A Joyful Path, Year One, Lesson 3: The Stories of Our Tradition- The Bible and How We Use It

Lesson 3 from Year One is about: THE STORIES OF OUR TRADITION: The Bible and How We Use It. This is a downloadable PDF file.

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Round Dance of the Cross: A Maundy Thursday Service

Written by Rev. Irene Laudeman

This service is appropriate for a small congregation of 20-60 people. The service is conducted in two settings:

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Stations of the Cross

The practice of creating Stations of the Cross for meditative reflection on the final hours of Jesus’ life is a very old one. To this day, many Catholic and other churches have gardens or sanctuaries in which the stations are situated.

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Made On Earth – How the gospel writers created the Christ

NEW TITLE RELEASE 21st January 2016

In this book Lorraine Parkinson sets out compelling reasons why the gospels may be found to have been ‘made on earth’. She builds a strong argument that each gospel was written to make a distinct case for Jesus as the Christ. She presents detailed evidence that the Christ of the gospels is the creation of Mark, Matthew, Luke and John, plus later editors. The sub-text of this book contends that by including teachings of Jesus alongside claims for him as Christ, gospel writers bequeathed to Christianity two contradictory gospels – the gospel of Jesus and the gospel about Jesus.

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Matthew Fox Interview with Eric Alexander: Part 2 of 3: What is the Cosmic Christ

This is Part 2 of an interview between Eric Alexander and Matthew Fox. In this clip Eric asks what the word Christ means to Matthew, and whether that answer could reframe what it means to call oneself a Christian, and Matthew offers an insightful response.

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A Joyful Path, Year One, Lesson 34: Experiencing God as Light, A Christmas Lesson

Download the PDF of A Joyful Path, Year One, Lesson #34 – “Experiencing God as Light” right into your digital device. God can be experienced as light, visible to the physical eyes and as a universal inner reality.

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Song of Simon Magus (Acts 8)

Eggs won’t stick on my magic frying pans
Spots won’t grow on my wonder-creamed hands
To my tactics Samaria is blinded by my spell
I’ve even charmed myself from knowing how I sell

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A Crisis of Exile: A Brief Survey of the Development of Monotheism in Ancient Israel

A Crisis of Exile delves into the biblical, archaeological, and historical records to uncover what the religion of Ancient Israel was really like. Moreover, it reveals how the Babylonian Exile became the catalyst for propelling the Israelites into monotheism.

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Biblical Literalism: A Gentile Heresy

Now Available in paperback!

In this profound work, bestselling author and the former Episcopal Bishop of Newark John Shelby Spong offers a radical new way to look at the gospels today. Pulling back the layers of misunderstanding created over the centuries by Gentile ignorance of things Jewish, he reveals how a literal reading of the Bible is so far removed from the original intent of the Jewish authors of the gospels that it has become an act of heresy.

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Unto Us a Child Is Born

The Brief Observance of a Holy Nativity

Even non-theists and progressive Christian types love to sing Christmas carols. And, as the British atheist, Alain de Botton, once said, “Religions are intermittently too useful, effective and intelligent to be abandoned to the religious alone.” The annual observance of one holy nativity is the perennial reminder to respect and beatify the dignity and sacredness of every birth, everywhere.

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Eliminating Satan and Hell – Affirming a Compassionate Creator-God

This book is an academic and exegetical critique that the ancient myths of Satan and Hell are no longer valid from a biblical review or from current science. The manuscript begins by looking at the nature of myths and concepts of evil gods and punishment in ancient Mesopotamian. It works systematically through early Hebrew myths of evil, life, death, and through Hebrew canon texts of hassatan (Satan) as one of God’s council and concept of death in Sheol

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If Jesus Addressed Congress

Second in a Series exploring the relationship between one’s theological framework and political viewpoint …

Earlier this year the Prime Minister of Israel addressed a joint session of Congress. Last week, Pope Francis did the same. Many believed the former had a political ax to grind, and the latter a pastoral message with political points to preach.

For many modern day Christians, Francis embodies many of the teachings and much of the life-style of the Galilean sage. Unless one believes in the highly speculative Second Coming, Jesus will likely never be invited by the Speaker of the House of Representatives to follow Benjamin and Francis, addressing our political leaders. But if we were to draw from the earliest available records of his theological – if not political – perspective, what might Jesus have to say to our elected government officials? Read more.

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If Jesus Ran for President

First in a Series exploring the relationship between one’s theological framework, religious practice and political viewpoint …

Jesus, a cleric and a politician walk into a bar …

If that sounds like the beginning of a bad joke, consider the 3-ring circus of political debates and punditry already well underway 14 months before our next national presidential election. It is infused with religiously-motivated rhetoric that expresses itself in political terms.

“How we think about religion — even if we are skeptics or atheists — will spell itself out in how we think about society,” observes philosophy professor, David Galston. “In other words, our theology and politics are inextricably linked. The difference of course is that politicians get to enact their thinking as policy.”

If that is the case, should one consider a candidate’s religious bent when assessing the way they might make their political decisions? Absolutely! You can read more here.

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Jesus and His Religion

Alan Watts, philosopher, author and theologian achieve fame interpreting eastern religions for Western audiences in the 1950’s and 60’s. Watts had an impressive command of the Bible and Christian ideology which is displayed in a series of his lectures such as the following video “Jesus and His Religion”.

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A Joyful Path, Children’s Curriculum Year Two – Full PDF

In A Joyful Path, Year Two, we focus on some of the main tenets of Progressive Christianity and Spirituality, giving our children the foundation they need to walk the path of Jesus in today’s world. It has stories and affirmations written to help children clarify their own personal beliefs while staying open to the wisdom of other traditions.

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Yeshu: A Novel for the Open-Hearted

In this lyrical, Quaker retelling of the New Testament saga, readers are invited in to experience the resonant silences in the written record by joining the storytelling carpenter Yeshu, his young neighbors Daavi and Shoshana, and a band of fellow seekers as they travel through wilderness, village, and city in search of what is divine and what it means to be human.

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UNBOUND: Liberty, Freedom and the Gift of Liberation

A Commentary for the Observance of Independence Day, 2015

Liberty and Freedom: People – especially politicians, it seems – frequently use the two terms interchangeably, as if they were the same thing. But while civil liberties can be legislated and personal freedoms can be infringed upon, there is something autonomous about personal choices and actions that can never ultimately be denied or encumbered. “Freedom is not something that anybody can be given,” the late author and civil rights activist, James Baldwin, once said. “Freedom is something people take, and people are as free as they want to be.”

An earlier commentary considered the two ideas of conscience and consciousness as a spiritual component and practice of human experience. These comments are written as we approach our nation’s annual observance of the Independence Day holiday; exploring what might constitute a progressive Christian perspective of a kind of liberating “freedom” that is comprised of loosing the bonds of all the little deaths we die, and binding oneself to that which can irrepressibly spring once more to life.

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Peter the Rock: What the Roman Papacy was, and what it might become

Who would dare to challenge the tradition that Jesus appointed Peter to be the rock, the foundation of the Christian Church? Who would even explore the possibility that Peter did not found the Christian Church and become …

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