What do you make of the Season of Lent? How should the Christian Church observe it?

The season of Lent is traditionally understood to be a time for reflection, contrition, and consideration of the sacrifice Jesus undertook for our sins. It has been, as you know, traditionally recognized for the forty days leading up to Easter. Preceded by Shrove Tuesday, upon which Christians are to prepare to confess their sins, Lent is entered into as a holy season of penitence.

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Diana Bell talks about the future of church

Diana Bell, Pastor of Presbyterian Church USA talks about the future of the church.

These interviews were conducted by ProgressiveChristianity.org at a Westar meeting as part of a series on Christianity, spirituality, religion, church, God, Jesus, sacred community, social justice, youth, and social transformation. More to come soon!

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How to Stay Connected and Inspired in America

Some of us recently witnessed (or participated in) the largest public demonstration our country has ever seen.

The Women’s March on Washington on Saturday, January 21, 2017 was a historic day, seeing 2.5 million people around the world take to the streets to support causes such as women’s reproductive rights, climate change and criminal justice reform.

Now that everyone has returned home, hung their pussy hats in the hallway, and attempted to return to some sense of normal family/work/life balance, the question has been asked, “What next?”

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Defending REAL Religious Freedom

Religious freedom is alive and well in America. Our nation shelters a vast and vibrant marketplace of theological ideas and spiritual practices. If there is a problem, it is not the lack of religious freedom, but our failure to exercise it sufficiently. Why, then, are Donald Trump and the Republicans trying to sell us what we already have?

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What’s on TV Tonight?

What’s on TV Tonight?
Posted: 05 Jan 2017 09:17 AM PST

A scene depicting an American heartland barn dance
by William Medcalf

I didn’t intend to write a series on smart phones and social media. This is a blog about spirituality, religious harmony and related topics, after all. I try to keep on topic. However, given the tumultuous 2016 presidential election, many people have been rethinking how we use these new technologies. Does it serve our faith life? Does it improve our culture and society? Is this really the best way to evangelize? One thing led to another.

I stumbled upon some thoughts that have been sitting with me a long time.

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Kim Burrell Reminds Us How the Black Church Uses, Abuses Gay Christians

One of black gospel’s darling and Pentecostal preacher Kim Burrell was ousted from The Ellen DeGeneres Show, sending shock waves throughout the African American community.

Burrell along with Pharrell Williams were invited to promote their duet “I See Victory” from the soundtrack of the film “Hidden Figures”.

However, Burrell’s homophobic homily about the “perverted homosexual spirit” has created a tsunami of tweets and comments on social media publicly denouncing her vitriol by a younger generation of African Americans entertainers- both LGBTQ and straight- not seen in previous years.

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Christian Faith and Political Governance of Economy

  Sermon for Seekers Church for November 6th, 2016   The Call Statement of Seekers says that citizenship matters. This is a sermon concerning Christian faith grounding for citizenship. This is the worst presidential campaign I remember …

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My Fun Theology Workbook: A guide to finding out what (the) God (of your understanding) wants from you

This book will not give you answers but help you find answers of your own.

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Robin Meyers on Progressive Chrisitanity

Robin Meyers on Progressive Christianity

These interviews were conducted by ProgressiveChristianity.org at a Westar meeting as part of a series on Christianity, spirituality, religion, church, God, Jesus, sacred community, social justice, youth, and social transformation. More to come soon!

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The First Commandment Shall Be Last

Part 5 of the series, What Makes a Christian?

When Jesus said, “The last shall be first and the first shall be last,” I highly doubt He meant that the first and Greatest Commandment should be the last thing on our list of things to do.

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Wisdom Does Not Change: Sages, Saints and Science Share the Way – Part 5

Part 6 of a 6-Part Series - Prioritize, Don’t Pursue

In an online course entitled, “A Life of Happiness and Fulfillment”, Week 1 Video 10: Prioritize but d not pursue Happiness, Rajagopal Raghunathan recommends that for greater fulfillment we should prioritize goals, rather than pursue them. He demonstrates what this means by using sleep as an example. To prioritize sleep we should do what brings a restful night—exercise, good diet and no arguing before bedtime! We cannot find good sleep by simply going to bed and willfully pursuing it; that will likely keep us awake! And this principle can be applied to other dilemmas; Overeaters Anonymous, for example advises members not to pursue weight loss but to prioritize abstinence and working their Twelve Step program. All healing platforms affirm: illumination by any name is a reward for doing what enables it.

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I Was Wrong About Homosexuality

By About Alex Camire

How gracious can you be to someone while standing firm in the belief that their orientation is a sin? That’s how I was to my recollection. I wasn’t incensed or abrasive, I even pointed out that I wasn’t the type of Christian to ever stand with the signs that said God hated him (as if that would make me look better). When asked what my beliefs were about him being gay, I made all the standard arguments there were, while being as kind and respectful as I could. And at some point, I said I believed that if he prayed and sought God fervently that the feelings of same-sex attraction he had could go away.

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Being Christian

What does it mean to live in a liberating, transformative faith community today? We need a different linguistic narrative along with a different set of cultural practices to give expression to this task. This means a new understanding of the Eternal Reality—the reality we call God—a new understanding of community and of the personal moral and ethical choices we make in our everyday lives. This also means new approaches to the language and symbols used in public worship for the Christian community (such as the meaning of communion, the response to scriptural texts, and the words used in sermons, hymns, congregational prayers and other forms of Christian liturgy).

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David Bohm – Post Modern Gnostic

Reinventing the Sacred in the Age of the Cosmos

First a quote from the January 20, 1961 Inaugural address of John F. Kennedy.
He ended it with the words:

“…. asking His blessing and His help, but knowing that here on earth God’s work must truly be our own.”

They were prescient words: “here on earth God’s work must truly be our own.” Was the new President aware the moment he was speaking of the need for an American response to the ecological challenges facing the Nation? We do not know. However, it all became clear one year later when Rachel Carson published her seminal book Silent Spring. Along with many other Americans, the President too read the book. It had become an instant best-seller and the most provocative book in decades. It began the environmental movement in America.

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Why I am praying for President Trump…

A Facebook friend puzzled over my last post, wondering if it implied a kind of us-vs-them outlook. What I intended was assurance to those of us apprehensive about the Trump-Pence inauguration, including possible Trump voters, who may themselves now face loss of health care coverage, rising prices, diminished Social Security and Medicare benefits, reduced personal safety, and international insecurity.

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Mindful Christianity

Just now, mindfulness – defined in secular terms, studied scientifically, and practiced ubiquitously – has come fully into the cultural mainstream. Now is the time to rediscover it in the mainstream of Christian faith and practice, in the writings and practices of contemplatives throughout its history. Mindful prayer leads to fresh interpretation of Christian tradition, and reveals the Bible for what it is: not a book of facts, not a fixed set of prescriptions for behavior, but rather a collection of wisdom and poetry and myth made sacred by the ongoing human quest for intimate encounter with the Ultimate Reality.

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Amen: What Prayer Can Mean in a World Beyond Belief

In Amen, Gretta Vosper, United Church minister and author of the controversial bestseller With or Without God, offers us her deeply felt examination of worship beyond conventional prayer, a new tradition built on love and respect rather than on the rituals of ancient beliefs.

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Resistance, Resiliency & Revival

It’s Black History month in the United States. Our new President has rolled out some truly terrifying Executive Orders his first dozen days in office. If you have a pulse you’re doubtless aware, so I won’t take up pixels enumerating them here – ’cause this post isn’t about him. These orders – with their policy and cultural ramifications – have led to some beautiful acts of resistance across the country and around the world.

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