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Words for Prayer

More than 1200 years ago, the Islamic saint Rabia of Basra wrote:
In my soul there is a temple, a shrine, a mosque, a church where I kneel.
Prayer should bring us to an altar where no walls or names exist…
(from “Love Poems from God”, trans. Daniel Ladinsky)

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Father’s Day 2021

Being a father is one of the most challenging and most rewarding roles we may ever get to take on. Particularly in this day of self-help books and über-parenting, it is perhaps helpful to remember Clarence Kelland’s words about his father:

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Expressing the Inexpressible

Consider these few lines by beloved poet Mary Oliver:
Instructions for living a life:
Pay attention.
Be astonished.
Tell about it.

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Openness to Change

Change is a challenge at any age in almost any context. Human nature seems to prefer the known, the predictable. Churches, as we know, are no exception!

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Prayer

Prayer is our heart speaking. In most of our Protestant churches, we get an abundance of head speaking, which makes the balance afforded by prayer time all the more important.

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Pentecost

Pentecost commemorates the descent of the Spirit on the followers of Jesus, seven weeks after Easter.

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Benedictions

To be blessed as we leave worship and go out into the world is a lovely moment.

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Life, Death, Rebirth

  As we move through the Season of Spring, we are reminded of the cycle of life. This week we will focus on the life transformations that occur in life, death and rebirth- both in nature and …

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Pluralism Sunday

Celebrating the diversity of religious traditions.

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Confession

As children, we learn the “magic words” please and thank you. They do indeed smooth the way for us throughout our lives. What do you suppose would happen if children also learned to say I’m sorry regularly?

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Earth Day Liturgy

  Earth Day is intended to inspire awareness and appreciation of Earth’s natural environment. It is hoped that it will inspire people to connect more deeply to Earth and all that it provides for us as well …

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Tax Time

The Blessing of the Taxes is a national effort initiated several years ago by Jim Burklo and adopted by various churches and temples around the country.

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Easter Sunday

Easter can be a challenging time for progressive Christians. We have let go of much of the traditional Christian doctrine that contains the answers to Big Questions, but the questions themselves remain.

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Holy Week

Waiting… waiting… the images of waiting are everywhere just before Easter. Mary Magdalene at the tomb, the disciples wondering “what now?”, all of us in suspension after the events of Good Friday and before the release of Easter Sunday morning.

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Good Friday

Good Friday, with its graphic images of death and despair, is endurable every year because we already know that Easter is coming, soon. But what if we didn’t know that?

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Lent, Week 6

The symbols we choose to focus on become planted deep within us. In the liturgical season of Lent, and especially during Holy Week, we think primarily of the cross and crown of thorns… outward evidence of a humiliating and painful death. But other symbols appear during this time, like the towel and basin of water on Maundy Thursday.

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Lent, Week 5

When we read words written by others, we often don’t know the context in which the words were written. Sometimes the story behind the words is the best part.

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Lent, Week 4

One reason we search for new language, especially at this time of year, is that for many Christians, the traditional words have lost their ability to touch us. Repetition can bring the joy of the familiar, but it can also cause us to glaze right over….

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Lent, Week 3

Traditionally Lent is a time during which we “give up” something, but more recently many people have moved to “taking on” something during the Lenten season.

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Lent, Week 2

Of all the symbols we encounter during Lent, none is more recognizable than the cross.

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Lent, Week 1

Lent comes early this year. It seems like we just put away the last of the Christmas decorations and turned to face the new year, and here comes Ash Wednesday (Feb. 13).

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Lent Liturgy

  May this time of Lent be a time for introspective meditation, letting go, acceptance, and rebirth.   The word Lent comes from the Anglo-Saxon word for Spring, which is derived from a verb meaning: to lengthen. Lent …

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Music for Worship and Gathering

For many people, music is a source of experiences of the sacred. That makes the choice of music for worship services both important and challenging.

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The Lord’s Prayer, Revisited

There is a story that connects the Lord’s Prayer with the six-petaled rose at the center of an eleven-circuit labyrinth, such as the famous one found at Chartres Cathedral. Each of the petals corresponds to part of the Lord’s Prayer,

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Milestones

The milestones in our lives — births and baptisms, marriages, funerals and life celebrations — need new words to fit our new understandings.

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Epiphany

January 6 is traditionally celebrated as Twelfth Night, or the Feast of the Epiphany. It’s one of the oldest celebrations of the Christian Church

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A New Day

You are the new day.” One last fond look back to the year just finishing, and we turn and set our gaze forward to the new day, the new year.

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Christmas Poetry

The season of Christmas holds a myriad of emotions, and that makes it fertile ground for the poet.

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Birth and Rebirth

Every birth is a miracle, and none more so than the birth of Jesus, celebrated at the time of the winter solstice. The harbinger of spring, the hope for the world.

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Advent

Advent… a time of anticipation, of waiting and watching as the darkness deepens. There are many ways to mark the passing of this time…

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Christmas the World Over

Christmas rituals have evolved over the centuries, interacting with local cultures and stories to produce distinctive traditions in different parts of the world.

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Giving Thanks

Thanksgiving is an American holiday, but giving thanks is a practice for everyone, around the world, at all times.

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Seeking God

Humans are relentless in their efforts to understand God. We can change the language (some say “God” is an over-used word), we can find new metaphors (poets are especially good at this),

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Music for Worship…

Worship music can come from almost anywhere. It doesn’t have to be a 200-year-old hymn, although that can work if it has meaning and resonance for a particular congregation.

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New Inspirations

Sharing progressive liturgies is a great way to confirm that we’re not alone in our non-dogmatic interpretations of Jesus’ teachings. Contributions for our liturgy resource continue to arrive from around the globe.

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Finding New Words

Finding new words to express ancient wisdom is an essential part of progressive Christianity. Not only does such an effort put the fundamental ideas into modern language, but the very act of searching for the new words is part of coming to understand what you believe and how you want to share it with others.

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