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What IS a Theologoumenon and What DOES Changing Water into Wine Mean?

A couple of hurdles to deriving the greatest possible meaning from the Bible are orthodox literalism (everything in the Bible must have happened just because it is in the Bible) and secular denial (since hardly anything in the Bible really happened, the book is of no value).

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Christmas

The Christmas story is one of comfort and sweetness, if you will allow me that word. But we must not become so enamored by the Silent Night that we miss the revolutionary impact of the imagery. God appears in the poor places on earth and not in the councils of the rich and powerful.

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Pondering the Existence of God: A Review of “The God You Didn’t Know You Could Believe In” by Jeffrey E. Frantz

The Rev. Dr. Jeffrey E. Frantz was a minister in the United Church of Christ for more than forty years. In writing about God, the great mystery that challenges all persons of faith, in The God You Didn’t Know You Could Believe In, Frantz was speaking to his congregation. He knew just the right topics to cover and the right questions to answer for any layperson seeking to bring depth to his or her faith.

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Exploration, A Field Manual For A Faithful, Renewing Community

Many people have left the church, or never entered it at all, because they think it is irrelevant. Some people have stayed in the church, not knowing why, because they think it is irrelevant. Those two groups are the people for whom I wrote this manual.

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Make Room for LOVE To BE Born Right Here and NOW!

What a strange Advent this has been. In the midst of this pandemic, so many of our rituals and customs have been set aside as we struggle to do our part to slow the numbers down and bend that curve. I don’t know about you, but I don’t have much of an appetite for John the Baptist’s ranting and raving this Advent Season.

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Christmas in Black and White

The historical St Nick and the historical Jesus were real people, born in real places, in real cultures. They were not northern Europeans.

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Thank God for Science and Religion!

The awesome insight I wanted to share with you was “that the human brain has many times more connections than stars in our galaxy” [p126]. That’s an “aha” from the inside out, or rather, way, way beyond!

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On Losing and Keeping Faith

I became a Christian believer as a teenager in a conservative evangelical church. Since then I have lost much of my youthful faith. For example, I have lost faith in a literal Bible. It’s beyond me how people in the twenty-first century can still believe everything in the Bible should be taken literally.

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The Forest is Full of Socialists

I have two points to make today. The first is very practical and the second is deeply philosophical.

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Christmas Music with Amy McKenzie and Alice Wildermuth O’Sullivan

Christmas with Amy McKenzie, soprano and Alice Wildermuth O’Sullivan on piano.

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Music Video: Fantasies on Christmas Carols

This recording features Alice Wildermuth O’Sullivan playing her own arrangements of Christmas Carols on piano, augmented by bell instruments. As an organist and church musician in Lutheran churches for years, Alice developed these arrangements, some dating back to her first Christmas as a church organist when she was five.

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The red herring of ‘black on black’ crime.

One thing I fail to see addressed anywhere is the mayhem of blacks upon blacks in cities such as Chicago. Do black lives matter only when death is caused by a law enforcement officer?

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New Music and Provoking Commentary on Racism

free materials from Dr. Keith Sanford at www.ForwardFaith.org that include:

New musical releases – progressive Christian songs addressing racism
An illustrated lecture series on the History of Psychology, Racism, and the United States

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Advent/Christmas

At the end of Christmas Eve worship we light candles and sing the familiar hymn, “Silent Night.” Yet how many of us will find ourselves in the lonely silence of Christmas this year? Oh silent night, we cry out. How long until we can raise our voices once again? So we sing out…

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“Caste” and the Deepening Polarization of America

In grappling with Isabel Wilkerson’s best-selling, new book, Caste (subtitle: The Origins of Our Discontents), we are reminded how Jesus was himself–in his life, his teachings, and his ministry–a leader who broke with the entrenched caste system of his time.  In every era of human history, caste is a stumbling block; and for Christians, it is a stumbling block to the advent of the Kingdom of God, announced by Jesus.  This Kingdom ushers in a new ordering of the world, a reprioritizing of social, economic, and political values. 

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History has me hesitant about vaccine

Massachusetts hospitals are filling up again, like those across the country.  Many of the patients are blacks and Latinx Americans, the demographic groups disproportionately slammed by the coronavirus pandemic. The good news is that a vaccine is just weeks away from distribution. The troubling question is, will blacks and Latinx Americans show up? 

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The Plummery

Kat Lavers gardens her 100-square-metre back yard with such efficiency that she grows over 400 kilos of food a year to feed family & friends. She speaks eloquently and passionately about why small-scale urban gardening is so important for the resilient future of our cities.

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The Challenge of Listening

What can we as a nation learn from the aftermath of George Floyd’s death?

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Meet Me at the Corner of Compassion and You’re Not that Special

The late Marcus Borg is credited with describing the historical Jesus as being the teacher of radical compassion. In this time when it appears, as Paul Krugman has recently published, our culture of selfishness is killing us, it is vital that we take up that mission of teaching radical compassion.

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Will we “Rest in Peace” after death?

People say “rest in peace” after someone has died. But, do people really get to rest after death?

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Have Yourself a Twilight Zone Christmas

For many people, and certainly for the business community, the Christmas season is over by New Years day. But the traditional Christian calendar actually extends Christmas until January 6, which begins the season of Epiphany. Hence, the “Twelve days of Christmas” as enumerated in the popular song.

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The Work of Christmas

We begin to wind down our Annual Fundraising Campaign with an appeal to our members to help keep ProgressiveChristianity.org a strong voice for the values Jesus taught: love, kindness and generosity.

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When (If) We Gather

Economists are predicting that one in six restaurants will be permanently closed as a result of the pandemic. Sadly, when progressive congregations emerge from our current sabbatical or at least our retreat to online only services, the casualty rate may be much higher than what has hit the restaurant business.

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The Gathering, A Womanist Church Origins, Stories, Sermons, and Litanies

BY Irie Lynne Session, Kamilah Hall Sharp, Jann Aldredge-Clanton

A womanist church has great power to transform church and society, primarily because womanist theology centers the experiences of Black women while working for the survival and wholeness of all people and all creation.

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Celestial Sleep with Ashana and Thomas Barquee

CELESTIAL SLEEP blends the exquisite musical artistry of Ashana and Thomas Barquee with alchemy crystal singing bowls, sound healing, and gentle guided meditation to create a revolutionary sleep solution.

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The Shift: Surviving and Thriving after Moving from Conservative to Progressive Christianity

This book is a friendly survival guide to help followers of Jesus navigate the strange and confusing landscape when shifting from conservative to progressive Christianity.

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Free for Advent: “The First Christmas” with John Dominic Crossan

FaithandReason® is bringing you a 4-part “Advent Podcast Series” with special guest John Dominic Crossan! Once a week for the next four weeks, we will interview Dr. Crossan about “The First Christmas,” the book by Crossan and the late Marcus Borg.

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Reuniting a Once Great People

How did wearing a mask to avoid spreading the Covid virus become a politically partisan issue? It has become apparent that one of the most difficult tasks ahead of the USA is learning again how to disagree without dividing the nation.

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Wisdom in a Time of Pandemic: A Chat with Matthew Fox

Matthew Fox has been one of my dearest friends for 25 years as well as a beloved mentor and inspiration. We have worked together innumerable times and I continue to be amazed at his focused mystical brilliance and the ceaseless flow of amazing work that has poured from him.

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Radical Regeneration: Birthing the New Human in the Age of Extinction

What is being made crystal clear is that humanity stands at a monumentally fragile threshold with two stark choices placed before it in a situation of complete uncertainty: Those choices are: 1) To continue to worship a vision of power, totally distanced from sacred reality 2) Or to choose the path of submitting bravely to the alchemy of being transfigured by a global dark night event that shatters all illusions but reveals the greatest imaginable possibility being born out of the greatest imaginable disaster.

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Religion News from Around the World: A Monthly Roundup by Rick Herrick

November 2020

The above news items are summaries taken from the Religion News Service. Readers interested in pursuing a news item further should consult the RNS website by using the link listed at the end of the summary…

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Is There Desire in Your Prayer?

  A prayer without desire in it, a prayer without sincerity in it, a prayer without soul in it, a prayer without Spirit in it is a fruitless prayer. – Charles and Cora Fillmore, Teach Us to …

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Christmas Poem

Human child of human mother,
see the Christ has come to birth,
demonstrating now in living
every person’s human worth.

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Christmas: Myth, Magic and Legend: Making Sense of the Christmas Stories

In “Christmas: Myth, Magic and Legend”, John Queripel digs in and behind the stories to find their essential truth while disregarding the literalisms which get in the way of most people’s search. Deep and profound truths behind the stories come to life and a whole new and more transformative meaning begins to reveal itself.

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Discovering Your Inner Light

During the Christmas holiday, we often see the Magi or “wise men from the east” depicted in numerous nativity displays. The journey of the Magi to find the Christ child however, is actually celebrated after Christmas on the Christian calendar, beginning January 6th with the Feast of Epiphany and lasting to the beginning of Lent. 

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Anti-racism book discussion guides

Jen Kidwell brings you the fruits of her expertise. Here are 3 Discussion Guides on Anti-racism: Raising White Kids, Between the World and Me and How to Be an Antiracist.

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