Help to create a National Golden Rule Day in the USA

  Create a National “Golden Rule Day”. To create a national Golden Rule Day every May 15th, to serve as a shining example, a beacon of hope and a glorious celebration of how each day, in our …

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Churches have important work to do

Progressive churches have important work to do in the four years ahead.

They don’t need to become aligned with the Democratic Party. But they do need to become political. By that I mean tending to the politics of the day, namely, change, frustration, anger, some truly awful people planning to do bad things to their enemies, and a lot of good people on all sides wondering what direction American democracy is going.

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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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Many folks are ready to move on

The signal revelation from a recent consulting engagement in Kansas wasn’t that the congregation was trapped in old ways, or paying a steep price for it in declining membership. The revelation was that hardly anyone had any stake in remaining stuck.

In one way or another, they said, “Let’s move on.” “We need to get outside ourselves.” “We have got to change things.”

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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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From Standing Rock to Syria: No More Wars for Oil!

by Lindsey Paris-Lopez

Now is the time to arise, in truth and love, and declare unequivocally: “No more war for oil! No more war at all!”

The abuses at Standing Rock must be seen for what they are: war crimes against a sovereign nation.

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I wish I had known these principles in aging ministry

Now that I am venturing onto the terrain called “aging,” I would like a do-over in how I responded to people over 65 when I was their pastor.

I don’t think I began to comprehend the complexity of aging. I viewed it as a single-track pastoral problem to be solved by regular home visits and the occasional group event, like a bus tour. I tended to treat the elderly as needy, more like patients in a hospital than self-differentiating adults. Some were hospital patients, of course. But I missed seeing the rest of their journeys.

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The tension between “bricks and mortar” and “mission and ministry”

The tension between “bricks and mortar” and “mission and ministry” is never easy to navigate. Facilities seem so real and practical, while mission and ministry tend to be ambiguous and unmeasurable.

The tension gets especially complicated when facilities are enshrined as “historic.” Some constituents derive personal status from things historic, whether or not it is deserved, and the old implies a certain continuity that many desire.

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CalledOUT Response on Judicial Council Rulings

  In a week where United Methodist LGBTQI persons have been tokenized through the announcement of the Council of Bishops’ Special Commission on “A Way Forward,” we are not surprised, but are nonetheless harmed once again by …

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Standing Rock by Trevor Hall with NoDAPL Standing Rock footage

Members of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, over 200 Tribal Nations, and thousands of allies from across the United States and the world have been taking direct action since April 2016 to call attention to the violation of their Indigenous rights, desecration of their lands and waters and the threats to their ecosystem engendered by the Dakota Access Pipeline.

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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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Racial Healing in a Small Town

This is going to be one of those stories where the names and locations are kept anonymous to protect privacy. When it comes to racial and religious reconciliation, all too often the most heartfelt stories are also the most confidential.

It is a story that needs to be told, though. I will do my best to share the light and protect all parties.

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United Methodist Queer Clergy Respond to Naming of Special Commission

We speak as a collective voice with the authority of those who are called and claimed by a God whose love knows no bounds; as those whose Commissioning and Ordination have been affirmed by the Church: we …

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“LGBTQI Clergy Call UM “Way Forward” Commission Backward”

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT: Rev. Alex da Silva Souto, alex.souto@nyac-umc.com, 415-706-5397 “LGBTQI Clergy Call UM “Way Forward” Commission Backward” October 26, 2016—On Monday, the Council of Bishops of the United Methodist Church announced the membership of the …

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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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An official request to have my name removed from every official list of United Church of Canada clergy

I am sure you know that the United Church of Canada has subjected one of its ministers,
Gretta Vosper to a hearing where she was thoroughly interrogated over what up until now has
been the basis for ‘essential agreement’. Not anymore! She is now in the process of being
defrocked which means the UCC has now become a signing creedal church, with no
expectation of growth since ordination vows. It also means from henceforth any ordained
minister can be hauled before a similar court on the basic of one complaint, NOT EVEN
from within the congregation, about what that minister said.

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Dealing with an unintended consequence of our graying

In general, mainline congregations have missed two successive generations of young adults. Funerals far outnumber baptisms and weddings. Our average age is pushing 65. Sunday schools and youth groups are sparse. Young families in our community don’t aim their SUVs toward us. Many church activities serving young families happen away from Sunday morning, anyway, which our Sunday-oriented elderly don’t understand or value. Meanwhile, the elderly are dealing with isolation, an epidemic of loneliness, and a range of health issues that only other elderly appreciate.

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