Sermon: Shifting Spiritualities

Sermon Text: John 6:35 Sermon Excerpt . . .the dominant spirituality in our country back in the 1950s was a spirituality of dwelling.  Church was at the center of society. In many places, churches were literally at the center of town.  They were one of three pillars of stability along with small town life, and Americanism. This was the height of church building and expansion projects.  These larger spaces were needed because increasing percentages of Americans were joining local Read More …

Sermon: Thirsting for More

Sermon Text: John 4:5-15, 19-26, 39-42 Sermon Excerpt This morning I want to offer a history lesson: a lesson in the shifting nature of American spirituality since the 1950s.  Don’t worry. This isn’t a doom and gloom account of the decline of Christianity or an attempt to idealize an earlier era.  Instead, it is an effort to help give names to changes almost everyone here has lived through. Robert Wuthnow, an esteemed sociologist who has taught for many years at Princeton where he also Read More …

A Unique Valentine’s Weekend

Back in the summer of 2012, I invited Diana Butler Bass to spend some time at Naples United Church of Christ in February 2014.  After eighteen months of planning by a great team, we are now ready for an unforgettable Valentine's Day and weekend. In the News Yesterday, the Collier Citizen ran an article by Mollie Page.  Page interviewed Butler Bass about our event.  Page writes: She’s a voice for theological sanity in an uncertain world. Religious historian Diana Butler Bass is coming to Read More …

Paging God

Meet the Author Wendy Cadge is associate professor of sociology at Brandeis University.  Her work focuses on religion in the contemporary United States with an emphasis in how such relates to healthcare, immigration and sexuality.  Cadge is the author of two books: Heartwood: The First Generation of Theravada Buddhism in America (2005) and Paging God: Religion in the Halls of Medicine (2012). Book Basics Health-care is a near universal value in America with average per person spending Read More …

What Anchors Your Spirituality?

Rev. Otis Moss III, Senior Minister of 8500 member Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago, recently wrote the following words in the Huffington Post: "the cultural motif of Jazz and the theological weight of Jesus' love ethic anchor my spirituality." So What? Take a few moments to think about your spirituality.  Then, in a sentence or less, share what acts as its anchor.   Read More …

Quotes to Ponder

William Bole  (pictured at right) is an American journalist whose "writing is situated on the borders between religion, ethics, politics, and intellectual life."  Recently he wrote a blog post that included several quotes from progressive pastor William Sloane Coffin's book The Heart is a Little to the Left: Essays on Public Morality (1999), including: Socrates was mistaken. It’s not the unexamined life that is not worth living; it’s the uncommitted life. It is a mistake to look to the Read More …

Review of Naked Spirituality

Meet the Author Brian McLaren served in pastoral ministry for twenty years as the founding pastor of Cedar Ridge Community Church.  In 2006, he stepped down from that role to devote his time to writing and speaking.  McLaren has written numerous books, including Naked Spirituality: A Life with God in 12 Simple Words (2011),  Finding Our Way Again: The Return of the Ancient Practices (2010), A New Kind of Christianity (2010), and Everything Must Change: When the World's Biggest Problems and Read More …

Review of Falling Upward

Meet the Author Fr. Richard Rohr is a Franciscan priest.  He was the founder of the New Jerusalem Community in Cincinnati, Ohio in 1971, and the Center for Action and Contemplation in Albuquerque, New Mexico in 1986, where he presently serves as Founding Director.  He speaks and teaches on themes that include Scripture as liberation, the integration of action and contemplation, community building, peace and justice issues, male spirituality, the enneagram, and eco-spirituality.  Fr. Rohr's Read More …