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On communion.

Who gets to receive the goods?

  House for All Sinners & Saints was only about a year old when I took a Sunday morning phone call from a young parishioner who had gone home to Grand Rapids for a weekend visit. I …

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The Self-Destructive American Church

I talk to a lot of people who grapple with religious doubts. Many of them harbor doubts about traditional faith, including a personal, supernatural, providential, and interventionalist God. An even larger number of them express doubts about institutional religion.

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The search for Hope, Trust and Contentment for the Nones, Dones And Discouraged

Are you curious why the church is “way out of tune” with today’s times?
…how a 21st century None, Done or Discouraged might be attracted to a 21st century understanding of church and Jesus??

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Eclipsing Empire – Home Edition

Join preeminent New Testament scholars Marcus Borg and John Dominic Crossan on location in Turkey as they trace the Apostle Paul’s footsteps throughout the Roman Empire.

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Saving Jesus Redux – Home Edition

Saving Jesus Redux Home Editionis a 12-episode video exploration of a credible Jesus for the 21st Century. Join 25 experts for a conversation around the relevance of Jesus for today.

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Celebrating the Cosmos Liturgy

This presentation is a celebration of the cosmos and its processes. Why? We are living in a time not only of the meltdown of glaciers but also of ideological systems.

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Swimming upstream against bias toward black hair at Olympics

The least of the Olympics’ concerns should be that of swim caps for black hair. However, the International Swimming Federation (FINA) of the IOC said the design of the swim caps does not fit “the natural form of the head,” a statement eerily reminiscent of the Eugenics Movement propaganda to substantiate both black anatomical and intellectual inferiority. 

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Oops. Seem to have had a revelation…

Some things done in the name of God by people of religious communities have been some of the lowest acts of humanity.

While I’m not the clergy-person who might have caused you hurt, I would like to apologize on their behalf. Because, it seems, they owe you an apology—and at this time they are unable to give it to you.

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United, Undivided

We are all Americans – of all ethnicities, cultures, and political persuasions.  We won’t allow ourselves to be divided.  We stand up, speak out, and we vote for preserving our democracy through free and fair elections to express the will of our majority, so that we can secure liberty and justice for all.

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Memorial Homily for Disability Rights Leader Bob Alllamand

Over fifty years a quadriplegic, Bob Allamand was one of four spokespersons at the historic San Francisco Federal Building sit- in which precipitated the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

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Creating Every Day Thought by Thought

I was not one who believed in a geographical expanse between Heaven and Earth. It all pretty much boiled down to the one moment we had right in front of us. The eternal now. The kingdom is within and all around you is the Biblical phrase I stood by.

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Natural disasters and God’s self-restraint  

Traditionally, religions offer a God who is omnipotent, all-powerful, almighty, the cosmic sovereign in control of everything.   He/she/it is also said to be all-knowing, omniscient, so he knows not only what he is doing but what everybody and everything else is going to do, and will do, from beginning to end.  This is brave belief of what God is.   But is this the sort of God we observe today?  

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Heresy is Good

A podcast pushing back against the evangelical right, their distortion of the gospels, their hypocrisy, and their self-righteousness.

The “Heresy Is Good” podcast is about fighting back against the evangelicals’ disinformation and distortion of the gospel.

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Here We Go Again!

We can no longer deny that the seeds of racism and hatred are growing at a pace which threatens to choke our long-ago dreams of a multicultural paradise.

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How do we catch up with friends when we are still figuring out who we are now?

On AA, Lazarus, and Our Emotional Bodyguards

How do we allow for who we are now and allow for who others are as well. How do we remember to show the curiosity toward our friends that we need for others to show toward us. How do we not treat others as if they are the same, when of course they are not?

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Beautiful words from Asher Callahan

God is still creating you. You are no less beautiful and wild than a sunset or a beach or a puffin. You are loved. You have a place here.

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Cicadas in the Time of Pandemic

Emergence creates the possibility of song only in community

When I got the vaccine, I thought I’d want to run into the streets singing with joy like a giddy giant cicada. But in recent days, I’m struck by how anxious I feel – far more anxious than any time in the pandemic except at the very beginning.

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Beginners’ Mind for Christians

Wisdom not much different than what St Benedict, a founder of Christian monasticism, observed about the contemplative life:  “Always we begin again.” Or what the 20th century Trappist monk, Thomas Merton, wrote about prayer:  “We do not want to be beginners. But let us be convinced of the fact that we will never be anything else but beginners.”
 

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Book Review: “A Man Called Jesus” by Dr. Rick Herrick

n his inspirational novel, A Man Called Jesus, author, Dr. Rick Herrick, presents a Jesus with irresistible compassion who is deeply infused with God’s love.

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A Man Called Jesus

A Novel Revised and Annotated

Have you ever wondered about Nazareth as a place to live in the first century? How about Jesus the miracle worker: how did he do the great deeds reported of him in the New Testament? “A Man Called Jesus” answers those questions and more.

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In Brigid’s Footsteps: The Return of the Divine Feminine

Celtic goddess and Christian saint Brigid is the focus of this collection of essays on the
Divine Feminine and the ongoing evolution of consciousness.

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Jeff’s Journey

This passionate love story is set in the picturesque village of Valle Crucis in the North Carolina mountains. Within the warm embrace of Abby Dunbar and among his many friends in the Valle Crucis community, the Reverend Jeffrey Peterson heals the scars from a failed ministry and psychological trauma.

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Beginning Religion with Cosmology instead of the Human

It is not something new to begin with cosmology—Genesis One does that.

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The Natural Origins of Evil

The human immune system keeps us healthy and alive through violence against intruders who would do us harm. “Natural killers,” aptly named, are one type of cells in our immune system. Without the benefit of any prior exposure, they naturally seek out and destroy harmful cells. We rely on such violence within our bodies to be healthy.

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Planting the Future

How Faith Communities Can Get Involved

Religious communities have a rich opportunity to contribute to a global goal of restoring forest ecosystems as part of the current UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration.

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Celebrating Pride Month with Faith & Reason

Faith & Reason is celebrating by talking to LGBTQ Christians and ministers about their experience in the church, as well as how individuals can help inspire progressive change in their own congregations.

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The Dance of Grace

Sermon by Rev. Mark Sandlin, on June 13, 2021

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Love is Simple, And..

Simply put, love is attention.  It is not complicated to pay attention to your thoughts, emotions, sensations, and urges.  It is not rocket science to stop, sit, and listen to another person who needs your time and focus. 

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Challenges facing our democracy this Independence Day

The latest weekly episode of the Humankind on Public Radio podcast, which you can hear free when it’s released every Thursday, features our documentary, An Informed Republic. We explore the importance that America’s founders placed on the free flow of information for our participatory democracy to function.

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A Rabbi’s Apology

To those affected by the discovery of mass graves of First Nations’ children In Canada.

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Homeland Security?

Faith, patriotism, and exile - and the need for a better spirituality of country

This week is Canada Day and July 4, two celebrations of national life in North America. Both holidays are particularly complicated – even painful – this year as citizens in both Canada and the United States struggle with legacies of colonialism and racism in history and our political lives.

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A Mystical Approach To The Climate Crisis

In mystical activism, we live more and more in the divine flow of here and now, and experience the sacred world in everything we do – raising our children, loving our family and our friends, performing our work, being kind and considerate, caring for community and environment, pursuing climate activism, and even in the simplest human acts of eating and drinking and loving – they are all sacred in awakened consciousness.

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The Inner Light

I assure you I am well, content, and thankful to God for this extension of my ministry. Thank you for your interest, comments, correspondence, and contributions. I am grateful to Metropolitan Community Churches for recognizing this blog as an “Emerging Ministry” and ProgressiveChristianity.org for reposting many of my reflections, as well as the dozens of Facebook pages that allowed me to provide links to particular posts.

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After Juneteenth, what does this 4th of July mean?

This July 4th, America will celebrate 245 years of independence from British rule. However, when President Joe Biden signed into law Juneteenth as a  federal holiday, it forces Americans to take a sterner look at what this July 4th means. 

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We Need More Empathy

We must call on our faith to develop more than just understanding – we must practice empathy. In the words of Howard Thurman, “it is a grievous blunder to assume that understanding is always sympathetic.” Christ did not say, “understand your neighbor.” He said, “love thy neighbor as thyself.”

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Neither Good nor Bad

As violence and division erupt here at home and around the world, we are forced again to ask of ourselves: who are we? What is the essential nature of human beings? Are we inclined to do good, or are we bound to pursue what might be named evil? Good, or bad? A seemingly simple question but one that drags in its wake a multitude of ramifications that are not so simple.

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