A Joyful Path, Year One, Lesson 12: Stillness

Taking time to be in stillness is important for physical and mental well-being, and it is absolutely vital if we want an inner experience of spirit. It is not easy to quiet the storms of excitement and learn to be comfortable with stillness. Providing opportunities to practice is a priceless gift we can give children.

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A Joyful Path, Year One, Lesson 25: Expanding Awareness

Deep within our hearts, we all long for an expanded sense of self. We long to feel oneness with the universe, with spirit in all things, and with the infinite spirit that created everything that is. Each time we experience a sense of connection or a hint of freedom from our ego self-definition, we become more aware of the Sacred that is always in us and around us. Jesus may have called it the “Kingdom of God.” Some scholars believe, however, that “Queendom” or “Sacred Unity” is a more accurate translation of Jesus’ words when he spoke about this realm of God which is always available to each of us.
Children naturally look for how they are a part of the world around them. They notice sameness and feel oneness more readily than adults who have been gradually trained to see only differences and separation. As we grow in our awareness, we learn that there is nowhere we can go and be apart from the constant, unchanging presence of God. We are never truly separate from anyone or anything in the universe. All that we do affects the world and everyone in it, like a ripple in a pond.

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A Joyful Path, Year One, Lesson 28: Security

When our identity is defined in outward ways, we are going to feel insecure because outward definitions always change. If we understand our identity as changeless spirit, then it is easier to let go of our attachment to our physical self. Jesus and other spiritual teachers have taught us that a spiritual path and our experiences on that path will lead us to a deeper understanding. It isn’t enough to just read the words or have the beliefs — we need to act in harmony with those beliefs in order to be more aware of who we really are.
The world will tell us that our security depends on money in the bank or the right clothes or an important job, but we know all those things are temporary. True security that lasts forever comes from discovering the reality that we are spiritual beings. With that knowledge, we can face anything, even our fear of death. We can’t force children to feel secure, but we can encourage them to find that truth within themselves and live from that experience. We can also talk about death in a way that is not fearful. Our Western society does much to teach fear of death. We may not know what happens after we die, but if we are secure in the knowledge that our true self does not die, it only grows and evolves, then we need not fear death or any outward physical changes that happen to our human body.

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The Terrible God

Regardless of religion, much of the world worships, believes in, or supposes a terrible deity. This “God” causes or permits death, destruction, disaster, droughts, disorders, disease, and damnation—and these are just the words that alliterate nicely. This “God” hates homosexuals, privileges males over females, has cursed certain races and religions and conditions, and does not tolerate differences.

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Bible Study on Climate Justice

Submitted by Luciano Kovacs

The reality of global climate change, resulting from the impact of accumulated human activities, make the renewal of the earth an urgent imperative. To renew entails rebuilding the disintegration and repairing damage. The harm done to the environment cannot be addressed rightly, adequately and in an enduring way without the implementation of climate justice policies.

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Are we Christians or “Biblicans?”

In this article, I would like to point out 3 crucial problems that arise when one begins with “plain truths” about the book rather than the Christ, the Logos, the “structuring principle of reality.” (John 1:1–5)

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Psalm 63

O dear God, I love you!
I ache for you, my heart burns for you
and only you can quench this fire

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Psalm 23

God is my personal consultant. I have it made. She lets me kick back and relax, knowing that with her guidance, everything will go smoothly. She gives me a much-needed boost.

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Go Down, Moses Racism: What to do?

We know what to do. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights begins: “Whereas the peoples of the United Nations have in the Charter reaffirmed their faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person and in the equal rights of men and women and have determined to promote social progress and better standards of life in larger freedom.” Unitarian Universalists claim the “inherent worth and dignity of all humanity.” Christians claim the Apostle Paul’s ecstatic revelation that “You are no longer Jew or Greek, no longer slave or freeborn, no longer ‘male and female.’ Instead you all have the same status in the service of God’s anointed Jesus.” Leviticus 19:18 says, “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Jesus said, “Love your enemies.”

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Worship Materials: Darkness and Light

From the Celebrating Mystery collection

THEME Two Faces of the One God –the One Life Force
THOUGHTS FOR REFLECTION
1. Darkness is the womb of the light, nothingness the womb of all things.

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ENCYCLICAL LETTER LAUDATO SI’ OF THE HOLY FATHER FRANCIS ON CARE FOR OUR COMMON HOME

“LAUDATO SI’, mi’ Signore” – “Praise be to you, my Lord”. In the words of this beautiful canticle, Saint Francis of Assisi reminds us that our common home is like a sister with whom we share our life and a beautiful mother who opens her arms to embrace us. “Praise be to you, my Lord, through our Sister, Mother Earth, who sustains and governs us, and who produces various fruit with colored flowers and herbs”.

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The Radical Abandonment of Self-interest

Civilization defines justice as retribution – payback; an eye for an eye. But the deeper meaning of justice is distributive: the rain falls on the good, the bad, and the ugly without partiality. Civilization does not use that definition except in cases where there is clearly injustice if partiality enters the picture.

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Power in the Blood – Easter Sunday

(Excerpt from Theology From Exile Vol. III, The Year of Mark by Sea Raven, D.Min.) Acts 10:34-43; Isaiah 25:6-9; Psalm 118:14-24; 1 Corinthians 15:1-11; Mark 16:1-8 For Christians who follow the Revised Common Lectionary, Year B’s readings …

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Monthly eBulletin – Personal and World Transformation through Loving Kindness

Loving kindness is the cultivation of benevolence toward all living beings, love without clinging, and a strong wish for the happiness of others. It is the kind of love that often bubbles up freely in the heart of a mother for her child. It is a love that is independent of expecting or needing anything in return.

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Je Suis Jésus

Satire and Blasphemy in the Teachings of a Galilean Sage

Radical religious extremists with a distorted view of Islam commit horrific acts of terror, executing the staff of a small satirical French publication. The satirists had dared to depict the Prophet Mohammed in cartoon caricature; all the while lampooning those misbegotten adherents who in turn regard such irreverent acts as blasphemous.

The Western world reacts with outrage and defiance to such an affront. World leaders join a million person protest and unity march through the streets of Paris, chanting “Je Suis Charlie,” in defense of freedom of speech, and on behalf of the publication’s name.

While a clear distinction might be drawn between the use of words and the vehement reactions they may incite, more profound underlying questions remain. While anti-blasphemy laws are common in Muslim countries, countless other “secular” countries have laws against the defamation of religion, as well. Once the dust settles and more thoughtful discussion ensues, one might ask what constitutes the differences between hate speech and freedom of expression?

This commentary consider s esus’ use of what was deemed blasphemous satire, it’s intended purpose, and well-known consequences.

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Worship Materials: An Inclusive Christmas Celebration

On the theme: The Tree, The Carol, the Child

Christmas is a time to move into the world of
images and dreams, a time to allow the ‘make
believe’ happen. Let us be still and reflective.

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The Marion Diaries

Reflections by Michael Hollingshead

I could feel the warm afternoon wind blowing a few moments before; right through the window where I was standing, stacking some bowls.

A moment later it blew again, only this time it was cool and refreshing, and even smelled sweet like hyssop, or juniper, or jasmine.

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God beyond, God between, God within – a Trinity

Introduction In my faith journey, I have struggled with the concept of the Trinity. Like many other followers of Jesus I suspect, I have lived for many years with questions, even misgivings, about this doctrine. The orthodox …

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