Sybil MacBeth: “I could tell you about Phyllis Tickle… but I won’t”

[Sybil MacBeth, creator of the amazing book and workshop series Praying in Color, wrote this post about her friend and mentor, Phyllis Tickle, who passed away several weeks ago, as many of you already know. Phyllis was a driving force and conscience behind Paraclete Press, where I have recently become editor. While I knew Phyllis, we were only acquaintances. So I'm happy to be able to share with you the reflection of a real friend of hers. –Phil]I could tell you about Phyllis Tickle... but I … [Read More...]

The Sea Change of Mercy and Forgiveness

Editors' Note: This article is part of the Patheos Public Square on the Pope in America: Implications, Collaborations, Challenges. Read other perspectives here. Pastoral, conciliatory: these are the words that keep popping up about Pope Francis. As he comes to the United States for the first time (in his life, not just since becoming pope), a lot of folks are focusing on issues. What will he say to Congress and the American people about the environment, about market capitalism? Will he talk … [Read More...]

Unlikely Instruments: A Reflection on John 20:15-16

Today's daily meditation in Living Faith is one of mine. The reading is:Jesus said to her, "Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you looking for?" She thought it was the gardener and said to him, "Sir, if you carried him away, tell me where you laid him, and I will take him." Jesus said to her, … [Read More...]

What If You Were at the Tomb?

As part of Patheos' Easter coverage, we're imagining what it would be like to witness the Resurrection. This is my contribution. For more 'accounts' and other resources for Holy Week, visit the Patheos Engaging Easter page here.The story of the resurrection of Jesus — the empty tomb; the … [Read More...]

With The Zimzum of Love and his new Oprah Network TV show, Rob Bell broadens his focus but it’s all spiritual

As Rob and Kristen Bell’s book, The Zimzum of Love: A New Way of Understanding Marriage, blankets the country and Rob’s new TV show premieres on Oprah’s network tonight, it is clear his focus has shifted to speaking about spiritual principles rather than specifically Christian, or even religious, one … [Read More...]

Vatican’s vendetta investigation of American women religious completes under Pope Francis, with praise instead

What a difference a few years makes. With the final Vatican report of Cardinal Law’s vendetta investigation of American women religious, this ugly episode is finally put to rest. He and Pope Benedict's team really should have finished it before they left power if they wanted a different outcome. Now … [Read More...]

Sybil MacBeth’s The Season of the Nativity is a trove of ideas for fellow Advent extremists

I've always loved Christmas. Growing up in an atheist ex-Christian household, though, the religious aspects of it were limited to: a small crèche on a side table which was never referenced or examined; a star ornament on the top of the Christmas tree; my mother’s occasional mentioning that Jesus was … [Read More...]

There Is No Other: The Radical Message of St. Francis in Jon Sweeney’s New Book

At the beginning of his new book, When Saint Francis Saved The Church, Jon Sweeney warns that what is to follow will not support the "sentimental" rendering of St. Francis as a gentle animal-loving pacifist. But that's a bit of a tease. It’s not that he paints a different picture; it’s that he pain … [Read More...]

Benjamin Corey’s “Undiluted” Calls Fundamentalists to Return to Fundamentals of Love and Openness

Fundamentalism is associated with right-wing movements that say the true path is one of harshness, judgement and tribalism. But there have always been waves of reform in religions calling for a return to other types of fundamentals; they sometimes (rarely) say that the old ways to which we should … [Read More...]

Great Bible Intro Is That Much Better as E-textbook

My own stint with an e-textbook startup last year taught me about the complexity of the format. It’s not enough to be a digital copy of a paper book, with perhaps bookmarks and highlighting. There are already plenty of e-readers for that. You need to offer layers of utility and connectivity that c … [Read More...]

Protestants Can Use Prayer Beads Too

There are many ways to pray. I practice and teach centering prayer, a Christian form of meditation that uses no words or objects. (Well, just the occasional word, but that needs a longer explanation you’ll find here.) I also sometimes chant Psalms as part of the Hours. I recite fixed prayers like t … [Read More...]

The Giver brings the timely dystopian novel fully and compellingly to life on screen

The Giver, which opens this Friday, August 15, explores a familiar dystopian trope which seems to be everywhere recently -- Divergent, Hunger Games -- that society attempts to solve the problem of human frailty, anger, violence, etc. by imposing uniformity/conformity. (Depending on the author’s vis … [Read More...]

From Dinner Church to Neighborhood Hub, Building Community Through Working Side by Side

Working side by side making a meal, breaking bread, eating and sharing conversation around the dinner table, then cleaning up together creates community in a very real way. You get to know about each other, but there’s something much more profound going on. Deeply connected to the Judeo-Christian t … [Read More...]

Freedom from Struggle: Meditation To Ground You While You Work for the Liberation of Others — my talk at Wild Goose in NC 6/27 3pm

If you're coming to the Wild Goose Festival in North Carolina June 26 - 29, or still considering whether to make the trip, just a heads-up that I will be offering a centering prayer-based presentation again this year; my topic is, "Freedom from Struggle: Meditation To Ground You While You Work for … [Read More...]