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13 Simple Ideas for Becoming Human Again

There's nothing like the campaign season to remind us of the worst of humanity. It's not unusual to catch a bit of stump speech and think, is that person part of the same human race that I am? This week it's Ann Coulter stumping for Donald Trump, and while I try not to give the woman any oxygen or air time in my life, her words are so horrifically hateful, and so gleefully delivered, that I really kind of lose my mind.What's happened to us that we've become such a people of hate? What's … [Read More...]

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The Blessings of a Public School Education

“Let my teaching fall like rain and my words descend like dew, like showers on new grass, like abundant rain on tender plants.” ~ Deuteronomy 32:2 I am envious of my child. He gets to soon be welcomed by an entire group of new teachers; each with something to offer, and a way of offering it, that will advance him in knowledge and skills that will render him, come next Spring, even better able to thrive in a complex, demanding, and ever-changing world.He will also meet fellow students who wil … [Read More...]

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When Monks Say “I Do”: Confessions of a Former Monastic’s Wife

A recent Pew Report shows that those who choose monastic, celibate lifestyles are in steady decline. The number of Catholic nuns in the U.S. has dropped 72 percent since 1965; men in the priesthood have decreased 35 percent in the same time frame.Culturally, it’s easy to understand why there might be fewer monastic volunteers. Many U.S. youth feel pressure to fulfill the American dream: attend college, graduate, and secure their place in the consumer culture. Children are often conditioned t … [Read More...]

UMC Education Article Youth First graduates 2015

Too Many Positive Coincidences: How a Church Reaches At-Risk Teens

by The Rev. Pam Brokaw Dreaming of a bright future can be more difficult in an economically depressed community – especially for its young people. However, for the city of Winlock, one church has found a way to plant seeds of hope that are truly taking root.In this rural community in southwestern Washington, many teens had never held a job or even knew how to apply for one. Now, thanks to YouthFirst Winlock—a program led by Winlock United Methodist Church—many are employed, have graduated fr … [Read More...]

Post-Traumatic Church Syndrome: A Video Q&A on Spiritual Healing with Reba Riley

"Whatever is bringing you light, and life, and joy, move toward that. That's God. We're told that God is love, over and over, so move toward that love, however that looks like in your life. And whatever's getting in the way of your search for that love, let it go."-- Reba Riley, author, … [Read More...]

Naked Preaching

[Editor's Note: This is the fourth in a series of posts we'll be featuring by the Rev. Deborah Dean-Ware, who was diagnosed with breast cancer last May.]  Okay, you pastor types, I know you know the dream. The one where you show up at church missing one or more pieces of clothing. Or the one where y … [Read More...]

Money, Mammon, Meaning & the Musings of Robert Frost

There is little doubt what Jesus meant when he lectured from the hillside that money is the root of all evil. Wait a second—don’t make any memes based on that quite yet.Because Jesus’ monetary remark from the Sermon on the Mount was actually about the impossibility of serving two masters, God and … [Read More...]

Confessions of an Ex-Postmodernist

by Todd A. Comer "Why Am I an Ex-Postmodernist? Perhaps because—even though ‘we’ postmodernists are well aware of this problem—somehow hospitality had become romanticized for me. Or, perhaps, postmodernism was never for me anything but the product of white, male privilege?"I began my graduate … [Read More...]

“Dads Don’t Babysit!” When Black Fathers Love in the Midst of Injustice

Just over a year ago, under a midnight sky, African American artist Cbabi Bayoc stood alone, painting at the cross-section of Canfield Drive and West Florissant Avenue in St. Louis, Missouri, not far from where police officer Darren Wilson killed Michael Brown, an unarmed 18-year-old African … [Read More...]

Mommy, are your boobies broken?

[Editor's Note: This is the third in a series of posts we'll be featuring by the Rev. Deborah Dean-Ware, who was diagnosed with breast cancer last May.] I ordered this book, not so much for its wisdom (though there is plenty of wisdom in it), but for its title. I laughed out loud when I saw it, and … [Read More...]

Why I’m a Christian, Still

The relentless religious decline of my fellow Americans doesn’t really surprise me -- even as I am one who loves the church, claims it as my spiritual home, and wonders why people don't "get it" the way do. It’s just that I know too many perfectly wonderful people - friends, family, colleagues - who … [Read More...]

Can we Stop for a Minute? A Call for an Ecclesiastical Intervention

It never changes. At every event, at every workshop, in so many of our sanctuaries and board rooms the conversation is all the same. Seemingly daily new books are published which contain some version of a response to the same conversation."The Church is Dying! What do we do? What's next? How … [Read More...]

6 Ways to Reach Millennials: The Future of Progressive Christianity

by Glenn ZuberThe recent May 12th Pew poll ("America's Changing Religious Landscape") added a new wrinkle to the familiar debate over why established, traditional U.S. churches aren't attracting younger generations like they used to in the 1950s. It turns out that Millennials more than Baby B … [Read More...]

The Future of Progressive Christianity: What If…?

What if the people leaving the Church are the collective voice of God to us, the Church, today?This question offered by Mark Sandlin in his post for our new series on The Future of Progressive Christianity sets the tone for a frank, deeply thoughtful, and ultimately inspiring symposium at Pa … [Read More...]


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