The season of Lent is traditionally understood to be a time for reflection, contrition, and consideration of the sacrifice Jesus undertook for our sins. It has been, as you know, traditionally recognized for the forty days leading up to Easter. Preceded by Shrove Tuesday, upon which Christians are to prepare to confess their sins, Lent is entered into as a holy season of penitence.read more
For once, I agree with right-wing claims that religious freedom in America is under attack. This central tenet of American democracy is facing its most egregious assault in nearly 70 years. But this salvo isn’t coming …read more
Some of us recently witnessed (or participated in) the largest public demonstration our country has ever seen.
The Women’s March on Washington on Saturday, January 21, 2017 was a historic day, seeing 2.5 million people around the world take to the streets to support causes such as women’s reproductive rights, climate change and criminal justice reform.
Now that everyone has returned home, hung their pussy hats in the hallway, and attempted to return to some sense of normal family/work/life balance, the question has been asked, “What next?”read more
He also wept. He spoke truth to power. He taught about wealth and power. He welcomed all manner of people into his presence. He called outliers to be disciples.
Most of all, he acted. Faced with a situation, he did something. He fed hungry people, he healed the sick, he protected the vulnerable. Instead of building an institution, he traveled around. Instead of promulgating doctrines and institutional rules, he took action.read more
Loneliness is the wilderness for the writer, the artist, and the contemplative. Writing, creativity, and prayer are not ways out of the wilderness, but a way to make the wilderness blossom, to turn the ache of feeling lonely to a fulfilling solitude, transforming “lone” to “alone,” derived from joining the words “all-one.”read more
Religious freedom is alive and well in America. Our nation shelters a vast and vibrant marketplace of theological ideas and spiritual practices. If there is a problem, it is not the lack of religious freedom, but our failure to exercise it sufficiently. Why, then, are Donald Trump and the Republicans trying to sell us what we already have?read more
What’s on TV Tonight?
Posted: 05 Jan 2017 09:17 AM PST
A scene depicting an American heartland barn dance
by William Medcalf
I didn’t intend to write a series on smart phones and social media. This is a blog about spirituality, religious harmony and related topics, after all. I try to keep on topic. However, given the tumultuous 2016 presidential election, many people have been rethinking how we use these new technologies. Does it serve our faith life? Does it improve our culture and society? Is this really the best way to evangelize? One thing led to another.
I stumbled upon some thoughts that have been sitting with me a long time.read more
One of black gospel’s darling and Pentecostal preacher Kim Burrell was ousted from The Ellen DeGeneres Show, sending shock waves throughout the African American community.
Burrell along with Pharrell Williams were invited to promote their duet “I See Victory” from the soundtrack of the film “Hidden Figures”.
However, Burrell’s homophobic homily about the “perverted homosexual spirit” has created a tsunami of tweets and comments on social media publicly denouncing her vitriol by a younger generation of African Americans entertainers- both LGBTQ and straight- not seen in previous years.read more
Reading Bishop Spong and Marcus Borg primarily, along with “Ministry Matters” and other readings, has lead me to believe if we attach the “Common Lectionary” to our Hebrew founders (as Bishop Spong has done) we have a better shot at arriving at the inner soul end point we desire.
This Lectionary is based on the belief that the new fundamentals should be taught.read more
Sermon for Seekers Church for November 6th, 2016 The Call Statement of Seekers says that citizenship matters. This is a sermon concerning Christian faith grounding for citizenship. This is the worst presidential campaign I remember …read more
This book will not give you answers but help you find answers of your own.read more
In an online course entitled, “A Life of Happiness and Fulfillment”, Week 1 Video 10: Prioritize but d not pursue Happiness, Rajagopal Raghunathan recommends that for greater fulfillment we should prioritize goals, rather than pursue them. He demonstrates what this means by using sleep as an example. To prioritize sleep we should do what brings a restful night—exercise, good diet and no arguing before bedtime! We cannot find good sleep by simply going to bed and willfully pursuing it; that will likely keep us awake! And this principle can be applied to other dilemmas; Overeaters Anonymous, for example advises members not to pursue weight loss but to prioritize abstinence and working their Twelve Step program. All healing platforms affirm: illumination by any name is a reward for doing what enables it.read more
How gracious can you be to someone while standing firm in the belief that their orientation is a sin? That’s how I was to my recollection. I wasn’t incensed or abrasive, I even pointed out that I wasn’t the type of Christian to ever stand with the signs that said God hated him (as if that would make me look better). When asked what my beliefs were about him being gay, I made all the standard arguments there were, while being as kind and respectful as I could. And at some point, I said I believed that if he prayed and sought God fervently that the feelings of same-sex attraction he had could go away.read more
Back when I was 12, there was no preventative or after-care treatment for survivors of human trafficking. January is Human Trafficking Awareness Month, and it does my heart good to be a survivor leader helping to make that change today. My greatest strengths are the closeness I have with my survivor sisters and, honestly, my husband. They always told me, “I believe in you. I think you can do this. You are worthy.” My proudest moment was walking across the stage to receive my master’s. I was able to say, “Fuck everyone who said I wasn’t worth it. I did this. Not my body — me.”read more
You can complain that young kids are constantly attached to their smart phones. But you might be better served asking why their lives are so deprived of human interaction that they have been sucked into the internet so strongly. Drive through most US suburbs, cities and small towns, you won’t see kids playing in the yards, families talking on porches or town folk gathering for public entertainment. This is completely antithetical to how humans have always lived. Children grow up desperately lonely and disconnected from others. Along comes the internet and suddenly they can be plugged in to people all over. Can we blame them? Then yes, over time, they lose (or never develop) the skills at interpersonal interaction.read more