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Updated 8 Points of Progressive Christianity

Our 2020 updated version of the 8 Points of progressive Christianity

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Call and Response: Litanies for Congregational Prayer

A compilation of modern call and response litanies intended for congregational use. Whether your community is liturgical and looking for fresh language, or contemporary and looking to incorporate liturgical elements, this volume contains relevant, reflective prayers that call congregations deeper into the story of Divine Love.

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The Emerging Church (from the ashes of the old church)

Paraphrasing St. Oscar Romero, “If a church is not publicly opposed to war, to murder, to political assassination, of what use is that church?” While we may hope that churches will avoid wading into partisan politics, we cannot be tricked into believing that ethics is the same thing as politics. As the USA inches closer to war with Iran and ignores even the executive order of Ronald Regan forbidding political assassination, the prophetic church must now do the one thing for which we exist: speak truth to power.

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In This Life

Though most western religious traditions seem to promise some kind of afterlife, what if, as Martin Hägglund articulately argued, our limited mortal life is all there is? Our days, being limited in number, become more valuable, and our work becomes more meaningful. Without eternity, preserving the earth becomes more imperative. Though many spiritual teachers give assurances they cannot support with evidence, this sermon deals with morality in a matter-of-fact manner.

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Dear Church – A Video Interview with Pastor and Author Lenny Duncan

Author Lenny Duncan is the unlikeliest of pastors. Formerly incarcerated and homeless, he is now a black preacher in the whitest denomination in the United States: The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

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Don’t Forget the Mystery of Our Faith – an Epiphany sermon

A sermon preached on the Second Sunday after Christmas – the readings for this sermon include: John 1:1-9, The Gospel of Thomas 70; Matthew 2:1-12.

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A Bold New Love – Christmas Eve Service at Middle Church, NYC

“At the center of the Christmas story is hope…hope which comes to us in the form of a vulnerable, poor baby. A child, not a king, changes the world. God appears to us as a marginalized, Afro-Semitic, Jewish child from Nazareth in Palestine. A child who grows up to teach us to welcome the stranger. How would our world be different if we loved our neighbors as ourselves?” asks the Rev. Dr. Jacqui Lewis, senior minister of Middle Collegiate Church.

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A Bold New Love on Christmas Eve – Middle Church Service

Middle Church

This Christmas Eve celebration features gospel and classical music, four choirs, two dance companies, and a spoken word artist. Emmy-nominated Tituss Burgess (“Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt”) will conduct the Art & Soul Chorus singing two gospel songs he …

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Christmas Now and Then

If we pay attention, the Christmas story is a mirror held up for us to see that we live in a country where the government locks thousands of migrant children into dog cages, sexually abusing some, torturing others, and allowing many to die while the church is largely compliant and silent. And we seriously wonder if this government might actually win election approval from poor church goers in a few months. Merry Christmas?

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Saved By A Dream

Rev. Lines names the immaculate conception as “bad theology” and discusses the power of choosing to love.

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Witnessing Training Course for Small Group Ministry

FOR SMALL GROUPS

My heart and passion is to see non-Christians come into a relationship with Christ and I believe that the most effective way for this to happen is to equip, encourage and empower our congregation members to be effective witnesses for Christ.

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St. Nicholas Is Too Old and Too Tired to Defeat the Selling Power of Santa Claus!

Today: the Feast of St. Nicholas, the ancient precursor to the modern Santa Claus, will pass without much ado. Some will try to encourage us to resurrect St. Nicholas to save us all from Santa’s powers for we have gone astray. To those well meaning souls who would rid Christmas of its flagrant consumerism, I can only offer up a feeble, “Baa Humbug!”

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Updated Church Service

I fully support regular church attendance but not to worship. I go to give thanks to my ancient ancestors who strove so hard against violence and kept humanity progressing. I’ve written a sample service for updating Christianity to today’s reality.

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(Dys)function and Family: Holiday Guilt Trips

Holidays have always been challenging as families from divergent views try to gather around one table and reconnect. Now, in our deeply polarized political environment in which most of us only expose ourselves to media that confirms our biases, even people with DNA and history in common find one another to be so profoundly “other” that they can barely tolerate one another.

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Incrementalism

The weight of the status quo bears down on even the well intended and well informed so that we assume that all change comes by degrees, in small incremental moves. It persuades us to believe that only moderate progressives can ever win election and that most of what progressives want (universal health care, an end to racism, aggressive work to save the planet, a universal basic income, a compassionate immigration policy) is unobtainable.

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The Power of Stories: A Guide for Leading Multiracial and Multicultural Communities

Most congregational leaders find it difficult to resist the dominant cultural expectation that different cultural and ethnic groups should stick to themselves–especially when it comes to church.

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Near Death Experiences

A neighbor who looks every bit the part of a Hindu sage suggested humbly that expecting life to be eternal is “a bit greedy, don’t you think?”

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Micro-Liberation and Radical Wellness

Sermon by Rev. Dr. Janet Parker
First Congregational UCC, Portland, OR

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