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Stuff That Needs To Be Said

Essential Words on Life, Death, Faith, Politics, Love, and Giving a Damn

This expansive, like-hearted community transcends race, orientation, gender, religious tradition, political affiliation, and nation of origin—and finds its affinity in the deeper place of our shared humanity, which is the True North of his writing. This collection lovingly pulls together some of John’s most widely-read and most beloved essays on faith, politics, grief, and the elemental parts of being human.

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Understanding the parable of the talents for 21st century humans

Do you, like me, have great sympathy for the third servant in the parable of the talents? What do you think that this parable is meant to say to 21st century humans? 

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Loving Wastefully

I believe what Spong was referring to was the idea that the most profound way we can be in relationship with God (the Divine, Great Mystery, Nameless One) is to love one another and to love deeply.

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Reading Between The Lines: Lessons from the Revised Common Lectionary Year A

Advent 1: The Reign of Christ by William L. Dols

This resource follows the Revised Common Lectionary with text selections for Years A, B and C. There are 53 lessons for each volume offering users a bonus lesson for each of the three lectionary years.

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Reading Between The Lines: Lessons from the Revised Common Lectionary Set of Years A, B and C

Advent 1: The Reign of Christ by William L. Dols

This resource follows the Revised Common Lectionary with text selections for Years A, B and C. There are 53 lessons for each volume offering users a bonus lesson for each of the three lectionary years.

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Reading Between The Lines: Lessons from the Revised Common Lectionary Year C

Advent 1: The Reign of Christ by William L. Dols

This resource follows the Revised Common Lectionary with text selections for Years A, B and C. There are 53 lessons for each volume offering users a bonus lesson for each of the three lectionary years.

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Reading Between The Lines: Lessons from the Revised Common Lectionary Year B

Advent 1: The Reign of Christ by William L. Dols

This resource follows the Revised Common Lectionary with text selections for Years A, B and C. There are 53 lessons for each volume offering users a bonus lesson for each of the three lectionary years.

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During Plague, Enduring “New Songs” Created by Philipp Nicolai

Preeminent German hymn writer Philipp Nicolai was a Lutheran pastor whose small town, Unna, was devastated by the plague during the winter of 1597-8 with over 1300 deaths.  He officiated at many funerals, as many as 30 a day.

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Christ in Crisis? Reclaiming Jesus in a Time of Fear, Hate, and Violence

Writing in response to our current “constitutional crisis,” New York Times bestselling author and Christian activist Jim Wallis urges America to return to the tenets of Jesus once again as the means to save us from the polarizing bitterness and anger of our tribal nation.

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Recovering Compassion

For the past four years, I have prayed daily for compassion within our nation’s leadership. So it’s high time I read the only Henri Nouwen book I don’t recall reading, Compassion: A Reflection on the Christian Life, co-authored in 1982 with Donald P. McNeill and Douglas A. Morrison.

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A Memorial for the Confederacy

While protests verge on becoming riots in our city streets in response to multiple murders of unarmed black men at the hands of our cities’ police, we must focus on how to pull racism out of our culture by the roots.

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The God You Didn’t Know You Could Believe In

As this book affirms, God continues to be the great conundrum, the great mystery, the great challenge of human existence. Paradoxically, while people have long claimed to doubt the existence of God, God is still the most important reality in the world.

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Commentary on a Parable about Forgiveness that Is Unforgiving

Matthew 18.21-35

Let us use our moral imaginations to try to give Jesus the benefit of the doubt (just as we should do with each other in our daily lives). We all know that there are those who are poor and suffering who still side with the wealthy and healthy rather than with their own people. It is ironic, but we see such things common even in our own time.

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Resurrection and the Remarkable Humanity of Jesus

As a fully human person, what was Jesus like?  I confess I am forever fascinated by this question.  What was it like to be Jesus of Nazareth, to have what I call this God presence in him?  And as this God presence thrived in his spirit, when did he first become aware of it? 

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Do we really need a savior?

After reading near death experience reports, and the all-encompassing love that seems to accompany folks in a near death experience, I am wondering why we need a savior.

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Pope Francis’ Message for the World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation

As the Pope writes in his message, “In some ways, the current pandemic has led us to rediscover simpler and sustainable lifestyles. The crisis, in a sense, has given us a chance to develop new ways of living. Already we can see how the earth can recover if we allow it to rest: the air becomes cleaner, the waters clearer, and animals have returned to many places from where they had previously disappeared.

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Why are Evangelicals are so resistant to science?

For centuries now, standing for literalistic readings of the Bible and standing against science have been baked into the recipe of what it means to be a conservative Protestant, and since the 1980’s, it’s gotten worse, as hard-core Fundamentalists have staged a near-complete takeover of the Evangelical movement.

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What does keeping the Sabbath look like?

Freedom to decide what element(s) of your weekly life hinder, or simply strain your relationship with God. Whatever the answer is, that’s the thing that should be put on rest.

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