Orlando United – Pulse- performed by Beautiful Chorus

“Pulse” was performed for the very first time at The Venue by Alexandra Love Sarton, Divinci Glen Valencia Jr.and members of Beautiful Chorus as Chakra Khan at the Lady Elevate // The Chakra Khan CD Release PARTY just hours before Sunday’s massive heart attack began. An anthem for Orlando and love everywhere.

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Infinite Universe by Beautiful Chorus

Beautiful Chorus is lead by Alexandra Love (of Solillaquists of Sound and Chakra Khan), and it’s core members are Patty, Mila, Anisha, Veronica, Yuki and Olivia, with alternates around the world who join us when they can!

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Doubt: Preaching on Hebrews 11:1-16

Looking over the readings for this coming Sunday and the subject of faith jumps out from the Hebrews reading (Hebrews 11:1-16) which begs questions about doubt. I have read and blogged about Richard Holloway’s “Faith and Doubt” and Lesley Hazleton’s insistence that “Doubt is Essential to Faith” and both posts provide an interesting jumping off point. This little video of Richard Holloway on “Why doubt is a good thing” provides insights for preaching on doubt as the foundation of faith!!!

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Ashana Sings “Ong Namo” Live at Sat Nam Fest (Crystal Bowls)

Ashana sings the Kundalini invocation mantra Ong Namo while playing many crystal alchemy singing bowls at Sat Nam Fest West 2014.

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Ashana Playing Crystal Singing Bowls on Mt. Shasta

For a few minutes during filming the Global Sadhana “The Illuminated Path” videos, Ashana played the crystal singing bowls for us so we could relax. Under the powerful gaze of Mt. Shasta, Ramdesh Kaur began to meditate quietly to hold space. It was all captured on film…

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Drunk Priests and Childish Prophets

The progressive movement is not entirely a 21st century invention. Through the centuries there have been prophets and poets, philosophers and scientists who have tried to draw back the curtain from myth and superstition to reveal the reality of other worldly religious claims, calling us back to the basics of compassion, love, and justice.

Isaiah (Isaiah 28) says that the preaching of the priests was like baby talk or just drunks vomiting in public. That’s harsh but test that theory against most of the sermons you have heard lately!

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Preaching on Prayer: Shush!

In this coming Sunday’s gospel reading Luke 11:1-13, Jesus’ disciples ask him to teach them to pray. As a pastor I have been asked to teach people to pray. Each time I have been asked to teach someone to pray I have cringed inside because I do not feel up to the task. For some reason the old hymn “I Come to the Garden Alone” keeps playing in my mind. I keep telling it to, “Shush!” so that I might hear the “bath qol” but the daughter of a sound eludes me. Below is a portion of a sermon I preached a couple of years ago on the subject of prayer. If nothing else, it reminds me to shush!

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Imagining Donald J. Trump as the Good Samaritan – reflecting on the bruised and battered church…Luke 10:25-37

It is my prayer that in her current vulnerability the church might finally realize Christ’s vision and begin a dialogue with the world God loves as we begin to articulate together our experiences of the Spirit of God active in our midst. This is an exciting time to be in the church. The church is battered and bruised and in need of healing. We don’t know if the church will survive. But we are a resurrection people and we know that out of our vulnerability new life will spring forth. So we need not fear, because through you and me, and all of those who are willing to recognize our neighbours, whoever they may be, healing will happen. Healing or death. Neither are to be feared. For even in death there is hope. For we are a resurrection people and Christ will live and breathe and have being in, with, through, and beyond us, now and forever.

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Good Day

Our Good is born in purity
As we awaken, each short day
This Good survives through struggles,
Tackles fears
Faces tests
Within the loud affray

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Greetings for Peace

A responsive reading

Spirit of mercy

Be my guide

Shalom

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A Serenity Prayer

Source of Good;
grant me the serenity
to accept
that I cannot change other people;

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Earth My Body- Music Video

Nicole Sangsuree Barrett

“Earth My Body” was written and performed by Nicole Sangsuree though the opening and closing chant is a very old song with an unknown author. The song was recorded and produced by Jeremy Davidson in Portland, Oregon, U.S.A., and the video was filmed at many locations in Thailand by producer and filmmaker Emma Carroll (Wee Earthlings). The experience of writing, recording and then filming this song has been part of a healing awakening for Nicole.

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Celebrating 25 Years as Open & Affirming at IUCC

Irvine United Congregational Church is celebrating 25 years of welcoming people of all sexual orientations, gender identities and expressions into the full community and life of the church. The church was a pioneer in becoming the first Orange County congregation to adopt an Open and Affirming declaration and later became a leader in the fight for marriage equality. Irvine UCC will celebrate this monumental anniversary with an event featuring former IUCC pastor the Rev. Fred Plumer.

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Wolf Blitzer Learned that there are Indeed Atheists in Fox-holes! – A Sermon for Trinity Sunday

This Trinity Sunday sermon owes much to John Shelby Spong’s book a “New Christianity for a New World” You can listen to the sermon here then watch the tail end of the Wolf Blitzer interview mentioned in the sermon.

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Demons or Baggage: Stop and Listen – A Sermon for Pentecost 5C: Luke 8:26-39

Bobby wasn’t like any other 10-year-old boy. Bobby had the face of an angel but the temperament of a devil. Bobby was a beautiful child. His blond hair and blue eyes together with his alabaster skin, pointed toward his Scandinavian heritage. At first sight, Bobby appeared to be the kind of child that any congregation would be proud to count as a member. But, Bobby’s physical appearance was deceiving and Bobby’s presence in church was not welcome. Bobby didn’t go down to Sunday school classes with the other children. The Sunday school teachers had tried to include Bobby, but after several parents threatened to withdraw their children, they asked Bobby’s parents not to send Bobby anymore. So Bobby stayed in the sanctuary with the adults. Most of the adult members tried to tolerate Bobby’s presence but for some, Bobby’s presence was simply unnerving. Bobby is autistic. Sitting and behaving in church was impossible for him. As long as we were singing hymns, Bobby was happy. He would catch the rhythms of the music and rock back and forth and sing. He never sang the same words as the rest of the congregation. But it was clear from his movements and the sounds that emanated from his lips that Bobby was singing. The trouble was that Bobby never stopped singing when we did. When his parents would attempt to put an end to Bobby’s song, he would flail about and sometime throw himself on the floor.

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Mary and Elizabeth: Visitation or Escape?

May 31st is the day the Church commemorates “The Visitation” the story of Mary’s visit to Elizabeth as it is recorded in the Gospel According to Luke 1:39-56. Since reading Jane Schalberg’s “The Illegitimacy of Jesus”, I can’t help but wonder if Mary’s visited her cousin Elizabeth or escaped to her cousin Elizabeth seeking protection for the crime of being raped in a culture that all too often blamed the victim. Historians estimate that Mary may have been all of twelve years old when she became pregnant. There is ample evidence in the New Testament accounts of Mary’s story that suggest that she may indeed have been raped. So rather than sweep the possibility under the rug, on this the Feast of the Visitation, I’m reposting a sermon I preached a few years ago during Advent. I do so because women young and old continue to be raped and to this day, are forced to flee from the accusations and persecutions of cultures that continue to blame the victim. What follows is a written approximation of the sermon which in addition to Jane Schalberg is also indebted to John Shelby Spong’s “Born of a Woman” and “Jesus for the Non Religious” along with John Dominic Crossan and Marcus Borg’s “The First Christmas”.

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Beyond Romance to Spiritual Love

Progressives often seem to feel a kind of compassion fatigue from being asked to be concerned about so many different issues of injustice. Perhaps the issue is that we give ourselves permission to give up because we get tired, or bored, or we allow indifference to get the best of us. Perhaps the spiritual prescription for the church is that they should choose to love more.

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Faith in the Face of Terrorism

  The word “faith” in early Christianity was more synonymous with “courage” than it was with “belief.” Perhaps the most faithful response to terrorism is to refuse to be terrified. In Brussels on Easter they held a …

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