Samaritan Care

A study guide for churches on health care policy in America

Here I offer a church “adult study” that can be completed in one after-worship program, or expanded to multiple sessions. It focuses on one of the most important issues facing voters in the upcoming midterm elections. Use as you wish! And please give me feedback on how you use it and how it is received.

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Is Quakerism Becoming a Christianity Without Christ?

I write as another who loves the Quaker Faith but increasingly wonders if he can find a place in it. I have been a part of three Quaker communities, serving as clerk for one and being invited to accept the pastorate of another. Having attended national Quaker gatherings and corresponded with meetings from the Atlantic to the Pacific, I have come to share the now widely held conclusion that unless the current trajectory is reversed, liberal Quakerism is headed for extinction. The patient is sick. The disease has been misdiagnosed. The prognosis may be serious but it is too early to hang black crepe from the windows and send out death notices. With the right medicine there is still hope. But let’s first examine the symptoms.

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87 organizations honored as ‘Certified Best Christian Workplaces’

Largest-ever number of Christian organizations in a six-month span affirms growing vital importance of healthy organizational culture

The Best Christian Workplaces Institute (BCWI), a pioneer in equipping and inspiring Christian leaders to build a flourishing organizational culture, today honored 87 faith-based organizations as Certified Best Christian Workplaces.

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Hipsters of the holy: How a Toronto church became a hit with young believers

Eric Andrew-Gee

With slick social media, a gospel of self-help and services that look more like Arcade Fire concerts, a Toronto congregation is bucking the global trend of aging Christian congregations.

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The Practicing Democracy Project

What kind of spiritual practices help us build a robust and healthy society, where citizens are united, at a deep level that transcends ideology, race, and class, around a shared spiritual and moral vision of what America should be? That’s what The Practicing Democracy Project strives to answer, by bringing you thought-provoking and inspiring articles, books, excerpts, quotes, topics, and spiritual practices, with more to come.

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Catholic church to make record divestment from fossil fuels

By Arthur Neslen for The Guardian

More than 40 Catholic institutions are to announce the largest ever faith-based divestment from fossil fuels, on the anniversary of the death of St Francis of Assisi.

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The word “God”

In religious as well as other history, when we don’t know our own history, we are condemned to repeat it. Condemned not by anyone else, not even “God”, but by ourselves and the consequences of our own willful ignorance.

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Tribalism, Narcissism, Nationalism, and their Offspring

The religious left often finds itself at odds with the marketplace but when it comes to refugees and the undocumented, there is a purely profit driven approach that can give spiritual people a reason to cheer. There is more than a moral reason not to deport the 80,000 DACA youth living in the USA, looked at purely for their law-abiding, tax-paying potential, we need for them to stay here! A similarly strong economic argument can be made in favor of granting citizenship to foreign students who come here to earn advanced STEM degrees. Looked at from either a spiritual/compassionate perspective, or from an economic viewpoint: we do not need a Muslim ban, we don’t need a wall on the Mexican border, and we need to be much more welcoming of refugees.

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Broken for Good

BROKEN FOR GOOD takes the general public on a wild ride into the upside down world of nonprofit management. Hailed as both provocative and uplifting BFG uses an “emperor has no clothes” approach to confront the “crazy-making” that’s paralyzed the charitable sector for the past fifty years. Relying on vivid story-telling BROKEN FOR GOOD “challenges the existing order of things” inspiring society to solve global problems by first transforming the nonprofits in whom they invest.

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Documentary Film Reveals Why Charities Are Poor

BROKEN FOR GOOD: The Way Charity Works in the United States

  “Foundations and philanthropists MUST WATCH “BROKEN FOR GOOD: The Way Charity Works In The United States of America” and give non-profits the freedom to implement what they really need, “new best practices that respond to the …

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Re-Claiming the Bible for a Non-Religious World

For two hundred years, scholars have been analyzing one of the most important books ever written—the Bible—and overturning much of what we once thought we knew. Everyday Christians, however, are not privy to this deeper conversation. It is for these people that renowned bishop and author John Shelby Spong presents Re-Claiming the Bible for a Non-Religious World, a book designed to take readers into the contemporary academic debate about the Bible.

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A New Reformation: Creation Spirituality and the Transformation of Christianity

Like Luther, I present 95 theses or in my case, 95 faith observations drawn from my 64 years of living and practicing religion and spirituality. I trust I am not alone in recognizing these truths. For me they represent a return to our origins, a return to the spirit and the teaching of Jesus and his prophetic ancestors, and of the Christ which was a spirit that Jesus’ presence and teaching unleashed.

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Global Ministries University

Global Ministries University is an online international contemporary theological learning platform which is inclusive, supportive of creative thinking and honors the sacred in all religions and spiritual traditions.

Global Ministries University (GMU) offers contemporary interfaith and nondenominational ministerial and theology degree and certificate programs that are ideal for ministry training and ordination. GMU students have the opportunity to custom-design the Master of Theology Degree, Doctor of Ministry Degree, and Doctor of Theology Degree to meet their academic and ministerial training needs.

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Healing Earth – Free Digital Textbook

International Jesuit Ecology Project

Loyola University Chicago and the International Jesuit Ecology Project (IJEP) have launched Healing Earth, a free digital environmental science textbook. The textbook is intended for fourth-year secondary school students, first-year university students, adult learners, and independent learners worldwide. Unlike any other environmental science textbook, Healing Earth presents an integrated, global, and living approach to the ecological challenges we face on our extraordinary planet.

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Refugee Ship art manifestation and Manifesto on the Artist’s role in a globalized world

The world is in disarray. The changing climate sets a course towards catastrophe for the future of our children. Social inequality is growing. Populists and notorious liars are closing in on democracy’and racism creeps forward from all corners.

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Four tips on deepening engagement

It’s a long step from having one’s name on a church roster to being deeply engaged in that faith community.

An engagement rate of 100% is unreachable. But the current engagement rate of maybe 25% isn’t working out well – for constituents or for churches. Many people want more, but they find engagement elusive, especially when Sunday worship is the only avenue offered. They want significant relationships, or direct mission duty, or small group activity. Getting “fannies in the pew,” as one pastor put it, doesn’t accomplish such objectives, even over time.

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How to Lead a Mindful Christianity Group

Using the book as a text, you can form a Mindful Christianity group in your home, church, or other setting. I recommend that the group have a “host” – a person designated to convene the group and keep it on schedule. The “host” need not be a trained mindfulness teacher or highly experienced meditator. Hosting is not formal teaching. I recommend that your group have a limit of fifteen people in order to ensure that participants feel able and willing to share their experiences. I suggest that the group maintain confidentiality about what goes on within it. I suggest that the group agree that should anyone in the group experience acute distress as a result of experiences that well up in the course of practice, the group will urge the person to seek professional therapeutic help, and then be welcomed back to the group when the acute disturbance has passed. (This is not an unusual consequence of beginning mindful prayer practice.)

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Church, Inside Out: Tabor Space

Most churches invite people to their church programs in their buildings, and with the space and time they don’t use, they rent to outside groups.

The people of Mt. Tabor Presbyterian Church in Portland decided to turn that model on its head – and they created a vibrant community in the process.

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