The human race seems to need rituals.

The human race seems to need rituals. Christmas, Easter, Baptisms and Eucharist/Communion are times and events that attract the most people to the church and corporate worship. Yet these same rituals are the ones where the theistic God is most evident and reinforced. How can we address this paradox?

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The Interfaith Family Journal by Susan Katz Miller

The Interfaith Family Journal is an invaluable resource for couples and family members practicing different religions (or none). Interactive exercises and creative activities help interfaith families decide how they want to honor their histories, cultures, and beliefs in ways that nurture joy, creativity, and empowerment.

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John Dominic Crossan Quote

My point, once again, is not that those ancient people told literal stories and we are now smart enough to take them symbolically, but that they told them symbolically and we are now dumb enough to take them literally.

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And this is it. This is the life we get here on earth.

And this is it. This is the life we get here on earth. We get to give away what we receive. We get to believe in each other. We get to forgive and be forgiven. We get to love imperfectly. And we never know what effect it will have for years to come. And all of  it…all of  it is completely worth it.

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The Life of Jesus

In researching different theologies of the Christian Faith, I came across your website.  I read through your 8-points, but see nothing about faith in Jesus as the Christ, or His divinity.  Does your organization have a ‘Christology’ or a Christological approach to the life of Christ.  I’m just looking for some clarification.

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Freedom Fest 2019

Rabbi Brian reminds us that the point of Easter and Passover is that we are forgiven, liberated, free. We forget that, cause we know the story too well. Imagine if you didn’t. And, imagine what you need freedom from?

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Adam and Eve – A New Vision: Part 2

Why did God forbid Adam to have knowledge by forbidding him to eat of the Tree of Knowledge? The answer is, God did not forbid Adam to have knowledge, he/she was just pointing out the repercussions of having it. There are, indeed, serious consequences to having knowledge.

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Celebrating Life

We respond in awe to our life in God’s realm.
The Essence of Creation encompasses us,

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Easter Week: A New Narrative

The profundity of Christianity is that nothing in it has but one meaning.

So it is with Easter Week.

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An interventionist God? and Jesus’ Resurrection

A Q&A With Joran Slane Oppelt

I believe in God but not an interventionist God. There is too much suffering in this world both amongst believers and non-believers.

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Five Weeks and a Holy Week

Are you envious because of my generosity? The question seemed to jump off the page. Far too often, I have felt envious because someone got something I felt I was entitled to – and I realized that I, like the laborers in the vineyard, begrudge God’s generosity. And, of course, envy and entitlement are major impediments when it comes to living a truly grateful life.

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No Human Being is Illegal

Sermon by Rev. Elizabeth Durant delivered on June 18, 2018 at First Congregational UCC Portland.

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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.

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ProFuture Faith: The Prodigal Species Comes Home

Order before April 22nd for half-price: $74.50

Featuring eco-theologian, author, and TEDx speaker, Rev. Michael Dowd, ProFuture Faith is a dynamic eight-session DVD and internet-based course that bridges the gap between head and heart, science and faith. The basic format for each 1 – 1-1/2 hour session includes conversation around the readings, a 20-minute video presentation and guided discussion.

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Is the Solution to Nursing Home Abuse to Care for Elders Ourselves?

As Americans, our individualist society can often disconnect us from those who need our help — especially the elderly. While many other cultures have extended families living in one home together, Americans typically branch off on their own. While this independence can be enjoyable, it also can put vulnerable populations at risk.

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Flower Wild

Went with the gotta go urge
On a week ending, road bending
Wheels a turning ramble
Past the malls and urban tangle

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The Power of Signs, Symbols and Ritual

A Rationale for Religious Ritual When the Rationality of Words Fail Us

When there is an absence of conscious symbolic ritual, what happens with such a lack of awareness about the power that signs and symbols play in our lives, and the depth or richness of value and meaning they provide? How can we otherwise express what is ultimately inexpressible?

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We need safe spaces of worship

The high holy holidays of Passover and Easter are fast approaching and Ramadan is in May. Attacks, however, on places of worship are becoming too frequent in this global climate of intolerance. As a worshiper, I need our president to make us safe.

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Baptism and the Afterlife

Is baptism some kind of guarantee that u will be included in the afterlife?<

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A Requiem for Notre Dame de Paris, The Soul of a Nation

The psychologist and genius Otto Rank, author of the classic work Art and Artist, said that if you want to know the soul of a nation go to its architecture first.  Notre Dame de Paris and the entire gothic revolution of the 12th century Renaissance that it encapsules (along with Chartres Cathedral 30 miles beyond Paris), tells us much about the soul of France.  And our own souls.

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Progressing Spirit Bumper Sticker

Our stickers will withstand exposure to the harshest weather conditions. Our vinyl stickers feature a premium coating that protects them from exposure to wind, rain and sunlight. You can even put them in your dishwasher and have them come out looking brand new.

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ProgressiveChristianity.org Bumper Stickers

Our stickers will withstand exposure to the harshest weather conditions. Our vinyl stickers feature a premium coating that protects them from exposure to wind, rain and sunlight. You can even put them in your dishwasher and have them come out looking brand new.

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ProgressiveChristianity.org Stickers

Our stickers will withstand exposure to the harshest weather conditions. Our vinyl stickers feature a premium coating that protects them from exposure to wind, rain and sunlight. You can even put them in your dishwasher and have them come out looking brand new.

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Honest to Jesus

The Christian tradition is now in the midst of Holy Week, the high holy days of our religion, concluding the season of Lent, the six-week period of repentance, prayer, fasting, and reflection in preparation for Easter.  The language and tone of Lent address the ego, known in traditional language as our ‘sinful nature.’  According to traditional Christian theology, Jesus died to ‘save’ us from our inherently depraved nature inherited from Adam & Eve, because we can’t do it for ourselves.  For the sake of biblical and religious literacy, we need to acknowledge a disclaimer.

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The Future Is Calling Us To Greatness

With series host Michael Dowd + 55 Experts

A worldwide movement is emerging at the nexus of science, inspiration, and sustainability. Beliefs are secondary. What unites us is a pool of shared values and commitments—and the vision of a just and healthy future for humanity and the larger body of life. This historic series of 30-60 minute Skype interviews showcases the work of many of today’s leaders and luminaries regarding what to expect in the decades ahead, what’s being done—what still needs to be done—and how to be in action despite enormous challenges. These 55 experts represent a veritable Who’s Who of prophetic inspiration.

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For Mainline Christian Clergy

This simple combination of “the Bible is the word of God” and “Jesus died for your sins” is what the public thinks lie at the core of Christian faith. I remember being told at Union Theological Seminary in 1963 that what we were learning would take 50 years to trickle down to the church membership.

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What I believe is not what I say I believe; what I believe is what I do.

Donald Miller, Blue Like Jazz: Nonreligious Thoughts on Christian Spirituality

What do I believe?
It is simple really
I believe there is something much much bigger than I
I call that something God, or the Sacred One, although I am not sure that an anthropomorphic image of God is helpful.

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Inspired: Slaying Giants, Walking on Water, and Loving the Bible Again

If the Bible isn’t a science book or an instruction manual, then what is it? What do people mean when they say the Bible is inspired? When Rachel Held Evans found herself asking these questions, she began a quest to better understand what the Bible is and how it is meant to be read. What she discovered changed her–and it will change you too.

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Allowing Children to Dress for Church in Ways That Embrace their Full Selves

As a 7 year old, I  was usually allowed to dress myself.  So I chose to run around with my hair in Jerhi curls, frayed blue jeans and a t-shirt. To the world, I looked like a girl, but in my heart, I was planning on growing up to be a man.This was long before I discovered the word transgender.

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I Know What Heaven Looks Like: A Modern Day Coming of Age Story

I Know What Heaven Looks Like: A Modern Day Coming of Age Story is the debut creative nonfiction novel by Lawrence Richardson.

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At the Feet of the Master

But now that we’re halfway through the season of Lent, I think it’s the right time to talk about what is possibly the most important spiritual practice of all, the practice that makes all the others possible: the spiritual practice of letting something go. All the spiritual teachings in the world are not going to help us–even a personal invitation from the spiritual master himself is not going to help us–if we keep ourselves too busy to show up for him. Thanks for coming over, Martha says to Jesus this morning. But you know, I really don’t have time for this stuff!

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Why We Don’t Say ‘Illegals’

In much the same way, undocumented immigrants should not be called “illegals” nor should asylum seekers be said to be “sneaking in.” These terms paint a misleading picture—no doubt to discredit and reduce sympathy for these people. However, spreading a misleading testimony about others is a violation of one of the 10 Commandments.

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Making Sense of the Easter Stories in the 21st century

You may have sung this morning’s hymns and heard the gospel reading and wondered “Is this make-believe?” Perhaps you’ve never entered this church before, let alone attended on an Easter morning. You’re home for the weekend with your family or boyfriend or girlfriend or you’re here alone. Are you’re sitting here struggling over some of the details of the resurrection story that leave you perplexed, cynical or simply scratching your head. These are claims made by the apostle Paul and others who struggle to convey an experience of possibilities that cannot be fully expressed in words.

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Why do so many churches mostly practice charity rather than justice?

Why do you think so many churches mostly practice charity rather than justice?

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Disunity in Christ: Uncovering the Hidden Forces that Keep Us Apart

Despite Jesus’ prayer that all Christians “be one,” divisions have been epidemic in the body of Christ from the beginning to the present. We cluster in theological groups, gender groups, age groups, ethnic groups, educational and economic groups. We criticize freely those who disagree with us, don’t look like us, don’t act like us and don’t even like what we like.

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Would it Hurt You to Lighten Up a Bit?

The world is not short on hostile insults and senseless arguments, but the world is quite bereft of kindness. Much of the social hostility we encounter comes from the pain that people have experienced that we know nothing about. We are surrounded by the walking wounded who do not need to discover how quick we can be with an eviscerating retort. What they need from us is kindness . . . undeserved, perhaps, but we can help the world to become more deserving if we will scatter seeds of kindness.

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