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Don’t Go There

if we dig deep enough, most of us seem to have a “don’t go there” spot in our beliefs and traditions – that place where we lose a little of our otherwise rational thinking. And I suspect that it is often our inability to get past those “don’t go there(s)” that holds back our personal growth and change.

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Prayer Given by the Right Reverend V. Gene Robinson at the Opening Inaugural Event

As many of you know, the Right Rev. Gene Robinson, the openly Gay Episcopal Bishop of New Hampshire , gave the opening prayer at yesterday's Lincoln Memorial event. It was the first event in the inaugural festivities this year. HBO, which had paid for exclusive rights to the event chose not to broadcast Bishop Robinson's prayer. So if you watched there you wouldn't have caught it or even known that it occurred. NPR didn't air it either. There's no record of it in images placed on the sites of Getty Images, New York Times and the Washington Post. It's a complete erasure of his ever having delivered the prayer.  Such is the continuing policy of silence and erasure we have to live with from people who should know better. We are used to this. If you know your Gay history this has happened again and again. In fact this little list-serve is really about recovering the truth in our history and celebrating it. So we're going to celebrate it by providing here the full text of Bishop Robinson's prayer.

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An Epic Change

Have you noticed what an amazing time in history we are all living? I think we are a very lucky group of people to be witnessing and even participating in such incredible changes in our country and in the world. I am not referring here just to the fact that we elected our first non-Caucasian individual to the office of Presidency, although I do think that is a reflection of the shift. (Personally I am more excited about this man's character than I am about his mixed ethnic roots.) No, I am referring here to what I believe is a seismic change of epic proportions. I hope that I will be around long enough to be able to a have conversation with my grandchildren about this shift.

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The Birth of the Third Jesus

Whatever you believe about the first and second Jesus, don't let it distract you from your essential humanity and life purpose. Something magical is taking place in your life. Your inner star is guiding you to a new consciousness. It might look rough like an old farm shed, and it might not be very grand, but it is a miracle none the less. Wise ones will gather around. They might not bow down and worship you as the Messiah, but they will nurture the birth of this new consciousness that you are part of them and they are part of you.

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An Affirmation of Faith

For use as a prologue to worship, or as an alternative to the Nicene Creed, or as a hand-out for visitors. May be used in sections at intervals during the service.  From Rector at St. John's-Grace Episcopal Church.

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The God I Don’t Believe In: Charting a New Course for Christianity

Dr. Wilburn leads us on a spiritual journey from the comfort of conventional Christianity into a new world of religious openness and inclusivity, where those of all faiths and none, and those of all sexual orientation and political persuasion are welcome as equals in God's Family. Gone are the days of exclusive privilege or expensive indulgences. Dr. Wilburn writes about Jesus' message in the language of Progressive Christianity in contrast to intolerant theological dogma; yet he does not lose Jesus' teachings in a swamp of situational ethics.

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The Gospel According to Jesus

Jesus proclaimed an astonishing Gospel! But, isn't it strange that his harshest criticisms were directed at those within the religious community? He said, "Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, because you shut up the kingdom of heaven from men, for you do not enter in yourselves, nor do you allow those who are entering to go in" (Matt. 23:13).

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Living the Questions 2.0

To order with a 10% discount, first visit this page for the TCPC code.  LtQ2 is the completely revised and expanded version of Living the Questions, the popular DVD & internet-based small group exploration of progressive Christianity featuring premier religion voices of our day.

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Imagining a Progressive Revolution

Imagination is your memory of the future, not like a fantasy imagining things there are not really there, but really seeing what was awaiting your attention all along. The soul of the universe is whispering to you through her mythic imagination, calling you to action. Symbols, dreams, myths and stories bubble up in you, often from beyond your conscious awareness, carefree in the face of reason's tight lipped caution. When we meet in this space, the doors of imagination flung wide, we imagine the possibilities for a world filled with peace and justice, and say with clarity and passion, "Why not?"

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Looking Around for God

Autry, writer and poet, business executive, and son and grandson of Mississippi Baptist ministers, thinks that the true message of the old spiritual is not just that God has an eye on the sparrow. It’s that God is demonstrating that if these details are worth God's attention, they are certainly worth ours. It may be that we will more readily find God in the details of this world, and of our own lives, than anywhere else. Looking Around for God, Autry’s tenth book, is in many ways his most personal, as he considers his unique life of faith and belief in a God often clouded by church convention. In assembling these personal essays, stories and poems, Autry shares how God has been revealed in many different circumstances of his life, and he offers a few ideas for how the Christian church might better serve in making God’s love and presence manifest in the world.

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Mercy and Truth Will Meet, What It Takes To Be a Movement That Matters

Bill Coffin said, Liberal Christianity, or what we today call progressive Christianity and what some call “seminar room Christianity” has until now had a really unhelpful taint of elitism around it. We need to change that. So let’s just agree to get the conversation started. Let’s begin to grow in faith. Find strength in one another. See the world more clearly. And in and through all this, liberate ourselves and liberate one another for the sake of social transformation. If we ourselves can become the first fruits of the change we seek, then change itself-real change-cannot be far behind.

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A Spirituality that Transforms

All of those for whom authentic transformation has deeply unseated their souls must, I believe, wrestle with the profound moral obligation to shout from the heart-perhaps quietly and gently, with tears of reluctance; perhaps with fierce fire and angry wisdom; perhaps with slow and careful analysis; perhaps by unshakable public example-but authenticity always and absolutely carries a demand and duty: you must speak out, to the best of your ability, and shake the spiritual tree, and shine your headlights into the eyes of the complacent. You must let that radical realization rumble through your veins and rattle those around you.

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When Less Affiliation is Good News

What is the least religious state in America? Oregon. The most religious? Mississippi. Oregon, not Mississippi, reflects the emerging trend of the western world; cynicism about institutional religion and little desire to affiliate with any particular religion or denomination.

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Eckhart Tolle and the Christian Tradition

Although Tolle is not a Christian teacher, we must not assume that makes him an anti-Christian teacher. Today we need whatever methods or help we can receive to allow the Christian message to take us to a deeper level of transformation. Our history, and our guidance of Western history, shows this has clearly not been happening on any broad scale. This is an opportunity for us to understand our own message at deeper levels. It would be a shame if we required him to speak our language and vocabulary before we could critically hear what he is saying-that is true and helpful to our own message.

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Faith Statement from a 9th Grader

Confirmation Class, First Presbyterian Church, New Canaan, CT. God is in the form of everything and everyone. Everyone has God inside himself or herself. Therefore we are all equal and our enemies are just as divine as us. I feel God’s presence when I am doing good for others or when I make a connection with someone.

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I Learned About God There

After a couple of weeks of this thrashing, I finally calmed down enough to begin to ask myself what could I learn from this young man. What was missing in our approach to Christian teaching? What were we really teaching our children? What did this young man want that he did not find at our progressive church? What was the pedagogical model we had created, or more importantly what model did we need to create?

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Progressive Christianity Values Life and Liberty

Briefly this morning I want to explore a progressive Christian notion of God, the Bible, and the after life.  I often speak about God within, between and beyond. I want to re-visit that idea for a few moments. Within you, resides the Inexpressible that is beyond words, concept, and thought. An exquisite bliss resides within you. Within you is the Inexpressible, Indescribable, Ineffable peace that passes all understanding.Most of us only have glimpses of this peace, but at moments of meaning or clarity or self growth or compassion, or a sense of higher purpose, you realize God within.

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The Doctrine of God

Classical theism, the reigning doctrine of God in Christendom, affirms that God is void of body, parts, passions, even compassion, wholly simple, wholly immutable, independent, immaterial, the supreme cause and never the effect. What creatures have, God does not. I challenge this doctrine, on five grounds.

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