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Discoverving the Truth within the Myth
Resurrecting the Spirit
March 2008
President's Note

Greetings!
Easter has always held a special place in my life and spiritual journey as it holds promise for rebirth, change, growth, and yes, resurrection.  It is a challenge for many to let go of the belief of a physically resurrected Jesus, but once we recognize the beauty of a spiritual resurrection, we can unravel the incredible miracle of having the potential, each day, to re-birth our spirit, to lift it up out of the darkness of despair, fear, and loneliness and merge it with the luminous light of the universal spirit.  Today, I share with you a sermon that I hope reminds you of the truths that can be unraveled from within the myths.
Blessings,
Fred Plumer

It Must Be True, an Easter Sermon
 
Pluralism Sunday- May 11, 2008
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This year, The Center for Progressive Christianity, www.tcpc.org, is again celebrating PLURALISM SUNDAY on Pentecost, May 11, in churches around the world - and we hope your congregation or local group will be among them!  Check out our new website for this special event: www.pluralismsunday.org.
As in the story of Pentecost, the Holy Spirit enabled the early Christians to understand people speaking many different languages, so progressive Christians today are learning to understand the many different languages of faith that speak of the shared spiritual experience of humanity.  This event welcomes back to our churches the many people who have been alienated from the faith by the claim that Christianity is the only true religion, to the exclusion of all others.  We're demonstrating that there is a kinder, gentler, more humble way to be Christian.  We're celebrating what is special about our tradition without claiming superiority over other faiths.
 
Easter is the Celebration of the Justice and Compassion of God
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By G. Richard Wheatcroft

Most Christians are familiar with the stories in the Gospels and many verses in the Epistles declaring that the Lord is risen. Many people believe the stories of the resurrection of Jesus are historically true. Others have difficulty believing they are true in that sense but understand them as metaphors pointing to the truth. Either way, whether you believe or understand, the issue is what do these stories mean?  We can begin our search for the meaning of the stories by knowing that New Testament scholar John Dominic Crossan has stressed: "Never, ever separate the life from the death and resurrection of Jesus. Ever. Not the life from the death, not the death from the resurrection."

To Continue, click here: Justice and Compassion

Featured Books
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Darwin, Divinity and the Dance of the Cosmos, an ecological Christian

By: Bruce Sanguin

In Darwin and Divinity..., Sanguin has provided a new and exciting paradigm for thinking Christians and spiritual seekers alike. He has provided a basis for a deep theological shift, a fresh cosmology and a new way of perceiving our reality based on excellent scholarship, both scientific and biblical. And he has done that in a very readable way that is open to anyone who yearns to learn. It is on top of our recommended reading list. -Fred Plumer, TCPC President

The God book coverThe God I Don't Believe In: Charting a New Course for Christianity

By: Gary A. Wilburn

"Gary Wilburn has been a rock, a moral compass, and a fearless burning bush compelling thousands in our community to think beyond ourselves... to consider how we can affect all of mankind.... He loathes indifference and celebrates those who are unafraid to challenge the status quo for the sake of truth..."  - MICHAEL TURPIN, New Canaan Advertiser

Click here to order or for more info: Store
The Truth About Jesus (part 2)
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By:

It has long been a popular position among most historical Jesus scholars that Jesus did not predict his own passion. The claim is that the repeated passion predictions are a story-telling device invented by the author of Mark, similar to the Fourth Gospel's motif of Jesus always knowing when his hour of being "lifted up" on a cross will come. The theory of scholars is that early Christians were trying to make sense of Jesus' horrible death. If they could claim Jesus knew of his death in advance, that scripture prophesied it, than his death and their own faith made more sense. Perhaps the first Christians are guilty of adding on to the passion prediction a prophecy about Jesus saying he would rise again on the third day. But as for the prediction of his rejection, suffering and death, I believe there is good reason to think the historical Jesus is responsible for this forecast.

To Continue, click here: Jesus

TCPC Top News Headline:
Westar Spring Event Huge Success
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Near Record Attendance of over 500 attendees packed the conference room in Santa Rosa, CA.

Go to TCPC News

Char Matejovsky, of Westar, reported that the registrations for the Westar Spring Meeting had grown so much in the last month that they had to cut off new sign ups for the Wednesday and Thursday sessions. These sessions are often referred to as the Associates sessions and they normally include a large number of clergy and church leaders. Well over 500 attendees crowded into the large conference room at the Flamingo Hotel in Santa Rosa California to hear Marcus Borg, Karen Armstrong, Ann Graham Brock and the perennial favorite John Shelby Spong, among others. Approximately one half of the people attending these sessions were attending a Westar event for the first time.  

The mission of The Center for Progressive Christianity is:

To reach out to those for whom organized religion has proved ineffectual, irrelevant, or repressive, as well as to those who have given up on or are unacquainted with it.

To uphold evangelism as an agent of justice and peace.

To give a strong voice both in the churches and the public arena to the advocates of progressive Christianity .

To support those who embrace the search, not certainty.
As always, we are grateful for your support, your interest, and your time.  The progressive Christian movement really is a grass-roots movement that we are simply trying to encourage, promote and support.  We believe that we can change the world by letting people know that they have another option that is not fear based, hateful, or exclusive.  You can help us do this by spreading the word about a different Christianity- one that is open, evolving, compassionate, and inclusive.  You also help by:

Affiliating with TCPC
Getting Your Church to Affiliate
Submitting Library Items (must be an affiliate to do so)
Submitting Events (must be an affiliate to do so)
Shopping in our Store, support progressive Christian authors
Submitting News

Also- Forward this email by clicking on the link below!!

Sincerely,
 
Fred Plumer
The Center For Progressive Christianity
 
In This Issue
Pluralism Sunday
Easter Is...
Featured Books
Truth about Jesus
TCPC News
Help Us Meet our Goal for the TCPC Liturgy Project!
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Through your generous contributions we have raised over $6,000 toward our target of $15,000. We need to raise an additional $8,600 to qualify for the matching grant. Every $1 you donate will be worth $2 toward reaching that objective. Please help us make this worthy project a success so that we can support you with contemporary resources.
 

While our tcpc.org 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 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.

Please help this dream come true, so that we can share it with you!

Donate Now
 
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