Trusting the Good Gift - July 8, 2018

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"Contemplation is life itself, fully awake, fully active, fully aware that it is alive. It is spiritual wonder. It is spontaneous awe at the sacredness of life, of being. It is gratitude for life, for awareness, and for being. It is a vivid realization of the fact that life and being in us proceed from an invisible, transcendent and infinitely abundant Source. Contemplation is, above all, awareness of the reality of that Source."

~ Thomas Merton

Is There a Minister in the House? - June 10, 2018

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To live content with small means;
to seek elegance rather than luxury,
and refinement rather than fashion;

to be worthy, not respectable,
and wealthy, not rich;
to study hard, think quietly,
talk gently, act frankly;

to listen to stars and birds,
to babes and sages with open heart;
to bear all cheerfully, do all bravely,
await occasions, hurrying never.

In a word, to let the spiritual,
unbidden and unconscious,
grow up through the common.
This is to be my symphony.

~ William Ellergy Channing (1780-1842)

Youth Sunday - June 3, 2018

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And this is it. This is the life we get here on earth.
We get to give away what we receive.
We get to believe in each other.
We get to forgive and be forgiven.
We get to love imperfectly.
And we never know what effect it will have for years to come.
And all of it…all of it is completely worth it.

~ Nadia Bolz-Weber

The Impartial Spirit - May 20, 2018

Holy Spirit, giving life to all life, moving all creatures,
      root of all things, washing them clean,
wiping out their mistakes, healing their wounds,
      you are our true life, luminous, wonderful,
awakening the heart from its ancient sleep.

Hildegard of Bingen (1098 –1179)

Shaking a Fist at God (Into the Wild: Adventures in Prayer) - May 13, 2018

If I could, I’d confess.
     Good and loud, nice and slow;
Get this load off my chest; Yes,
     But how, Lord? I don’t know.

What I say, I don’t feel;
     What I feel, I don’t show;
     What I show isn’t real;
What is real, Lord?
     I don’t know.        
~ Leonard Bernstein (1918-1990) “Mass”

Ditching Decorum (Into the Wild: Adventures in Prayer) - May 6, 2018

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“Go and find Jesus when your patience and strength give out and you feel alone and helpless. He is waiting for you… Say to him, ‘Jesus, you know exactly what is going on. You are all I have, and you know all.  Come to my help.’ And then go and don’t worry about how you are going to manage. That you have told God about it is enough.  He has a good memory.”

~Jeanne Jugan (1792-1879)
Founder, Little Sisters of the Poor

Prayer 101 (Into the Wild: Adventures in Prayer) - April 15, 2018

“…prayer can only become unceasing communion when all our thoughts—beautiful or ugly, high or low, proud or shameful, sorrowful or joyful—can be thought in the presence of the One who dwells in us and surrounds us. To pray unceasingly means to think and live in the presence of Love…To pray unceasingly is to channel our thoughts out of their fearful isolation into a fearless conversation with God.”

~ Henri J. M. Nouwen

Immersed in Love: We are Buried - March 25, 2018 - Palm Sunday

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Preparation for Worship
“As we embark upon discipleship we surrender ourselves to Christ in union with his death—we give over our lives to death. Thus it begins; the cross is not the terrible end to an otherwise god-fearing and happy life, but it meets us at the beginning of our communion with Christ. When Christ calls a [person] he bids him come and die.”     

~ Dietrich Bonhoeffer (1906-1945)

Immersed in Love: We Are Welcomed - March 18, 2018

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We cannot love God unless we love each other.  
    We know him in the breaking of bread, 
and we know each other in the breaking of bread, 
    and we are not alone anymore.  
Heaven is a banquet and life is a banquet too—
    even with a crust—
    where there is companionship.  
We have all known loneliness, 
    and we have learned that
    the only solution is love, 
and that love comes with community.     
~ Dorothy Day (1897-1980)

Winter Forum: Vintage Jesus - March 4, 2018

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"Yet, as everyone knows, religious institutions do make their peace with the world, they do themselves become part of the regular order. So the prophet contends against the priest, protests the accommodations, calls forth fresh energies and challenges the unfeeling stones within structures.

This reform of religion in the name of religion, this growing edge, this refusal to let well-enough alone, is the role of dissent."

~ Edwin S. Gaustad, Dissent in American Religion

Immersed in Love: We Are Washed- February 25, 2018

Forgiveness is the answer to the child’s dream of a miracle by which what is broken is made whole again,
what is soiled is again made clean.
The dream explains why we need to be forgiven, and why we must forgive.
In the presence of God, nothing stands between [God] and us— we are forgiven.
But we cannot feel [God’s] presence if anything
is allowed to stand between ourselves and others.
~ Dag Hammarskjöld (1905-1961)