December 2007
In Darkness, We Turn
to the Light Within
pass the light, give your love
President's Note, The Magic of Christmas
Progressive Gift Ideas
Liturgy Project!
I Have Lost the War

The Center for Progressive Christianity Embarks on a Liturgy Project

Pope: Environmental Policies Must Respect Needs of the Poor

Christmas is Canceled in Basra

Politicians wield faith as weapon

Greenness is Next to Godliness

Read TCPC News Here


The Living Spiritual Elders Project
Jan 7, 2007: New College
Sarasota, FL

Jesus Seminar On the Road
Feb 8, 2007: All over the states!

Churches and Candidates
Jan 10, 2008: Westminster Presbyterian Church
Tiburon, CA

Jesus and Buddha: Paths to Awakening
Jan 25, 2008: Hoel Albuquerque in Old Town
Albuquerque, NM

John Dominc Crossan Lectures
Feb 1, 2008: University Congregational United Church of Christ
Seattle, WA

Voting Justice, Voting Hope
Apr 11, 2008: Plymouth Congregational Church
Minneapolis, MN

tree in winter

Blissful Seeker Corner
My daily prayer of gratitude:

One to creation,
one to the sun

One to the morning,
one to the one

One to the air and the freshness we breathe and
One to the force of the change in the seasons

One to the mother from which all things come
One to the daughters and one to the sons

One to the Father who helps us believe that
Nothin's ever gonna harm you see and

One to the soldier who walks city streets and
One to the soldier who fights overseas

One to the woman
one to the man

One to the culture from the time when it began

One to destruction
one to birth

One to the people who still fight for the earth

One to the people who suffer for the needs and
One to the rebels who love rocking to the beats

One to the healer who fights our disease and
One to the Lorax who speaks for the trees

Cause no amount of money and no amount of man
Can bring back to life what's gone when it's done
One to the people who rise with the sun
One to the people who sleep when it's down

To the East to the West
To the North and South

Life is too short to make just one decision
Music's to large for just one station
Love is to big for just one nation and
God is to big for just one religion!

One to the practice of being in the flow
One to the tears of the things we let go
One to the moment we live in right now
~Michael Franti
President's Note: The Magic of Christmas
by: Fred Plumer

bethlehem star
Recently as my wife and I were having a quiet dinner with some friends, we found ourselves going through something that seems to have become an annual ritual. It always starts with someone announcing, "Can you believe it? Christmas is only X days away!" And in chorus the rest of us go, "your kidding! How did that happen?"  We have other little ditties that we sing like, "It seems like it was only a few months ago we were celebrating Easter." Or, "But I just put the Christmas decorations away from last year." Then for the closing song we always sing
rather sadly,
"It comes faster and faster every year." 

As the evening progressed someone wistfully asked, "I
wonder if we can ever capture the magic of Christmas again?" I have thought a lot about that over the last few years. I wondered if there ever was "the magic of Christmas" that has been shared in common with others over the years...

The above article is continued here:  Magic
Last Minute Progressive Gift Ideas

earthFor the Progressive: 
Donate to TCPC in their Name

For the Child: The Books:
Green Santa and
Stones and Bones

For the Animal Lover:

Adopt an Animal

For the Giver:
Oxfam Unwrapped

For the Food Lover:  Cooking With the Bible Cookbook

For a Friend: Mandala Fair Trade Baskets  Or: Create a personal local basket of all your favorite local sustainable gifts, Make a CD Mix of your latest favorites, Plant a Tree in their Yard, or Write them a Thank You Letter!

For the Earth Lover:
Gaiam Earth Lover Guide or Global Warming Shirts

For the Music Lover: Buy a CD by Ashana

Exciting Opportunity as TCPC Embarks on Liturgy Project to Positively Transform Worship Around the World.  Can You Help?

women uniting

At TCPC, we get thousands of emails from people around the country, many of them requesting sources of progressive Christian worship materials.  Where can churches find liturgical resources with creative, engaging alternatives to patriarchal, supernatural language and symbolism? 

 While our website is rich with stories about churches that are constantly developing remarkable liturgical forms, we have never been able to gather these materials into an accessible form.  Brilliant innovations in worship in progressive churches around the country are, like lamps hidden under bushel baskets, unknown to thousands of leaders in other churches who would be overjoyed to discover and use them.

The Center for Progressive Christianity is now embarking on a new Liturgy Project which will positively transform worship services in churches all over the world.  The Liturgy Project will contact hundreds of churches to collect a wide variety of litanies, hymn lyrics, dramas, chants, and art and design concepts.  These materials will then be organized and published on our website and in printed, CD, or DVD form.  Some of the materials will be made available for free to any user of the website, and others will be accessible only to TCPC affiliate congregations, or through purchase.  By the fall of 2008, we intend to roll out this rich new resource and make it available for our churches.  It will be an ongoing project, continually seeking and offering new resources to enliven congregations with artful, soulful, intellectually satisfying liturgical elements.  TCPC also will offer regional workshops and on-site consulting for church leaders to experience the creative liturgical elements and implement them in their congregations.

Please Help!! Click here: Liturgy Project
 for more information or to donate.

I Have Lost the War
by: Meredith Jordan
womanYesterday, as I sometimes do when I need amusement, I went online to read my horoscope for today. The words leaped off the page at me, "The long, exhausting battle is over, and you have lost the war." I immediately burst into deep sobs of both sorrow and relief. Those words struck a chord of truth deep in me...
I felt like a kid standing on the football field after the lights have gone out and his team has lost the big game. He still holds the football in his hand and believes he's just one more touchdown away from a winning game. Then a voice booms out from the dark stands, "Hey, kid, the game is over. You lost. You did the best you could. I couldn't be prouder of you if you were my own child (which, by the way,you are). It's time to go home and get some rest."
I felt humbled. I had lost the war. I lost the ability to provide financial security. I lost both a marriage and a relationship, each of which born---and still lives---in love and appreciation. It was over, and I was defeated. So much of who I am, what I have done, and how I have known myself...defeated. Those were my tears of sorrow.

In this, I found a paradox. I could suddenly relate to Richard Nixon, Dick Cheney, George Bush. I got myself into a war thing, and I lost. Now I was standing on the field, dumb-struck. How was I ever going to exit the field gracefully? I felt such profound compassion for world leaders who land themselves in this position.   

Then I considered world leaders who have been defeated and not only survived the defeat but actually survived to triumph: His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, Nelson Mandela, Thich Nhat Hahn, Miriam Makeba and Harriet Tubman. I was suddenly in the company of people I admired.  I could draw from their wisdom and example.

There were also tears of relief. A long, exhausting battle is over; I have lost the war. There is, quite simply, no more war in me. I'm done with that paradigm.

Please Read the Rest of the Article here: Lost War

Review of The God Problem

by: Nigel Leaves
Review by Tom Hall

The God Problem

Nigel Leaves knows the institutional church. As an Anglican priest he has served parishes in the UK, New Guinea, and Hong Kong; and after a stint as Chaplain to the Bishop of Perth, Australia, he is presently Warden and Director of Studies at Wollaston Theological College just outside of Perth. But as a citizen of one of the world's most secular nations, he knows the difficulty of promoting a traditional faith in a post-Christian world. And since to remain solvent his college has to double as a retreat center, he has gained first-hand acquaintance with much of the astonishing array of new-age groups that he has termed "the smorgasbord of grass-roots spiritualities."

But as a scholar he is also familiar with the panentheism of Jack Spong and Marcus Borg, the radical non-realism of Lloyd Geering and Don Cupitt (he has written a two-volume exposition of Cupitt's work), and the growing body of religious naturalism - the evocation of awe and wonder at the beauty of nature - found in writers like Ursula Goodenough.

The God Problem: Alternatives to Fundamentalism is a compact and highly readable examination of the problem of squaring the violence done in the name of religion with the theistic God of the Judaeo-Christian-Islamic tradition. It focuses on those who are trying to reform or reimagine that tradition in order to create a continuing role for religion in a more humane world. And while one may hazard a shrewd guess at Leaves' personal preference among the four paths he delineates, he leaves it to the reader to decide which of them best points the way forward to a meaningful encounter with life in the twenty-first century.

The text is sufficiently clear and accessible that one need not be a specialist - let alone a theologian - to follow and become absorbed by the material; but even trained theologians will find it a well-footnoted and useful reference for viewing the present state of a crucial religious debate.

For More Information, click here: God Problem

Merry Christmas Friends
Enjoy Winter Solstice and the holy nights of December, our time of darkness, and remember our teacher Jesus who guided us to see the light in ourselves and share that light in the form of love and compassion with all of the people we share this journey with. 
Thank you for your support and generosity, your openness and your spirit.


Fred Plumer and the team at The Center for Progressive Christianity
Contact Info
The Center for Progressive Christianity
Fred Plumer, President
253 303-0022