Coffee and Poetry – a Valentine’s Reflection

Frida Kahlo wrote the ultimate lovers’ poem that concludes with this assurance, “You deserve a lover who takes away the lies and brings you hope, coffee, and poetry.” In this age when couples typically no longer stay married out of economic necessity or for mere survival, what is it that keeps people together. Even more, what inspires a couple who are already past child bearing years or even career concerns, to sacrifice independence and freedom in order to share a common life? I think that it is meaning we seek even more than a mere surcease of loneliness. What we really want is not just someone with whom to share our morning coffee but also someone who will read poetry to us. Is that too much to ask, or do we, as Kahlo suggests, what we deserve?

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Lion of Rock – Gungor Video

I climbed up a lion of rock
There overlooking the swirls of the world
All the shifting of sands that I saw
Conflicting energy giving and taking,
The fluid grace of it all
Billowing shadows of clouds in the sand
While the waves lay down all stretched and taught
Folding and wrinkling back to the source of it all

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Locavore Gospel

Sermon by Rev. Elizabeth Durant

A Locavore is a person whose diet consists only or principally of locally grown or produced food.

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Why Can’t We All Just Get Along?

The poem, Desiderata, enjoyed a great deal of popularity in the 20th century but its counsel to “speak your truth” both calmly and without surrender, while still being willing to listen to the thoughts of even the simple and uninformed, is excellent advice for our internet age where social media can sometimes lead even saints down a path of mudslinging and name calling. Let’s think about how we can be helpful in public discourse to both share ideas and heal our partisan divide.
 

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The MYSTERY Is LOVE

The embodiment of LOVE is achieved when we who are made of LOVE, recognize ourselves in the other, because LOVE is not something that we do, LOVE is who we are. LOVE bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things, LOVE never ends. Now we see in a mirror dimly, but then we will see face to face. When we recognize ourselves in the other, we are the embodiment of LOVE. Now we know only in part, then we will know fully, even as we have been fully known. When we recognize ourselves in the other, faith, hope, and LOVE abide, these three; and the greatest of these is LOVE.

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The Horror All Around Us

TRIGGER WARNING! This video contains brief talks by two ministers and two psychologists and an original song by a composer/musician about pedophilia. The topic affects so many people that we felt obligated to address it though it is easily the single most difficult topic any of us have to think about. If you are disturbed by the content of this message, please reach out to your therapist, or your pastor, to talk through these issues.

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Freedom Through Defiance

During the Indian Wars, most Americans believed that killing Indians was patriotic, heroic, and some even felt it was Divinely ordained. But, at the Massacre at Sand Creek, two officers ordered their men not to participate. Captain Soule and Lt. Cramer refused to be silent about the murder of 150 men, women, and children, and their reports sparked a Congressional investigation that ended in removing their commanding officer, Col. John Chivington (a former pastor), from service and began to change the way our country viewed the Indian Wars. Sadly, soldiers who wake up to the illegal and immoral nature of our wars in Afghanistan and Iraq are not being sympathetically heard by Congress, through the essay written by Kevin Tillman, the brother of slain serviceman, Pat Tillman, tells an unvarnished truth rarely seen in the media.

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“Becoming Magi” (Epiphany Sunday Sermon Video)

“The greatest Epiphany is the discovery of the LIght within ourselves.” Watch as Rev. Salvatore Sapienza, pastor of Douglas Congregational United Church of Christ, explains the symbolic meaning of the journey of the Magi.

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After the Patriarchy Falls

In Terry Crews book on Manhood, he talks about targeting high profile sexual predators in order to end patriarchy is like trying to cut a tree down by cutting the leaves. Toxic masculinity is a part of our culture and we need to lay the axe to the trunk of that tree, rooting out the male privilege that has been the source of victimization of women for centuries. Perhaps the current backward trend in our nation is the retreat that will force us to find the activation energy necessary to bring about the fall of the patriarchy.

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America’s Original Sin

President George Washington owned about 120 slaves who worked on his plantation in Virginia but when he moved to Philadelphia to serve as president, he took a few household slaves with him. One of them, Oney Judge, escaped. She spent the rest of her life as a fugitive avoiding being captured by George Washington’s representatives who were under orders to return Oney to slavery. It turns out that George really could tell a lie, as he tried to publicly advocate for liberty and freedom while personally profiting from slave labor even when people all around him were working to bring slavery to an end. America’s original sin deserves reflection today because it still casts a shadow over our nation’s ethical thinking.

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Trill LeBeau of Cosmic Serenity – No Lies (Music Exchange Session)

Trill taught himself to sing and play guitar at 19 in college. He would sit in the racquetball court, turn the lights out, and as he likes to say, Experiment with the Experience. Diving Further In to his roots, and listening through his ancestors, he has found a voice and essence that is as captivating as it is charismatic. With a side note of comedy, and an eccentric yet eclectic fashion style, Trill LeBeau (singer/songwriter) and younger brother Collin “Jaledub” (percussionist) make up Cosmic Serenity. They are also often joined sporadically and nomadically with other beautiful Creatures of Creation, while exploring the features of a full band, or with Trill as a solo artist.

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3 Lessons of Revolutionary Love in a Time of Rage

What’s the antidote to rising nationalism, polarization and hate? In this inspiring, poetic talk, Valarie Kaur asks us to reclaim love as a revolutionary act. As she journeys from the birthing room to tragic sites of bloodshed, Kaur shows us how the choice to love can be a force for justice.

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Beautiful Things – Gungor Video

Gungor featuring Michael and Lisa Gungor perform an acoustic version of “Beautiful Things” from BEAUTIFUL THINGS CD to be released on Feb. 16, 2010 on Brash Music.

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Going Where We’ve Never Been

The turning of the calendar is meaningless in many ways. What really matters is how much of the past dominates our minds. Entering a new year can be powerful if we first set aside our resentments and pain of past disappointments and hurts. Moving into the future can be a time to discover new worlds, new friendships, new love.

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Christmastide* Greetings

I hope you’ve been having a restful and reflective season. And, I realize that, for many of us, this has been a difficult season – whether simply feeling the weight of national and global tensions and tragedies, or the pain often borne uniquely in our immediate context.

I carried this paradox with me in my conversation with my dear friend Alexander John Shaia yesterday. It was our final Make Advent Great Again dialogue, and it’s too good not to share with you

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Journey of the Universe

What is our relation to this planet?
What is our planet’s relation to the cosmos?

Journey of the Universe provides a story that responds to these questions and to the shift in consciousness that the Earthrise photo initiated.

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Rabbi Sharon Brous – IKAR Rosh Hashanah Sermon

BUILDING A NEW AMERICA – These are trying times, but we must not let exhaustion or cynicism dull our senses. Our history has taught us: either you work to dismantle oppressive systems, or your inaction becomes the mortar that sustains them. Together we must build America anew: fierce, fair, and full of promise, equipped to hold us in all our diversity, complexity and beauty.

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I Am Mountain – Gungor Vidoe

I AM MOUNTAIN (Michael Gungor / Lisa Gungor) I am mountain, I am dust Constellations made of us There’s glory in the dirt A universe within the sand Eternity within a man   We are ocean, we are mist Brilliant fools who wound and kiss There’s beauty in the dirt Wandering in skin and soul Searching, longing for a home   As the light, light Lights up the skies, up the skies We will fight, fight Fight for our lives, for our lives   I am mountain, I am dust Constellations made of us There’s mystery in the dirt The metaphors are breaking down We taste the wind and sight is sound   As the light, light Lights up the skies, up the skies We will fight, fight Fight for our lives, for our lives 2x Momentary carbon stories From the ashes Filled with holy ghost Life is here now Breathe it all in Let it all go You are earth and wind

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