About Jim Burklo

Rev. Jim Burklo is the Associate Dean of Religious Life at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. An ordained United Church of Christ pastor, he is the author of three books in print, OPEN CHRISTIANITY (2000), BIRDLIKE AND BARNLESS (2008), and HITCH-HIKING TO ALASKA: THE WAY OF SOULFUL SERVICE (2013). See more about him at jimburklo.com .

Some Assembly Required: A Church Without God

On January 11, I drove down the hill to the Musicians Union hall at 817 Vine Street to attend the monthly Sunday Assembly Los Angeles, described at its website as “a godless community that meets monthly to hear great talks, connect for service projects, sing songs and generally celebrate life. Assemblies are free to attend, and everyone is [Read More...]

When Jesus Stopped Believing in Santa

© Ollyy/Shutterstock

The day after the first Shabbat in Advent, Mary and Joseph took Jesus, who was eight years old, To the Great Mall of Bethlehem. There, in the middle of the huge indoor shopping complex, Was a stately Christmas tree surrounded by wrapped gifts. “I don’t believe in Santa anymore,” Jesus announced. Joseph, startled, asked why. [Read More...]

The Virgin Monologue: A Poem for Advent

“‘God did it’ isn’t an explanation,” said Joseph. He got no account for the baby’s chromosomes, No description of the mechanism that Transmuted the divine shadow into royal blood. “‘The devil made me do it’ would have sounded better to me,” said Joseph, Though it never did him any good When he said it to [Read More...]


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