The Great Re-imagining: Spirituality in an Age of Apocalypse

“The true end of the world for the human being is the belief that we are alone. We of course cannot be physically alone; but we can become psychically alone. In our isolation, our independence, we lose the connections that make us human. To stare at the screen, to lose the binds of culture and community, is to arrive at the apocalypse.”

read more

We’re All Mad Here

Suicide is now on the top ten list of causes of death in America. It is time for us to get honest about the social isolation that leads to a sense of worthlessness, of not being needed, of not belonging anywhere. While we do need to support mental health practitioners and access to appropriate medications but the most effective treatment for depression, the most effective way to prevent suicide is a combination of maintaining close friendships and the habit of exercising in sunlight for at least 30 minutes every day. Ultimately, we should be mature enough to accept that the Cheshire Cat in Alice in Wonderland was right: We are all mad here. Because we are all damaged in some way, we should be honest about the fact that we need one another (and we need to exercise in natural light).

read more

A Progressive Christian Near Death Experience. An interview with Josh Grisetti about The God in His Head.

Today I am talking with author Josh Grisetti about his very unorthodox near death experience. He uniquely terms his event as an hallucination with the God in his head, which occurred after a nearly lethal drug interaction while undergoing a dental procedure.

read more

“Speak To Us…Let Us Listen”

*Centering Our Soul “Speak To Us…Let Us Listen”

read more

Enough!

Beatrice Nyariara lives in Korogocho, which is widely considered to be Nairobi’s most dangerous slum. When elderly women were targeted in shocking attacks at night, the 75-year-old decided enough was enough. It was time to fight back. It was time to develop a community!

read more

Walking With Our Eyes Closed | Gungor

Here is the final installment of our “One Wild Life” video trilogy with “Walking With Our Eyes Closed” off “One Wild Life: Body.”

read more

Journey to Liberation: The Legacy of Womanist Theology

By Filmmaker Anika Gibbons

In this film, filmmaker Anika Gibbons ’13 takes a deeper look at the radical spirituality and scholarship within the lives of the founding mothers of Womanist theology and Womanist ethics. She focuses on their significance as African-American theology and history, and on the role played by Union in that founding.

read more

Courageous Faith: How to Rise and Resist in a Time of Fear

For Christians, resistance is written right into our baptismal vows. Following Christ means resisting oppression and evil wherever we might find it. Doing that work requires us to first rise up, face our fears, and cultivate courage that can sustain us for the journey. Weaving together wisdom from sources as diverse as Reformed theology, recovery communities, social justice visionaries, and Twentieth Century history, Heath creates a way forward for those who wish to live lives of faithful, sustained, courageous resistance.

read more

What does one do with the private memories that others do not share? What happens with all those memories?

When I officiate at funerals, I ask mourners to think about the characteristics of the deceased that they will miss most. After they have thought of those traits, I implore them to live those qualities into the world as a tribute.

read more

The Christian Life Is Impossible. Therefore…..

Every so often, I read the Sermon on the Mount, to get back to the basics of my faith.

I read it last week, and had a revelation: the Christian life is impossible.

read more

Nevertheless, She Persisted

In a late night session on February 7, 2017, during Jeff Session’s confirmation hearing for U.S. Attorney General, just weeks after the inauguration of President Donald Trump, the United States Senate voted to silence Senator Elizabeth Warren after she read comments made decades earlier by Edward Kennedy and Coretta Scott King that criticized the civil rights record of Senator Sessions. Warren was censured because Senate Rule XIX prohibits ascribing “to another senator or to other senators any conduct or motive unworthy or unbecoming a senator.” To silence her, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell led a party-line vote that forced Senator Warren to take her seat and refrain from speaking. McConnell later said “Senator Warren was giving a lengthy speech. She had appeared to violate the rule. She was warned. She was given an explanation. Nevertheless, she persisted.”

read more

The Free Press

The news media, traditionally called the “4th Estate,” is protected by the 1st Amendment because a free and uncensored press is vital to the health of a democracy. Through the years we have seen all manner of tyrants and dictators calling the media the “enemy of the people,” Stalin, Lenin, Mao, and now Trump all demonize journalists in order to make the state the only source of information given to the populace. In our day, the church and the media must step forward to give both trustworthy information and critical thinking about ethical decision making to protect the liberties and the safety of our nation.

read more

The Lotus & The Rose: A Conversation Between Tibetan Buddhism & Mystical Christianity

What happens when a Tibetan Buddhist lama and a Christian clergyman sit down to talk? And not just any lama and clergyman, but a renegade Catholic priest silenced by the Church for his progressive and inclusive beliefs and an American-born secular Jew who once embraced Tibetan Buddhism as a student, and now is embraced as a teacher.

read more

ProgressiveChristianity.org Robin Meyers Interview: What does Progressive Christianity mean to you?

Robin Meyers is Senior Minister of the Mayflower Congregational United Church of Christ in Oklahoma City.

These interviews were conducted by ProgressiveChristianity.org at a Westar meeting as part of a series on Christianity, spirituality, religion, church, God, Jesus, sacred community, social justice, youth, and social transformation. More to come soon!

read more

The End of Capitalism

Since the end of the Cold War, there has been a consensus among the political and media mainstream that “There Is No Alternative” to Capitalism, particularly the form of capitalism one finds in the context of globalization. “The Free Market”, it is said, will solve all our problems, and become the organizing principle the world over. The conflation of Capitalism and freedom itself has muted any debate that would suggest otherwise. At the same time, recent economic crises coupled with a growing clarity that unlimited growth is destroying the biosphere may suggest that the Capitalist era is coming to an end.

read more

UN International Day of Peace, September 21, 2018

How will you celebrate the UN International Day of Peace 2018? Let us know so we can be sure to include you in our featured news.

read more

Is the Catholic Church unsalvageable?

While the two warring factions- conservative versus liberal wings – wrestle with the direction the Catholic Church needs to go in this modern era, the church, nonetheless, is still stymied and stained by continued unaddressed claims of sex abuse by unprosecuted sex offenders.

read more

Standing in gratitude, living in joy

Standing in gratitude, living in joy,
we reach beyond old wounds and pain.

The waters have parted,
and we have crossed over to new life,
leaving our fears on the distant shore.

read more

Jesus the Christ? – BRUNCHtalks 8

Jesus is not some sort of cosmic bargain with a demanding, jealous, elsewhere god, sacrificing himself so that we can live happily ever after! Jesus of Nazareth was fully human. The Christ is the experiece of Jesus his followers encountered after his death. The Cosmic Christ is neither human nor divine, but rather a gateway into the MYSTERY’s presence among us. Our BRUNCHtalks continue to explore what it means to be Progressive in approach: Christ-like in action.

read more

O God, When Trust is Shattered

This new hymn is in response to the latest news of abuse by clergy; it was written with input from survivors and counselors. The hymn also references Pope Francis’ August 20th letter, using in particular: “If one member suffers, all suffer together with it” (1 Corinthians 12:26). Please share the hymn with priests, pastors, church musicians, counselors, friends and others who might find it helpful. Permission is given for its free use. Prayers, including sung ones, and actions are needed to “Bring healing, love and mercy; Bring justice, God of truth.”

read more

A Healing Touch

As I get older, I have fewer opportunities to be touched. I knew that about old age even before I got there, and that’s why I’m sitting so close to my mother in the above photograph, my arm around her. I had noticed the need particularly among the older women of our neighborhood church. The passing of the peace was an opportunity for older folk to receive and give full-on hugs. Now I am grateful for such hugs in greeting or in parting worship.

read more

Post 9-11 Sewing Circle

As a peace activist opposed to war, and later as a bagpiper serving with the Vietnam Vets honor guard in Florida and Texas, I played at many military funerals. None is a happy occasion. The saddest moment, for me, was the flag folding ceremony. This reflection is drawn from those rituals. Sam Gould’s poem, Don’t Stand to be Recognized, comes to mind.

read more

Beyondering Podcast – Ep 2.8 Phillip Clayton/Deshna Ubeda

EPISODE 2.8 – EMERGENCE – SEE?

What’s emerging? What forms and shapes of sacred community are in the process of being birthed but are not yet? Emergent thinkers are those with such a lens that they walk into this future with optimism and without fear. Deshna Ubeda and Phillip Clayton are two such people. Matt and Lucas speak with them and consider what forms, practices and approaches of sacred community will emerge in the coming years.

read more

Earth’s Plea: A Poem

This powerful spoken word poem, performed by youth advocate Jaiia Cerff, is a perfect reminder of the simple things that make our world a better place.

read more

What the Church Needs is Some Good Sex

It is a tough time to be a Catholic Christian. The current scandals of sexual abuse, by priests around the world, follow a nearly 20-year run of similar episodes. But the lack of transparency in the Catholic Church is no news. Two decades ago, I discussed the problem with my dear friends from Rome. They were shocked that Americans were so shocked. “What is the big deal? Why the fuss?” they asked, waving their hands above their heads. “We Italians have always known better than to leave our children alone with priests!” I found their response both hilarious and appalling. But can we expect any real change of behavior in the Catholic Church as long as it remains a male-dominated monarchy?

read more

Why God Would Not Require A Human Sacrifice For The Sins Of Humanity

And other thoughts on the religion of Jesus

If God is love, if love is an integral part of God’s essence, then God must act with and by love — no exceptions. If God does not condone violence, injustice, hatred, and vengefulness in humanity, then God would need to live up to at least as high of a standard.

read more

Inclusive Songs for Resistance & Social Action

Music empowers action fo social change. Inclusive Songs for Resistance and Social Action will contribute to gender, racial, economic, environmental and other justice movements.

read more

Building Bridges: Letha Dawson Scanzoni and Friends

Building Bridges combines an exploration of the life and work of Letha Dawson Scanzoni with stories of people she continues to empower through her writing and the Evangelical & Ecumenical Women’s Caucus – Christian Feminism Today, an organization she cofounded.

read more

Love Beyond Belief: Finding the Access Point to Spiritual Awareness

By Rev.Dr. Thandeka

Using insights from the brain science of emotions, Love Beyond Belief: Finding the Access Point to Spiritual Awareness narrates two millennia of lost-and-found stories about love beyond belief as the access point to the heart and soul of spiritual life. Many of today’s “spiritual but not religious” people – one in four US adults – have found the access point to spiritual experience that Western Christianity lost: unconditional love. Love Beyond Belief tracks the history of this lost emotion.

read more

Does the GOP have a racist cut-off point?

President Donald Trump traffics in racial epithets.

Since his first year in office, Trump’s displays of xenophobic, misogynistic, LGBTQ-phobic, and racist remarks (to name just a few from his laundry list of bigotries) appear to have no cutoff point.

The Republican Party under Trump doesn’t seem to have one, either.

read more

A Universal Basic Income

The UBI (Universal Basic Income) is an idea that is growing in favor among economists as well as philosophers. The world is changing and as automation decreases the demand for labor our economic system must also change so that we are not squeezing human beings out of the equation as we make a few people super rich and leave millions to live in the violence of poverty. We must change our priorities so that we do not continue to push all of our real wealth into the hands of fewer and fewer people.

read more

Hymn: Sung to “My Jesus I Love Thee”

Here in the stillness we come face to face
With life giving presence, and unfolding grace.
Refreshment of spirit, renewal of mind,
These are the gifts we are destined to find.

read more

ProgressiveChristianity.org Robin Meyers Interview: What social justice issues matter most to you?

Robin Meyers is Senior Minister of the Mayflower Congregational United Church of Christ in Oklahoma City.

These interviews were conducted by ProgressiveChristianity.org at a Westar meeting as part of a series on Christianity, spirituality, religion, church, God, Jesus, sacred community, social justice, youth, and social transformation. More to come soon!

read more

Textual Criticism: It’s Not Just for Ancient, Sacred Scripture Anymore

The congressional hearings about to begin over a Supreme Court nominee will largely hinge on the political philosophies of different elected officials; who will view the judicial record of the candidate through the lens of their separate interpretations of constitutional law, and how it should be applied. How is the task of interpretation and application different, or the same, when it comes to “sacred” scripture and constitutional law?

read more

Why do people shout?

When two people are kind to each other – when two people love each other – they don’t even need to speak to know the thoughts of the other. They can just be silent, and they can see each other, and their hearts feel each other, and they can communicate.

But when our hearts grow distant from each other, we often raise our voices.

read more

In the Walking, Talking and Breaking of Bread: The Road to Emmaus and Immigration

  I usually like to have things all figured out before I do something. I don’t support charities without researching them nor vote for politicians without applying the same scrutiny. You can get burned if you don’t …

read more