On Ash Wednesday, Let Us Revel in the Knowledge that We are Dust and to Dust We Shall Return

On Ash Wednesday, we dare to speak the truth. We speak the truth not in the refreshing light of the morning but in the cold darkness of a winter’s night. We are dust and to dust we shall return. We will die. We are mortal beings and so our lives will end. Our culture has taught us to deny death. Even our funerals have become celebrations of life. But life without the reality of death is lived cheaply, shallowly, in a half-sleep always pushing away and denying reality. So, on Ash Wednesday let us revel in the knowledge that we are dust and to dust we shall return. Revel in this knowledge because it liberates us!

read more

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!

read more

Progressive Lectionary

Reading Bishop Spong and Marcus Borg primarily, along with “Ministry Matters” and other readings, has lead me to believe if we attach the “Common Lectionary” to our Hebrew founders (as Bishop Spong has done) we have a better shot at arriving at the inner soul end point we desire.

This Lectionary is based on the belief that the new fundamentals should be taught.

read more

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 …

read more

Rev. Blake Osborn Interview – The Future 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!

read more

Sin of Sodom: A Case of Denial

We’ve been robbed of the power of the story of Sodom. It should be a strong companion to Matthew 25:31-46, which also gives dire warnings for those who do not serve Jesus by feeding the hungry, welcoming the stranger and the other Works of Mercy. It’s a path that ends in destruction.

read more

Just the Facts, Ma’am

Partisan hostility is not new but social media has certainly ratcheted up the rhetoric so that we quickly fall into hostile name calling of one another and asserting that every politician we don’t like is just like Hitler. In this time when so many important ethical issues are up in the air we cannot be silent but we should be exacting in our honesty. We need the courage to raise our voices in advocacy and even in protest but we must embrace the spiritual character that asks us to speak the truth in love so that we can persuade rather than alienate those with whom we communicate.

read more

Jesus, Gandhi, and MLK – A Very Salty Trio: a sermon for Epiphany 5A

  Rereading this sermon from 2014, I am struck by the power of Jesus, Gandhi, and MLK’s saltiness to address our current need for seasoning! In the wake of the tragedy at the Islamic Cultural Centre in …

read more

Plan a balanced Communications Strategy

Communications Strategy isn’t the only thing a church does, but it has a way of revealing what a congregation values – and where its future lies.

Churches also engage with new members, train their people in spiritual disciplines, raise up effective leaders, pay special attention to young adults, and do mission. They worship, they extend pastoral care, they educate, and they transform lives.

In other words, a church has a full plate. Communications Strategy tends to shape what gets on that plate.

read more

I Have Called You Friends: An Invitation to Ministry

I do not call you servants any longer, because the servant does not know what the master is doing; but I have called you friends, because I have made known to you everything that I have heard from my father. –John 15:15

These words of Jesus to his disciples teach that the mutuality of friendship is at the heart of a Christian community. When baptized into that community, we accept this mutuality and desire to serve others. Kevin Thew Forrester says, “We can go so far as to say that to be a member of the community entails being a minister. . . Baptism and ministry are two sides of the same coin.” This ministry is the responsibility of all baptized members of the church not merely the ordained.

read more

Mindful Christianity: A Practice for Lent – 2017

Lent is a kind of sabbatical: a break from the usual routines of our lives, over the forty-day period from Ash Wednesday until Easter. On the Sabbath, in the Jewish tradition, the prohibition from work is more precisely a break from doing things that interfere with Nature’s processes. According to the Torah, on the Sabbath you can pick up an apple that naturally falls from a tree onto the ground, but you can’t pick it from the tree. Mindful Christian meditative prayer practice is very similar. In it, we take time to see things as they are, without interfering with them or trying to fix or change them. Once we know what is, we can then think and act wisely on what ought to be.

read more

Don’t Be a Cool Church Leader, Just Be Real

To church leaders, I say this: Be brave enough to be yourself. Trust in the dignity in which God has created you. Be whatever you are–nerdy, goofy, quirky, young or old, plain or complex. Don’t be trendy. You don’t have to know the latest catch phrases or technology.

Just be you.

That’s all that you can ever give, and honestly, that’s all that anyone ever really wants.

read more

A Taste of Embrace Festival, 2017

In May 2017, people from all over the world will gather in Portland, Oregon to share knowledge and wisdom, learn from each other, celebrate, be inspired, and find the tools needed to create and enliven local movements within our communities. Together we will explore sacred oneness, Christ consciousness, eco-spirituality, social justice and the way of universal and personal transformation that honors the Divine in all.

read more

Bishop Eddie Long’s cautionary tale about homophobia

When news hit the airwaves that Bishop Eddie Long died from an unnamed aggressive cancer resulting in dramatic weight lost, many now throughout the Black Church community wonder if his death was due to HIV/AIDS, and he was too embarrassed to admit it or seek medical care until it was too late.

read more

Fear is a Villain

Video Sermon with Rev. Dr. Roger Ray

Noam Chomsky offers two dire warnings following the election of Donald Trump: The first is an accelerated use of carbon based fuels that will bring the human race to extinction and the other is a renewed nuclear arms race leading quickly to a nuclear war. As real as these threats are, this sermon speaks to the ways in which fear is a villain that pushes us to make the worst decisions in response to these global threats.

read more

The Call to Celibacy

I distinguish between the “gift” of celibacy and the “call” to celibacy, which I will come to later in this post.

The gift of celibacy is a debatable proposition. Is someone “blessed” with that gift or simply avoiding intimate relationships? Is it a rejection of God’s gift of sexuality and more broadly sensuality and embodiment, or a prioritizing of one’s energy and involvement and commitment?

read more

How “conventional wisdom” hurts churches: part 2

People assume the “conventional wisdom” is actually wise. In the church world, as I wrote last week, that means the belief that churches must have facilities, must worship on Sunday morning, and must have ordained clergy.

But as economist John Kenneth Galbraith wrote, the “conventional wisdom” is likely to be wrong. Acceptable, yes, and comfortable, but running counter to facts, ideas, emerging constituencies and new needs.

read more

What if the point of Jesus life, death, and resurrection isn’t about that? – a Reformation Sermon

Listen to Rev. Dawn Hutchings’s Sermon Below Visit Rev. Dawn’s Website Here

read more