Jose Mujica’s interview – URUGUAY – #HUMAN

José Mujica, nicknamed Pepe Mujica, was President of Uruguay from 2010 to 2015. A former Tupamaros freedom fighter in the 60s and the 70s, he was detained, like a hostage by the dictatorship between 1973 and 1985. He advocates a philosophy of life focused on sobriety: learn to live with what is necessary and fairest.

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7 Ways to Build Community

If not Sunday worship, then what?

As Sunday morning loses its hold on churchgoers and potential churchgoers, what comes next? How do faith communities nurture relationships? How do people draw closer to God? How can we engage the world outside our doors if opening the doors on Sunday isn’t enough?

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Other ministries, Other Places, Other Expressions

How can I consider myself a member of this congregation if I don’t participate in the main thing they do?

It’s a good question, and many Christians are asking it. As Diana Butler Bass points out in an insightful interview with Deseret News, more and more believers are pursuing their relationships with God “away from church.”

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Why Are Leaders Assholes?

… when you have power over other people, at some point, you exercise that power. You have to. That’s why you were in the leadership position to begin with. You had to send someone on an errand they didn’t want to do. Or you had to force someone to do something. … The exercise of power over people feels good – like a drug. And, the abuse of power leads to doing it again and again.

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Adam Smith’s “Hidden Hand” Veneration of Another False God ?

In Pope Francis’ recent environmental encyclical and in his many pronouncements since them, most notably his address to the US Congress and at the United Nations, he was in effect telling the world that the time has come for all of us to take a long hard look at a false god that has, since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution been and continues to be venerated by so many.
 

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An Open Letter To the Moderator of the United Church of Canada: The Rt. Rev. Jordan Cantwell

I write with some alarm at what is happening in the United Church of Canada, a church that I have long admired. … I have written articles in praise of the United Church of Canada. It was the one Christian body in the world that seemed free of the need to be tied to the past, but was rather courageously open to the future.

Now to my dismay, a segment of the United Church of Canada has decided that it is no longer secure enough or open enough to contain one of its most creative, future-oriented pastors. I refer to the Rev. Gretta Vosper of the West Hill United Church in Toronto.

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It’s Finally Official – Pope Francis Demotes Highest-Ranking US Cardinal Over LGBT Issues

It’s been in the news. Now it has been confirmed. As of this past weekend, Raymond Leo Burke, America’s highest-ranking cardinal at the Vatican, was officially removed from the Vatican’s Supreme Court, and demoted to chaplain of the Knights of Malta, where he will reign with much less responsibility.

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Tensions Needn’t Derail Us

… as many church leaders know too well, innovation can become threatening. Powerful constituencies push back, and things that manifestly need to be rethought take on a non-negotiable, do-not-mess aura.

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Scarboro Missions Golden Rule Poster making a splash in Africa

  Dear Golden Rule allies around the world: adapted versions of the Scarboro Missions Golden Rule Poster have been published in Ethiopia in two languages – 500,000 copies of the English poster have been circulated across Africa …

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Listen Up, Listen Often, Get Confused

I want to make a basic point about Spiritual Development. But first I need to file two disclaimers: Spiritual Development isn’t an exact science and there is no one single path …

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In Support of The Reverend Gretta Vosper

Gretta represents a small but growing number of clergy who are best described as courageous. The have spoken the truth when others too often fumble for words or refuse to look any deeper than their online sermons.

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Make Time for Marketing

If church leaders want people to “buy” their “goods and services’ — come to worship, take a class, engage with the community, grow in faith, serve God — they can’t just open the door on Sunday or send out a weekly newsletter stuffed with announcements. They need to do solid marketing. They need to do the basics as outlined above: catch people’s attention, explain offerings, present opportunities to engage, lead people to various forms of participation, form relationships, provide customer service.

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Six Keys to Learning from Experience

You’ve heard it many times: “Experience is the best teacher.” And its corollary, “Failure is a better teacher than success.” Makes sense, but what does it actually mean for church leaders? Here are six keys to learning from experience.

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Remember the S Curve

The S curve — shows what happens as a new idea takes hold, or a compelling vision, or fresh leadership, or a new mission thrust. If the idea or vision has legs, it will start slowly, then gather momentum as people buy into it and become excited by it. This new vision captures many imaginations. It puts into action the deepest values of the organization — in this case, a congregation.

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7 Steps to Prepare for Hate Attacks

It is time for congregations to develop protocols for responding to hate initiatives on their doorsteps. As the intolerant lose any self-discipline in lashing out at others, we can expect a fresh round of cross-burnings, gay-bashing graffiti, and online vitriol.

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A Letter from Pope Francis on Climate and Environment: Why a Papal Encyclical May Matter

Pope Francis and the Environment: Yale Examines Historic Climate Encyclical. What follows are the transcripts from the Panel on the Papal Encyclical held at Yale University on April 8, 2015.

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Two Realities of an Assertive Social Media Strategy

The “face” of a congregation needs to be its key leader, not its handsome edifice. Prospects will ask whether they can trust the leader and find his or her message inspiring. They won’t ask what the congregation did fifty years ago or why the liturgical space is the way it is.

Social media will put the pastor out front. Instead of trying to reach people through a traditional church newsletter describing institutional activities, the pastor will be posting, blogging and writing essays — on many subjects, but in the consistent voice of the author and focused on the reader’s needs and interests, not on the church as institution.

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What Do Racism and Progressive Christianity Have to Do with Each Other?

9 times out of 10 it is not about explicit individual prejudice. It’s fundamentally not about you as an individual, nor is it about feeling guilty for being “racist” as a white person. It’s about principalities and powers, systems so deeply rooted in us that they shape our very way of life. And those dynamics are built to remain invisible to all those are advantaged by them. Now that’s sin! But it’s so hard to express this in ways white people can hear without feeling like they are under attack.

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