In our Western, individualistic society, duty has become a dirty word. We all benefit when we step into our full story of ourselves as both one and one of many, and the virtue of duty becomes the natural outflow of our shared mindset.
We are relational beings. Our overly exuberant, Western reverence for individualism has become toxic, leaving us to believe we must shoulder the world alone. Broaden our well-being concerns beyond “me, my and mine,” and counter-intuitively, each of us becomes a benefactor. We are all bolstered by the well-being of the whole.
Moving from pseudo-community (well-mannered, polite), to authentic community takes intention, discipline, and skill. Creating an environment where authentic community can flourish is essential work of the church. This year, we will refocus on this intention so that we might be strengthened to step into our role as repairers of the earth.
by George Fuller Certain Bible verses can touch us more than others and help shape the direction of our lives. In my tradition, we called these “life verses”. Romans 12: 1-2 is one of these life verses for me. I have had many changes throughout my life, both those that I initiated and some that […]
When bad things happen, the story we tell ourselves will determine whether hope is stirred or stymied. Hope lives when we see setbacks as temporary and one time events. Our tradition gives us tools to hold on to hope, particularly in the darkest of times.
The Industrial Revolution and subsequent urbanization and mechanization of society increased the scale within which we all live, work, and play. As our world has gotten bigger, our sense of agency has shrunk. When we tell ourselves the story that we can’t make a difference, we don’t. Jesus told a different story. He told us […]
When we find ourselves in dark seasons, our ancient wisdom extends a promise. That in the end, Truth wins. love wins, light triumphs. Not at the end of history, but with recurring regularity throughout history. It happens again and again and again. And this dark time our nation finds itself in… Probably not an exception.
Many are struggling with despair these days. Our ancients knew something about human nature, and they designed a calendar to remind us to stir hope in the darkest and coldest of times. It was a call to dissolve despair like salt in warm broth. The feast of Christmas points us to the greatest truths: that […]
By Jarred White As a black man fresh out of seminary in a mostly white spiritual community and asked to give my first message on the topic of racism, it is needless to say that this was not easy to write. Hip hop music has been one of the most racially controversial topics of the […]
It’s that time of year when we remind one another of the spiritual practice of intentional stirring of gratitude. Rather than viewing gratitude as an emotional response to circumstance, we pause and notice the plenty that surrounds us.
Discovering our blind spots is a prerequisite to stepping into our role as repairers of the earth. Before we can challenge our society’s blind spots we have to challenge our own. That’s a good place to start. In this lesson we explore that — and a series of other empowering things we can do, to […]
Today’s lesson is a personal story… Doug has been making the case in this lesson, that racial inequity is our nation’s “original sin,” and that repairing the harm it causes is our mandate as Christians. Today, he tells the story of how he got there personally, and begins to outline how we might become to […]
How shall we be Christian? One important direction our tradition points us . . . repair broken systems that break people. We’ve been saying in this lesson: our broken systems stay broken . . . because they stay invisible. Thus this history section in our lesson Today we explore how our lopsided mortgage lending system […]
History shows us how things got broken — so we know what needs to be fixed. The systems wounding our society are often invisible . . . but they roll along, year after year, consistently advantaging one group and disadvantaging another. To help us see how to untangle this knotted mess, we explore two important […]
When we take a look at the shadowy historical roots of our society’s invisible systems – financial, employment, political, educational, penal – they stop being invisible. Unseen, our systems consistently advantage one group and disadvantage another. This is the very embodiment of the broken world Jesus calls us to be repair.
It’s a sad thing… but our blind spots are embedded right in our science and religion. That’s what has made our national sin, racism, so tough to handle. The unquestioned credibility of these institutions created blind spots which allow us to remain in an ignorant slumber. The key to overcoming our blind spots lies with […]
We’re not guilty of the past. We weren’t there. But if we understand Jesus, we see we are — all of us — responsible to make right what has gone wrong, and systematic racism . . . has gone wrong! Jesus also taught us where much is given, much is required. From a historical perspective, that […]