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Monthly eBulletin- Life Celebrations in Sacred Community

With such an expansive awareness of our universe and our place in it, it is necessary to pause and honor the corners we turn, the milestones, the past and the present. But meaning is lost when the words are irrelevant, when language is outdated, and practices are dogmatic and un-evolving. As progressive Christians, we are called to walk into the mystery of change, while at the same time keeping close to our hearts the timeless teachings of our tradition. Our life celebrations and rituals must then reflect this call, this necessary aspect of our path. Sacred community is a space to explore these traditions and to create new ones.

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Christmas Prayer: Emmanuel, God is with Us

We rejoice that Jesus led people to discover the sacred in the ordinary: in the crowd, in the lowly, in the everyday life, in human yearnings to be better people, and in being neighbor to one another.

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We Need New Words to Praise the Silent Night Cosmically!

Silent night, holy night is a perennial favourite! T’is the season for nostalgia. But what if we are serious about providing more than nostalgia in our worship? Can we, or do we even dare to offer worshippers new images that endeavour to engage our reality? Can we touch the spiritual but not religious crowds that wander into our sanctuaries seeking an encounter with the Mystery we call God, with a hint of our unknowing. Or are we content to address only the nostalgia seekers with safe images designed only to warm and not excite the imagination? Dare we beckon the nostalgia seekers beyond their memories toward the future? I wonder? Maybe we can summon up the courage to compromise by simply adding a few new verses? The challenge belongs to all of us to write new words to enable us to sing our praise with integrity.

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My spirit shall rejoice (A Reflection on the Magnificat)

From the Boundless Life collection

My spirit shall rejoice in God
Who breaks my chains of guilt and fear;
For God upholds each person’s worth
Throughout the ages of this Earth.

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Celebrating God’s Light: A Progressive Christian Solstice

This past year, at my congregation on Cape Cod, we began to celebrate the seasons of the year as part of our affirmation of this good Earth. Our congregation’s proximity to the ocean sensitizes us to the …

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When Christmas Comes

When Christmas comes it brings great joy;
This story of a baby boy;
The birth of life – divine event
That tells us all of God’s intent
To be at one with human life,
In all its beauty, all its strife.

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If cobwebs fill the corners

From the Boundless Life collection

If cobwebs fill the corners
That lurk within our mind
Our faith can help us brush aside
Each clinging thought we find

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O child within the Christmas scene

From the Boundless Life collection

O child within the Christmas scene
Come play with us today.
Melt all the ice within our hearts
And warm us as we play.

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A Child Is Born

A darkened room
A trembling womb
Her sharp breaths cut the air

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Scapegoats and Lightning Rods (Matthew 27:27-44)

The image of a scapegoat recalls a ritual performed by ancient Israel on their holiest day of the year—Yom Kippur or the Day of Atonement. A goat was chosen by means of casting lots. Actually there were two goats chosen, one was killed as a sin offering to make atonement for the holy place, the other was allowed to live to make atonement for the sins of the people.

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Kidnapping Jesus

Progressive Christian Reflections

On several occasions I have persuaded George Lynch to tell his story about fellow students at the conservative evangelical Gordon-Conwell Seminary near Boston kidnapping the baby Jesus from the manger of the Christmas crèche, holding him hostage until the food in the dining hall was improved.

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9 Lessons and Carols of God’s Love

fill us with your spirit that we may come to share in your divinity;
and that in the company of those who knew your birth among us, we may sing glory and know your peace.
This we pray in the name of Jesus of Bethlehem and Egypt, of Nazareth and Jerusalem.

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Blessing for Advent – Celestial Brightness

Follow a star that’s twinkling with courage,
blazing with possibility
to the space, the essence that is God.

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Affirmation of faith for Advent (responsive litany)

By faith, Mary let go of fear, and engendered a mothering God

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Advent Prayer

We crouch with Mary on the straw of our messy lives
letting go of everything but this moment.

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You Who Delight Me – Poems of love & Words of spirit and faith

“you who delight me” is in two parts:
poems of love—secular and spirited writing about people, places and events; and
words of spirit and faith—inclusive language, contemporary liturgies for individual contemplation and progressive faith communities.

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Christmas Poem

The last candle burns
The waiting’s almost over
Soon we’ll hear a baby crying
and we’ll know that God is no mere idea

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Jesus, You Were Born at Christmas

Jesus, you were born at Christmas,
like us, a child of God.

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