Robin Meyers Interview: “Faith Journey”

In this short interview, we asked progressive Christian leader, author and activist, Rev. Robin Meyers: “What theological shifts have shaped your story?”

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God is Alive, Magic is Afoot – Leonard Cohen

This is one of my favorite poems celebrating the unexpected splendor of new life out of anticipated death. Happy Easter, all you resurrection artists.

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Humpty Dumpty, Doubting Thomas, and Resurrection – John 20:19-31 – Easter 2A

Do I believe in the resurrection of the body and the life ever lasting? The truth is, that like Saint Thomas, I too have questions. Do I believe in the resurrection of the body and the life ever lasting? I have experienced the Risen Christ in the body of Christ that is the church. I believe that Christ has no hands but our hands, for we are the body of Christ. Christ lives through us, just as surely as Christ lived through those who first believed in things not yet seen. So, in the presence of such a great crowd of witnesses, with all the saints of every time and place, I can say, “Yes, I believe!”

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Pepsi ad failed its multicultural audience

With African Americans and Latinos markets viewed as providing soft drink companies a “lifetime of opportunity” these companies are disincentivized to create healthier beverages. And they don’t see it as exploitation, but rather as niche marketing.

“Do they owe these groups an apology? I don’t think so…. On many levels, the soft-drink industry is being demonized as if it were the new big tobacco.”

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World Water Day

Celebrating the recent announcements of the new legal personhood status of two rivers in India and one in New Zealand. Thomas Berry called for a new Earth Jurisprudence that would allow for the rights of nature, not just humans. His vision is coming to pass with these legal decisions. How wonderful to celebrate World Water Day with this special message sent out by Miriam MacGillis at Genesis Farm in New Jersey near the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area.

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The Resurrection of Mary Magdalene

  Mary Magdalene was the first person, male or female, to witness the empty tomb…the first to see angels who reported the resurrection…the first to hear the voice of, and see, the risen Christ…and the first to …

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Gatherings: A Manifesto

American democracy is not well. And the Trump presidency is as much a symptom as a cause of the disease.

Many Americans, especially young ones, distrust organized anything: religions, governments, and corporations. Relentless media exposure of scandalous behavior by public figures has discredited the organizations these leaders represent. People question whether any institution can be counted upon to serve the common good. Levels of voter participation, particularly in down-ballot races, is abysmally low. Fewer Americans identify with the political parties. The

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Blake Osborne Interview: Progressive Christianity

Blake Osborne Interview: Progressive Christianity

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!

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Why still call yourself a Christian?

I enjoy what you have been saying about Jesus, and I am becoming much more progressive than I used to be, but still I have a hard time understanding why someone with your beliefs still remains a Christian? If the Jesus you still “believe” in is not the Jesus that resurrected and was God incarnate, then why do you still call yourself a Christian?

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Boston still struggles with its racial past

Lauded as one of the bluest states in the country with an activist court that has always been forward thinking I thought Boston would be one of the better cities for minorities like myself – LGBTQ, people of color, women, to call its second home.

But, I quickly learned Boston has an inglorious history, too.

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Resurrection is not a reality but it is a potential

Featuring “Purpose in the Pain” by David GreathouseToday’s Easter message consists of 4 vignettes coupled with 4 original musical compositions of David Greathouse.

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the Easter uprising

Jesus rises up whenever the conspiracy of love rises up, whenever compassionate and courageous acts of the kingdom of God are present, whenever the reign of love is made manifest in this life. Following Jesus is a response to his call to establish justice and peace in the world.

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Crucifying The Prairie: An ECO-Theology Of Resistance For Good Friday

By Jacob J. Erickson

Our pluralistic world invites multifaith and multispiritual perspectives. But, for me in this moment, in my own week of observations of Good Friday to Easter, I plan on resisting. I will not bear this cross of a carbon economy willingly. I will resist the crosses that ravage the beauty of the earth until my dying breath.

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Changing Hearts, Changing Minds

Here is a list of rules formulated decades ago by the legendary social psychologist and game theorist Anatol Rapoport, as abridged by the philosopher, Daniel Dennett:

“How to compose a successful critical commentary”

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Seasoning the Day with Sanity

Alan Wallace on the value of mindful moments throughout the day

  During his recent retreat at the Garrison Institute, we spoke with scholar and meditation teacher Alan Wallace about how to cultivate stillness, increase productivity, and determine whether an activity is worth doing. Many people have the …

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Anger, OK. Hatred, not so.

So, what to do instead of hate?

Take your anger, feel it. But, then find love and put it into action.

Let me conclude with words from Dr. Martin Luther King – who is celebrated today in the United States,
“Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.”

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The WHY of looking outward

The HOW of effective communications strategy can be figured out, maybe with outside help, and implemented without great expense.

The WHY, however, might be the hardest sell I have ever had to make as a church consultant. Church leaders find it difficult to imagine any audience beyond the members they know.

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Altars in the World

The contemplative life is about finding altars everywhere!

The contemplative life is about finding altars everywhere. Celtic “thin places” where heaven shows itself on earth. Creatures who, much like Meister Eckhart’s caterpillar, are so full of God a sermon is unnecessary. Leonard Cohen’s broken places that let the light shine in. Strangers who are angels unawares. The “least of these” who are Christ himself. People who, as in Thomas Merton’s epiphany at a city intersection, do not realize they are walking around “shining like the sun.” Maya Angelou’s “caged bird,”

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Resurrection Is Only Change: A Brief Reflection for the Observance of Good Friday and Easter

Recently I’ve become aware of some significant changes occurring in the personal lives of some of the folks that gather in our monthly Pathways circle. Some changes are welcome, while some are not. It’s a mixed bag. It all reminds me, once again, of the only constant thing in our lives. It is the progressive changes that continue unabated, with whatever number of days we are each randomly accorded. Me included.

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Good Friday Unison Prayer

O God, who grace feels abundant in our sunshine, but far removed in our shadows: We have come today to bear witness to Jesus’ suffering and death upon a cross. We are appalled at the injustice and inhumanity — not only of his last day, but of days in our lives when we hear about greed, corruption, discrimination, hatred, violence, and death.

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Rev. Bruce Sanguin Sermon: Blessed Are The Pure Of Heart

Reverend Bruce Sanguin talks about Blessed Are The Pure of Heart at Unity of Vancouver. See UnityOfVancouver.org for information and more talks.

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Trading Our Palm Branches for Tomahawk Missiles or White Helmets? – a Palm Sunday sermon

  In the wake of a week that saw sarin gas released once again on the people of Sryria, followed by the firing of U.S. tomahawk missiles, parading around waving Palm Branches seems as foolish as it …

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Jesus Speaks to the 12: Simon, Thaddeus and Judas

Part 4 of a 4-Part Series

Part 4 of a 4-part series leading up to Holy Thursday. Each day 3 disciples present at the Last Supper are highlighted. It is partially inspired by the Unity teaching of the Twelve Powers. Part 1 sets the context and Jesus speaks to Peter, Andrew and James. Part 2 is John, Phillip and Bartholomew. Part 3 is Thomas, Matthew and James son of Alphaeus.

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Gathering Pecans

Gathering Pecans is the perfect book to share with your more fundamental friends who don’t always understand your thinking. The otherworldly Bagby family has a more inclusive and less dogmatic view of Christianity that will leave you pondering long after you’ve turned the last page.

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Jesus Speaks to the 12: Thomas, Matthew and James son of Alphaeus

Part 3 of a 4-Part Series

Part 3 of a 4-part series leading up to Holy Thursday. Each day 3 disciples present at the Last Supper are highlighted. It is partially inspired by the Unity teaching of the Twelve Powers. Part 1 sets the context and Jesus speaks to Peter, Andrew and James. Part 2 is John, Phillip and Bartholomew.

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Jesus Speaks to the 12: John, Phillip and Bartholomew

Part 2 of a 4-Part Series

Part 2 of a 4-part series leading up to Holy Thursday. Each day 3 disciples present at the Last Supper are highlighted. It is partially inspired by the Unity teaching of the Twelve Powers. Part 1 sets the context and Jesus speaks to Peter, Andrew and James.

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Jesus Speaks to the 12: Peter, Andrew, and James

Part 1 of a 4-Part Series

Part 1 of a 4-part series leading up to Holy Thursday. Each day 3 disciples present at the Last Supper are highlighted. It is partially inspired by the Unity teaching of the Twelve Powers.

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Good Friday Sermons

Holy Week marks a sharp uptick in visitors to this blog. In comments, messages, and emails I hear from fellow preachers who, like me, are daunted by the task of preparing the Good Friday sermon. That task is even more daunting for those of us who serve progressive communities. My fellow progressive-christian-preachers tell me of the dearth of progressive-christian Good Friday sermons to be found on the internet and encourage me to re-post my own attempts to rise to the occasion. So, here are the links to some of the Good Friday sermons I have preached over the years of my journey with the progressive community that I serve.

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RES·UR·REC·TION

I often cringe when I hear the words: “God be with us.” To me, “with” implies that God is a divine being separate from us, outside of us, called to be next to us and “on our side” rather than someone else’s.

Jesus’ disciples were terrified when he was crucified. They thought he was no longer “with” them even though he had promised to be “until the end of time (age) (world)” (Matthew 28:20). He was buried in a tomb for God’s sake! How could he ever be with them again?
But look closer at the definition. “With” also means “possessing.” Now that’s something to which I can relate.

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Why do we assign a gender to God?

I have used the term “God” here several times to explain how we became more patriarchal. But the truth be told, no one has been able to decide where the word God came from or how long ago. The word God is a relatively new European invention, which was never used in any of the ancient Judeo-Christian scripture manuscripts that were written in Hebrew, Aramaic, Greek or Latin. Scholars tend to agree that is was sometime in the 6th century, probably in the Germanic culture and a derivation of the word, gudan.

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John Rogers interview with a message to youth.

John Rogers interview with a message to youth.

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An Easter Acclamation, Cosmic and Evolutionary

After searching for an opening Easter Acclamation that is progressive and cosmic in nature, and finding nothing that went where I’d like to take the congregation, I decided I’d just have to write one.

This acclamation/invocation draws on themes found in the Gospel of Thomas, Meister Eckhart, Hildegard von Bingen, Teilhard de Chardin, and Thomas Berry. I also hope is has some of the poetic flare of that great earth mystic, Saint John (Muir) of the Mountains.

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What was the point of Jesus dying on the cross was if it wasn’t to save us from our sins?

To me, Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem – humbly riding into town, bouncing around on the back of a previously unridden ass as people gathered to greet him singing and shouting, “Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord,” signals that Easter is going to be a story about confronting The Powers That Be.

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Toni Reynolds Interview: “What is God?”

Interview with Toni Reynolds, a missionary for the Christian Church Disciples of Christ and the United Church of Christ.

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!

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It Can Happen Here: Changing Hearts and Minds

  When I was thirteen years old, in 1966, my family moved from a small midwestern town to Santa Cruz, California. It was the first Summer of Love. I came from a star, I came very far, …

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Strangers and Aliens

Due to a drought, Jacob’s family fled to Egypt. They got the permission of the Pharaoh to do this. That’s wonderful. However, what would Jacob’s family have done if the Pharaoh did not grant this permission and give the equivalent of a “green card”? They would be faced with a tough choice—either watch their family and flocks die in the drought or escape into Egypt without permission. Every responsible father would do the right thing and break a law instead of watch his family die. You would do it. I would do it. And we would be called heroes, not criminals. This more accurately captures the situation of undocumented immigrants in the USA today. If the Pharaoh (i.e. US government) does not grant permission, the one who commits the sin is NOT the undocumented immigrant trying to feed his family—the one who commits the sin is the one who denies permission.

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