There were two particularly disturbing news reports recently. The first was about a group of white students who turned their backs to a visiting black high school basketball team while holding a Trump sign. The second was reported in the news organization Alternet, among other places, and concerned a college professor in Orange County, CA. She was giving a lecture in which she was critical of Trump, while unbeknownst to her a student was videotaping. The tape went to a Republican group and was posted on the internet. Since that posting, the professor has been harassed by over 1000 emails and phone calls, many of them death threats. A photo of her house with the address was posted. One message said “You want communism, go to Cuba. Try bringing it to the US and we’ll put a (expletive) bullet in your face.” She left California, fearful for her life.
And then there was the union leader in Indiana who called out Trump’s hypocrisy on the Carrier deal, and faced similar retribution. Every day, it seems, brings new horror stories.read more
The Shakers, in their pious oddity and their strange holiness remain, however small, a crack in the wall that divides us in this increasingly insular, hierarchical, and oppressive era. They rejected the apparatus of state, economy, industry and military. Theirs was a pacifist army against Moloch’s minions. In offering us difference they enacted the possibility and promise of that difference.read more
Abraham Lincoln said, “Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character give him power.” I think one look back at 2016 would confirm that. Power, it would seem, as much as we may want it, sometimes turns us into people we never thought we would be.
History tells us this is true.
In this day and age of vast amounts of news and media that bombard and compete for public attention fewer and fewer are able to discriminate fact from fiction. Shocking tabloid headlines, once reserved for amusement at grocery store line checkout, are now used by the mainstream press to bait the hook to get the consumer to bite and read/watch more. Journalists and reporters, if you can now call them such, are woefully compromised in the bias they take in propagandizing issues that ultimately serve the agenda of the media giants and hidden elite (owners of these media conglomerates) for whom they work and shape the perceptional lens of the masses.
Is there a intentional agenda behind all this and if so, whose masterminding it and for what purpose? The answer, I believe, is YES.read more
Noam Chomsky offers two dire warnings following the election of Donald Trump: The first is an accelerated use of carbon based fuels that will bring the human race to extinction and the other is a renewed nuclear arms race leading quickly to a nuclear war. As real as these threats are, this sermon speaks to the ways in which fear is a villain that pushes us to make the worst decisions in response to these global threats.read more
Tapping the Quiet Mind might be as simple as stepping back from a situation to take a few deep breaths, just zoning out, or the practice of meditation. But one way or another we all need to escape from demands, distractions and disturbances. A Quiet Mind lets us pause to enjoy some peace and quiet. In quietude we become detached from outward thinking to be ‘here’, and relinquish the past and future in favor of ‘now’.read more
Not to be overly dramatic, but we are simply a speck of stardust floating on the infinite sea of the universe, hitching a temporary ride on the train of evolution. The underpinnings of our existence are bizarre antics of elementary particles, and we are surrounded by the unexplained suffering that ensues when the whole system seemingly goes awry. We create our own world, divorcing ourselves from reality, even as we occasionally bump into something that seemingly transcends the everydayness of our existence.(See earlier reflections). Who are we, anyway? Why am I here? What is the meaning of my life?read more
I distinguish between the “gift” of celibacy and the “call” to celibacy, which I will come to later in this post.
The gift of celibacy is a debatable proposition. Is someone “blessed” with that gift or simply avoiding intimate relationships? Is it a rejection of God’s gift of sexuality and more broadly sensuality and embodiment, or a prioritizing of one’s energy and involvement and commitment?read more
There is no one single way the soul travels into the deep heartland that is Being itself, yet her pilgrimage of realizing the truth of who she is is the Wisdom path itself, the way of being a Christic gem. We are being called home, but this calling is not to some outward sojourn. The calling is an invitation to commence the inner journey of the soul. The calling is a love-song of the heart, which is a harmonic chorus nuanced and enhanced by different times, cultures, and disciplines, intermingling in a continual counterpoint of completely whole, yet mutually enriching, melodic lines. This love-song leaves traces on our heart, like footprints on a path, which run like a golden thread through the history of spiritual seeking.read more
People assume the “conventional wisdom” is actually wise. In the church world, as I wrote last week, that means the belief that churches must have facilities, must worship on Sunday morning, and must have ordained clergy.
But as economist John Kenneth Galbraith wrote, the “conventional wisdom” is likely to be wrong. Acceptable, yes, and comfortable, but running counter to facts, ideas, emerging constituencies and new needs.read more
Warning: Minor spoilers ahead! I say “minor” because there’s no plot points given away here, I’m just discussing an aspect of a character in the film, but I know some people (like me) don’t like to …read more
A real “market-based” healthcare system is one in which people with the greatest need for medical attention will be the least likely to get it. It means people will be left on the streets to suffer and die from treatable conditions. It means that if you cannot afford insurance, and cannot pay cash for medical care, you cannot get into an emergency room if you have a life-threatening condition. It means that if you have no money to see a doctor, you have to beg. But if you have to beg, the people you know are probably not the ones who can come up with the cash to help you.read more
Listen to Rev. Dawn Hutchings’s Sermon Below Visit Rev. Dawn’s Website Hereread more
We know, deep down in our being, that we are all connected. We have this fundamental knowledge. It’s instinctive. It’s just something that is just known in the universe.
We know all humans are brothers and sisters. It follows that we have a responsibility to each other that stems from that relationship.
When we see someone suffering, we instinctively feel it, too. We know they are a part of us. We feel their pain, too. Their pain is our pain. Despite the unjust world we see before us, with its patterns of death, decay and misery, in ways we are at a total loss to explain, despite all evidence to the contrary, we know deep in our bones that nobody wins unless everybody wins, and that this is a fundamental law written into the very fabric of the universe.read more
Our conscious thoughts seek to make sense of life, analyze problems and reach decisions. And they affect how we act: we transfer what we think to those around us. Angry thoughts, for example produce angry interactions. Peaceful minds, however develop peaceful attitudes; and these bring greater fulfillment. But peace cannot be achieved by its conscious pursuit; it is found in a Quiet Mind. Unlike conscious, intellectual thinking that asserts self-interest, the Quiet Mind is a source of ‘Not Self’. Not Self really means Not as Selfish; to think less of yourself and about yourself. And this can bring us fulfillment in ways that transcend intellectualization.read more
The story of Indubious is not for the faint of heart. Like a Phoenix rising from the flames, Indubious was forged in the fires of pain and destruction. It is through overcoming adversity that Evton and Skip, both brothers and band mates, have emerged as a powerful forces for change, and voices for the future of conscious music.read more
Extraordinary times call for extraordinary churches.
In America and in much of Europe, right-wing politicians backed by screaming mobs of white nationalists are taking power. The anger, fear and hatred are so strong that democracy itself might not survive.read more
To the shock of many of us LGBTQ people of faith is the Vatican’s recent decision in the document “The Gift of Priestly Vocation,” to ban gays to the priesthood; thus, reaffirming it’s 2005 stance.
Those of us who have “deep-seated homosexual tendencies” or who “support the so-called ‘gay culture’” are categorically denied to serve one of the church’s most revered and respected posts.
And to know that Pope Francis, our LGBTQ pope- friendly pontiff, approved the document have many of us in disbelief.read more
Part-autobiography, part-Christian spirituality, Nomad offers penetrating insight into the minds of the new generations of progressive evangelical followers of Jesus in the global Church. Themes include: community, war, redemption, wonder, grace, sexuality and the Eucharist. Nomad was originally commissioned and written for Destiny Image but the publisher cancelled the contract because Brandan refused to say that he did ‘not condone, encourage or accept the homosexual lifestyle’. DLT is proud to offer Brandan’s book for all readers wishing to hear and understand his powerfully-written, graceful, whole-life spirituality.read more
We experience the sun differently each day; but its heat does not change. In the same way, we experience busy thoughts each day, but wisdom does not change. We use those thoughts to make sense of our various outlooks, but we need our quietude to find wisdom.read more
What a wonderful threat this is! You can now listen to music from around the world only providing how close we all can be. No borders on this radio map. From the Pacific sounds of Radio Guam to the Siberian tunes of Radio Sabir, a new interactive 3d map allows you to listen live to thousands of radio stations across the globe.read more
An analysis of the films: God’s Not Dead and God’s Not Dead 2read more
John 3:16 is a beautiful verse, understood this way–that God’s act of sharing Jesus with us comes out of love, and that all who participate in that love through loving both God and one another follow in the Way of Jesus, which is the Way of eternity–to love Jesus so much that you imitate Him and follow His Way. To believe in His message so much that you follow it.read more
It’s almost Christmas– one of the holiest days of the year for Christians, as we celebrate the birth of Jesus, who was called the Christ.
But did Jesus even exist? Was he a real historical person?
It seems around Christmas or Easter there’s always some agnostic or atheist friends who make the claim that Jesus never existed as a historical person, or at least, that there’s “no evidence” he existed.
We’ve all been there. Trying to find the right word to say. The right word to say to a friend who has lost her mother. The right word to say in a letter seeking acceptance. The right word to let someone know how much you love him or her.
It’s true that words are not the answer to everything. Sometimes silence is healing. Sometimes silence lets you think. Sometimes just listening, either to a friend or to God or to your own heart is all that’s needed. But when the silence is deafening, when the silence is lonely, we need to hear a word. A word of hope. A word of encouragement. A word of love.
The Bible is the story of a God who tries a multitude of ways to speak to us. A voice in the wilderness. Commandments written in stone. Oracles of prophets seeking justice and mercy.read more
We have tried to remain within the theological-only realm as we co-create what being a progressive Christian means in today’s world. However, as you can see from even our older versions of The 8 Points, three of the main points of progressive Christianity have been about the importance of social justice, inclusion and environmental stewardship. Clearly those values are broad umbrellas and with our recent political arena being what it is we are finding that the issues at hand are directly affecting the rights of human beings everywhere and threatening both social justice/equality and inclusion as well as the protection and restoration of our Earth.read more
It was more than two thousand years ago that the historic figure we call Jesus lived. It was a life of relatively short duration, only thirty-three years. At most only three of those years were devoted to a public career. Yet, that life appears to have been a source of wonder and power to those who knew him. Tales of miraculous power surrounded him. Words of insight and wisdom were believed to have flowed from his lips. Love and freedom seemed to be qualities that marked his existence. Men and women found themselves called into being by him. Those laden with guilt discovered, somehow, the joy of forgiveness in him. The alone, the insecure, the warped and twisted found him to be a source of peace. He possessed the courage to be who he was. He is described in terms that portray him as an incredibly free man.read more
Christmas is quiet and intimate and I get to sing the carols I love with my beautiful bowls. The other night James and I decided to make a little video of one of my favorites — an old carol from Ireland — The Wexford Carol. Here it is, just for you. I have loved this song for years, from the moment I first heard its arching melody. I hope these sounds fill your heart with peace and pray you continue to shine your Light all through this magical season and in the year to come. Enjoy! And if you love the video, post a comment and share with family and friends to pass along the light. I read every single one and I so much appreciate hearing from you.read more