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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Resisting With Our Feet

(and our hands and our hearts)

Bless the hands that vote. Ask people you meet: “With which hand will you be voting in November?” Grasp that hand, look the person in the eyes, and bless them, saying: “May love guide your hand to vote for the common good.” Voting is a ritual. By putting even more ritual into it, by getting people implicitly committing to vote, we engage them in the ritual and increase the likelihood that they’ll show up and do it.

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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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Post 9-11 Sewing Circle

As a peace activist opposed to war, and later as a bagpiper serving with the Vietnam Vets honor guard in Florida and Texas, I played at many military funerals. None is a happy occasion. The saddest moment, for me, was the flag folding ceremony. This reflection is drawn from those rituals. Sam Gould’s poem, Don’t Stand to be Recognized, comes to mind.

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Beyondering Podcast – Ep 2.8 Phillip Clayton/Deshna Ubeda

EPISODE 2.8 – EMERGENCE – SEE?

What’s emerging? What forms and shapes of sacred community are in the process of being birthed but are not yet? Emergent thinkers are those with such a lens that they walk into this future with optimism and without fear. Deshna Ubeda and Phillip Clayton are two such people. Matt and Lucas speak with them and consider what forms, practices and approaches of sacred community will emerge in the coming years.

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A Universal Basic Income

The UBI (Universal Basic Income) is an idea that is growing in favor among economists as well as philosophers. The world is changing and as automation decreases the demand for labor our economic system must also change so that we are not squeezing human beings out of the equation as we make a few people super rich and leave millions to live in the violence of poverty. We must change our priorities so that we do not continue to push all of our real wealth into the hands of fewer and fewer people.

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In the Walking, Talking and Breaking of Bread: The Road to Emmaus and Immigration

  I usually like to have things all figured out before I do something. I don’t support charities without researching them nor vote for politicians without applying the same scrutiny. You can get burned if you don’t …

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As Labour Day Weekend approaches: some thoughts about Work: a job? a profession? or LOVE made visible!

Labour Day weekend marks a milestone in my life. You see 24 years ago, after a driving about 4,000 kilometres, all the way from Vancouver, I arrived in Waterloo, Ontario, just in time for the long Labour Day weekend. I didn’t know anyone in Waterloo. I didn’t have a place to live. But on the Tuesday after Labour Day, I was scheduled to report to Waterloo Lutheran Seminary to begin orientation for what would be a four year masters of Divinity program. In the course of that long ago Labour Day weekend, I found a place to live, unpacked all the belongings that I’d been able to stuff in to my old 84 Oldsmobile, and discovered that in Ontario, milk comes out of in plastic bags. You have no idea how mystified I was wondering just how those plastic bags functioned as an appropriate container for milk. I actually remember standing in the grocery store wondering what people here in Ontario did once they’d opened the plastic bag. Visions of milk spilling everywhere caused me to well up with such a feeling of homesickness. Since then, Labour Day Weekends have been strange combination of nostalgia for what once was and excitement for what is yet to be.

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Right and Wrong Times and Places

Those who believe there is a right and wrong time and place to protest injustices are those whose privilege keeps them from the injustices. Those who with Rev. Dr. M.L. King, Jr., live by the principle that the right time to do the right thing is now, privileged or not, remind us of the immorality of acquiescence, apathy, indifference, denial, negligence, and procrastination in confronting injustice and evil.

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Fox Institute launches new website highlighting innovative degrees, building leadership in a rudderless world

The Fox Institute for Creation Spirituality, located in downtown Boulder, is excited to launch its new course website, Fox Institute Courses, highlighting the Institute’s Fall course schedule. Fox Institute courses are open to everyone and include master’s and doctoral degrees and certificates, as well as Extended Studies classes and auditing options for lifelong learners. We offer world-class higher education with renowned educators, pertinent topics and an innovative curriculum. In a world desperate for leadership at all levels, our motto is: Learn. Lead. Serve.

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