Drugs, Race, and Prisons

Unfortunately, putting non-violent offenders and drug users in jail has become so profitable that we continue to incarcerate more and more people and we keep them in prison for longer and longer sentences.

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The Cosmic Christ

The Cosmic Christ existed at the beginning of time, billions of years before Jesus of Nazareth was born. Watch as Rev. Salvatore Sapienza, pastor of Douglas Congregational United Church of Christ, talks about the “Universal Christ” and the “Spirit of the Cosmos.”

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When Our Emotions Become Our Prison

About one in five adults suffer from a diagnosable mental illness but none of us can be held up to the light as an example of mental health. While we all have issues (triggers, quirks, hot buttons, etc.) rather than focusing on psychological problems there is a whole school of study around positive psychology that marries well to a spiritual path in which we hope to grow, become stronger and more insightfully aware of ourselves and others. Our emotions can become a mental prison or, we can take charge of our journey and become increasingly healthy and subsequently, free.

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A Wee Little Man

Jesus saw him in his lostness – alone in that tree. He looked past all the judgements and self-imposed values the people of Jericho were heaping on Zaccheus and he saw him as a lost human being, fully deserving of love. And in that he saw that Zaccheus, just as each one of us, possessed uncommon value.

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Do Something!

The majority of Americans are horrified by our government’s inaction on gun control. Most voters, by a large margin, want enhanced background checks, they want to close the gun show loophole, and they want to outlaw military style assault rifles.

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You Are More Powerful Than You Think!

In our ongoing celebration of the Season of Creation, today we shift our focus to the Cosmos.

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Immigration, Racism, and Our Call

When it comes to matters of social justice, there should never be such thing as a silent Christian. For that matter, when it comes to matters of social justice, there should never be such thing as a silent spiritualist or humanist.

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Overwhelmed or Just a Short Attention Span?

Noam Chomsky has warned us that our present moment is threatened by twin challenges that could end human life entirely: global climate collapse and nuclear war. Progressives can add to those nightmare scenarios, concerns about refugees, undocumented children in cages, addiction, gun violence, income disparity, a broken justice system and a corrupt government, etc., etc.

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Sermon Video: Humanity in Cages: Our Call to Set Captives Free

I’m just saying that if a politician decides to utilize Christianity for their own good, they need to be called out when they forget or misconstrue what Christianity is all about.

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Jesus Never Laughed and Socrates Never Cried

Ironically, though our present moment in history is in possession of amazing means of communication through the internet, social media, cell phones, and virtually free international calling, we are beset with unprecedented loneliness. Somehow, our emotional health has not kept up with our technological capability!

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Capitalism vs Socialism

Socialism” has become a political scare word used to frighten voters away from progressive programs intended to expand health care coverage, make higher education available to lower income families, and to raise the minimum wage to a living wage. Spiritual people should not allow their compassionate instincts to be corralled by political propaganda. Let’s get totally honest about what is being said when we debate capitalism and socialism.

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Jesus: Without Christmas or Easter

What if Jesus was not divine? … Some will hear this as liberating good news, and others may find this to be shocking and disheartening. Still, the best path for any faith community is to follow the truth where it leads.

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Mental Health Realities and the Benefits of Spirituality

Despite the fact that 1 in 5 American adults experienced a mental health issue; despite the fact that 1 in 10 young people experienced a period of major depression; despite the fact that 1 in 25 Americans lived with a serious mental illness, such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, or major depression; we are either afraid of or reluctant to or maybe just indifferent about talking about mental health.

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Living Beyond Regret

Though our culture tends to praise youth while apparently being embarrassed by aging (offering a multi-billion dollar industry to hide it) the ancient sages did not see it that way. In fact, even though very many young people are very smart, it is difficult to be wise without first living a long time. The aged, according to Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, Lao Tzu, Confucius, and Marcus Aurelius owe a debt of meaningful guidance to the world. Those who can retire should retire to something rather than simply retiring from work.

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When Jesus Wasn’t God

There was a time when neither Jesus nor his followers thought of or described him as God. Why is it that so many Christians are now required to confess that Jesus was always God?

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Devaluing Humans

A school district in Pennsylvania, in attempt to collect about $20,000 (against an $8 million budget) of unpaid lunch room bills, sent letters to parents with accounts in arrears threatening to have their children placed in foster care if they did not pay. It forces us to wonder how people whose careers are in the care and nurture of children could become so callous and lost?

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Non-Passive Pacifism

For Jesus, for Gandhi, for Dr. King, for the 3.4 billion people who participated in non-violent resistance in the 20th century, pacifism isn’t… well, passive. It is active and creative and frequently uses systems of domination against themselves. Those of us who wish to follow the teachings of Jesus should look to the early church and their non-violent practices and then spend more time understanding how this works and then, ultimately, replicate it in our lives.

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Evidence Based Faith

Haud Ignota Loquor (Speak not of what is not known)

What is “evidence based faith” and how does it inform the progressive faith movement? This important lecture was delivered in April at the Anderson SC Progressive Theology Forum and in June at the Secular Liturgies Conference in Exeter, England. This recording was made at the Annual Conference of the Emerging Church in Springfield, MO.

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