In an online course entitled, “A Life of Happiness and Fulfillment”, Week 1 Video 10: Prioritize but d not pursue Happiness, Rajagopal Raghunathan recommends that for greater fulfillment we should prioritize goals, rather than pursue them. He demonstrates what this means by using sleep as an example. To prioritize sleep we should do what brings a restful night—exercise, good diet and no arguing before bedtime! We cannot find good sleep by simply going to bed and willfully pursuing it; that will likely keep us awake! And this principle can be applied to other dilemmas; Overeaters Anonymous, for example advises members not to pursue weight loss but to prioritize abstinence and working their Twelve Step program. All healing platforms affirm: illumination by any name is a reward for doing what enables it.read more
How gracious can you be to someone while standing firm in the belief that their orientation is a sin? That’s how I was to my recollection. I wasn’t incensed or abrasive, I even pointed out that I wasn’t the type of Christian to ever stand with the signs that said God hated him (as if that would make me look better). When asked what my beliefs were about him being gay, I made all the standard arguments there were, while being as kind and respectful as I could. And at some point, I said I believed that if he prayed and sought God fervently that the feelings of same-sex attraction he had could go away.read more
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.read more
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).read more
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.read more
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.read more
Just now, mindfulness – defined in secular terms, studied scientifically, and practiced ubiquitously – has come fully into the cultural mainstream. Now is the time to rediscover it in the mainstream of Christian faith and practice, in the writings and practices of contemplatives throughout its history. Mindful prayer leads to fresh interpretation of Christian tradition, and reveals the Bible for what it is: not a book of facts, not a fixed set of prescriptions for behavior, but rather a collection of wisdom and poetry and myth made sacred by the ongoing human quest for intimate encounter with the Ultimate Reality.read more
In Amen, Gretta Vosper, United Church minister and author of the controversial bestseller With or Without God, offers us her deeply felt examination of worship beyond conventional prayer, a new tradition built on love and respect rather than on the rituals of ancient beliefs.read more
These interviews were conducted by ProgressiveChristianity.org at a Westar meeting as part of a series on Christianity, spirituality, religion, church, God, Jesus, sacred community, social justice, youth, and social transformation. More to come soon!read more
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.read more
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.read more
In this book, Andrew and Carolyn mine the mystical wisdom of the ages that places joy at the core of our existence and purpose as a species, moving forward to consider in depth the myriad enemies of joy in our time. As we tend the fires of joy, we celebrate its seven flames and nurture its ubiquitous presence whether in the background or the foreground of our lives.read more
We’ve been robbed of the power of the story of Sodom. It should be a strong companion to Matthew 25:31-46, which also gives dire warnings for those who do not serve Jesus by feeding the hungry, welcoming the stranger and the other Works of Mercy. It’s a path that ends in destruction.read more
Today I am going to introduce you to and implore you to dive in to a religious concept called METANOIA – which means beyond thinking. (Note: this Greek word is translated as repentance, but it only means repentance in as much as when we repent we have experienced a paradigm shift.)Today I am going to introduce you to and implore you to dive in to a religious concept called METANOIA – which means beyond thinking. (Note: this Greek word is translated as repentance, but it only means repentance in as much as when we repent we have experienced a paradigm shift.)read more
It is with great humility, but also with great excitement and hope, that we announce the establishment of the UNITARIAN CHRISTIAN CHURCH OF AMERICA (UCCA). Our new web site is found at: Unitarian Christian Church of …read more
“Resentment is like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die.” (Carrie Fisher). Although the other person won’t die, resentment does poison Good. Yet we guard our resentments against a touch of forgiveness as if our lives depended upon it! In a state of resentment all forgiveness retreats to a mental blank spot. But forgiving is the only way to fully recover from the effects of toxic resentment. Through doctrines and teachings all major faiths advocate for forgiveness as essential for faith fulfillment. In secular life too forgiveness is recognized as necessary for well-being. But forgiveness has not always meant what it does today.read more
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.read more