The Center For Progressive Christianity
December 2008
Transformation and Hope
Its Time for Change
mountains Greetings!

Have you noticed what an amazing time in history we are all living? I think we are a very lucky group of people to be witnessing and even participating in such incredible changes in our country and in the world. I am not referring here just to the fact that we elected our first non-Caucasian individual to the office of Presidency, although I do think that is a reflection of the shift. (Personally I am more excited about this man's character than I am about his mixed ethnic roots.) No, I am referring here to what I believe is a seismic change of epic proportions. I hope that I will be around long enough to be able to a have conversation with my grandchildren about this shift.
I think it is time to admit that this country has been on a drunken orgy of greed and consumption, fueled by sophisticated marketing, easy credit and assumption of privilege, for decades. I would like to blame it on the current administration, investment bankers, the lending institutions, the stock brokers, and the culture of entire financial institution. But in the quiet of the night, I realize that there is plenty of culpability to go around.

Click Here To Read this Article By TCPC President, Fred Plumer
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Feature Book

Book Cover
When Faith Meets Reason
Religion Scholars Reflect on Their Spiritual Journeys
Edited by Charles W. Hedrick,
with a preface by Robert W. Funk

What happens to faith when the creeds and confessions can no longer be squared with historical and empirical evidence? And at what point does the discrepancy between what I know, or think I know, and what I am willing to say publicly become so acute that my personal integrity is at stake? Being honest about what one thinks has always mattered in critical scholarship. In the pages of When Faith Meets Reason, thirteen scholars take up the challenge to speak candidly about how they negotiate the conflicting claims of faith and reason, in hopes that their journeys will inspire others to engage in their own search for meaning.
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Our Gift To YOU!!

This month and next month when you purchase any book from the TCPC Store, you will receive a FREE copy of TCPC Founder, Jim Adam's book, So You Think You're Not Religious

 book cover

Change Excerpt from Feature Article

Mercy and Truth Will Meet
What It Takes To Be a Movement That Matters
By: Peter Laarman 

Presented at the Progressive Christian Conference in Atlanta, GA
October 11, 2008

I begin with the obvious, based on the economic news of recent days. The ground beneath our feet is starting to shake mightily. Fear leaches into our spirits. Confidence, the true underlying currency of any functioning marketplace, is rapidly being shattered. The questions on everyone's lips: "Now what?" and "How much worse can it get?"  Harsh as it sounds, from a Christian perspective this isn't all bad. It isn't all bad IF it means that some of our false gods might now finally be exposed and rejected.

False gods and misplaced reverence. As in our reverencing of wealth, and (worse) our worship of the wealth-y. As in acquisitive individualism as the real functional creed of most Americans, regardless of the ostensible faiths we may claim. As in our culture's obsession with personal and national security. As in the imperial presumption almost all Americans tend to make: the presumption that the rest of the world is meant to work and do our bidding in order to ensure our comfort. And behind that: as in the very-much-alive notion that God intends a special destiny, a special providence, for the U.S. of A.

Click Here to Read Full Article by Peter Laarman

yoga Excerpt from Feature Sermon

Imagining a Progressive Revolution
By: Ian Lawton
Pastor of C3

The world is ripe for change, and communities such as ours, are ready to ride the wave of possibilities. I heard Obama say something inspiring in one of his last speeches the day before the election. He has attempted to be a unifying force throughout his career, and he said something on Nov 3 that has profound implications for progressive religion. He said, "It's no longer about whether we have big government or small government. That's an old conversation. It's about having good government."
That set me to thinking about progressive religion. It's not about whether God exists or not. That's an old conversation. It's about your experience of the sacredness of the moment and grasping for the most poetic, extraordinary language to describe your experience.
It's not about whether Jesus was the son of God, or not. That's an old conversation. It's about whether you live with the same courage and passion for justice that Jesus lived.
It's not about whether the Bible is the divinely inspired and inerrant word of God, or not. That's an old conversation. It's about whether you are moved by the experience of ancient cultures striving to do the best they could in harsh circumstances. They were drawing on poetry, story and specialized literature such as apocalyptic to remind each other that change is the nature of the universe.
Progressive religion is not a new ideology, a new set of beliefs to either believe or not. It's a framework around which you can make meaning of your own experience. It's about experience, not ideology.

Click Here to Read This Sermon

Jesus Puzzle Book cover Excerpt from Feature Review

The Jesus Puzzle

By: Earl Doherty
Review by: Dean Watt

"Change!"  The word of the day...  Yes, there is the election of Barack Obama to the US presidency.  And, yes there is the mind-boggling financial crisis affecting the entire world.  But there is also the more gradual, and in the long run a very significant change that already has and will continue to have impact not only the religions of the world, but also the world at large.
A present day illustration is that I write this review for an organization, The Center for Progressive Christianity, that is one of the organizations of the new progressive Christian movement.  Such a movement and organization could not have existed until recently.

Click Here to Read this Review

Quote of the Month

"Being on the forefront of any movement seeking change...will challenge anyone. It will challenge you, and you need to have a Kaila smilesreserve. I think of strength as that reserve and, ultimately, the purpose of strength is to make an impact in your world, not to be a consumer, but to be a contributor. That all comes from a foundation of strength. And if we're not taking great care of, respecting, and having a positive relationship with our physical foundation, then we're really short-changing our ability to have an impact, we're short-changing our energy. We're not being all that we can be, showing up in our full capacity.... We can have a head experience, or we can have a spiritual experience. But ultimately an integrated body-mind-and-spirit experience is what it's all about." ~Shawn Phillips, author of the new book Strength for Life

Music Video of the MonthKaila smiles

John Legend- If You Are Out There

Watch Video Here

Kaila smiles A List of Our Generous 2008 Contributors
Click Here for our list of supporters

This list should have been included in the letter we recently sent to all affiliates.  Our apologies.  As a grass roots non profit organization we would not be able to do any of the work we do without the generous donations of our supporters. Thank you so much!

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and a Happy New Year!
From the whole team at TCPC.
We hope this month is a time of light, laughter and delight for you and your loved ones.  Thank you for taking this journey with us as we re-birth the Christ consciousness in our lives and continue to search for compassion, hope, and transformation.  As Ian Lawton puts is so clearly, "Every person is a Christ to you, as you are a Christ to them. Every new person that comes into your life is a Christmas miracle; the birth of a new relationship. In that moment, allow them to be the only person in the world. Every moment is a Christmas miracle; the birth of new possibility. Allow that moment to be the only moment and be fully present to it."
Fred Plumer
President, TCPC