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Honor Native Land: A Guide and Call to Acknowledgement

IN COUNTRIES SUCH AS NEW ZEALAND, AUSTRALIA, CANADA, AND AMONG TRIBAL NATIONS IN THE U.S., it is commonplace, even policy, to open events and gatherings by acknowledging the traditional Indigenous inhabitants of that land. While some individuals and cultural and educational institutions in the United States have adopted this custom, the vast majority have not. Together, we can spark a movement to change that.

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Haudenosaunee’s Legendary Founding | Native America | Sacred Stories | PBS

The Hiawatha wampum belt tells the story of the Haudenosaunee’s legendary founding and wampum’s power to heal. It tells of a warrior named Hiawatha who meets a prophet known as the Peacemaker. Together, with the help of Jigonsaseh, the first Clan Mother, they bring an end to war and create America’s first democracy.

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The Five Invitations

By Frank Ostaseski

Life and death are a package deal. They cannot be pulled apart and we cannot truly live unless we are aware of death. The Five Invitations is an exhilarating meditation on the meaning of life and how maintaining an ever-present consciousness of death can bring us closer to our truest selves. As a renowned teacher of compassionate caregiving and the cofounder of the Zen Hospice Project, Frank Ostaseski has sat on the precipice of death with more than a thousand people. In The Five Invitations, he distills the lessons gleaned over the course of his career, offering an evocative and stirring guide that points to a radical path to transformation.

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Christianity As A Contributing Cause Of The Current Ecological Crisis

Durham Street Methodist ChristChurch New Zealand (Aotearoa) January 20, 2019 service led by Rev. Bill Wallace featuring some of his hymns. Our theme today is Christian Theology and global warming.

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Custom E-Courses

E-Courses and Online Retreats with Your Own Private Group

Many people these days have little time to participate in any kind of regular “in-person” spirituality group, and yet they know that studying and practicing with others can contribute signicantly to their spiritual growth. Now you can use the e-courses and online retreats already created for Spirituality & Practice as a program for your own group. Your group will receive the emailed lessons, links to any video and audio content in the e-course, and your own private “Practice Circle” (an online forum at SpiritualityandPractice.com) for your discussions.

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OvO

OvO means “seed” or “egg” and stands for the point in time or space at which something starts- the next evolution.

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Understanding 500 Years of Colonization, With Thanksgiving

It was our Indigenous compassion for the suffering of other human beings that led to what is today called Thanksgiving Day. After a brief interlude of 54 years of peace with the Pilgrims, the rest of the 500-year colonization process of the Indigenous peoples across the Americas included physical and cultural genocide, and were vicious, cruel, violent, and deliberately carried out to “kill the Indian and save the child.” This phrase refers to the process of completely assimilating Indigenous children so that no trace of the “Indian” was left. This was the purpose of the “Indian” boarding schools in both Canada and the United States.

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UN International Day of Peace, September 21, 2018

How will you celebrate the UN International Day of Peace 2018? Let us know so we can be sure to include you in our featured news.

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Campfires For Conviviality

I’m working on starting an initiative on campus at USC to create the conditions for more conviviality, friendship, and compassion on campus. The symbol and the focus of this effort is the campfire. I hope it is something that catches on in churches and other settings as well!

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Jeff Sessions’ Outrageous Bible Interpretation

Dear Readers: The recent statement by Attorney General Jeff Sessions, defending the horrific separation of children from refugee parents on the basis of his tortured reading of Romans chapter 13, as well as Donald Trump’s recent statement …

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A Native American Prayer of Gratitude

Chief Phil Lane Jr. shares one of the four songs of the Sacred White Buffalo Calf Woman, which he says holds a message for our time in human history.

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The Transitory Nature of Beliefs, Part II

A reflection and commentary for Holy Week & Easter Observances from the perspective of a progressive thinker from the Christian faith tradition.

  Symbol, Ritual, and Learning to Distinguish True & False Myths Because religious progressives often like to emphasize actions over words, and doing over some musty, ancient, stratified system of believing, I’ve asked what part any creedal statement of belief might still be …

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The Convergence of Passover And Easter Can Leaven (or Unleaven) The InterfaithFamily’s Holiday

By Samira K. Mehta

As almost everyone who still has a wall calendar (does anyone still have a wall calendar?) realizes, Passover begins this year on Good Friday, and ends the following Friday or Saturday depending on your tradition. While the combination of Christmas and Hanukkah gets more play in the media (with over four decades of articles on the December dilemma and special attention last year, when Hanukkah started on Christmas eve), Easter and Passover are, in many ways, a more challenging combination for many interfaith families.

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Lent: Letting Go of our Tightly Held Piety to See Our Need of Confession

When we begin to see God as the One in whom we live and move and have our being, we are able to see God as the one who dwells in with and through us. As we open ourselves to a broader understanding of God we can begin to see that the power to forgive resides in us? For it is in with and through us that our God finds expression. By letting go of our carefully held piety, perhaps we can begin to see the magnitude of the power of confession to absolve us as we evolve into all that we are created to be.

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How to hold a Children’s Christmas Pageant today

If, as you say, the stories of Jesus’ miraculous birth are pious legends, what are the implications for staging a children’s Christmas pageant in a small suburban church?

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The Arts of Ritual

  Recently, my daughter, Liz Burklo, invited me to speak with a group of the social work student interns she supervises. She wanted me to equip them with skills in conducting rituals that can serve the communities …

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The Profanity of ‘Thoughts and Prayers’

Offering our “thoughts and prayers” in a crisis can be an expression of sincere empathy but when you are capable of doing more and all you do is offer your thoughts and prayers then we quickly realize that such words are reflective of hollow hypocrisy. Prayer can be very helpful to our spiritual journey but as the African proverb teaches, “when you pray, move your feet.” We pray to change the one who prays so that we will do all that we can to meaningfully respond to the many crises we see happening all around us.

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Candlelight & Blessings: Symbols and Rituals for Death and Grieving

Death is inevitable, mysterious, and often confusing.

At the deathbed, patients and those gathered seek meaning, and many long for a sense of the Spiritual. Yet chaplains and spiritual caregivers have minimal information by which to determine how to provide support, limited time to develop rapport, and varying expectations from those they serve.

Regardless of the religious background of the patient and the loved ones gathered at the deathbed, there are elements of symbol and ritual that take on a pronounced role and a greater importance as one is facing the end of life.

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