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Hurricanes, Holocausts, and Other Horrors

Three Theological Responses to Suffering

Revisioning ancient faith for the modern world is not an easy task. No simple answers exist. The process will be long, complicated, conflicted, and uncertain.

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With Whom Shall We Bargain, If Not “God?”

So, if thoughts and prayers (of petition or intercession) cannot produce any salvific change when uttered to an imagined divine – who for anyone with eyes to see, or ears to hear is too deaf, indifferent or impotent to intercede — then with whom can we bargain, or utter any plea for help?

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Sacred Sendoffs

An Animal Chaplain’s Advice for Surviving Animal Loss, Making Life Meaningful, and Healing the Planet

Sacred Sendoffs explores human relationships with beloved pets, wild creatures, animal astronauts, marine life, farmed animals, and other sentient beings.

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On being “Born Again” — or else!

Q&A With Rev. David Felten

My cousin is pressuring me to become “Born Again.” She says that it’s the only way to guarantee not being punished in hell for all eternity. That seems like a pretty harsh consequence for not uttering what seems like “magic words.”

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America is Not a Gun

America is not a gun. We’re a lot better than that. We prove it every day by loving our neighbors (even ones we don’t particularly like), campaigning for sensible gun laws, taking care of people in need in our communities.

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Hymn for the Hurting

Amanda Gorman's Poem

Maybe everything hurts,
Our hearts shadowed & strange.

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The existence, activity and power of the individual soul/spirit after death

Q&A WIth Lauren Van Ham

What are your thoughts on the existence, activity and power of the individual soul/spirit after death?

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Above All, Love

The other day I was talking with a friend and jokingly he said, “Well you know, sometimes love lives in the hallway cupboard, in the dark.” We both chuckled for a moment, as we thought about the people who are hard to love and the times you just can’t summon the requisite “love” needed for the moment.

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Stations of the Cross – 2022

The practice of contemplating the Stations of the Cross, depicting the final hours of Jesus’ life, is a very old one. Many Catholic churches have gardens or sanctuaries in which the stations are situated.  Each of the 14 stations marks a point along the way to Jesus’ death.

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The Night I Stopped Believing in Substitutionary Blood Atonement

Almost two decades ago, during a combined Holy Thursday/Good Friday worship service, I told a true story from the Holocaust. The story involved a Polish army sergeant named Franciszek Gajowniczek and a Franciscan priest named Maximilian Kolbe.

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What was the purpose of Jesus dying on the cross?

Q&A with Rev Irene Monroe

If Jesus did not die on a cross to cover our sin, then what was the purpose of him dying? What was the purpose of his life? Was it to show us how to simply be “good people?”

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May Their Memory Be For Blessing

A friend of mine, who grew up on the Pine Ridge Reservation, told me that his people’s practice is to not speak the name of the dead for a year. Only after twelve months of their name remaining unsaid are the rituals for gathering loved ones and telling stories undertaken.

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A Time For Reckoning: North American Christianity and Indigenous Cultural Genocide

From the 19th century until the 1970s, more than 150,000 Indigenous children were forced to attend state-funded Christian boarding schools in an effort to assimilate them into Canadian society. Thousands of children died there of disease and other causes, with many never returned to their families.

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How the Light Shines by Trisha Elliott

Stories, Strategies, and Spiritual Practices for Caregivers of People with Dementia

This book is for caregivers who have a desire not only to hone their caring skills, but also to deepen their relationship with God through their care. It explores feelings of loss and challenge, but turns always towards potential and hope.

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Spirit: The Seed of the Soul; Some Imaginative Ruminations

If we all have a soul, and that soul contains the image of God or God’s virtues and values, then our individual deaths are not the end of what is most important about us. It is shared by all.

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It’s (Past) Time to Raze Hell

Some orthodox believers argue that the flames of hell should not be taken literally since hell is also described as a place of utter darkness. The point is, they argue, hell is a bad place, a place where God is not to be found, and a place where there is no hope. Literal flames or not, the traditional doctrine of eternal punishment should be an unacceptable belief for followers of the one who ate with sinners, blessed little children, and forgave his executioners.

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Here We Go Again!

We can no longer deny that the seeds of racism and hatred are growing at a pace which threatens to choke our long-ago dreams of a multicultural paradise.

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Cicadas in the Time of Pandemic

Emergence creates the possibility of song only in community

When I got the vaccine, I thought I’d want to run into the streets singing with joy like a giddy giant cicada. But in recent days, I’m struck by how anxious I feel – far more anxious than any time in the pandemic except at the very beginning.

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