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Ian Lawton, TCPC Executive Council Member, Leads e-Course
Feb 11, 2008: On-line!

Environmental Theology Retreat
Feb 13, 2008: Camp Stevens
Julian, CA

Saving Paradise: How Christianity Traded Love of This World for Crucifixion and Empire
Feb 22, 2008: Scottsdale Congregational United Church of Christ
Scottsdale, AZ

Beatitudes Society: Marcus Borg and Christine Pelosi
Feb 28, 2008: Bay School
San Francisco, CA

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

Integral Christianity Experience with Br. David Steindl-Rast
Apr 16, 2008: Boulder, CO
Boulder, CO

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TCPC NEWS Headlines

US military accused of harboring fundamentalism

Pittsburgh lay leaders favor break from Episcopal Church

NAE Survey Shows that Many Evangelicals Still Support War

Westar & Jesus Seminar Draw Many Top Leaders in the Progressive Christian Field

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Featured Music
Strings of Compassion-
Looms of Love
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Click on CD Picture for link.
Check out our favorite:
"The Lone Wild Bird"
Featured Book
The Force of Kindness,
Change Your Life with Love and Compassion

By Sharon Salzberg
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Feature Quote

"A human being is a part of the whole called by us universe, a part limited in time and space. He experiences  himself, his thoughts and feelings as something separated from the rest, a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty."
Albert Einstein

TCPC eBulletin
February 2008
President's Note- "Christian Laauve"
compassion By: Fred Plumer
TCPC President

I was at a conference a few years ago when I overheard a Hindu scholar laughingly ask a group of Christian theologians; "You know what the problem with Christianity is? And then after a pregnant pause, he answered his own question, "Christian laauve." Everyone of course laughed heartily.

Well the truth is Christian love is a problem for a lot of people, including Christians. It is a problem in part because of language. Love is the same word an adoring husband might whisper to his beloved wife on a twenty fifth wedding anniversary and is the same word a child might whisper to her puppy. Love is used on the streets for hello, goodbye and in common endearments like "Lov ya man." You can't help but wonder if the word has lost its meaning by abuse and overuse?

While the commandments to love your God and to love your neighbor are often considered the foundation of modern Christianity, most people today have a hard time understanding how one can "command" another person to love someone, no matter how good or disciplined one might want to be. We do call this the "great commandment" but as the saying goes, you may be able to get a horse to water but you can't force him to drink. It becomes progressively more difficult when you realize that Christians are instructed not only love our neighbors, but our enemies as well. For a lot of people including Christians, this just does not make sense.

How many of us chose to practice that kind of unconditional love?

To Continue reading this article, click here: Laauve
Compassion and  the God Between
gods love By Ian Lawton
TCPC Executive Council Member
Pastor of C3, Christ Community Church

One of the central symbols of the Christian tradition is the cross.  When we move beyond the notion that Jesus died to appease God's wrath at our sins and begin to see the symbol of Jesus as a human being holding in his body the suffering of the world, then we get closer to the essence of the origins of our Christian tradition.  Just as Jesus was a human being holding in a bodily way the suffering of the world, so you have our own Christ consciousness, and in a sense you hold the pain of the world.

Compassion is a central theme in all of the world religions, including the Christian tradition.  In Buddhism the mythical personification of compassion is called Kanzeon.  Kanzeon literally means, "Hearing the cries of the world."  Kanzeon had the ability to manifest with different faces and in different ways to meet the needs of the time, always with the face and hands of compassion.  It is said that Kanzeon had 11 faces to see and hear the pain of the world, 1000 arms to hold the suffering of the world.  That's what compassion is.  It means to feel the suffering of another and to want it to end. 

To read this article, click here: Compassion

Love Practice
lotus By: Jim Burklo
TCPC Board Member

"Eat, friends, drink, and be drunk with love."

Did Norah Jones whisper it? No. Did Frank Sinatra croon it? No. Did Maria Muldaur write it? No. Did Yanni sing it? No. This line comes straight out of the Bible - from the Song of Solomon, chapter 5, verse 1. Here's some more:

"I gather my myrrh with my spice, I eat my honeycomb with my honey, I drink my wine with my milk. I slept, but my heart was awake. Listen! My beloved is knocking. Open to me, my sister, my love; my dove, my perfect one; for my head is wet with dew, my locks with the drops of the night."

The Song of Solomon is a steamy romance between a man and a woman. For thousands of years, Jewish and Christian theologians attempted to define the Song of Solomon as a long allegory about God's love for humanity. God was the lover and human beings were the beloved. This was a creative interpretation of the text, but certainly not the first meaning that leaps off the pages.

Yet this spiritual, symbolic hearing of the Song was more than just an attempt to denature its very earthy sexuality. Across religious boundaries, there is a long tradition of blurring the distinction between human and divine love.

To read this entire article, click here: Love

Featured Sermon-A Covenant of Love
whale mother and child By Rev. Sarah Halverson
TCPC Executive Council Member
Pastor of


God loves creation and infuses the divine life-breath into creation again and again and again.  Love is permeated throughout the earth, in the waters and skies, in babies and cornfields, in ghettos and factories even, in urban streets and the deserts of Iraq.  God is loving us and calling us to make good on our promises.

This Lent, we're asking you to fall in love again.  Like a marriage between two people who love each other, who make a promise for better or for worse, we're asking you to fulfill a promise rooted in love, a covenant made between our God and our world that we might love so deeply that we act not out of our own self-interest, but out of the love we have for each other.  Fall in love again with God's creation. For we have a covenant based on love.  So, FALL IN LOVE!

To read this sermon, click here: COVENANT

Valentines Day doesn't have to be a consumer holiday, it can be a day when we celebrate the beauty, the healing nature, and the peace invoking path of love and compassion.  Isn't it possible that it is why we are here?  To learn to love all?  To learn to love even our enemies, as challenging as that is?  To learn to see ourselves in every being in the universe, to understand the absolute interconnectedness of everyone and everything?  Love is the highest form of energy that we can share.  It is infinite and it grows exponentially.  It is free, it is essential, it is natural, its even organic and earth friendly!  What better present can we share on this holiday and every day, then the gift, the life example of loving compassion.  Can you love the stranger? Can you love your neighbor?  Can you love our president?  Can you love the guy who cuts you off on the freeway?  Can you love those that hate you?  If we are to follow the path that Jesus taught, we must try.

Thank you sincerely for your support and interest in The Center for Progressive Christianity...we love you!
The team at
The Center For Progressive Christianity