Bishop John Shelby Spong
June 16, 1931 – September 12, 2021

Bishop Spong provided a much needed place for those of us who did not connect with traditional theology.
We love you Bishop Spong. You will be missed!

Tributes to Bishop John Shelby Spong

Read some of the tributes that have been written on the occasion of the death of Bishop John Shelby Spong. 

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But or And?

What brings us closer together around the communion table of divine love? What drives us apart? But or And, Against or Through, For or With?

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Bold Directions for Dangerous Times

In a recent article in progressivechristianity.org Jim Burklo wrote about the possibility, if not likelihood, that there will be a flood of disaffected folks leaving the evangelical churches and that progressive congregations should be ready “to attract them by making changes in our styles of worship and congregational life that are necessary to seize this remarkable moment.” 

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When will we teach Christian Parenting?

When will the Church follow and show the teachings of Jesus and teach parents to discipline by using consequences within the limits of safety?

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Good Questions (can change the world)

What would happen if other faithful people began to ask questions instead of arguing with answers they don’t like?  What would happen if we followed St. Paul’s advice and stopped returning evil for evil?  What would happen if we asked serious questions instead of behaving defensively in response to religious or political bombast?

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Beliefs Versus the Efficacy of Faith

Periodically, it is helpful to remember that belief and faith are not the same thing.  Every group of mortals seems to inevitably gather around a particular set of beliefs; presumably based on the values they hold to be the most meaningful to them, or of greatest importance.

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America is Compassionately Working the Problem

In the face of enormous danger and spreading death that seems pointless, there is a tendency to ask: “Where is God? How could God let this happen?” This is the same spirit that fills up space on cable news channels with critics complaining about all the things that are going wrong.

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The Church lacks a compelling LGBTQ+ vision

I wonder if fiddling around on the periphery on the issues of gay and lesbian rights can ever yield what the Church lacks: a compelling vision which, if received and fulfilled, would improve humanity as a whole. Christianity has no unique truth and its claims, like those of all various religions, is that it must rest upon a “Thus saith the Lord.”

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What They Are Saying About Us

Fundamentalist leaders used to describe progressive Christians as a shrinking heretical sect, if they noticed us at all.  Now they condemn us as an existential threat to the survival of evangelicalism.  Their rhetoric should inspire in us a healthy vigilance, as America drifts into deeper polarization and ominous threats of violence. 

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Finding the middle we can walk together

How can we stop the hate and bring the far right & left together to find the middle we can walk together and work for the USA’s survival?

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LOVE is what we are made for!

1 Cor. 13 and Romans 8:37-39

1st  Corinthians chapter 13. Danna recited it from a brand-spanking new translation of the Bible; you may remember, if you are of a certain age, it was called “Good News for Modern Man:”

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Tokyo’s Tokenism

What mutuality, what enduring training, what end outcomes!
Yes, unique opportunities to serve and not to count the cost,
to see the outcome not of individual medals or near misses
but the true sharing of the Common Good.

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Blessing of Smart Phones

  Not long ago, I “mused” about my new friend at USC, Shane Cole – whom I refer to affectionately as a “digital Mennonite”.  He’s founding a student club he is calling “Digital Detox” – to promote a radically …

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Our Dark Wicked Side

We have a dark wicked side. It controls many of our thoughts and actions. It ensnares the smart and the dumb, the privileged and the non privileged, the healthy and the sick. In today’s world it undermines many of our economic, social, political, philosophical and religious structures.

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The Land is Not Empty

In The Land Is Not Empty, author Sarah Augustine unpacks the harm of the Doctrine of Discovery–a set of laws rooted in the fifteenth century that gave Christian governments the moral and legal right to seize lands they “discovered” despite those lands already being populated by indigenous peoples.

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Dear White Peacemakers

Dismantling Racism with Grit and Grace

Dear White Peacemakers is a breakup letter to division, a love letter to God’s beloved community, and an eviction notice to the violent powers that have sustained racism for centuries.

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Change Begins Here: Adopt the Mind of Christ and Build a Better World

We are in a time of transition, the midst of a cultural shift—what some have called “The Great Turning.”

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On communion.

Who gets to receive the goods?

  House for All Sinners & Saints was only about a year old when I took a Sunday morning phone call from a young parishioner who had gone home to Grand Rapids for a weekend visit. I …

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