Faith Palm Banners Go Viral

Until a few days ago I had never heard anyone use the term "faith palm."  Thanks to a tweet by Daniel Dale, a Washington D.C. correspondent for the Toronto star I not only learned the term, but also was introduced to a unique marketing campaign by a progressive Episcopal congregation in D.C. The President Said What? The image at right is one of four banners on a chain link fence outside of a construction area on the campus of St. Thomas' Parish Episcopal Church.  Each banner contains the Read More …

Top 10 Books of 2017

There are so many good books published every year.  The best of the best among those I read this year follow in my eighth annual listing of my top ten books of the year. Author Title Marcus Borg Days of Awe and Wonder Tony Campolo and Bart Campolo Why I  Left, Why I Stayed: Conversations on Christianity Between an Evangelical Father and His Humanist Son Joan Chittister Radical Spirit: 12 Ways to Live a Free and Authentic Life Elizabeth Currid-Halke The Sum of Read More …

Did I Reach My Goals for 2017?

After many years of making calendar year resolutions (or in some years resolving not to make these annual goals), this past year I opted for goals based on the church year rather than the calendar year. This means that my 2017 goals actually started in November of 2016 and end this week. My Goals As I first shared a year ago, my goals follow: Join (and be actively involved in) a local community of faith Labor to make real on earth God’s realm of justice and peace Write about Read More …

Adese Fellowship (Social Enterprise)

Two months ago I wrote about experiencing "many first days" in a relatively short period of time.  One of those first days was starting my role as Director of Social Enterprise at the Wesley Mission Center in Mansfield, Texas. Shortly after starting that position I learned that the United Church of Christ was accepting applications for a social enterprise fellowship targeting those interested in changing the world for good via social enterprise. Adese "Adese" comes from the Amharic Read More …

The Largest Religion in America in 2037

The rise of the "nones" (those claiming no religious affiliation) has been well documented in general, and also here on this blog.  Assuming the shift away from religious affiliation continues, when might the largest "religious group" in America become those without a religious affiliation? Rise of the Nones Allen Downey, Professor of Computer Science at Olin College, recently shared on his blog an extended version of an article he initially published in Scientific American titled "The Read More …

Necessary to Believe in God to be Moral?

Is it necessary to believe in God in order to be moral? The Latest Research Last month the Pew Research Center published the results of their latest survey on the topic.  The survey item asked American respondents to fill in the blank in the following statement: "It is ___ to believe in God in order to be moral and have good values." Respondents were able to chose from "is necessary" or "is not necessary." A majority (56%) chose "is not necessary" in 2017, which was up from about half Read More …

A Common Dream

Imagine a common dream capable of uniting people of varying faiths and perhaps also people who do not frame the experience of life through faith lens. I am not aware of many attempts to craft such a vision, however, I find much wisdom worthy of consideration in a benediction written by the Unitarian Universalist minister and author Gary Kowalski.  The benediction proposes that our common dream is Homes and schools where children thrive, Neighborhoods that are safe and clean, A city rich in Read More …

Living the Jesus Ethic

Robin Meyers is the type of pastor and teacher who makes good teaching great by incorporating a strong call to action.  In a recent video interview on being a follower of Jesus he explained that being a follower of Jesus is always about getting out of heads and into our whole beings - so that when we are doing things in the world people see that we've integrated the thoughts that we have about the Jesus' ethic, and that we are practicing it in the world. So What? Authenticity.  Read More …

Non-Profit Giving Habits

The only annual study dedicated to analyzing the giving habits of donors worldwide was recently published.  Produced by the Public Interest Registry and Nonprofit Tech For Good, the report "seeks to gain a better understanding of how donors prefer to give and engage with their favorite causes and charitable organizations" (p.3). Giving Habits The report provides considerable global insight for those tasked with leading fundraising for faith-based non-profits: Donors prefer to give Read More …

4 Out of 10 Nations Favor a Specific Religion or Religions

Earlier this month the Pew Research Center published  the results of their analysis of  their study of 199 countries and territories around the world.  They found that more than 40% of these countries or territories (83 of 199), "favor a specific religion, either as an official, government-endorsed religion or by affording one religion preferential treatment over other faiths." Government-Endorsed Religion Only four religions have been granted the status of government-endorsed religion in Read More …