The human race seems to need rituals.

The human race seems to need rituals. Christmas, Easter, Baptisms and Eucharist/Communion are times and events that attract the most people to the church and corporate worship. Yet these same rituals are the ones where the theistic God is most evident and reinforced. How can we address this paradox?

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Easter Week: A New Narrative

The profundity of Christianity is that nothing in it has but one meaning.

So it is with Easter Week.

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Five Weeks and a Holy Week

Are you envious because of my generosity? The question seemed to jump off the page. Far too often, I have felt envious because someone got something I felt I was entitled to – and I realized that I, like the laborers in the vineyard, begrudge God’s generosity. And, of course, envy and entitlement are major impediments when it comes to living a truly grateful life.

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ProFuture Faith: The Prodigal Species Comes Home

Order before April 22nd for half-price: $74.50

Featuring eco-theologian, author, and TEDx speaker, Rev. Michael Dowd, ProFuture Faith is a dynamic eight-session DVD and internet-based course that bridges the gap between head and heart, science and faith. The basic format for each 1 – 1-1/2 hour session includes conversation around the readings, a 20-minute video presentation and guided discussion.

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Is the Solution to Nursing Home Abuse to Care for Elders Ourselves?

As Americans, our individualist society can often disconnect us from those who need our help — especially the elderly. While many other cultures have extended families living in one home together, Americans typically branch off on their own. While this independence can be enjoyable, it also can put vulnerable populations at risk.

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We need safe spaces of worship

The high holy holidays of Passover and Easter are fast approaching and Ramadan is in May. Attacks, however, on places of worship are becoming too frequent in this global climate of intolerance. As a worshiper, I need our president to make us safe.

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A Requiem for Notre Dame de Paris, The Soul of a Nation

The psychologist and genius Otto Rank, author of the classic work Art and Artist, said that if you want to know the soul of a nation go to its architecture first.  Notre Dame de Paris and the entire gothic revolution of the 12th century Renaissance that it encapsules (along with Chartres Cathedral 30 miles beyond Paris), tells us much about the soul of France.  And our own souls.

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The Future Is Calling Us To Greatness

With series host Michael Dowd + 55 Experts

A worldwide movement is emerging at the nexus of science, inspiration, and sustainability. Beliefs are secondary. What unites us is a pool of shared values and commitments—and the vision of a just and healthy future for humanity and the larger body of life. This historic series of 30-60 minute Skype interviews showcases the work of many of today’s leaders and luminaries regarding what to expect in the decades ahead, what’s being done—what still needs to be done—and how to be in action despite enormous challenges. These 55 experts represent a veritable Who’s Who of prophetic inspiration.

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I Know What Heaven Looks Like: A Modern Day Coming of Age Story

I Know What Heaven Looks Like: A Modern Day Coming of Age Story is the debut creative nonfiction novel by Lawrence Richardson.

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A Conversation with Bishop John Shelby Spong

Rev. David Felten interviewed Bishop John Shelby Spong on September 18, 2018 at his home in Virginia.

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Negative Racial Stereotypes in Popular Kids Movies

I’ve been immersed in watching animated films these days along with my toddler. Two of the movies in our daily rotation include Trolls and Sing (both 2016). Both are very well done. Both went to great lengths to offer something for parents as well as for children. And both, I believe, made efforts to avoid negative racial and cultural stereotypes. Yet, in both movies, some unfortunate mistakes fell through the cracks.

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Just Wave the White Flag of Surrender and Go Into the Party: a Sermon for the Lost – Luke 15 – Lent 4C

I am indebted to Amy-Jill Levine’s book “Short Stories by Jesus” and Bernard Brandon Scott’s book “Hear Then the Parable” for challenging me to look beyond the Christian bias of interpreting Jesus’ parables through the lens of the repentance and forgiveness and attempting to hear this story in ways more in keeping with Judaism.

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Glorify: Reclaiming the Heart of Progressive Christianity

Mainline Protestant denominations are dying, while conservative traditions are flourishing. “Nones” are the fastest growing religious demographic in the United States. A pastor and self-proclaimed former “none,” Heath possesses an excellent understanding of church growth and the lack thereof, and frequently draws upon that experience when look for ways to welcome people to church.

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Outside the Lines: How Embracing Queerness Will Transform Your Faith

Mihee Kim-Kort is a wife, a mom, and a Presbyterian minister. And she’s queer. As she became aware of her queer sexuality, Mihee wondered what that meant for her spirituality. But instead of pushing her away from God, it brought her closer to Jesus and taught her how to love better.

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A Bigger Table: Building Messy, Authentic, and Hopeful Spiritual Community

No one likes to eat alone; to approach a table filled with people, only to be told that despite the open chairs there isn’t room for you. The rejection stings. It leaves a mark. Yet this is exactly what the church has been saying to far too many people for far too long: “You’re not welcome here. Find someplace else to sit.” How can we extend unconditional welcome and acceptance in a world increasingly marked by bigotry, fear, and exclusion?

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Rehearsing Scripture: Discovering God’s Word in Community

We can study it carefully. We can listen to sermons on it and read what the experts say about it. But in the end, says Anna Carter Florence, Scripture needs to be rehearsed and encountered—and we can do that best in community with others.

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Mel White Quote

If there is any one message the Bible delivers, it is the message that God loves outcasts and that Jesus was born into the world an outcast to rescue and renew outcasts from religion gone bad. He was born poor and died poor, yet the legacy of love he left us, the legacy of inclusion and acceptance and understanding, will endure forever.

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When Straight Christians Reject our LGBTQ Siblings

An Open Letter to the United Methodist Church

I’ve never been one of your number, though I’ve always been a fan. I grew up Pentecostal (among other things), where we found your personal and social holiness traditions to be fertile soil to grow our experiences of the Spirit stirring in our midst.

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