Our Better Selves

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Why do we seem inherently unable to be more responsive to the world’s needs; where instead we seem instinctually inclined to put ourselves and our own needs ahead of everything and everyone else? What might we do to be less inclined to reflect what seems to be so much a part of our human nature? If there is anything akin to a sacred spark within us, with the example of Jesus’ own way of the cross?

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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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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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A Joyful Path, Children’s Curriculum, Year One, Ages 6-10, For MULTI CLASSROOMS

  Progressive Christian Spiritual Curriculum Compassionate, Intelligent, Inter-Spiritual, Non-Dogmatic   Group Curriculum with Teacher’s Handbook and 3 DVDs   Are you searching for a way to connect children with an authentic spiritual experience that is inter-spiritual, creative and …

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A Joyful Path, Children’s Curriculum, Year One, Ages 6-10, For SINGLE CLASSROOM

  Progressive Christian Spiritual Curriculum Compassionate, Intelligent, Inter-Spiritual, Non-Dogmatic   Group Curriculum with Teacher’s Handbook and 2 DVDs   Are you searching for a way to connect children with an authentic spiritual experience that is inter-spiritual, creative and …

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Loving a church that doesn’t love us

For decades there has been an ongoing struggle in the United Methodist Church (UMC) to adopt a policy of full inclusion of its LGBTQ parishioners and clergy and all the spiritual gifts we bring to the church.

However, UMC voted at General Conference last month to uphold – 53% to 47% – its Traditionalist Plan, which is to oppose same-sex marriage and the ordination of LGBTQ clergy. Now the church has the potential for a schism with its global delegation outweighing the U.S

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Alzheimer’s: The Caregiver’s Perspective

From diagnosis to saying the long goodbye, caregivers share their diverse experiences of caring for loved ones in the world of dementia. Alzheimer’s is more than memory loss; it affects many generations and is the 6th leading cause of death in the United States. Teepa Snow, Loretta Veney, Bob Schaefer and many more explain how they creatively navigate the frustrations, sorrows and complications of caring for a loved one who can no longer function safely on their own.

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The universe is how it is. Do something.

So, how am I going to approach this task that is assigned to me to do? Am I going to approach the “work” ahead as something that I have to do, or am I going to approach it as something I get to do?

All the tasks before me, when I look at them with the right set of lenses, are meditative, inner practices.

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On the 50th Anniversary of Thomas Merton’s Death

Monday, December 10th marks the 50th anniversary of Thomas Merton’s death—which has now been confirmed as a martyr’s death by the recent solid and important investigative study, The Martyrdom of Thomas Merton by Hugh Turley and David Marin (as well as by my own encounters over the years with three CIA agents who were in Southeast Asia at the time).

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Mysticism and Social Action: The Spirituality of Howard Thurman

Activism is at the heart of progressive theology. The way of Jesus is both personal and social. Jesus’ embodiment of prophetic spirituality was reflected in his welcome of the marginalized, affirmation of women, expansion of the scope of salvation and ethical concern to include foreigners and the disinherited, and challenge to narrow purity codes which promoted exclusion. Jesus proclaimed that the “spirit of the Lord” was upon him, and this meant the healing of the social order as well as people’s religious lives.

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Three Deadly Sins of Public Discourse

The USA is suffering a partisan divide that now rivals the years of the Civil Rights Movement and the protests of the war in Vietnam. In order to heal our divided nation, conservatives and liberals must learn to both talk to one another and to sincerely listen. But mere civility will not save us unless we avoid logical pitfalls in our public conversation. This sermon outlines three: the problem of epistemology, of false equivalence, and what-about-ism. Take this as a short course in philosophical reasoning.

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The End of Providence

While much of traditional Judaism, Christianity, and Islam profess a belief in a God who is a person, a person with a will, emotions, and preferences and that God is in control of history. Progressive people of faith tend to eschew this kind of supernatural theism. As St Teresa said, God has no hands in this world but our hands, no feet but our feet. The universe is capricious but we are moral actors. Meaning, love, purpose, happen when we make them happen.

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“Unbelievable” is believably clear and concise

Spong posits 12 theses to encourage a new reformation, a new re-formation of our spiritual lives. He begins with the theistic image of God, replacing the vision of God as a Supreme Being with God as Being itself. That first thesis challenges many fundamentals of creedal faith. Without a judgmental god to appease, there is no need of “God’s great rescue plan” for mankind, no need to limit our understanding of Jesus’ crucifixion as a sacrifice for the sins of all: “There can be no ‘substitutionary atonement’ in the Christianity of tomorrow.”

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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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All Christians are Asylum-Seekers

  A Christian IS an asylum-seeker. All of us. Each of us. By definition. As refugees, don’t we need to flee from the sin of this world? Don’t we come to the proverbial Gates of God’s Kingdom …

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Progressive Mysticism?

A number of years ago, I did a consultation for a progressive congregation in which the relationship between contemplation and social action was a source of friendly debate. On one side, several congregational leaders asserted that the task of the church is to change the world.  The way of Jesus compels us to be activists, they contended, challenging anything that threatens human and nonhuman well-being. We must provide meals for the soup kitchen and volunteer in the local schools, but we must also challenge our leaders to “let justice roll down like waters and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream” (Amos 5:24). 

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The Words of Jesus We Ignore

Imagine a person praying at bedtime. He is confused. Unsure of what to do in life. What are his next steps, he wonders? He prays fervently to God for direction.

Amazingly enough, God answers!

Love God
Love one another

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