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

Extraordinary times call for extraordinary churches

Extraordinary times call for extraordinary churches.

In America and in much of Europe, right-wing politicians backed by screaming mobs of white nationalists are taking power. The anger, fear and hatred are so strong that democracy itself might not survive.

read more

Pope Francis Needs His Gay Priests

To the shock of many of us LGBTQ people of faith is the Vatican’s recent decision in the document “The Gift of Priestly Vocation,” to ban gays to the priesthood; thus, reaffirming it’s 2005 stance.

Those of us who have “deep-seated homosexual tendencies” or who “support the so-called ‘gay culture’” are categorically denied to serve one of the church’s most revered and respected posts.

And to know that Pope Francis, our LGBTQ pope- friendly pontiff, approved the document have many of us in disbelief.

read more

Preaching Christmas Eve in the Wake of New Testament Scholarship

In 2008, our little congregation played host to John Dominic Crossan who has been acclaimed as world’s most famous New Testament scholar. Crossan’s visit to our congregation began with a public lecture based on his best-selling book The First Christmas in which he and Marcus Borg provide a splendid historical outline of the development of the birth narratives. I had the dubious honour of standing before his enlightened audience on Christmas Eve to preach in the great man’s wake. What follows is the Christmas Eve sermon I preached just three weeks after Dom’s illuminating visit.

read more

Interfaith Leadership: A Primer

By Eboo Patel

A guide for students, groups, and organizations seeking to foster interfaith dialogue and promote understanding across religious lines.

read more