8 ways to use technology to grow your church

ny church can grow. It won’t happen just by opening the doors on Sunday and welcoming whoever shows up. Growth isn’t that easy or passive. But growth can happen if leaders are willing to work at it, to use best practices and best tools, and to change whatever gets in their way.

That’s a tall order, of course, because most established institutions struggle with change and resist doing more than the known and the minimum.

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Why I am happy Trump won

Richard Williams, better known by his stage name Prince Ea, is an American rapper and activist, known for discussing topics like politics, sociality, environmentalism and life issues.

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Embrace Festival May 2016

First in-city music, art, sacred community and social transformation festival with a progressive Christian framework. Leaders from around the world join us to co-create a deeper vision for the future and share practical tools to heal ourselves, our communities, and the planet in on-going ways moving forward. We hope to see you there!

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Stations of the Cosmic Christ

Experience a new contemplative practice!

The below probably speaks for itself but in a nut shell it is about churches, chapels and retreat centers joining the movement to move from an overly human-centered religious consciousness (what Pope Francis calls our “narcissism” as a species) to a cosmically-aware consciousness. It is about uniting anew the psyche and the cosmos that was torn asunder in the modern era with the divorce of religion from science but today can and must be healed. With a practice like this we can move from centuries of battles over Jesus and Christ dogmas to the “third nature of Christ,” the Cosmic Christ (which in fact is present in our earliest Christian sources including Paul and the Gospel of Thomas). Such an understanding paves the way for an Eco-Christ and an eco-theology but based on a spiritual practice, not just speculative theologizing.

Thank you for your attention,

Matthew Fox

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The Ascent of Humanity: Civilization and the Human Sense of Self

The Age of Separation, the Age of Reunion, and the convergence of crises that is birthing the transition

Charles Eisenstein explores the history and potential future of civilization, tracing the converging crises of our age to the illusion of the separate self. In this landmark book, Eisenstein explains how a disconnection from the natural world and one another is built into the foundations of civilization: into science, religion, money, technology, medicine, and education as we know them. As a result, each of these institutions faces a grave and growing crisis, fueling our near-pathological pursuit of technological fixes even as we push our planet to the brink of collapse.

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Stewardship is a spiritual discipline, not fund-raising

If you were to plan a Spiritual Development ministry for your church, you might start with prayer: the simple but far-reaching act of talking to God.

Your second element might be meditation: the not-quite-so-simple act of listening to God.

On you would go with study, worship, confession – each harder the one before.

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The INTRAfaith Conversation: How Do Christians Talk Among Ourselves About INTERfaith Matters

“A unique and valuable; resource for Christians (and others) engaged in interfaith dialogue” – reviewed by D. Anderw Kille, May 27, 2016

“Inevitably, profound questions arise out of respectful encounters with people of religions other than our own. Many who have been involved in cooperative engagements with people of other faith traditions discover that it is often easier to talk with people of a different religion than it is with the person sitting next to you in your own congregation. For others, the struggle is within, as in the case of Elsie L., a parishioner in Buffalo. After a church session in which a Hindu woman active in interfaith activities had spoken to the group, Elsie spoke to Pastor Strouse. “If I accept the Hindu path as equal to Christianity,” she said, “I’m worried that I’m betraying Jesus.”

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Living Spiritual Teachers Project

The twenty-first century has been dubbed the “age of interspirituality” by Brother Wayne Teasdale and others who are impressed by the increased sharing of wisdom and practices among people coming from different spiritual traditions. It acknowledges that beneath the diversity of our faith and life experiences lies a deeper unity of spirituality.

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A Joyful Path, Children’s Curriculum Year Two – DVD Version

Are you searching for a way to connect children with an authentic spiritual experience that is inter-spiritual, creative and multi-layered?  “A Joyful Path” is truly progressive Christian curriculum that is inclusive, joy-full, compassionate, and intelligent.

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A Joyful Path, Children’s Curriculum Year One – DVD Version

Are you searching for a way to connect children with an authentic spiritual experience that is inter-spiritual, creative and multi-layered?  “A Joyful Path” is truly progressive Christian curriculum that is inclusive, joy-full, compassionate, and intelligent.

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The Task of Religion …

he task of religion is not to turn us into proper believers; it is to deepen the personal within us, to embrace the power of life, to expand our consciousness, in order that we might see things that eyes do not normally see. It is to seek a humanity that is not governed by the need for security, but is expressed in the ability to give ourselves away. It is to live not frightened by death, but rather called by the reality of death to go into our humanity so deeply and so passionately that even death is transcended. That is the call of the fully human one, the Jesus of the transformed consciousness.

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From Roots to Branches, Spiritual Affirmations and Stories

Every parent and educator will welcome the blend of multicultural tales, biographies, universal spirituality, and original fun adventures of children who could live on your street. Expansive, respectful, real, and warm with kindness, these stories offer possibilities for life to children and adults who feel in their heart that they belong to a larger reality.

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Why I am an Atheist Who Believes in GOD: How to Give Love, Create Beauty and Find Peace

Caught between the beauty of his grandchildren and grief over a friend’s death, Frank Schaeffer finds himself simultaneously believing and not believing in God – an atheist who prays. Schaeffer wrestles with faith and disbelief, sharing his innermost thoughts with lyricism that only great writers of literary nonfiction achieve. Schaeffer writes as an imperfect son, husband and grandfather whose love for his family, art and life trumps the ugly theologies of an angry God and the atheist vision of a cold, meaningless universe. Schaeffer writes that only when we abandon our hunt for certainty do we become free to create beauty, give love and find peace.

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A New Story of the People: Charles Eisenstein at TEDxWhitechapel

“Our hearts know that a more beautiful world is possible; but our minds do not know how it’s possible”. In this intelligent and inspiring talk, writer and visionary Charles Eisenstein explores how we can make the transition from the old story of separation, competition and self-interest to a new Story of the People.

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Shane Claiborne’s Friday Interfaith Lecture

Shane Claiborne’s Friday Interfaith Lecture was a medley of inspirational stories, demonstrating that the teachings of Jesus Christ still have the potential to upset systems that oppress the poor and marginalized.

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A New Story of the People

“A New Story of the People” examines the role that stories play in how we think about ourselves and each other and offers a glimpse at a new emerging story that can help bring about a more sustainable world.

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Be a great elderly church — address actual needs

If yours is a typical mainline church, your congregation’s average age is pushing past 60 and moving toward 70. Every Sunday, you see more “gray” in your pews and more empty spaces.

So what do you do? You have three choices:

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Responding to Bishop Spong’s 12 Principles and the Future of Religion

A recent national poll on millennial thinking (defining millennials as ages 18 to 34), found that millennials have very little confidence in establishment institutions. Indeed, more trust the military (55%) far more than organized religion—25%. This is a generation after all that has grown up with news of pedophile priest scandals and their cover-up by institutional religious leaders, as well as the collapse of the economic titans and their economy.

It strikes me that Bishop John Spong’s prophetic questioning of Christianity’s dogmas and structures would sit quite well with these young people, one might even say that he is posing the questions that they are asking about when it comes to organized religion. In this way he is and has been a prophetic voice (when, as Rabbi Heschel point out, the primary work of the prophet is to interfere) interfering with taken-for-granted religious doctrines for decades. He has dared to criticize religion and envision a different future for Christianity even while remaining part of the church structure. This takes quite a lot of doing and dancing! No wonder he has stayed so young! Now he is calling for a “New Reformation” and has laid out 12 principles that are equally challenges to the religious status quo.

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