TCPC Website reaches all-time high at nearly 48,000 unique visitors last month to www.tcpc.org
from 46 States and the District of Columbia have agreed to serve as volunteer
technical consultants for members of the clergy, through the Evolution
United Church of Christ be the first Christian denomination to support
legislation allowing physician-
assisted suicide as an option for the dying?
Keeper Energy Summit in Marquette, Michigan on June 13,
2007 inspires hundreds of
northern Michigan churches, temples, businesses,
and homeowners to conserve energy thus saving millions of dollars on utility
bills over the next few years.
Southern Methodist University is slated to house the Bush
Presidential Library and an associated neo-conservative political think-tank.
To Read More about these stories and other TCPC News, click here: NEWS
Young Adult Ecumenical
Jul 26, 2007: BostonUniversity, Marsh Chapel
Vital Worship for
Jul 30, 2007: PacificSchool of Religion Summer Session
A Special 2007 summer
Conference -The Great Chain of Being
Aug 3, 2007: Albuquerque, New Mexico
God & Gays
Conference Unity is Our Identity
Aug 3, 2007
Blissful Seeker Corner
by: Deshna Ubeda
Are you a seeker?
While there are many churches out
there that are now realizing they must grow, question, and
evolve...depending on where you live, they can be few and far between.
If you are like me, you want to roll out of bed, drink your tea and
drive less than 15 minutes to church. While you wait for your local
church to catch up, here are some suggestions for drawing the spirit
into your life on a daily basis.
1. When you wake up, remind yourself of all that you have. Give Thanks.
2. Spend 5 minutes of deep belly breathing before you do anything else. This cleanses your body of toxins and your mind of anxiety.
Follow the path of Jesus, Buddha, Gandhi, etc. by stirring up your
compassion, for those you pass on the streets, for those who are
suffering, and especially for those you find it the hardest to love.
4. Let it go! Let go of the fears, let go of your stress, let go of your plans and just be in the moment. If you find yourself grasping onto negative emotions, try reminding yourself of what you are doing in the moment and breathing with it...ie I know that I am washing the dishes, I know that I am walking.
Remember: The only thing that is real is change. Nothing is permanent.
Peace, love and light.
Did the Apostle Thomas Make an Independent Stand Becoming Jesus' only
By: John Mitrosky
Strike the sheppard, that the sheep may be scattered.
Zechariah 13:7; compare John 16:32; Mark 14:27;
Matthew 26:31; and the Fayyum Fragment
With the exception of James, Peter and John who stayed together for some
time in Jerusalem after Jesus was
no longer with them, all the legends about the apostles attest to their
separate destinies; a missionary "scattering". The scattering of the
apostles seems to have been a fate they all accepted. I am sure the apostles
quarreled some after Judas' Iscariot's betrayal, like people who realign their
affections and take sides after a bitter divorce within a group of friends. But
I also believe Jesus did quote Zechariah, especially if you take seriously, as
I do, that Jesus chose to ride into Jerusalem
on a donkey to personally fulfill his understanding of Zechariah 9:9. Perhaps
there is some truth to the legends of the apostles scattering and becoming
independent missionaries. Perhaps they were just taking to heart their Lord's
quoting of Zechariah before his arrest.
Undoubtedly, one of the legends having the most historical truth to back it up
is that Thomas was the first to scatter. It is said he was entrusted very early
on with the mission to the East. First, he went north-east into Syria.
Then he proceeded to Iraq.
Next, he sailed out of the Persian Gulf arriving in India
in 52 A.D. Along the way, he founded places of Buddhist-like study in Jesus'
name. In India,
his teaching was tolerated by the Buddhists and Hindus indicating his gospel
shared important features with their own religious traditions. For the next
1,500 years, Thomasite Christians maintained a link to Thomas' alleged
missionary path. They traced their apostolic line through Thomas, rather than
Peter. When the Portuguese Catholics arrived in the 1530's, they spent the next
70 years trying to stamp out the Thomasite anomaly with violence.
They did not succeed. You can still go to the Eastern churches that
claim Thomas brought them a Buddha-like gospel of enlightenment, only their
Buddha is Jesus. The legends about Thomas have roots as deep, or deeper, than
Peter, James and John.
Since the finding of the Nag Hammadi Gospel of Thomas in 1945, we can
speculate easily why writings attributed to Thomas were excluded from the New
Testament canonization process. Thomas' gospel is only concerned with
understanding and knowledge imparted by Jesus. The gospel does not advocate
worship of Jesus. Rather, you seek Jesus' knowledge of life and death. This
slight shift in perspective is like what a follower of Buddha does, in order to
become equal to the master. Service, trust, compassion and knowing the master's
truth is the essence of having faith. This perspective is accurate, I believe,
to the historical Jesus' own teaching on life and death.
To Finish reading this article click here: Article
| President's Note
There is More to Church than Just Good Music
By Fred Plumer
Ten years ago George
Carlin the comedian, wrote in his book,Brain
Droppings, "The only thing good that came out of religion was the
When I ponder the violent
history of the Christian church, the religious wars that still continue to
plague our world, the divisiveness, the prejudice and the bigotry that the
church has perpetuated and continues to perpetuate in the world today, I wonder
if George Carlin is right. I worry that our attempts to redefine what it means
to be a Progressive Christian within the Christian church, gives more
credibility to the church that continues to divide, judge and even abuse. I
wonder if our efforts to promote a more rational and spiritual expression of
Christianity actually ends up providing some credibility to the voice and power of
the self righteous, self centered, self serving, often superstitious tendencies of the "Christian Right" in our
society. I wonder if our support of religious institutions provides some
credibility to the religious factions in the Middle East that bring the world so close to annihilation
every day. Yes, I wonder, sometimes, if
the world would not be better without religions in spite of the great music.
But then I remember. I
remember the nourishing support of an adoring congregation in a small little
Presbyterian church where I grew up. That group of loving folks let me know
that they cared about me and that they expected me to be someone special, as
they did with all of the children. I never wanted to let them down. I wonder
who I would be today if I had not experienced that nurturing and positive love
during those all important formative years.
I also remember a time as
a young adult when I was so angry and confused about my life, that I wasn't
sure if it had any value. But it was a struggling little UCC congregation in a
small town in Western Colorado that welcomed me and accepted me when I could not
accept myself....gave to me when I had nothing to give. And I wonder where I would be today if it had
not been for that struggling little church.
The truth is that
positive, healthy congregations have been building, healing and transforming
lives for a long time. Richard Rubenstein, a practicing Jew, in his fascinating
book, When Jesus Became God, writes eloquently about the liberating
and renewing force of the Christian communities during the second and third
To Finish reading this article click here: Article
A Book Review of:
How Faith Inspires Social Justice
Living Faith presents
the stories of three representative leaders who, from different faith
traditions and in different historical contexts, were inspired to seek social
justice and reconciliation. Dietrich Bonhoeffer was a German Christian who
resisted the Nazi movement in the 1930s and 1940s. Malcolm X was a Muslim
African American man who struggled against racism in the 1950s and 1960s. Aung
San Suu Kyi is a Buddhist who lives in Burmaand led a freedom movement in the 1980s and
1990s. The author also incorporates into these stories the lives of many other
twentieth century "faith inspired activists" from various religious traditions
The author describes these leaders as "mystic activists." He points out that
all the sacred writings of the major faith communities share similar views of
God's mandate for justice and reconciliation. He calls the leaders who are
embedded in their respective faith communities "mystic activists" because they
are "deeply rooted in their faith and in the mystery of the divine." And he
stresses that it is their activism that "compels them to reach passionately
inward toward the divine for substance, wisdom, perseverance, and belonging.
Their outward activism needs inward mysticism."
In exploring the lives and words of mystic-activists who worked for social
change in the twentieth century, he shares his discovery of common themes that
played in their lives. He writes that "(1) their religious faith motivates them
(2) their world view emerges from the margins of society: (3) their identity is
rooted in a belief that we share a common humanity; and they embrace an ethics
of revolution that demands structural change.
author is clear that a "lived faith is the hallmark of the leadership of
mystic-activists." They seek experiences of God through prayer, meditation and
fasting; and they proclaim prophetic challenges to pursue the mandate of God
for social justice and reconciliation.It
is the author's fervent hope that mystic-activists in the twenty- first century
will continue the struggle and make even greater progress than the mentors of
the twentieth century described in his book.
To Finish this review click here: Review