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Can Religion Save Humanity?

With all the news today of doom and gloom for our world, do you think religion can save humanity?

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Funeral Service for Bishop John Shelby Spong

St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Richmond, VA – September 30, 2021

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The Way

This morning, I preached at Platte Woods United Methodist Church in Kansas City. They’ve been doing a sermon and education series on Freeing Jesus – and they asked me to come and finish up their study of the book.

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A Time For Reckoning: North American Christianity and Indigenous Cultural Genocide

From the 19th century until the 1970s, more than 150,000 Indigenous children were forced to attend state-funded Christian boarding schools in an effort to assimilate them into Canadian society. Thousands of children died there of disease and other causes, with many never returned to their families.

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Vision, Hope and Courage in a Time of Crisis

Many of us wrestle with fear, despair, insecurity, and loneliness in this time of sustained global crisis. I worry for the future of the human family and life itself. But these times are also an invitation.

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What is your opinion of St Paul?

What is your opinion of St Paul?

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Sermon: “Subversive Living”

Take a few moments and listen to Rev. Dr. Caleb J Lines talk about how the Gospel calls for subversively living.

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Beginning the journey of personal

How does one begin the journey of personal transformation?

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When Will We Ever Learn?

When will we ever learn? It is time to get serious about studying current events and the history that has led up to them. So that we don’t make the mistakes we made in Afghanistan – and Iraq and Central America and Vietnam – ever again.

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Crisis around the Temple Mount

What is it about the Temple Mount?  It seems to always be the flashpoint of conflict in Jerusalem.

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White Too Long

The Legacy of White Supremacy in American Christianity

As the nation grapples with demographic changes and the legacy of racism in America, Christianity’s role as a cornerstone of white supremacy has been largely overlooked.

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Archbishop Carl Bean’s “I Was Born This Way”

Bean was the first black openly gay gospel singer to join Motown. However, his time at Motown was short-lived when he refused to croon heterosexual love songs. Bean eventually left Motown in the 1980s, abandoning his singing career. 

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How the Light Shines by Trisha Elliott

Stories, Strategies, and Spiritual Practices for Caregivers of People with Dementia

This book is for caregivers who have a desire not only to hone their caring skills, but also to deepen their relationship with God through their care. It explores feelings of loss and challenge, but turns always towards potential and hope.

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The Church and Evolution

Do you think that the Church has adequately explored and explained the spiritual aspects of evolution? What does it mean spiritually that we evolved from apes?

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Tributes to Bishop John Shelby Spong

Read some of the tributes that have been written on the occasion of the death of Bishop John Shelby Spong. 

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But or And?

What brings us closer together around the communion table of divine love? What drives us apart? But or And, Against or Through, For or With?

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Bishop John Shelby Spong

June 16, 1931 – September 12, 2021

The Great Digital Commission

Embracing Social Media for Church Growth and Transformation

Attendance in US churches continues to sharply decline. As church leaders struggle to identify both root causes and possible responses, they often feel a sense of despair… but there is hope!

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Bold Directions for Dangerous Times

In a recent article in progressivechristianity.org Jim Burklo wrote about the possibility, if not likelihood, that there will be a flood of disaffected folks leaving the evangelical churches and that progressive congregations should be ready “to attract them by making changes in our styles of worship and congregational life that are necessary to seize this remarkable moment.” 

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“What is a seeker?”

I am a “seeker.” I know what that means, but when people ask, “What is a seeker?” I can never find an accurate or concise way to explain it. 

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Church After: Finding transformation in unexpected change

Change is inevitable. Make it transformational.
Find transformation in unexpected changes, in your life and your congregation

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Silence and solidarity: mind the conceptual gap

We cannot be separate from God or from each other. Yet, we can spend much of our lives imagining that this is the case.

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Spirit: The Seed of the Soul; Some Imaginative Ruminations

If we all have a soul, and that soul contains the image of God or God’s virtues and values, then our individual deaths are not the end of what is most important about us. It is shared by all.

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Sermon Video: Versus vs Verses

July 11, 2021 Sermon by Rev. Mark Sandlin
Presbyterian Church of the Covenant
Greensboro, NC
 

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When will we teach Christian Parenting?

When will the Church follow and show the teachings of Jesus and teach parents to discipline by using consequences within the limits of safety?

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Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. On The Importance Of Jazz and the Blues for All of Life

In an opening address to the 1964 Berlin Jazz Festival, reprinted in its program, MLK profoundly related jazz and the blues to universal quests for happiness and the end of oppression, saying: “Jazz is exported to the world. For in the particular struggle of the Negro in America there is something akin to the universal struggle of modern man.

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Good Questions (can change the world)

What would happen if other faithful people began to ask questions instead of arguing with answers they don’t like?  What would happen if we followed St. Paul’s advice and stopped returning evil for evil?  What would happen if we asked serious questions instead of behaving defensively in response to religious or political bombast?

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Beliefs Versus the Efficacy of Faith

Periodically, it is helpful to remember that belief and faith are not the same thing.  Every group of mortals seems to inevitably gather around a particular set of beliefs; presumably based on the values they hold to be the most meaningful to them, or of greatest importance.

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Rewilding Motherhood: Your Path to an Empowered Feminine Spirituality

Women are often told by their communities that being a mother will complete or define them. But many women find themselves depleted and spiritually stagnant amid the everyday demands of being a mom.

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Were the Gospels Influenced By Paul’s Letters?

Because the letters of Paul come after the gospels in the chronology of the New Testament canon, it is easy to lose sight of the fact that when Paul penned his letters, he had no knowledge of the gospel stories.  His letters/epistles were probably written around 51 to 62 CE (Common Era).  Meanwhile, the gospels were written from about 70-72 (Mark) to around the end of the first century (John).  Thus, to reiterate, Paul knew nothing of the gospels.

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America is Compassionately Working the Problem

In the face of enormous danger and spreading death that seems pointless, there is a tendency to ask: “Where is God? How could God let this happen?” This is the same spirit that fills up space on cable news channels with critics complaining about all the things that are going wrong.

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The Church lacks a compelling LGBTQ+ vision

I wonder if fiddling around on the periphery on the issues of gay and lesbian rights can ever yield what the Church lacks: a compelling vision which, if received and fulfilled, would improve humanity as a whole. Christianity has no unique truth and its claims, like those of all various religions, is that it must rest upon a “Thus saith the Lord.”

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What They Are Saying About Us

Fundamentalist leaders used to describe progressive Christians as a shrinking heretical sect, if they noticed us at all.  Now they condemn us as an existential threat to the survival of evangelicalism.  Their rhetoric should inspire in us a healthy vigilance, as America drifts into deeper polarization and ominous threats of violence. 

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The 60s and Today

Our understanding of God is impacted by the historical context in which we live, and often changes with the season. A comparison of the 1960s with today is a case in point. It is also a span of time that brackets the theological journey of some of us, including myself.

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Sermon for St. George’s Chapel

8/15/21 - Tenants Harbor, ME

I believe that God’s love undergirds creation and is at work always in our world, sometimes despite the seeming evidence to the contrary. And I believe that God’s love is for everyone – it is indeed the bread of life, no matter what symbols or metaphors we use.

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It’s (Past) Time to Raze Hell

Some orthodox believers argue that the flames of hell should not be taken literally since hell is also described as a place of utter darkness. The point is, they argue, hell is a bad place, a place where God is not to be found, and a place where there is no hope. Literal flames or not, the traditional doctrine of eternal punishment should be an unacceptable belief for followers of the one who ate with sinners, blessed little children, and forgave his executioners.

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