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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....

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....

Pulpit Fiction Podcast: Lectionary Podcast for Preachers, Seekers and Bible Geeks

Robb and Eric met in class at Eden Theological Seminary, got to know each other while playing volleyball on Eden's church league team, and became friends after the games over pizza, wings, beer, and Police Trainer at Smugala's.  

Robb and Sarah and Eric and Nina spent almost every weekend together while they were in seminary, and are still able to get together every once in awhile.  This picture was taken over Thanksgiving weekend, 2013.  They share a common passion for justice, mercy, and an abiding love for Jesus.  They also a share a love for good scotch, the Bears (we won't talk about baseball), Anchorman, The Office, and Star Wars.
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In an era when fewer and fewer people go to church, it is often the song, not the sermon, speech or blog that touches people’s lives in a deep and meaningful way. Houses of faith may embody ethics, morality and good deeds; but the church can learn more of these same things from the street, perhaps as much as the street can learn from the church. This brief essay explores this idea....

John 4 represents the founding narrative for the presence of a considerable number of Samaritans in the Johannine community....


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.
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Matthew 19:26 Artwork

OTHER RESOURCES  |  Franklin Fong

Matthew 19:26

Beautiful artwork by Father Franklin Fong and the Franciscan Friars of Santa Barbara illustrating Matthew 19:26 — "With God all things are possible."...

Courage: Philippians 4: 12-14 Artwork

OTHER RESOURCES  |  Franklin Fong

Philippians 4: 12-14

A beautiful hi-resolution illustration of Philippians 4: 12-14, painted by Father Franklin Fong of the Franciscan Friars of Santa Barbara....

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! ...

Church Health: Butch Odom

OTHER RESOURCES  |  Living Lectionary

Matthew 4:3-4

Church Health by Butch Odom
Panoramic Views of Faith and Health

Blog on Faith and Health
website now: https://churchhealth.org/church-health-daily-devotionals/
Received original blog from http://www.textweek.com/ ...

Parker Palmer Five Habits of the Heart
http://www.couragerenewal.org/habitsoftheheart/
...

CELTIC CROSS

OTHER RESOURCES  |  Living Lectionary

This is a six week daily short devotional series that is intended for use to support a small group going through the second affirmation and/or it could be used as an individual resource for personal spiritual growth ...

The Relational Body

COMMENTARY  |  Søren Lorenzen

Isaiah 40 - 66

This resource is a short analysis on the concept of name in Isa 40-66. It reveals how human beings universally are called by name, given an ultimate narrative and is deemed honorable by sheer existence. Further, it illuminates how human beings are intersubjectively connected and are responsible for each other in our differing proximate contexts....

This poem was inspired by the dramatic betrayal by Judas and denial by Peter.

Betrayal and Denial
Rev. Laurie Blonk Sponaugle  

There is no escaping…
The breath-stealing bite
of the dual edged sword.  

Close enough for eyes to lock,
And wills to soundlessly utter longing
And lament to stab through even the strongest of spirits.  

Witness soul deep betrayal
as heartbeats sync with a kiss…
followed doggedly with fear, varnished in denial.  

Before the verdict is cast in stone
Before the sentence is carried out beam over beam
before the cross is weighted down with love.  

One, Two final thrusts
of the razor sharp blade
gutting the soul.  

As one beloved, steals away from the sacred table,
another scurries behind the mob;
both cloaked in the shado...

It Has Been Accomplished

COMMENTARY  |  Living Lectionary

John 19:27-30

In this short article, Herman Waetjen explores the last moments of Jesus' life on the cross, reflecting on how the cross brings the new creation that is longed for throughout scripture....

In this article, Herman Waetjen explores the connections between resurrection and love of enemy, showing how resurrection, experienced here and now, liberates us from eye for an eye thinking....

In this article, Herman Waetjen looks at the baptism of Jesus, and how it urges us to see ourselves in the same light: “You are my beloved daughter, you are my beloved son, in you I am well pleased.”   ...

A brief article about the unique conceptions of God that each person creates and how we must learn to live in theological humility. ...

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

If you are interested in starting a church, check out this workbook on Church Planting and then take the online course at http://www.progressiverenewal.org....

The Biblical Roots of Islam

SERMONS  |  Dwight Lee Wolter

Genesis 16:1-12, 15; 17:20; 21:1-3, 8-21

A shared sermon conducted with a Muslim physician about Abram, Sarai, Hagar and Ishmael that includes music and other modalities that embraces commonality in a worshipful context.
...

http://www.crosswalknapa.org/blog/2017/4/28/the-worst-resurrection-story

The Resurrection Story can be told in many ways. ...

Breathed to Breathe

SERMONS  |  Living Lectionary

John 20:19-25

http://www.crosswalknapa.org/blog/2017/4/23/breathed-to-breathe

You are loved by God, animated by the very breath of God to carry you through, so that you may breathe life into people and situations where death threatens in myriad forms. 
...

Jesus and HomoSexuality

OTHER RESOURCES  |  Living Lectionary

Gen 2:20-25, Romans 1:18-27, 1 Timothy 1:10, Leviticus 18:22 20:13

http://www.crosswalknapa.org/blog/2017/3/11/jesus-and-homosexuality

Think about this statement: Loving, covenanted, same-gender sexual expression can be compatible with being a committed follower of Christ....

BRIDGING THE DIVIDE PODCAST

OTHER RESOURCES  |  Living Lectionary

Luke 18

http://www.storydivine.com/?p=381

A PODCAST on BRIDGING THE DIVIDE...

https://www.faithandleadership.com/woman-behind-textweekcom

Faith of a women that made a difference when her son had Autism

Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans

...

Interdependence Day Independence Day

SERMONS  |  Living Lectionary

Deuteronomy 10:17-21; Psalm 145; Hebrews 11:8-16; Matthew 5:43-48

http://episcopaldigitalnetwork.com/stw/2013/06/13/independence-day-2013/

Interdependence Day and Independence Day

Independence Day, let’s also think of it as “Interdependence Day”; a day when we celebrate not only being free from unjust rule but also a day when we commit ourselves anew to extending liberty and justice to everyone who seeks it, without partiality.
...

http://www.episcopalchurch.org/page/sustaining-hope-face-climate-change

Climate Change Video with three different Protestant Churches...

Just Don’t Do It! Or Twice the Sons of Hell

COMMENTARY  |  Floyd Thompkins

Matthew 23:15 Romans 8:1

Any sentence that starts with “If I were them” will end in a self-righteous and conceited place. The plain facts are that we are not they; we don’t know what we would do! We just boost about pretend courage without paying the price of real world circumstances. The only thing that is real, relevant and therefore important is our reaction to people or persons who made decisions that they now know were bad, ill advised or destructive. This will tell them who we are! 
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http://paintedprayerbook.com/2016/07/18/blessing-when-the-world-is-ending/

Artwork By Painted Prayers Jan Richardson
Beautiful artwork and creative ideas for ministry...

http://paintedprayerbook.com/2016/07/27/blessing-for-getting-the-news/

Artwork and Poetry "Grace In The Dark"
When we get news from someone, death or other, this artwork touches a sweet place for the heart. Jan Richardson- poem as well. ...

https://faithelement.net/nice-france-teaching-guide/

A teaching guide and Resource on violence that had happened in France
Great Questions and How to discuss the Violence. ...

Called For a Purpose: podcast

COMMENTARY  |  Living Lectionary

Isaiah 42:1-9

https://faithelement.net/9-03-called-for-a-purpose/

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

https://faithelement.net/9-06-salt-and-light/

Podcast

We take a look at a popular passage that calls for Christians to be “salt and light” in the world. What can we learn about living a faithful life by looking more closely at the nature and use of both salt and light?

...

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: http://www.carolynshymns.com/to_a_place_of_celebration.html

To a Place of Celebration
EBENEZER 8.7.8.7 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...

Thoughts from the Prairie Table blog seeks to provide creative theological understandings of God, and how we live together. There's not much to this...just a simple way to share at the table of our Lord. "Consider us this way,...stewards of God's mysteries." 1 Corinthians 4.1...

Brian McLaren and Krista Trippett in an On Being conversation on the evolution of Christianity and the meaning of progressive Evangelicalism.

“Let’s go back and look at our faith before it was reduced to a system, before it was reduced to a system of abstractions and beliefs. How can we rediscover our faith as a series of stories and as a series of encounters?” — Brian McLaren
...

Testing new self-managament system...

All of America’s diversity, old and new, does not add up to pluralism. This article, presented by The Pluralism Project at Harvard University, explores the concept of pluralism and why it is important in the United States today....

Increasingly, people are recognizing that the survival of the human race depends upon adherents of the major world religions coexisting peacefully with one another. Yet many Christians wonder how peace is possible apart from conversion to Christianity, particularly in light of Jesus’ statement, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” Is it possible to take these words seriously without denying the existence of other paths God may create for humanity? The very future of Christianity and civilization may depend upon our answer. In this series, we will discover how this question is being answered and lived in surprising and hopeful ways.

Episode one of this series is available free to This We Affirm subscribers.
...

The first episode of Darkwood Brew's Listen series looks at many ways that the voice of God speaks to us, and explores things we can do to strengthen that connection. From meditation and music to study and social action, Listen looks for the voice of the spirit… and finds it active in surprising places....

Are we blessing the Earth or destroying it? Modern science and ancient Celtic Christianity both suggest a better way of being – exercising an ethic of stewardship, not dominion. Watch the first episode of “On Earth As it Is In Heaven,” a provocative seven-week Darkwood Brew series, produced in conjunction with the United Church of Christ’s Mission 4/1 Earth....

Brian McLaren calls Troy Bronsink’s book, Drawn In: A Creative Process for Artists, Activists and Jesus Followers, a “fresh vision of God that draws us into a new way of being.” The first episode of the Creativity series features in-depth conversations between Troy Bronsink and Rev. Eric Elnes, Ph.D.. We explore how God’s rhythms are manifest in creative life that is as sincere, vibrant, and artful as it is faithful to the scriptures, and we present concrete ways to find connection with the Holy. ...

Episode one of a series that looks at the most extreme outcasts in the Gospels in order to explore the question: If Jesus treated “X,Y, and Z persons” this way, then how can we treat “A, B, and C persons” with less respect than Jesus did these others?
...

What does the Bible say about God’s love? Who does God love? What is God’s love? How can we love each other because “God first loved us?” This is the first episode in a series that explores the story of God’s love in the Bible, how it relates to how we love each other, especially talking about homosexuality. Darkwood Brew probes this important topic, and this provocative six-session series focuses on God’s love, the Bible, and homosexuality....

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....

In the past few decades, a new historical trend has been quietly playing out. Refugees from Christian liberalism and conservatism have been finding each other in a powerful Great Convergence. This convergence isn’t a watered-down attempt to find “middle ground” for the sake of getting along. Instead, it is a dynamic and sometimes chaotic journey through a new wilderness, where those alienated or estranged from their native traditions on the Left and the Right are drawn to find ancient Biblical faith that works in the modern world. The first episode of this eight-part series, lead by Rev. Eric Elnes, Ph.D., finds deep meaning and hope in what this unlikely group of fellow travelers is learning along the way....

Put away your flannel-graphs because this study of Genesis is anything but one-dimensional. This in the first episode in a series that will challenge what you think you know about seemingly familiar stories and includes guests Kevin Miller, Nadia Bolz-Weber, Reinhilde Ruprecht, Terence Fretheim, Chip Bouzard, and Beth Johnson. Spoiler alert: There’s way more grace there than you think....

In partnership with the Adler Planetarium in Chicago as well as with the Clergy Letter Project, this is the first episode in a series that explores how recent scientific theories about the creation and evolution of the universe can help us re-imagine the universe and our place within it....

Mahatma Gandhi said, “There is more to life than increasing its speed.” If it seems like the world keeps moving faster, and you along with it, there is another way. This is the first episode in a six-part series lead by Rev. Eric Elnes Ph.D. that explores the personal and spiritual benefits that come with slowing things down and aligning ourselves to God’s time. You’ll feel better, connect more fully, realize what’s important and maybe even get more done.
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“Vocatio” refers to a calling into our life’s work. This is the first episode of an eight-part series that features people from a variety of professions reflecting on their sense of “call,” how they responded to it, and what it means both for them and those they interact with and influence. Explore the ways that finding your “sweet spot” – the work in your life that brings you most fully alive – is a deep spiritual practice with ancient Christian roots, and possibly even an accelerant for the work of the Spirit in our world today. Because this series explores vocatio through the lens of each of the seven “Dark Wood gifts” identified in Dr. Elnes’ book, Gifts of the Dark Wood: Seven Blessings for Soulful Skeptics (and Other Wanderers), it is a great follow-up to our” Gifts of the Dark Wood” series, or accompaniment to those reading the book. This series stands great on its own, too....

Download this resource to access special Darkwood Brew content exclusively for This We Affirm subscribers....

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SERMONS  |  Eric Elnes

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