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22 Ways to Feel Welcome on the Path of Practice

Whether you are affiliated with one of the world’s religions or are more comfortable with a free-floating spirituality, whether you are conservative or liberal, experienced or just beginning, there is room for you on the common ground of practice. A chief characteristic of the path of practice is its inclusivity. Everyone belongs.

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Secular Spirit: Samhain Sandy (Hallowe’en 2012)

Millions of children in the Northeast quadrant of the United States will have to miss their annual spook-fest and candy shake-down on October 31 this year. Something far more terrifying than any Halloween slasher film rose up from the tropics and swooped onto the mainland in the last few days of October. Like a fell creature from JRR Tolkien’s Middle Earth, the “Frankenstorm” named Sandy, spinning counter-clockwise (the Devil’s own widdershins), spread its Nazgûl wings from North Carolina to the Great Lakes. What began as a late-season Hurricane (strange enough) was sucked into an early Arctic cold front, and created a weather system never before experienced in recorded human time.

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Dream of a Kingdom?

Religion is no more –
Fragmenting humankind
With doctrine, creed
And narrowness of heart.

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The Beginning of the Gospel – Sermon Video

How are we seeking to have our needs met? How do you develop your self worth?

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It’s Very Close- Sermon Video

The creative urgency of God is very close to you – in your heart and looking for an opening so that it may be expressed.

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Confessing Christianity’s Corporate Sin Against the Jewish People- Sermon Video

A supersessionist view of the Christian covenant might have made some little sense in a mythic worldview, but never made any moral sense. The time has long since come for Christians to drop such an arrogant claim. It has contributed to extraordinary suffering and eroded any moral authority we might think we have. In that sense, it never made any just sense of the work of God we’ve come to know in Jesus Christ.

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Process Philosophy, The Three Faces of God, and the Trinity- Sermon Video

What does the Doctrine of the Trinity look like if we reject the idea that it describes a permanent unchanging God? It describes a God as close as your breath, a God whose creative power continues to create, a God who we can see incarnate all around us.

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Is Our Faith Enough to Sustain Us Through the Darkness?

First Presbyterian Church of San Rafael Published on Oct 15, 2013 Rev. Sam Alexander is Pastor of First Presbyterian Church of San Rafael. He is a graduate of Sarah Lawrence College, B.A., and Union Seminary in Virginia, …

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On the Sea- Sermon Video

A discussion on pain and the impact it has on the way we live.

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Why a Girl and a Woman?- Sermon Video

Two healing stories intertwined, both involve females, both involve the number 12 – which brings the Reign of God to mind. What does it mean that it was women in this story. Surely it can’t just mean, as some have said, (though not this way), that the gospel is for girls too.

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Monthly eBulletin- New Starts

Toward the end of 2013 many of us had a strong sense of shedding, releasing, and letting go. There was sickness, death, closing of chapters, ends, silence, and darkness… Now, as we begin this new year, we find our selves in a time of New Birth and New Ways. Join us on this journey into Newness and Co-Creation.

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Beginning Well

Beginnings are a time to shake up your own assumptions, and others, and recommit to living with absolute authenticity. Materialism doesn’t bring as much satisfaction as you hope, familiarity doesn’t bring as much comfort as you expect, and security doesn’t bring as much peace of mind as you imagine. So set out, in tune with higher values like integrity and trust.

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What Answers Does Progressive Faith Offer to the Big Questions? – Sermon Video

The mortality rate is 100%. If we are not promising eternal life in heaven, what sensible and sensitive response to we have to the issue of mortality? How do we navigate the big transitions of life at times of birth, coming of age, marriage, illness and death when the certainty of traditional church answers now seem to be either useless or entirely false.
We have exchanged false certainty for honest uncertainty, choosing to live meaningfully in the present moment, freed of anxiety about the future.

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Finding Serenity and Wisdom- Part 2

Serenity! Oh, how we pine for serenity! We crave it! We, somehow, allow ourselves the self-delusion that serenity comes – or not – of its own accord, and lucky the person who receives this rare gift. We look at people who have this precious condition as if it was purely the luck of the draw, that the possessing person had virtually nothing to do with it other than simply to receive it, presumably with welcoming open arms. We are so envious of them. “Oh, how lucky they are!” we acclaim. “Oh,” we sigh, “Oh to be in such a situation that such a wonderful condition might come to us!”

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Finding Serenity and Wisdom- Part 1

Serenity! Oh, how we pine for serenity! We crave it! We, somehow, allow ourselves the self-delusion that serenity comes – or not – of its own accord, and lucky the person who receives this rare gift. We look at people who have this precious condition as if it was purely the luck of the draw, that the possessing person had virtually nothing to do with it other than simply to receive it, presumably with welcoming open arms. We are so envious of them. “Oh, how lucky they are!” we acclaim. “Oh,” we sigh, “Oh to be in such a situation that such a wonderful condition might come to us!”

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America’s Health Care Debate and What it Reveals

The idea that a few of the Congressional majority would actually force America into default and bankruptcy, bringing on, the Europeans feared, a world wide depression in order to stop people from getting health care, left them disillusioned with America’s political leadership.

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A Manifesto! The Time Has Come!

I have made a decision. I will no longer debate the issue of homosexuality in the church with anyone. I will no longer engage the biblical ignorance that emanates from so many right-wing Christians about how the Bible condemns homosexuality, as if that point of view still has any credibility. I will no longer discuss with them or listen to them tell me how homosexuality is “an abomination to God,” about how homosexuality is a “chosen lifestyle,” or about how through prayer and “spiritual counseling” homosexual persons can be “cured.” Those arguments are no longer worthy of my time or energy. I will no longer dignify by listening to the thoughts of those who advocate “reparative therapy,” as if homosexual persons are somehow broken and need to be repaired. I will no longer talk to those who believe that the unity of the church can or should be achieved by rejecting the presence of, or at least at the expense of, gay and lesbian people. I will no longer take the time to refute the unlearned and undocumentable claims of certain world religious leaders who call homosexuality “deviant.” I will no longer listen to that pious sentimentality that certain Christian leaders continue to employ, which suggests some version of that strange and overtly dishonest phrase that “we love the sinner but hate the sin.” That statement is, I have concluded, nothing more than a self-serving lie designed to cover the fact that these people hate homosexual persons and fear homosexuality itself, but somehow know that hatred is incompatible with the Christ they claim to profess, so they adopt this face-saving and absolutely false statement.

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Extended Interview with Vandana Shiva and Jane Goodall- VIDEO

Watch our full interview with Jane Goodall and Vandana Shiva at the recent International Women’s Earth and Climate Initiative Summit, where they discussed their decades of work devoted to protecting nature and saving future generations from the dangers of climate change. A renowned primatologist, Goodall is best known for her groundbreaking work with chimpanzees and baboons. An environmental leader, feminist and thinker, Shiva is the author of many books, including “Making Peace with the Earth: Beyond Resource, Land and Food Wars” and “Earth Democracy: Justice, Sustainability, and Peace.”

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