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
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
Easter is the Celebration of the Justice and Compassion of God
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."
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 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
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.
TCPC Top News Headline: Westar Spring Event Huge Success
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:
Help Us Meet our Goal for the TCPC Liturgy Project!
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
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.
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!