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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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Finding the middle we can walk together

How can we stop the hate and bring the far right & left together to find the middle we can walk together and work for the USA’s survival?

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The Creatures We Love

A new hymn by Amanda Udis-Kessler for The Blessing of The Animals Services

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Secrets of Our Faith

What the Pastor has been taught, What is preached from the pulpit, And ... why the difference!

Much, if not most, of what is preached on Sunday mornings is different than what is taught in reputable Christian colleges and seminaries. This disconnect is fast becoming the leading factor in the continued decline of Christianity in the United States.

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LOVE is what we are made for!

1 Cor. 13 and Romans 8:37-39

1st  Corinthians chapter 13. Danna recited it from a brand-spanking new translation of the Bible; you may remember, if you are of a certain age, it was called “Good News for Modern Man:”

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Tokyo’s Tokenism

What mutuality, what enduring training, what end outcomes!
Yes, unique opportunities to serve and not to count the cost,
to see the outcome not of individual medals or near misses
but the true sharing of the Common Good.

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Blessing of Smart Phones

  Not long ago, I “mused” about my new friend at USC, Shane Cole – whom I refer to affectionately as a “digital Mennonite”.  He’s founding a student club he is calling “Digital Detox” – to promote a radically …

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Our Dark Wicked Side

We have a dark wicked side. It controls many of our thoughts and actions. It ensnares the smart and the dumb, the privileged and the non privileged, the healthy and the sick. In today’s world it undermines many of our economic, social, political, philosophical and religious structures.

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There are many ways to the truth (salvation)

If there are many ways to the truth (salvation), can we preach that Krishna (or any other God) as one of the ways to attain salvation? Or, can we proclaim “In the name of Krishna your sins can be forgiven”?

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The Land is Not Empty

In The Land Is Not Empty, author Sarah Augustine unpacks the harm of the Doctrine of Discovery–a set of laws rooted in the fifteenth century that gave Christian governments the moral and legal right to seize lands they “discovered” despite those lands already being populated by indigenous peoples.

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Dear White Peacemakers

Dismantling Racism with Grit and Grace

Dear White Peacemakers is a breakup letter to division, a love letter to God’s beloved community, and an eviction notice to the violent powers that have sustained racism for centuries.

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Christian Mindfulness

It’s a tough task to be spiritually mindful in the midst of the chaos in a world where most of our moments have been seized by a mindless environment. A framework is needed to accomplish purposeful mindfulness throughout the day while attending to our necessary obligations, ideally leading to mental, physical, spiritual health.

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In our own Image

All my life, I have been taught by the church that I have been created ‘in the image of God’.   This is one of the fundamental teachings about human beings that has been given to me by the church. 

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