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Teaching Progressive Christianity, Part 2
In This Issue
Featured Book: Calm and Compassionate Children
Sermon: Abundance and a New Earth
President's Note: I learned About God
Update on Fundraiser for Curriculum
Why We Care: Faith Statement from a 9th Grader
Review: The Historical Jesus for Beginners
Feature Article: Eckhart Tolle and the Christian Faith
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Richard Rohr- Lecture and Workshop
Sep 12, 2008:The Center for Spiritual Development/Trinity Cath
Portland, OR

A New Look at Old Scripture in Two Sessions - Hal Taussig
Sep 26, 2008: Shades Valley Lutheran Church
Birmingham, AL

The Death of Jesus: Destiny or Disaster?
Sep 27, 2008: Silverside Church
North Wilmington, DE

Decoding the Myths and Meanings of Troublesome Words in the Bible
Oct 2, 2008: St. James Episcopal Church
San Francisco, CA

From Literal to Literary: Toward an Intelligble Read of the Bible
Oct 4, 2008: First Prebyterian Church of San Rafael
San Rafael, CA

Beloved Community: From Formation to Action- Featuring Fred Plumer
Oct 10, 2008: St. Paul United Methodist Church
Atlanta, GA

Our Family Matters
Oct 22, 2008: Second Presbyterian Church
Nashville, TN

National Forgiveness Day Power Of Forgiveness Rallies
Oct 25, 2008: Churches & Communities In The United States
Liberty Center, OH

Featured Music
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(Click on CD to hear samples)

Don't miss out on our 10% discount for
Living the Questions Resources this month!
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Featured Book

Calm and Compassionate Children, a handbook
By: Susan Usha Dermond
calm and compassionate children

Building on inherent qualities like openheartedness and trust, parents and teachers can help children develop empathy and integrity. As they grow and mature, children who've developed such qualities are better equipped to meet challenges with a positive attitude, and they ultimately have the inner strength and determination to thrive in later life. From nature walks to conscious quiet time to tips on daily routines, Calm and Compassionate Children provides practical guidance to help grown-ups model behavior and suggests ninety activities to foster children's concentration, joy, kindness, and love.

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Sermon: Abundance and a New Earth
by: Ian Lawton
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What Does it mean to be Rich Towards God?
1. You are rich towards God when you claim your abundance of inner peace. (God within)
2. You are rich towards God when you share your abundance with others. (God between)
3. You are rich towards God when you live in the abundant flow of life. (God beyond)

The Abundance of Inner Peace
Consider what it means to be rich towards God during a recession. What does it mean to live with abundance when so many people are feeling anxious and fearful about the future?

Read this sermon

This is part 2 of our Teaching Progressive Christianity series, as we focus on our goal of making the most up to date and evolved educational materials on progressive Christianity accessible to all.  This is an exciting time in the history of the progressive Christian movement.  It is no longer about deconstruction, it is about reconstructing.  It is one of an emerging culture.  It is a time of opening, sharing, and evolving.  Over the next two months we continue to aim to provide you with many tools to understand, express and teach progressive your friends, to your children, to your church members.   So, take a look around, stay in touch, explore our website and pass the information along.  You can forward this email by clicking on the link at the bottom of the page.  Share with us by going to the Affiliates Area and submitting articles, news, events, and reviews. 

Thanks and enjoy!
The Team at TCPC
President's Note: 
I Learn About God There
by: Fred Plumer
 kids meditating
I had been a pastor at a fledging church I helped found for a little less than six years when I was shaken to my toes. The wife of one of the original families who helped start the church informed me that their family would be leaving and would be joining a much more conservative church down the street. I was stunned. Not only were these folks looked upon as pillars of the church, but I considered them friends. With tears in her eyes she explained that their teenage son who had been having some difficulties in school wanted to go to the other church's youth program and Sunday school. She went on to say that she felt it important that they support their son and that the entire family attends the same church. I was hurt and saddened but I could not argue with her logic or reasoning.
It was nearly a year later however, before I got the second half of this painful lesson. I ran into the young son at a local football game. I had known this kid since he was six or seven years old and now he was almost as tall as me. I gave him a hug and we went through an awkward exchange. For some reason he felt compelled to tell me that he missed me and missed "lot of the things at my old church."  Then he went on to say that he thought that he was learning a lot more things at his new church. When I asked him like what, he responded; "They teach who Jesus was, how to read the Bible and I learn about God."  
Update on Children's Progressive Christian Curriculum Project
hand holding seedling Over the last year, TCPC has been going through a rigorous and soul-searching process to determine what our purpose is, what our goals are for the future and literally if TCPC should continue to exist. (click here for the link to the Complete Strategic Plan) 
During this process, not only was there a loud and resounding chorus of YES! TCPC is important in the scheme of progressive Christian movement, but when asked the question "what more we should be doing," many of our affiliates challenged us to create a new children's curriculum for their respective churches.
As a result TCPC is now planning to create a three year curriculum designed to provide the tools and the knowledge to teach our children that there is another way to approach our Christian faith.  We plan to design a curriculum that will help them be proud of their faith and to give them a path the will lead to a more compassionate, loving and joyful life as followers of the Jesus way.  (see description of planned curriculum)
A fund raising update. At this point with your generous donations and the help of a couple of small funders, we have raised over $18,000. With two additional pledges of $5000 each it appears that we will have a total of $28,000 to work with so far.  That still leaves a balance of $22,000 that we must raise before we can begin the project. It may seem like a lot, but we have over 6000 Affiliates and a mailing list that is nearly double that figure. This is the resource that so many of you have been asking for and for good reason. With this curriculum, churches like yours can begin a whole new, evolved way of teaching progressive Christianity. We have writers and staff ready to go. Please join us in this ground breaking endeavor and donate today
Why We Care: Faith Statement from a 9th Grader in Confirmation Class
First Presbyterian Church
New Canaan, CT 
God is in the form of everything and everyone. Everyone has God inside himself or herself. Therefore we are all equal and our enemies are just as divine as us. I feel God's presence when I am doing good for others or when I make a connection with someone.
I believe Jesus Christ is the potential of the human spirit, we all have the potential to become well mannered and content and giving like Jesus. I don't essentially think he is the savior or a holy person, because we are all divine. He is a person and an interpretation of divinity. To live, as Christ's disciple is to spread the teachings of Jesus and to do good for others who are less fortunate. Through the centuries people have followed Jesus because his teachings about how to live one's life with serenity and selflessness were very inspiring.
This church that I belong to is a community that is very open to new ideas and perspectives. They accept other people's interpretations of God and do not say they are wrong, nor do they reject their interpretations. Each interpretation is true in its own right because God takes many forms and cannot be defined. As a result, each definition is welcome. The people who have taught me in the past year have helped confirm my beliefs and also open me to new doors. Thank you.

Read Entire Faith Statement
The Historical Jesus for Beginners,
A Primer on Contemporary Biblical Scholarship
by: William Linden

review by: G. Richard Wheatcroft

book coverIn 1987 I was a beginner when I read Jesus:A New Vision: Spirit, Culture, and the Life of Discipleship by Marcus Borg. His book was an early presentation of the contemporary scholarly quest for the historical Jesus. It marked, for me, the beginning of a journey of understanding the historical Jesus and the Christian life in a radically new way. Beginners, who read Linden's book, are most likely to have a similar illuminating experience. He is chairman of the board of directors of The Foundation for Contemporary Theology. A retired partner of the law firm of Vinson & Elkins, LLP, he holds a Postgraduate Diploma in theology from Oxford University. He describes his book as containing "a group of readings for members of the general public who are just beginning to learn about the academic analysis of the Christian Gospels."  This comprehensive and compelling book is a masterful primer of the historical Jesus for beginners. But is also a valuable resource for those who have been on the journey for some years.
Feature Article
Eckhart Tolle and the
Christian Faith
By: Richard Rohr, OFM
Richard Rohr
Tolle is, in fact, rather brilliantly bringing to our awareness the older tradition of both "infused" or "natural contemplation," and the two first types in Underhill's listing. These are both the ground and the process for breaking through to theological
contemplation of God, and acquired contemplation of Jesus, the Gospels, and all spiritual things. He is teaching process not doctrine or dogma. He is teaching how to see and be present, not what you should see when you are present. Tolle is our
friend, and not an enemy of the Gospel. There should be no conflict for a mature Christian. "Anyone who is not against us, is for us," as Jesus said, and he also said, "Fear profits nothing."
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Thank you for taking this journey with us as we continue to encourage the growth and understanding of a Christianity that is open, inclusive, just, loving and compassionate.  As you delve deeper into the heart of this beautiful and authentic spiritual path, we hope you share it with those around you, educate those who desire to learn, and most importantly let it fill you with light and loving kindness.
Fred Plumer
and the Team at The Center For Progressive Christianity, (253) 303-0022

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