Bishop John Shelby Spong ~ June 16, 1931 – September 12, 2021
Bishop Spong provided a much needed place for those of us who did not connect with traditional theology. We love you Bishop Spong. You will be missed! Funeral services will be held at St. Peter’s, Morristown, NJ and at St. Paul’s, Richmond, VA. Dates and times will be announced as soon as they are available

Appalachia Poster Child for Systemic Injustice: West Virginia A Theological Challenge for the Third Sunday After the Epiphany

In Matthew’s midrash of Isaiah’s prophecy, Jesus tours all over Galilee, teaching in the synagogues, curing all kinds of diseases, and proclaiming that God’s kingdom has come. The verses in Chapter 4 selected by the creators of the Revised Common Lectionary for the third Sunday after the Epiphany are the preface to Matthew 5:1 through 7:29, the great Sermon on the Mount. Jesus walks by the Sea of Galilee, and invites his disciples to leave their nets and become “fishers for people,” traditionally interpreted to mean saving souls from hell. But John Dominic Crossan, points out that Jesus could have brought his message anywhere in Roman occupied Judea. Why Galilee? Why Capernaum?

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Food for Thought: February 2 – The Presentation of the Lord

In the midst of the liturgical progression from Epiphany to Lent, tradition calls the church back to the mundane details of Jesus’ infancy. Luke’s Chapter 2 fills in the story from birth to circumcision to presentation as the first-born son to the coming-of-age of a gifted religious leader anointed by God. In The First Christmas (HarperOne, 2007), Marcus Borg and John Dominic Crossan suggest that Luke’s purpose was to set up the birth of the Jewish Messiah as a counter to the birth of the Roman Caesar – also hailed as the “Savior, Redeemer, Son of God.” The scene in the temple in Jerusalem confirms the child Jesus as the expected one who would redeem Israel from bondage to imperial injustice and oppression.

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The Three Wise Men’s Boogaloo

Written 23 December 1990

High steppin’ camels one by one
See the wise men boogaloo
Down to Bethlehem to have some fun

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LIfe Our Vision

In this New Year, let us lift our vision of what we can do and what we can achieve:

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The Wise Men Visit

1. Ancient stars would shed their light,
Shining bright, both day and night;
Heralding some wondrous birth
Of some god’s descent to earth;

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Theology from Exile: Commentary on the Revised Common Lectionary for an Emerging Christianity: The Year of Luke

The Year of Luke is the first in a series of commentaries on biblical scripture found in the three-year cycle of Christian liturgical readings of the Revised Common Lectionary. Instead of interpreting these readings as a precursor …

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In the Winter of Our Discontent: What Gift Shall I Offer?

A Reflection for Twelfth Night and the Epiphany Season

The journey of the magi, and their adoration on bended knee before a newborn peasant who presumably comes to subordinate the Herod’s of this world is a quaint and fanciful tale. But this year, the real exchange of gifts in the City of Angels was a modern day epiphany that suggest we might indeed still find for ourselves new, authentic life in such an otherwise arcane myth. Now the question is whether the meaning and message of Epiphany season will truly shed new light in the bleak midwinter of our discontent.

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Stony Trail

On a stony trail through the Sinai wastes
A little family headed south
Father, mother, little babe
A burdened donkey, head drooped down

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Words after Christmas

Christmas trees and tinsel
Yule logs and holly
Turkey and Christmas pudding

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Doxology for the New Year

Sung to the traditional tune

Praise God who calls us on from here,
Praise Christ whose presence calms our fear,
Praise Holy Spirit in our lives,
God calls and leads and through us thrives. Amen.

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May you be gifts to those you see

with Roberta Maran

May you be gifts to those you see
Better than presents under a tree

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Doxology for the Christmas Season

Sung to the traditional tune

Praise God for gifts of hope and peace
Praise God for gifts of joy and love
Praise God for sending Christ to dwell
On earth for us – Emmanuel. Amen.

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21st Century Cosmology and the Gospel of John: Part V – Bread of Life

For 21st century activists, from Occupy Wall Street regulars to poets such as Drew Dellinger,theologians such as Spong, Crossan, Borg, and Fox, the way to distributive justice-compassion for all beings on the Planet is our own flesh and blood.

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21st Century Cosmology and the Gospel of John: Part IV – Believers & Ingrates

Before any of this can speak to 21st century post-modern, post-enlightenment, post-Christian minds (if it can), first remember that John’s Gospel is an extended proof – an argument.

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The Trouble with Epiphany: Gift Giving as Genuflection, or the “Tebow” Factor

The trouble with an epiphany is that it often leads to enlightenment!  And enlightenment can alter the way one sees the world and one’s relationship to it.  As such, anyone who would bend the knee in praise and adoration might do well to consider it can also be a radically subversive act of obeisance and allegiance. 

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21st Century Cosmology and the Gospel of John: Part I – Signs and Wonders

More than being a “human being” on this earth, John’s gospel calls for a transformed life: water into wine; a temple made of distributive justice-compassion, not gold and stone.

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Epiphany: More than changing light bulbs

“Sin” is not about sex, or petty transgression. “Sin” is about the seduction of power-over others; of the gratification of having what others cannot have.

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Ask, Seek, Knock: Fifth Sunday in Epiphany

Sea Raven’s inspired historical-critical reading of Jesus’ thought welcomes us into the past and present struggle to bring about a divine commonwealth. 

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