Advent 4 Week Study Year C (E-Delivery)

This special 4-week Advent Study offers an exploration of the season using rich visual art and music. Many congregations choose to mark these Sundays with the lighting of candles in the Advent wreath, balancing the dark days of winter with the promise of a coming spring.

read more

Advent 4 Week Study Year B (E-Delivery)

This special 4-week Advent Study offers an exploration of the season using rich visual art and music. Many congregations choose to mark these Sundays with the lighting of candles in the Advent wreath, balancing the dark days of winter with the promise of a coming spring.

read more

Advent 4 Week Study Year A (E-Delivery)

This special 4-week Advent Study offers an exploration of the season using rich visual art and music. Many congregations choose to mark these Sundays with the lighting of candles in the Advent wreath, balancing the dark days of winter with the promise of a coming spring.

read more

Seasons and Self: Discourses on Being ‘at Home’ in Nature

Seasons and Self is a courageous exploration into religious naturalism – sometimes called the ‘forgotten alternative’ – as well as contemporary critical biblical studies by one of Australia’s leading progressives, Rex A. E. Hunt. A self-professed religious naturalist, progressive liturgist, and social ecologist., he belongs squarely within a post-liberal/ ‘progressive’ orientation.

Rex A E Hunt acknowledges the principle attributed to the Brazilian theologian Rubem Alves: “I am not after conclusions… Conclusions are meant to shut… Every conclusion brings the thought process to a halt.” The present collection is an invitation to readers to become curious and excited about what they read, and to explore further – beyond the tyranny of clear and distinct ideas! The author is concerned about ‘likelihoods’ and being ‘open-ended’ rather than closing any discussion with persuasion by argument. The intent is to strike a chord rather than ‘shoehorning’ something – ideas, answers, doctrine, correct belief – into people, often challenging the parochial and limited claims of traditional religions, or so-called pious biblical argument based on a proof-text zeal.

While both science and progressive religion are to the fore in the topics and chapters of the collection of sermons, addresses and keynote presentations, there is also a strong hint of the poetic – all evoking a sense of awe and wonder at nature and the natural, rather than the supernatural. A radical theo-eco-logy! Themes addressed include evolution, earth, cosmos, food and wisdom, as well as Autumn, children, celebration and humour. All grounded in the Ordinary… in the hope that, collectively, they will stir one’s own imagination.

“Nature and naturalism are for us today the main game for any progressive spirituality,” writes the author. “We are fully linked with our surroundings in time, space, matter/energy, and causality, and where the metaphor of ‘web’ is used to describe this interrelatedness – we create the web and the web creates us…”

read more

Remembering Rachel Held Evans

Rachel Held Evans has died. She was a bestselling author on matters of faith and an advocate for a number of progressive issues. She’d been hospitalized for the flu but suffered an allergic reaction to antibiotics. After her death yesterday, her husband Dan wrote, Rachel’s presence in this world was a gift to us all, and her work will long survive her. She was 37.

read more

Each Maundy Thursday we must peer beyond Passover lambs and scapegoats if we are to catch a glimpse of the LOVE that we call God

Every Sunday I stand at the altar and preside over a mystery. A mystery that has its roots in the events we remember this Holy Thursday. On Maundy Thursday, we gather together to contemplate MYSTERY. We know what will happen tomorrow as Good Friday plunges us into darkness. So is it any wonder that we cannot fully comprehend this MYSTERY.

read more

Consciousness

The belief that humankind, created in the image of god, is the center and purpose of the universe, has been smacked down over the last 500 years by three revolutions in human self-awareness. The first was the Copernican discovery that the earth is not the center of the universe. Prior to Copernicus publishing his theory in 1543, the medieval worldview imagined that all the heavenly bodies revolved around earth and humanity, while god pushed them in their orbits through the sky. Today, thanks to Hubble, we gaze in fascination at photos of galaxies in outer space. We are not the center of the universe.

read more

Right and Wrong Times and Places

Those who believe there is a right and wrong time and place to protest injustices are those whose privilege keeps them from the injustices. Those who with Rev. Dr. M.L. King, Jr., live by the principle that the right time to do the right thing is now, privileged or not, remind us of the immorality of acquiescence, apathy, indifference, denial, negligence, and procrastination in confronting injustice and evil.

read more

Easter Encouragement for the Journey

Remember that resurrection is more than mere resuscitation! It is life transformed!
It is faith in possibilities, when others are convinced of inevitability.

read more

St. Patrick’s Day Blessings: The Inner Landscape: John O’Donohue

On this St. Patrick’s Day it is fitting to receive a blessing from a grand Irishman whose writing reaches into my soul. Followers of this blog know that John O’Donohue is one of my favourite sages. I am indebted to a follower of the blog for sending me this podcast of Krista Tripett’s interview of John O’Donohue recorded shortly before his death in 2008. O’Donohue’s words continue to open my soul.

read more

“Prayer for Abundant Living”

O God of empty tombs and resurrection living:
Make us mindful of the pervasiveness of hope, 
the determination of faith, 
and the persistence of love.  

read more

Gathering

Have you come here this morning looking for hope and good news?
Yes! We have been searching for ways to draw new meanings from our old stories.

read more

Shymma video from Gaza won 1st place in the 2016 Global Peace Song Awards music video contest

Shymaa, a little 4 yr old girl who laid in a comma in a GAZA hospital, during the summer of 2014. She would recover to find her entire family was murdered during an Israeli bombing. Her story sparked the 2 Unite All benefit album with 30 world famed musicians like Peter Gabriel, Roger Waters, Stewart Copeland, Philip Lawrence (Bruno Mars) and the Love All Love Wins / UDHR (Universal Declaration of Human Rights) movement.

read more

The Resurrection of Mary Magdalene

  Mary Magdalene was the first person, male or female, to witness the empty tomb…the first to see angels who reported the resurrection…the first to hear the voice of, and see, the risen Christ…and the first to …

read more

The Determination Prayer

Reinhold Niebuhr’s brother, H. Richard, argued for faithfulness to the example of Jesus’s nonviolence, while Reinhold believed this was naive and unrealistic in an imperfect world. H. Richard was the purist to the Christian faith, believing that following the Golden Rule, no matter the consequences, is what Jesus and God called us to do — the success of the mission being in God’s hands rather than our own. Reinhold, however, looked at the more practical side of things, substituting his or the world’s idea of what was possible and changing his ethics accordingly. H. Richard thus trusted more in the providential moral arc of history as M.L. King, Jr. , would call it rather than a realist’s version of what humans believe is attainable given their corrupt nature. In essence, H. Richard focused on the power of God’s grace to transform our spirits and the world for the better, while Reinhold accepted a more cynical view of our ability to be radically changed as a specie.

read more

The Two Gospels

I recently heard a Christmas Eve sermon titled “Mary Had a Little Lamb,” recited entirely in rhymed couplets and delivered without a manuscript. Running for nearly eleven minutes, it was quite a remarkable feat.

read more

Worship Materials – Winter: The Pregnant Barrenness

From the Seasoned Celebration Collection

1. Winter is the season of the revelation of basic structure. If I was to strip away all the paraphernalia of my life what form would it have?

How many of the things which I do are related to the roots
of my spirit.

2. Winter is the season for hibernation. What rhythm do I have for reflection as well as action?
What frequency and length of time do I need in solitude in order to facilitate the growth and quality of my spirituality?

read more

Good Day

Our Good is born in purity
As we awaken, each short day
This Good survives through struggles,
Tackles fears
Faces tests
Within the loud affray

read more