The Challenge of Community: Sermon by Rev. Roger Ray

The comedian, Dave Berry, observed that if the person you are with is kind to you but mean to the waiter, the person you are with is not a good person. For progressive communities to thrive and gain influence both in the world of religion and in public policy, we simply must stop engaging in liberal cannibalism and find ways to lovingly network with people who are something other than a perfect match with our own beliefs and opinions. Michael Moore has predicted a 2020 win Donald Trump, not because he deserves to be re-elected but because of the fractured nature of progressives in America. We really must do better.

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Race, Drugs, and Prisons

The War on Drugs has failed to reduce drug use but it has succeeded in the original plan of the Nixon administration which was to incarcerate minorities and political dissidents. In a magazine interview in 2016, John Ehrlichman confessed, “Did we know we were lying about the drugs? Of course we did.”

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Meaningful Work AND Meaningful Salaries!

The weakness of the labor unions in our day has eroded the wages, health care benefits, job security, retirement programs, and even the safety of the workplace. When labor unions were growing, spiritual communities articulated the causes labor supported but in our era the church has been far too silent on labor issues. It isn’t just for union members that we need to find our prophetic voice, it is for the whole population because we all benefit when salaries are increased and the challenges of economic vulnerability in retirement, illness, and unemployment.

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It’s Probably About Sex

Sexual mores evolve from generation to generation. We cannot reasonably assume that religion sets the rules for sexual relationships, after all, the preponderance of biblical references to marriage praise and promote polygamy. We must strive to find what is true, just, merciful, and liberating in our search for sexual ethics.

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Race in America

The removal of Confederate memorials from government properties and the racist tensions created by these decisions becomes an opportunity to have a serious conversation about America’s original sin of slavery and the lingering racism that still haunts this nation. Donald Trump’s failure to provide clear leadership in the midst of the current racial crisis also demands the serious consideration of everyone who hopes for a better America.

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Prayer of Lament – Sermon Video

Prayer of Lament, in the shadow of the tragic explosion of White Supremacy that we witnessed this weekend in Charlottesville, Virginia. In solidarity with churches nationwide. Rector Mike Kinman, All Saints Church, Pasadena (CA), Sunday, August 13, 2017.

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Spirituality Beyond Theism

All religions combine belief with behaviors but the crucial divide between traditionalists and progressives comes down to this: Traditionalists emphasize right belief while progressives emphasize ethical behavior. Many of us have given up on orthodoxy to become entirely devoted to orthopraxy.

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Income Disparity: The Lethal DisEase

The growing gap between the incomes of the rich and the much smaller incomes of the poor poses the greatest threat to our nation’s future as a democracy. While Eastern European nations have managed to erect reasonable “guard rails” on capitalism that distribute wealth in a way that has eradicated the worst ills of poverty, the United States seems to be going in the opposite direction, hastening our own demise.

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America Will Be Great When…

The campaign cry of “make America great again” presumes that there was some halcyon time of American greatness that has been lost. Given our history of slavery, segregation, discrimination, unprovoked wars, and class disparity it is clear that unless you were white, male, and wealthy, America’s greatness is not something from the past wanting to be restored, but it is something yet to be realized in our potential future. America could be great but becoming great depends upon our willingness to make substantive changes in the direction of giving both freedom and justice to all.

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To Be LOVE in the World: A sermon – John 4:1-42

We talk a great deal around here about embodying Christ in the world. Often in our prayers together we express our desire to “be LOVE in the world.” Our best selves want to be LOVE in the world. In our hearts and minds we know that if Christ is to be embodied in the world then somebody’s hands are going to have to reach out and touch some places that we would rather not touch.

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We’re All Connected (Biologically, Chemically, Atomically)

Trump’s desire to withdraw from the Paris Climate Accord is an isolationist move at a time when our global environmental connection is increasingly obvious. Still, the Paris agreement was too little in the face of the enormity of the challenge that lies ahead of us. People of conscience must continue to work for a much more aggressive response to the necessary transition to renewable energy sources and sustainable living.

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Race and Whiteness in the Era of Trumpism

“The history of America is the history of rich white men telling not-rich white people that their enemies are black and brown.”

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Sermon: The Peasants are Revolting

Rev. Roger Ray

Noam Chomsky has recently described the Republican Party as being the most dangerous organization in the history of the world. While there are (especially in the environmental arena) reasons for this outrageous statement, it does not encourage dialogue. This sermon looks for facts that predate the Republican – Democrat divide that could be reason to bring these partisan factions together for the good of our society.

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Resurrection is not a reality but it is a potential

Featuring “Purpose in the Pain” by David GreathouseToday’s Easter message consists of 4 vignettes coupled with 4 original musical compositions of David Greathouse.

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Rev. Bruce Sanguin Sermon: Blessed Are The Pure Of Heart

Reverend Bruce Sanguin talks about Blessed Are The Pure of Heart at Unity of Vancouver. See UnityOfVancouver.org for information and more talks.

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People Don’t Change Much… But They Can

Nicodemus has understandable cynicism about the realistic expectation that an adult can really make any substantial chance, any more than that an adult could enter his or her mother’s womb a second time. This sermon takes that very real and practical question at face value. Beyond any concerns about life after death, can we, as adults, make a conscious decision to make substantive correction in the course of our lives? And if we can’t, why would anyone bother with religious faith at all?

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A Preference for Blindness

A recent University of Michigan study looked into the curious fact that most people do not change their prejudices when confronted with contrary facts but rather double down on their mistaken beliefs. It seems that John uses blindness as a metaphor for choosing not to see in the account of the man born blind. Both then and now courageous faith asks us to love truth enough to reject prejudice, propaganda, and political lies.

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Nevertheless, She Persisted

Senator McConnell’s attempt at silencing Senator Elizabeth Warren has become a rallying cry for this generation’s women who refuse to be silenced and relegated to an inferior social status. Like the mythic story of Eve choosing to give up Eden in order to gain wisdom, we must reject complacency and even though we have been warned, nevertheless, we must persist.

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