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How Far Are We Willing To Go?

Jan 2011

in this issue
:: St. Andrews on the Terrace
:: Preservation or Evolution
:: Our Nation of Weeping Executioners
:: News
:: America Crucified
:: Review of Stepping Out with the Sacred
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I had just walked out the gates of a Gay Pride festival when I saw the protestors.  In was in the late 1980's and I had been invited to give a short address and to be honored by the GLTB community of Orange County California for the work I had done with the City of Irvine to help create protective laws for Gays and Lesbians in the work place and in housing.  It had been a cantankerous struggle in conservative Orange County, in large part, because of the muscle that the conservative churches had been able to orchestrate in political arena. I already had suffered some of their venom as the pastor of the first UCC church to take a congregation through the Open and Affirming process in the area. The church vote made the front page of the Orange County Register which resulted in protestors, bomb threats, death threats on my life and my family and some pretty crude graffiti on the buildings.  

READ Fred's article: How Far Are We Willing to Go?
St. Andrews on the Terrace
By: Lloyd Geering

drum circle

What is Progressive Christianity? There is no definitive statement of it. If you will excuse the pun, it could be called  'a work in progress', for progressive Christianity to be true to itself, it will not only be always on the move but will contain wide diversity within it. As its name suggests, it does not hesitate to draw from the Christian past but it is open-ended, seeks to move on and encourages creative initiative.


Preservation or Evolution?

By Harry T. Cook

spiritual path

The quixotic nature of my cause became clear to me in the instant a very intelligent man of the Jewish persuasion married to a member of my parish told me that he did not see religious communities as centers for intellectual pursuits. "That's not what people think they're for," he said. "They come here to be comforted and reassured, not to learn."


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Our Nation of Weeping Executioners

By:Jim Rigby


protesting hateA recent Los Angeles Times' profile of Rev. Jane Adams Spahr wonderfully captured the loving spirit of one of my few heroes in the Presbyterian Church. This courageous lesbian minister has fought prejudice and fear within our denomination, refusing to surrender to voices of intolerance within the church. 


The article also captured the sense of helplessness which threatens to unravel not only the Presbyterian system of democratic government, but, possibly, our nation's as well. 


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 America Crucified

By Jim Burklo

So often, the things we think will save us actually crucify us.

Arizona imageThe cross was used by the Romans to terrorize its subjects into submission.


The Romans believed that employing torture would protect them from their enemies, but it contributed to the moral decay and slow disintegration of their empire.


The early Christians turned this symbol of violence inside out and upside down, and made it a sign of hope and redemption. But the power of the cross for positive transformation depends on our awareness of what crucifies us today.


Review of:
Stepping Out with the Sacred,
By: Val Webb

Review by Dean G Watt

Stepping out with the sacredWhy tackle a subject as old as the human race, one that has been talked about, written about, and thrashed over by thousands of persons?  Is there some new discovery that reveals more than has ever been known?  Has modern science and cosmology opened up previously unknown regions of the universe?   However you might answer the questions, it is very likely that, like our ancestors and Val Webb, our descendents will go on thinking about, writing, arguing and even fighting over the questions that arise around that which she calls the "Sacred" and that many refer to as "God".


Why is it that human beings fear change so much? Why the need to resist evolving, learning, growing, opening?  What would happen if we released our fears and really asked the difficult questions? What would happen if we really listened with open minds and open hearts? What would happen if more of us started really thinking for ourselves? We can no longer just sit by and watch our world become more and more divided. We must stand in solidarity with people, of all beliefs, that want to live in a world of love and acceptance, of prosperity, forgiveness, and non-violence.  How far will we go for that? How far are you willing to walk along the path of Jesus?

Fred Plumer and the Team at The Center For Progressive Christianity    253-303-0022
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