“I Pray God, Rid Me of God” – sermons for Trinity Sunday

Meister Eckhart’s fervent plea: “I pray God, rid me of God” becomes a sort of mantra for me whenever the task of contemplating the Trinity rolls around on the liturgical calendar.  

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When AIDS Was Funny

During the early 1980’s, when AIDS was first discovered, the Regan administration not only did virtually nothing in response, but when asked about it in press briefings, the response was laughter and gay bashing jokes.

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What Do We Do With Our Grief?

The mortality rate is 100% and while traditional religions often offer unverifiable assurance that death is not final, this progressive message seeks to take reality on in honest acceptance. From this perspective, death does not call for either denial or the anesthesia of false hope. Rather, it asks us to cherish those whom we love and to make the most of the life that is known to us.

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Progressive In Approach: Christlike In Action

Politically Speaking host Dave Szollosy interviewed me and our conversation revolved around the issues relating to how our religion informs our politics.

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A Progressive Sacrament of Holy Communion

Reminding us symbolically of this union of body and spirit, Jesus took a loaf of bread, broke it like we are often broken in our relationships with one another, and showed us the way to reconciliation by asking us to share our bread with one another in remembrance of his own example.

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Whitman on Orthopraxy

In the horrible crucible of the Civil War and the Indian Wars, Walt Whitman, in the Leaves of Grass, attempted to describe American greatness, not in our legislatures or executives, but in the inherent goodness of individual Americans. Many of us have lately been humiliated by the juvenile tweets of our chief executive and the morally bankrupt race in several southern states to take away women’s rights, but, as Frankel said, no one can take away from us our ability to decide how we will react to what they do. We get to choose who we are and to reject being defined by the racism, sexism, misogyny, classism, and xenophobia of our current political environment.

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The ‘is’ and ‘is not’ of the Green New Deal

The Green New Deal proposes a set of goals that enumerates the changes necessary to simultaneously save our environment while transforming our economic system. We have already started the 6th period of mass extinction in earth’s history and to avoid a repeat of “the Great Dying” of 250 million years ago, the changes recommended in the Green New Deal are not radical, they are, realistically, necessary.

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Socialism for the Rich, Capitalism for the Poor

    May Day is recognized as a workers’ holiday in 66 nations but not in the USA. In America, May Day has been too closely associated with communism and labor unions and so, from the 1950’s, …

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Mothers’ Day Angst – sermons for a day not included in the liturgical calendar!

Mothers’ Day is not on the church’s liturgical calendar and yet the statisticians tell us that church attendance on Mothers’ Day is surpassed only by Christmas and Easter. Worship leaders who fail to mark the importance of this day do so at their peril; the same kind of peril that compels so many reluctant offspring to accompany their mothers to church. However, a simple liturgical nod in the direction of mothers or an over-the-top sentimental sermon all too often fails to capture the magnitude of the day’s significance in the history of women.

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Brand New Spirit

Dr. Flunder is an American singer and Senior Pastor of the City of Refuge United Church of Christ in Oakland, California and Presiding Bishop of The Fellowship of Affirming Ministries. She was born in San Francisco, California and raised in the Church of God in Christ.

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They Tried to Bury Us

Inspired by a couplet written by the Greek poet, Dinos Christianopoulos, the rock group, Violet and the Undercurrents, wrote a song entitled “They Tried to Bury Us,” and Dr. Ray based an interactive Easter sermon on the music of Violet and the Undercurrents to produce a sermon about a revolutionary way to think about resurrection. Violet and the Undercurrents performed life in this service but we used their YouTube versions of their songs because of the quality of their professional recording.

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No Human Being is Illegal

Sermon by Rev. Elizabeth Durant delivered on June 18, 2018 at First Congregational UCC Portland.

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Each Maundy Thursday we must peer beyond Passover lambs and scapegoats if we are to catch a glimpse of the LOVE that we call God

Every Sunday I stand at the altar and preside over a mystery. A mystery that has its roots in the events we remember this Holy Thursday. On Maundy Thursday, we gather together to contemplate MYSTERY. We know what will happen tomorrow as Good Friday plunges us into darkness. So is it any wonder that we cannot fully comprehend this MYSTERY.

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Honest to Jesus

The Christian tradition is now in the midst of Holy Week, the high holy days of our religion, concluding the season of Lent, the six-week period of repentance, prayer, fasting, and reflection in preparation for Easter.  The language and tone of Lent address the ego, known in traditional language as our ‘sinful nature.’  According to traditional Christian theology, Jesus died to ‘save’ us from our inherently depraved nature inherited from Adam & Eve, because we can’t do it for ourselves.  For the sake of biblical and religious literacy, we need to acknowledge a disclaimer.

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Making Sense of the Easter Stories in the 21st century

You may have sung this morning’s hymns and heard the gospel reading and wondered “Is this make-believe?” Perhaps you’ve never entered this church before, let alone attended on an Easter morning. You’re home for the weekend with your family or boyfriend or girlfriend or you’re here alone. Are you’re sitting here struggling over some of the details of the resurrection story that leave you perplexed, cynical or simply scratching your head. These are claims made by the apostle Paul and others who struggle to convey an experience of possibilities that cannot be fully expressed in words.

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Just Wave the White Flag of Surrender and Go Into the Party: a Sermon for the Lost – Luke 15 – Lent 4C

I am indebted to Amy-Jill Levine’s book “Short Stories by Jesus” and Bernard Brandon Scott’s book “Hear Then the Parable” for challenging me to look beyond the Christian bias of interpreting Jesus’ parables through the lens of the repentance and forgiveness and attempting to hear this story in ways more in keeping with Judaism.

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Sensible Gun Laws Save Lives

Six days after the attack on mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand has outlawed military style weapons. Australia had done the same thing just 12 days after the Port Arthur massacre. From Columbine to the present, we have had more than 50 well publicized mass murders. While we can be frustrated by a government that ignores the fact that 75% of Americans want more sensible gun laws but what can we say about the silence of 400,000 churches in the face of this crazy situation?

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Augustine, Scripture, and Science

While there are many factors that lead up to tragedy like the mass murders in mosques in New Zealand

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