pregnancies stemming from rape, however horrible, are “something God intended to happen.”[1] While Mourdock has sought to soften the impact of his statement, I believe that his words reflected his – and many other Christians – understand of God’s presence in the world.

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Faithiest: How an Atheist Found Common Ground with the Religious

Chris Stedman is an atheist working to foster positive and productive dialogue between faith communities and the non-religious. Visiting from the States in advance of his new book, he charts his journey to this point – from …

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Soulful Citizenship

Isaiah, the prophet, who said “… seek justice, correct oppression; defend the fatherless, plead for the widow.” (Isaiah 1: 17) This passage is a key to the whole scripture; It’s what led Jesus to say three times to his disciple Peter, after Jesus’ resurrection: if you love me, feed my sheep. All my sheep.

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We’re Never Alone;
“God”* is within us

*DiSSoLaL (Divine Spirit, Source of Life and Love)
RE-PACKAGING DIVINITY: Becoming Divinely Human

I am a quasi retired Spiritual Director and Church Consultant within the United Church of Christ (UCC). I am deeply concerned with the fetters of 4th Century “packaging” of Divinity related to the religious challenges of the 21st Century.

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A Tower of Babble

Giving Voice to Intolerance in an Age of Pluralism

The back story to the Tower of Babel myth is that the orignial plans called for anything but babble. But where once humankind may have all spoken the same language with one unifying plan to build a place all could dwell and abide one another, it has long since ever been the case. “We live in a pluri-verse, not a uni-verse,” says Raimon Panikkar. Ours is a pluralistic age in which we have many different and opposing – even sometimes mutually incompatible — worldviews that threaten planetary human coexistence. In the midst of such chaos and confusion, how can we tolerate each other’s differences? Or, some might ask, should we even try? I consider myself a very tolerant person! The only people I cannot abide are ignorant and intolerant bigots! Does that make me intolerant as well, or merely principled? What would constitute a forbearance of principled intolerance, with a leniency of spirit? Here’s John Bennison’s latest Commentary from Words and Ways.

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