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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Scriptural Reasoning — a group-based interfaith study of sacred texts

Dear interfaith leaders around the world: Scriptural Reasoning is a process in which small groups of Jews, Christians and Muslims, and sometimes people of other faiths, gather to read and reflect upon short passages from their scriptures. “Opening our sacred texts to others for conversation from the heart, and modeling a fellowship that sees difference as rich and illuminating” fashions a relationship through the medium of sacred writings. Scriptural Reasoning’s well-constructed website includes a number of guides and rich resources, including 24 “Text Bundles” which offer brief scriptural readings from the three Abrahamic religions, with titles such as “Encountering God”, “Abrahamic Hospitality”, “Fasting” and “Refugees.”

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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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A Word to the Spiritual Seekers

Our question to the church is “How can we grow and evolve in our experience and understanding of the Mystery of the universe if we close our ears and minds to the creative voices that push us beyond the traditional views?”

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Three ways “the conventional wisdom” hurts churches

In 1958 – as, coincidentally, mainline Protestant churches were enjoying their happy heyday – economist John Kenneth Galbraith began to use a term to describe widely acceptable and comfortable ideas that might not actually be true but …

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Spanish Language Golden Rule Poster

Produced by Scarboro Missions, this Spanish-language multifaith poster features Golden Rule texts in 13 religions. It is estimated that there are 550 million Spanish-speaking people throughout the world, most of whom reside in Latin America. Approximately 46 million people live in Spain. To view or download the Spanish poster, free of charge, click on the below image.

Este afiche contiene textos de la Regla de Oro de acuerdo a 13 religiones del mundo. De los hablantes hispanos, aproximadamente 46 millones viven en España y otros 550 millones viven alrededor del mundo, con una gran mayoría en América Latina.

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Teens are suing the government over climate change

Teens like Kelsey Juliana have been trying to sue the state over climate change for years. Finally, Oregon is hearing their case.

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