Getting Beyond the Usual: Giving Birth to Jesus in the 2020s

Column by Rev. Lauren Van Ham on December, 17 2020

There are 3 parts of Jesus’s birth story that we want to open here, like gifts.  There are many parts of this story that, once unwrapped, hold great truth and importance including dreams, angels and what was going on for Joseph. 

Column by Toni Reynolds on July, 5 2018

Part of the struggle for 21st Christians is that we have inherited a tradition formed many lifetimes ago, a key component being the virgin birth of the Christ. This tradition has been handed to us with little to no permission to rework the interpretations for ourselves. I am eager to follow Bishop Spong’s lead in doing so before more time passes by.

Column by Rev. Lauren Van Ham on June, 7 2018

The June sun was shining, but the whipping wind had us under hats and hoods, huddled close to hear the Naturalist’s instructions, “These flowers just poked out of snow last week.  Up here, Summer turns to Fall by mid-August.  Tundra takes hundreds of years to grow and one sloppily-placed hiking boot can destroy it all.” Then, he pointed across the Alpine carpet, to a collection of immense boulders and we began – adults, grandparents, and children (I was one of those) – hopping rock to rock.  A few paused, using their telephoto lenses to capture the blooms mere centimeters wide; the athletic made it into a game of how quickly they could “gazelle” from one rock to the next; and others moved with deference to the altitude, reaching for each inhale of thin air.  Other species – marmots, elk, birds – might have been looking on quizzically, but we did all we could to not touch our feet to the strong, fragile life below.

Column by Rev. Deshna Charron Shine on April, 12 2018

I would like to take a moment to explore the Gospel of Luke. When I read Biblical passages these days, I am looking for the deeper meaning behind the words. Meaning, I am not just looking for the dates, context, and scribes, though these are important pieces to the puzzle. I am looking for what the crisis might have been that caused the author to write it and how does the scripture speak to that crisis. I am seeking the wisdom that the passages hold for me in the moment as I read them. The wisdom found in sacred texts can shift as the reader shifts…that is one of the reasons why they are still valuable to modern seekers.

Column by Rev. Irene Monroe on December, 14 2017

The holiday season is a difficult time of year for many.

Too often we see the glitz and glamour that this holiday brings, and we miss its spiritual message. The underlying message in celebrating the season-Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Ramadan, and the winter solstice- is the full embrace of human difference and diversity.

I believe if Americans stayed more focused on the message and teachings of this holiday season, many LGBTQ youth and young adults would not have the annual angst of searching for a home for the holidays.

However, LGBTQ people like the Early Christians struggle for full acceptance in society.

Column by Fred Plumer on November, 30 2017

Well here we go again, friends, facing another Christmas. The big stores are posting huge advertisements, notifying us of major sales, playing Christmas music and of course wherever you go there is a Santa Clause. It has been that way for a couple of weeks. It seems to me that this phenomenon starts earlier every year. I cannot help but wonder what Jesus would say if he returned today and observed the way we celebrate his so-called birthday. He was born poor, was always poor, and spoke primarily to the poor.

Column by Rev. Gretta Vosper on February, 16 2017

I know. You think you’ve opened the wrong email or caught a link to the wrong page. This must be from Mind, Body, Green, or A Daily Dose of Motivation. Maybe you’re signed up to Les Brown’s email list and are used to getting motivational encouragement just like this every day.

But this isn’t that. This is what you were looking for. I promise.

Column by Rev. Dr. Matthew Fox on November, 24 2016

“My goal in life is to pray without ceasing”.
Bishop John Shelby Spong

In his book A New Christianity for a New World: Why Traditional Faith is Dying & How A New Faith is Being Born, Bishop Spong addresses multiple issues worthy of further consideration especially because the coming year 2017, marks the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation and Spong is rightly calling for a Reformation today.(1) I suppose it is worth mentioning that I have been doing the same as in my book A New Reformation: Creation Spirituality and the Transformation of Christianity which contains the 95 theses that I pounded at Luther’s church in Wittenberg at Pentecost season in 2006 in response to Cardinal Ratzinger making himself pope, a practice I repeated five years later at Cardinal Law’s Basilica of Maria Maggiore in Rome on a Sunday morning in protest of his cover-up for pedophile clergy in his previous assignment as archbishop of Boston.