Thanks-Giving

Giving thanks, expressing gratitude … it’s a foundational part of a happy life.

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Veterans’ Day

We can be opposed to war in principle, and opposed to war in all its ugly specificities, and still express our gratitude and love for those who fight on our behalf.

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Global Community

It is easy for progressive Christians and their churches to feel isolated, as if they alone have stumbled on a great secret about living by the wisdom that originally inspired Christianity, and no one else seems to understand.

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Sacred Energy

Sacred Energy (Mass of the Universe) is a narrated musical exploration of the mystical sense of oneness and sacredness of all that is.

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William Blake

William Blake (1757-1827) was an astonishingly creative person. We know him for his mystical poetry, his unusual paintings and his printmaking inventions.

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Sing a New Song

Tell the old story with new words, sing the old song with new meaning, find a new interpretation of the old metaphor… We are comforted by our traditions even as we refuse to be bound by them.

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From the Heart

All wisdom traditions understand what it means to speak from the heart. But with the veneration of science and technology that exists today, it is increasingly difficult to hear one’s heart-voice.

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Time

“Time, like an ever rolling stream, bears all its sons away; they fly, forgotten, as a dream dies at the opening day.” (Isaac Watts)

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Preparation

Transition into a time of worship can take many forms: a quiet moment of deep breathing and centering, a poem, a responsive invocation, gathering music…

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Praise and Gratitude

Praise and gratitude go hand-in-hand. Both are a natural response to our recognition that, as the old saying goes, “God is God. You are not.”

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Food for Thought

The inspirational power of a good idea is constantly amazing. Consider the case of California organic farmer Michael O’Gorman, who put together two seemly-unrelated trends: the aging of American farmers and the high unemployment among returning military veterans.

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The Way Ahead

When the way ahead seems uncertain, when the news is mostly negative, when we feel powerless to effect change, it is good to remember that we are hardly alone.

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Discovery

We are each walking up the mountain of spiritual enlightenment, each on our own path, each discovering the same ancient truths in our own way and in our own words.

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Getting to Peace

Getting to peace begins at home and extends out to neighborhoods, cities, states, countries and across the world. The challenge always is to stand for peace without using violence to accomplish it.

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Ritual

All cultures have rituals. One of the liberating outcomes of worshipping in a progressive faith community is the freedom to create new rituals as well as adapt old ones.

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Mental Models

To be on a spiritual journey is to be constantly evolving our “mental models” about how the world works, how we fit into it, who or what God is (or isn’t) and how God works in the world. Scientists use mental models all the time.

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Logos and Mythos

“In the beginning was the Word…” Words are both our means of communication and the source of most of our misunderstandings. Whether you are a rational scholar or a metaphorical poet, words are the common currency.

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Inspired by Nature

Nature provides us with a never-ending source of imagery for the Divine.

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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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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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Father’s Day 2017

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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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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Even More 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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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 in …

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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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Guidance

Guidance comes to us in so many ways. But in our modern world of scientific, left-brain analytic information, it takes a deliberate effort to rediscover the ancient ways of wisdom guidance.

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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 as …

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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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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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