Supporting religious freedom and the separation of church and state

From the beginning of Christian faith, churches have wrestled with how to relate to governing authorities and live as responsible citizens. Following Jesus means both honoring the role of the state in maintaining justice and peace, and speaking prophetically to it when it fails to do so for all. To do this, separation is inherently needed. This protects the state from being co-opted by religious dogma, and faith communities from being co-opted by political agendas. At the heart of this separation is the realization that the loving and transformative power Jesus demonstrated stood in stark contrast to a heavy handed imperial power. 
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“The Long Road to Freedom” by Jacqui Lewis

SERMONS  |  Convergence Network

Dr. Jacqui Lewis is Senior Minister Middle Collegiate Church in the East Village of Manhattan. Middle Church is a dynamic 900-member multiracial, multicultural, inclusive congregation in which everyone is welcome just as they are as they come through the door. Lewis is also the Executive Director of The Middle Project, an institute that prepares ethical leaders for a more just society....

God and Guns

COMMENTARY  |  Convergence Network

Riverside Church in the City of New York, in partnership with Everytown for Gun Safety, hosts "God and Guns: Faith Leaders Address Gun Violence", an intensive training on gun violence for faith leaders. Interview segments include Rev. Rachel Johnson, Rev. Rob Schenck, Lucy McBath, and Abigail Disney (director of the documentary film "Armor Of Light"). Filmed & edited for Manhattan Neighborhood Network....

Finding True Freedom

SERMONS  |  Living Lectionary

This is a transcript of a sermon preached by Robert Cornwall Fourth of July Weekend (2009). Based on a reading from Galatians 5:1-6, 13-14, the message is that true freedom is not found in nationalism or patriotism, but in Christ.  Freedom then is a gift, but freedom involves responsibility. Finally, Freedom leads to community.  That is, true freedom is found not in autonomy (libertarianism), but in commitment to the other.

Mark Bellan-Boyer

COMMENTARY  |  Living Lectionary

Mark 1:1-15 Psalm 57 Timothy 4: 6-11,18 Isaiah 52:7-10

City Called Heaven Blog Post
By Mark Bellan-Boyer
The Beginning of the Good News- a message from Mark! ...

Nomad: A Spirituality For Traveling Light (Book)

OTHER RESOURCES  |  BrandanRobertson

A copy of Brandan Robertson's book "Nomad: A Spirituality For Traveling Light" ...

Called For a Purpose: podcast

COMMENTARY  |  Living Lectionary

Isaiah 42:1-9

We feel acceptable or unacceptable in God's Eyes... A podcast on perspective regarding who God loves. ...

A Hymn After Gun Violence

WORSHIP  |  Living Lectionary

Isaiah 4:2; 1 John 4:18; James 3:1-12; Micah 6:8; Matthew 25:35

A hymn written after the Orlando mass killings, plus other hymns for reflection on gun violence:

To see the complete resource, click here:

To a Place of Celebration
EBENEZER D ("Why Do Nations Rage Together")

To a place of celebration filled with laughter, dancing, joy,
Came such violent devastation — one man's efforts to destroy.
God, we grieve for loved ones taken; we lament, "What can we do?"
Now, we're feeling lost and shaken; heal our nation! Make us new!
Weapons kill — and so does silence; hear our prayer as we confess:
We have given in to violence, we have bowed to hopelessness.
God, we've lost our sense of vision of a world where there will be
Plowshares made from violent weapons, justice in society.
Give our leade...

Prophetic Voice Episode 1: Prophetically Incorrect

COMMENTARY  |  Darkwood Brew

Pop quiz: What does an 8th Century Jewish shepherd have to say about the modern economy, the 1%, and politics as usual? Join Darkwood Brew’s Rev. Eric Elnes, Ph.D. for the first episode of an in-depth conversation with Frank Schaeffer as they explore the precarious art of prophecy in Amos’ day, and in our own....

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