A new hymn for the World Day of Prayer for Care of Creation

God, you made your good creation and you hold it in your care —
From each starry constellation to each forest under-layer.
Tiny creatures, mountain splendor, rivers, lakes and ocean floors —
You are loving, kind and tender in your care for what is yours.

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She Who Is: The Mystery of God in Feminist Theological Discourse

Winner of the Louisville Grawemeyer Award in Religion, this classic text explains what feminist theology is and how we can rediscover the feminine God within the Christian tradition, offering a profound vision of Christian theology, women’s experience, and emancipation. First published in 1992, it immediately caused a groundswell reaction for and against the concept of women’s participation and role in the Christian church. It is both controversial and thought provoking. It served as the seminal text in the analysis of woman and Christianity. This 25th anniversary edition, with new content, will keep it in the forefront of the feminist theology conversation.

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Holy Envy: Finding God in the Faith of Others

Barbara Brown Taylor continues her spiritual journey begun in Leaving Church of finding out what the world looks like after taking off her clergy collar. In Holy Envy, she contemplates the myriad ways other people and traditions encounter the Transcendent, both by digging deeper into those traditions herself and by seeing them through her students’ eyes as she sets off with them on field trips to monasteries, temples, and mosques.

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What is wrong with this picture?

Orange County’s latest project cost $35 million and is located on a ten-acre campus with state-of-the-art housing for up to four hundred homeless occupants. Each separate area is entirely soundproof and temperature-controlled. The five-star facility is two stories and over thirty thousand square feet. It features a large reception area with friendly greeters, large outdoor recreational areas, well-marked drop-off locations, outstanding medical facilities, and classrooms for educational activities.

The Orange County Board of Supervisors is extremely proud of this facility, and one of the county supervisors has publicly stated that this huge expenditure serves a critical need in the county.

Did I mention that this facility, built on former a Marine Corps air station, is a shelter for dogs, cats, and other animals?

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The difference authorization makes.

Perhaps the world wouldn’t be better if it conformed to our rules.
Perhaps the world would be better if we were better able to accept reality as it is.

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Jesus’ “Bad” Table Manners

The traditional beginning of the Communion story is “On the night that Jesus was betrayed…” But we did more than betray him that night; we denied him multiple times and abandoned him to the “powers that be.” We expressed shock that any of us would desert him, let alone betray him, and we each said, “Is it I, Lord?” Was our fear of authority figures and the awareness of Jesus’ and our vulnerability already palpable at the meal? Regardless, both believers and betrayers were welcome at his table.

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Contemplatio

Interfaith Mindfulness-Based Contemplative Prayer

Contemplatio
Interfaith Mindfulness-Based Contemplative Prayer
by James Burklo on August 16, 2018 | No Reviews or Comments
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A 12th c French Catholic Christian monk, Guigo II, described the spiritual life as climbing a ladder. The steps were lectio, meditatio, oratio, and contemplatio – reading, meditation, prayer, and contemplation. This “ladder” has defined Catholic Christian spiritual discipline ever since. An ancient practice, employed increasingly today in churches both Catholic and Protestant, is called “Lectio Divina”. It follows Guigo’s four steps.

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Should Christian liturgies reflect reality?

Can Christian liturgies be made to reflect reality rather than nostalgia?

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Our Witness: The unheard stories of LGBT+ Christians

I have met thousands of LGBT+ Christians around the world, and have witnessed the work of the Holy Spirit moving through them in the most profound ways. I have been blown away by how many Christian leaders have reached out to tell me that they too have felt the Spirit of God nudging them to step forward and embrace LGBT+ people as faithful members of Christ’s Church. I have watched as societies around the world have stepped closer and closer to affirming and embracing LGBT+ people as equal and essential parts of their communities. And I have seen true revival breaking forth in the midst of LGBT+ Christian communities.

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Concerns about the afterlife in this life

I want to ask you, what do you believe will happen in the afterlife? Are we as the human race going to be okay? Should I worry about what’s going to happen to me after death? My girlfriend who believes in God but struggles with what to believe in exactly, is she going to be okay? I’m terrified right now, and as one of the very few looking past religious Dogma, I need your help, or at least some insight into what I should be doing, praying for, anything.

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Spiritual AND Religious

A sermon for Pentecost 12B – John 6:35,41-51

Bread, Bread, Bread, the gospel according to John: “I am the bread of life. I am the bread that came down from heaven. This is the bread that comes down from heaven, and if you eat it you’ll never die. I myself am the living bread come down from heaven. If any eat this bread they will live forever.” Bread, Bread, Bread, for five weeks in a row, preachers all over the world are doing our darnedest to serve up Jesus as the bread of life, bread for the world, bread that comes down from heaven, bread that provides eternal life. Bread, Bread, Bread. I who am not supposed to be letting bread pass my lips; I have been called upon to create sermons that will satisfy the lectionary’s insistence that we gorge ourselves on words and images which offer up Jesus as bread for the world.

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Theses Toward a Theory of Generative Death Anxiety: Thesis #6 (Part B)

Thesis #6 – There are defense mechanisms in individual psychology, habitual patterns of mental schemes and individual behaviors aimed at defending against potentially threatening, anxiety-provoking  information. Each of these mechanisms may manifest itself in both creative and destructive forms.

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Affordable Health Care: Why It’s a Right for Everyone

The debate continues on whether or not healthcare is a right for everyone or only for the privileged. Often people ask if healthcare is an act of charity or a luxury. No matter which side you take on this issue, we should all agree that everyone should be taken care of, especially in times of sickness. Healthcare can be expensive and finding the right affordable resource for you and your family is vital. Here are a few reasons why affordable healthcare should be available to all families, no matter what their faith is.

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Our Cranial Problem

Could it be that there are inherent evolutionary cranial/neurological deficiencies in our DNA makeup; so deeply embedded that we as a species now in this industrial age are unable to comprehend ourselves as a threat to our own future existence? Could it be that this is the reason our response to our desecration of the planet and its biosphere is so muted? Could it be that this deceitful cranial/neurological DNA side of us will lead to our painful end?

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Celebrate and Defend Real Religious Freedom

Every day at my job, I witness and celebrate America’s religious freedom in action. Through our Office of Religious Life, over 70 religious clubs from all the world’s faiths, including a secular humanist club, practice their traditions in harmony with each other. They compete with each other openly in the “marketplace” of ideas and practices on campus, with respect for each other and gratitude for the liberty they all enjoy. None of them complain to us that they are in any way oppressed or stifled. We’re a private campus, so we could impose all sorts of restrictions on them that would not be possible in the wider public sphere. But they have all the rights they’d have at a publicly-owned university, as well as many extra benefits for all of them – without any one faith tradition getting special privileges. What happens at the University Religious Center at USC is what real religious freedom looks like in America, and it’s a beautiful thing.

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Fox Institute launches new website highlighting innovative degrees, building leadership in a rudderless world

The Fox Institute for Creation Spirituality, located in downtown Boulder, is excited to launch its new course website, Fox Institute Courses, highlighting the Institute’s Fall course schedule. Fox Institute courses are open to everyone and include master’s and doctoral degrees and certificates, as well as Extended Studies classes and auditing options for lifelong learners. We offer world-class higher education with renowned educators, pertinent topics and an innovative curriculum. In a world desperate for leadership at all levels, our motto is: Learn. Lead. Serve.

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Why Do Christians Fear Death?

I’m continually perplexed by Christians who fear death. If heaven is so wonderful, shouldn’t we welcome the opportunity to go there as soon as possible? A funeral today is often called a celebration of life, but for a Christian with a strong faith should it not actually be a celebration of death?

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Souls “Flung Up to Heaven”: Maya Angelou and Hildegard of Bingen

Recently I co-lead a contemplative retreat at Sacred Heart Monastery in Cullman, Alabama. Four years ago on this site, Dewey Weiss Kramer gave an uplifting course on Hildegard of Bingen for Columbia Seminary’s Spiritual Formation Program. I decided to adapt today’s post from my reflections on that experience

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