Aunt Helen, Nelson Mandela, and Donald Trump

How differently Aunt Helen, Nelson Mandela, and Donald Trump have applied the powers of positive thinking! Maybe we need a corrective text entitled, The Power of Magnanimous Thinking.

read more

Cancers Grow from Within

Though art and movies usually portray villains as being hideous, the truth is that the most evil temptations are usually irresistibly attractive. Israeli scholar, Yuval Noah Harari, has written about how we are drifting towards fascism in the west, not by conscious decisions, but by being tempted towards tribal power and justification of prejudice. To avoid fascism, we have to be aware that we really don’t want to go down that path, even when our personal tribe might have momentary successes.

read more

Beyondering Podcast – EP 2.10 – Contemplating the Rich and Raw with Richard Rohr

Contemplative Franciscan Priest Richard Rohr will help us understand the necessity of contemplative practice for modern life, explore the recent mindfulness phenomenon and even touch on the state of modern politics.

read more

Why are we pursuing Christianity when Jesus himself did not?

Some while ago Dr. Spong replied to a message from me in which I stated that possibly there could be some thought devoted to the idea that, “God” is both within a person and everywhere. This makes sense to me and I have been living this understanding successfully.

The concept of a “Deity” or of “Deities” is well-known, documented and practiced as well as awareness of knowing truth within us. There is room for tolerance. Why are we pursuing Christianity when Jesus himself did not?

read more

Damage. Damaged. Love.

This article is lengthly. But, worth it. Take four minutes right now to read it.

It is in three parts. ​​​​​​​The first two parts begin with scientific studies. The third part is more of a sermon.

1. It’s real: what you can’t see can still harm you
2. Taking it: you don’t have as much will power as you thought
3. stand with the oppressed

read more

How I Started Taking “God” Stuff Seriously

Video Blog with Damon Garcia

Welcome to the daily vlog of a Progressive Christian living in Santa Maria, California. Every day I try to give you all value as I document my journey of growing an audience that would allow me to further extend faith in the face of fear, hope in the face of despair, and love in the face of hatred. It’s all about faith, hope, and love. And the most important of these is love! If you care about extending more love in the world then join the movement!

read more

Christian Values and Male Entitlement

As many of you as were baptized into Christ have clothed yourself with Christ. There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male and female; for all …

read more

How to Build the Church of Your Dreams

Planning a church is a challenging task. While many church planters have been blamed for treating churches like businesses, there is no doubt that financial concerns can prohibit builders from creating the church they would like to. How can you build the church of your dreams? How can you best serve your congregation?

read more

Tune: Fulda (Walton) William Gardiner (1770-1853)

Creation’s splendour calls forth praise
for Nature’s wealth, for vibrant life.
This planet home, a wondrous gift,
is threatened now by greed and strife.

read more

Overcoming the Threat to Our Future

This is a book about the social, political, philosophical, religious, and economic presuppositions we have believed to be inherent truths that we are now discovering were built on geo-ecological flaws.

read more

Please tell me that I am wrong

The news headlines paint a consistent picture, and it’s frightening. From only the last few days: A mob at a Trump/Cruz rally chants “Lock him up, lock him up”, referring to Beto O’Rourke, the Democrat running for a senate seat from TX. A man on an airplane grabs a women’s body, “because President Trump said it was ok”. A Republican congressman says that George Soros is paying members of the Central American caravan heading north, and someone plants a bomb at Soros’ house. Other bombs are sent to CNN, Holder, Biden, Hillary, Obama, and more being discovered even as I write. Meanwhile the billionaires are buying land in New Zealand, preparing for the demise of the very system that created their wealth, blindly believing that the south Pacific will be exempt from the apocalypse.

read more

Why won’t intelligent clergy step up to the pulpit and tell the truth?

Why won’t intelligent clergy step up to the pulpit and tell the truth at least about the many Biblical things that can be explained with mechanisms known in the last 2000 years? (e.g Darwinism, radio carbon dating, our world is not earth centred, and earth is round not flat!)

read more

Exercising Empathy

Empathy is more than sympathy, it involves a deeper understanding of, and even the ability to anticipate the feelings of another person. There are two kinds of religion, the personal piety sort whose goal is to avoid punishment and attain reward, and the empathic journey of faith that seeks to be a blessing to others, even those who are not yet born. Maybe there is really only one kind of religion because, as this sermon argues, religion without empathy is really just self-service with rituals.

read more

Leading a Retreat on the Bible

If you were going to lead a retreat on the Bible (focusing on its origins and purpose), what questions would you find valuable to address?

read more

Resurrection: Fact or Fantasy?

Did Jesus really rise from the dead? Or is this a fairy tale?

This issue, along with who God is, could keep the twenty-first-century reformation from moving forward.

read more

River Current: The Physics of Prayer

Most religious traditions affirm the practice of prayer. But have you ever thought deeply about how prayer works?

Do we think there’s a man up in the clouds who hears our prayers and decides whether or not to grant them? Why do we need to pray over and over for something—why isn’t once enough? Why do we pray at all if God already knows our thoughts and desires? Do we think God will be more likely to grant our prayers if we pray for something fervently and repeatedly? Are we trying to prove to God how important something is to us by praying so hard? Are we trying to control God?

read more

How I Found God in Everyone and Everywhere: An Anthology of Spiritual Memoirs

How I Found God in Everyone and Everywhere captures for a general audience the spiritual shift away from a God “up there” and “out there” and towards an immanent divine right here. It’s built around the personal journeys of a close-knit group of prominent contributors. Their spiritual visions of immanence, sometimes called “panentheism,” are serving as a path of spiritual return for a growing number of seekers today. Contributors include Deepak Chopra, Richard Rohr, Rupert Sheldrake, Matthew Fox, and Cynthia Bourgeault.

read more

Progressive Christians’ obsession with bashing Trump

What is your take on how obsessed Progressive Christians have gotten about bashing Trump?

read more

Yolanda Pierce – Interview and videos

Watch excerpts from our interview with Yolanda Pierce, associate professor of African-American religion and literature at Princeton Theological Seminary, as she talks about the new movie “12 Years a Slave” and about Christianity and slavery in America. Her most recent book is “Hell without Fires: Slavery, Christianity, and the African-American Spiritual Narrative” (University Press of Florida, 2005).

read more

The View from Job’s Dung-heap: Peering Beyond the Heavens Toward a Theory of Everything?

When our ancestors looked into the heavens they had no way of knowing the wonders of the cosmos that we are beginning to discover. While physicists can ignore theology, theologians who ignore physics will find themselves stuck atop Job’s dung-heap impotently shaking their fists at the Divine.

read more

Demanding Answers from the Universe

Telling ourselves that “everything happens for a reason” may be comforting but there is a minority voice in the Bible that screams out that it “just ain’t so!” In Job, Ecclesiastes, and much of the Proverbs, we find a rational counter argument to other witnesses that insist that God is active in human history and that there is a divine plan that justifies human suffering. This progressive church chooses to accept that Job got it right. Things don’t happen for a reason unless we can choose to bring meaning to the events.

read more

College Guide for LGBTQ Students

Finding the right school is important for every prospective student, but those who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning, or queer (LGBTQ) face further challenges when choosing a college. In addition to obstacles that all students face, like researching different majors and obtaining financial aid, students who are LGBTQ benefit from finding a school that is accepting of their identity and supportive of their unique needs.

read more

Global Ministries University

The Online University with a Contemporary Theology…

Offering
Degrees and Certificates
With a Concentration in Progressive Christianity
As Well as in the Following Areas of Concentration:

Evolutionary Spirituality
SpiritualitySpiritual Companionship
World Religions
Pastoral Care and Counseling
Pastoral Ministry
Feminist Pastoral Ministry
And More!

read more

Prayer and Prayings

I need to address this important subject because prayer is such a significant part of public church services and also it can be a vital part of one’s personal religious life.  Some people engage in praying very frequently and regularly.  Some people call it a time of meditation, a quiet time, time given to God, or something else.    For many people, they feel it is an important way in which they can grow in their personal relationship with God.  However many in the church have serious questions about prayer; how it works and if it does.

read more

Consciousness

The belief that humankind, created in the image of god, is the center and purpose of the universe, has been smacked down over the last 500 years by three revolutions in human self-awareness. The first was the Copernican discovery that the earth is not the center of the universe. Prior to Copernicus publishing his theory in 1543, the medieval worldview imagined that all the heavenly bodies revolved around earth and humanity, while god pushed them in their orbits through the sky. Today, thanks to Hubble, we gaze in fascination at photos of galaxies in outer space. We are not the center of the universe.

read more

The Matthew Shepard murder revisited

With October being LGBTQ History Month it allows the LGBTQ community to look back at historical events. And Matthew Shepard’s murder is one of them.

This October 12 marks twenty years since the death of Matthew Shepard. In October 1998, Shepard, then 21, was a first-year college student at University of Wyoming. Under the guise of friendship, two men (Aaron McKinney and Russell Henderson) lured Shepard from a tavern, tortured and bludgeoned him with their rifles, and then tethered him to a rough-hewn wooden fence to die – simply because he was gay.

read more

Confronting the Denial of American White Racism (Part 4 of 4)

Intergenerational White Victimhood

For my last installment on the topic of ‘Confronting the Denial of American White Racism’, I humbly submit a discussion on the pervasiveness of white victimhood through generations of American history; in fact, I call it: ‘Intergenerational White Victimhood’ (a psychological theory I’m developing). The basis for my research comes from a Newsweek/Gallup Survey, August 19, 1969, one year after the death of Dr. King, revealing that 44% of whites believed that black people had a better chance than they did at obtaining employment and earning a higher wage. 88%, in the same survey, outright stated that their chances were worse, insisting that they knew this to be true, not just a mere belief. Moreover, 80% of whites said that black people already possessed equal or better educational opportunities as well; only 17% of whites said otherwise (3% were indifferent). Remember, we are talking about 1969…

read more

Confronting the Denial of American White Racism (Part 3 of 4)

The Protests will NOT Stop!

On Tuesday evening, I joined the distressed voices of many freedom fighters protesting the brutal murder of Stephon Clark by the Sacramento Police Department. We converged upon city hall to confront SacPD, the mayor, and the city council, letting them know, in a way that we (the people) deemed necessary, we will no longer stand for the intimidation, violation, brutalization, and killing of our neighbors, especially those of color. As has been well documented, America has a history of oppressing communities of color through city, county and state police units. The citizens of Sacramento, CA want to make it abundantly clear: NO ON OUR STREETS! This ain’t Alabama; this ain’t Mississippi, or any of those other good ole’ boy, backwoods, country, down home states; this is California, and we will act by any means necessary before we allow state executions in our streets—any means necessary!

read more

What Shall We Bring to Community?

What shall we bring to community?
A loaf, a fish, a voice for singing,
hands for baking, a heart for teaching,
wisdom for guiding our children and youth?

read more

Church Readings – Jesus Commandments

Be completely humble and gentle
Be patient
forgiving one another in love

read more

Resisting With Our Feet

(and our hands and our hearts)

Bless the hands that vote. Ask people you meet: “With which hand will you be voting in November?” Grasp that hand, look the person in the eyes, and bless them, saying: “May love guide your hand to vote for the common good.” Voting is a ritual. By putting even more ritual into it, by getting people implicitly committing to vote, we engage them in the ritual and increase the likelihood that they’ll show up and do it.

read more

What It Means to Be a Christian

To live by the virtues and values of Christ (i.e., love/compassion, peace/nonviolence, and justice/egalitarianism) as summed up in “The Great Commandment” and “Golden Rule

read more

An Overdue Second Bill of Rights

F. D. Roosevelt recognized that the original bill of rights, that guaranteed certain political freedoms, would not be enough to make all American’s free with a similar bill of rights that would guarantee economic independence. Of the eight amendments he proposed in 1944, seven are still waiting to be implemented. The progressive movement is not dead but it has been too slow to gain ground. We really need to pick up FDR’s banner and run with it!

read more

OMEGA presents Terra – a film by Yann Arthus-Bertrand

Animals are the refugees we often forget. In this documentary by GoodPlanet and OMEGA, directors Yann Arthus-Bertrand and Michael Pitiot examine the human relationship with other species on Earth. With a global population of 7 billion people, let’s have the courage to change the way we share our planet. Available on Netflix.

read more

Confronting the Denial of American White Racism (Part 2 of 4)

About five years ago, my best friends and I sat down at Leatherby’s Ice Cream one evening, and we began to discuss race relations in America. Three of us at the table recognized the fact that (systemic) racism was still a problem, while one of us was vehemently maintaining that it was not. We tried to have a conversation about this friend’s own white denial of racism, but this friend was NOT having any of that conversation. This friend became flustered, red, and angry at the entire discussion. Yes, this friend is a white male; one who in no way, shape, or form wanted to converse about American white racism. I knew, right then, this was not only a social issue, it was psychological. (It’s also spiritual, but that’s another post.)

read more

Albert Einstein’s Theory of Happiness – Prince Ea

DID YOU KNOW THAT ALBERT EINSTEIN HAD A SECRET THEORY ABOUT HAPPINESS? His theory written on a piece of paper just sold for 1.5 million dollars! But even he would have probably disapproved of this sale. Check out his theory here and choose happiness today!

read more