Community Died Long Before Smartphones

You can complain that young kids are constantly attached to their smart phones. But you might be better served asking why their lives are so deprived of human interaction that they have been sucked into the internet so strongly. Drive through most US suburbs, cities and small towns, you won’t see kids playing in the yards, families talking on porches or town folk gathering for public entertainment. This is completely antithetical to how humans have always lived. Children grow up desperately lonely and disconnected from others. Along comes the internet and suddenly they can be plugged in to people all over. Can we blame them? Then yes, over time, they lose (or never develop) the skills at interpersonal interaction.

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Being Christian

What does it mean to live in a liberating, transformative faith community today? We need a different linguistic narrative along with a different set of cultural practices to give expression to this task. This means a new understanding of the Eternal Reality—the reality we call God—a new understanding of community and of the personal moral and ethical choices we make in our everyday lives. This also means new approaches to the language and symbols used in public worship for the Christian community (such as the meaning of communion, the response to scriptural texts, and the words used in sermons, hymns, congregational prayers and other forms of Christian liturgy).

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David Bohm – Post Modern Gnostic

First a quote from the January 20, 1961 Inaugural address of John F. Kennedy.
He ended it with the words:

“…. asking His blessing and His help, but knowing that here on earth God’s work must truly be our own.”

They were prescient words: “here on earth God’s work must truly be our own.” Was the new President aware the moment he was speaking of the need for an American response to the ecological challenges facing the Nation? We do not know. However, it all became clear one year later when Rachel Carson published her seminal book Silent Spring. Along with many other Americans, the President too read the book. It had become an instant best-seller and the most provocative book in decades. It began the environmental movement in America.

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Why I am praying for President Trump…

A Facebook friend puzzled over my last post, wondering if it implied a kind of us-vs-them outlook. What I intended was assurance to those of us apprehensive about the Trump-Pence inauguration, including possible Trump voters, who may themselves now face loss of health care coverage, rising prices, diminished Social Security and Medicare benefits, reduced personal safety, and international insecurity.

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Protect the Water Protectors- Mikki Willis

What would you do if this was your brother/son/friend? Many of the brave and Peaceful Water Protectors of Standing Rock are now facing serious criminal charges! This is the moment for us to rise and show our gratitude for the people who risked their lives to protect our water.

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Resistance, Resiliency & Revival

It’s Black History month in the United States. Our new President has rolled out some truly terrifying Executive Orders his first dozen days in office. If you have a pulse you’re doubtless aware, so I won’t take up pixels enumerating them here – ’cause this post isn’t about him. These orders – with their policy and cultural ramifications – have led to some beautiful acts of resistance across the country and around the world.

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Spiritual Tools

Many of us are feeling post-election trauma and are sensitive to the great disturbance occurring in the “collective field”.

As difficult as this is, it is calling us as a spiritual community to galvanize our strength, stand together and stay fiercely connected to our core. It’s important to stay committed to our spiritual practices so we can be fully present.

Today I want to offer you some FREE tools to help you get grounded, centered, and ready to meet the challenges ahead.

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ABN AMRO threatens to stop financing company behind the controversial Dakota Access Pipeline

ABN AMRO, the Dutch bank, today announced that it will end its financing for Energy Transfer Equity (ETE) if the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) will be constructed without the consent of the Standing Rock Sioux tribe, or if further violence will be used. The Dutch Fair Finance Guide, Greenpeace Netherlands and BankTrack welcome the decision of ABN AMRO, and call on other banks, including ING in the Netherlands, to follow this example and end all outstanding finance to the pipeline and the companies behind it if no agreement is reached with the Sioux Tribe about the pipeline.

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The Irony Behind Trump’s Travel Ban And Holocaust Remembrance Day

Trump’s public statement commemorating International Holocaust Remembrance Day omitted any mention of Judaism, anti-Semitism or the Nazis’ systematic program exterminating European Jewry. The omission was not only hurtful to remaining Holocaust survivors, their families, and friends, but it was dismissive of its six million victims during World War II.

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Potlatch

As a youth I was fascinated by a custom practiced among Pacific Northwest Native Americans called the Potlatch. I capitalize the Chinook term here, though my OED does not, because it seems every bit as sacred as Christmas and Easter.

Having accumulated much, a person (often a chief) would give away or burn all possessions and start afresh. Though my dictionary implies this was a show of wealth and prestige rather than generosity and humility, I’d say Christmas or any show of charity and humility is practiced with similar mixed motives, so why quibble?

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Pepper Proud “Marionettes” NPR Tiny Desk Concert Submission 2017

Her message is simple- it’s time to share the love. love. love.

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Jesus, Gandhi, and MLK – A Very Salty Trio: a sermon for Epiphany 5A

  Rereading this sermon from 2014, I am struck by the power of Jesus, Gandhi, and MLK’s saltiness to address our current need for seasoning! In the wake of the tragedy at the Islamic Cultural Centre in …

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I Have Called You Friends: An Invitation to Ministry

I do not call you servants any longer, because the servant does not know what the master is doing; but I have called you friends, because I have made known to you everything that I have heard from my father. –John 15:15

These words of Jesus to his disciples teach that the mutuality of friendship is at the heart of a Christian community. When baptized into that community, we accept this mutuality and desire to serve others. Kevin Thew Forrester says, “We can go so far as to say that to be a member of the community entails being a minister. . . Baptism and ministry are two sides of the same coin.” This ministry is the responsibility of all baptized members of the church not merely the ordained.

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All That We Share | TV 2

We live in a time where we quickly put people in boxes. Maybe we have more in common than what we think? Introducing All That We Share. The English version.

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CAN’T STOP THE FEELING! Justin Timberlake (worldwide dance video)

With all the tension in the world that can divide us, this video is a reminder that we are better together. We have a lot more in common, than we might think, and the differences only make us stronger. It is simple: if we dance through live together, we can live together.

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Stranger As Neighbor in a Promised Land

Contrary to the old adage, fences do not necessarily make good neighbors. In our election campaign season this last year, the winning candidate promised to build a wall and have our neighbor pay for it. We’ll see. Now by presidential executive order, an indefinite ban on all refugees from certain predominantly Muslim countries entering our country has also been put in place.

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Who is My Brother’s Keeper?

This picture has been going viral lately.

It is easy to draw conclusions from it. You see a homeless man with a sign asking for money. Standing next to him is a Wal-Mart employee with a “Hiring” sign. The Wal-Mart employee is looking right at the homeless man (as if to invite him to apply), but the homeless man is not looking at the Wal-Mart employee.

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Embracing Diversity [A Prayer]

Good and gracious God,

We come before you today
lifting up those who,
because they are far too frequently
seen as different,
are far too frequently
treated differently.

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