A Word of Hope

Mark Hanson, Presiding Bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, shared this powerful one minute (71 seconds) message of hope yesterday.   So What? As we near the conclusion of what has been an unusual and, for many, challenging week Hanson's reminders are timely and timeless: Wherever you are . . . the promise is Christ is with you. Christ comes and says to you, "peace be with you." There are no God forsaken places and there are no God forgotten Read More …

Religious Hope for 2013

Paul Brandeis Raushenbush, senior religion editor for the Huffington Post, recently shared how his experiences interacting with religious leaders offers him hope for the future.  Rather than attempting to capture the vast wisdom of these leaders in a short blog post, he allowed over forty religious leaders to share their hopes for 2013.  Three that were especially meaningful to me follow: For the New Year: may we believe deeply without despising difference; hope extravagantly without being Read More …

Restoring Hope

Diana Butler Bass, author of Christianity After Religion (my review), recently wrote a piece about hope in the fall 2012 edition of Reflections, a magazine of theological and ethical inquiry produced by Yale Divinity School.  She writes: I wonder if hope and courage will join hands to forge a new sense of the common good. But hope comes not through political campaigns. Rather, lasting hope will spring from a rebirth of courage in faith communities, when God’s people prophetically act on divine Read More …

Episcopalian Praise for the UCC

John Shelby Spong served as bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Newark for 24 years before his retirement in 2001.  In retirement, he has been a prolific writer and speaker.   His latest essay, "A Salute to the United Church of Christ," portrays the United Church of Christ (UCC) as a denomination with the potential to "inspire, bring about and participate in the necessary reformation required to break the Christian faith out of its dying patterns."  While Spong has had numerous interactions with Read More …

5 Smooth Stones of Liberal Religion

Unitarian Universalist minister James Luther Adams proposed five smooth stones of liberal religion in an essay entitled "Guiding Principles for a Free Faith," which was published in On Being Human Religiously: Selected Essays in Religion and Society (Max Stackhouse, ed. Beacon Press, 1976, pp. 12—20).  R. Lloyd Ryan summarizes JLA's smooth stones: Revelation is continuous. Relationships ought to rest on mutual and free consent. We need to work together for  just and loving Read More …