A Shift in the Season: One Congregation’s Story

Column by Rev. Gretta Vosper on December, 7 2017

So here we are, well into Advent, and well into the annual grating of teeth that takes place whenever we are exposed to saccharine Christmas music purring or prancing from over-decorated storefronts and selling everything from the tiniest stocking stuffer to cars. And here we are, back to those lectionary passages that bond themselves to church doctrine that gives many a church leader hives. Or indigestion. The stress of the “high holy days” seeps in. Cue the reverential organ while we light the candles on the Advent wreath – Hope. Peace. Joy. Love. Blocking the commercial clatter from our Sunday morning services, we reverently steer our congregations toward the well-worn path that leads past the overbooked inn to a lowly stable and the nativity of our Lord.

If it weren’t for you …

Column by Rev. Gretta Vosper on August, 31 2017

Much of the work I have been privileged to do over the past thirteen years has been the result of a conversation I had one day with the late Reverend Jim Adams, founder of The Center for Progressive Christianity (now called ProgressiveChristianity.org). If it weren’t for you, much of this would never have happened at all. Think of it as an “It’s a Wonderful Life” contribution!

A New Poem, an Invitation, & Thoughts on Religion and the Arts

Column by Cassandra Farrin on August, 17 2017

As some of you are already aware, I am in the middle of a project retelling early Christian texts as poems, tentatively titled Apocryphal Monologues. Each poem pairs modern-day ethical questions with words from an ancient text, putting them into dialogue with one another. In some cases I am retelling whole texts, such as On the Origin of the World. In others, as in the poem above, I engage with a single episode or saying. Along with miscarriage, the poems so far address nuclear meltdowns, the arms race, rape, abortion, and the feminine as a legitimate expression of the divine. I don’t want the poems to be preachy; I try not to moralize. I’m more interested in asking difficult questions of the texts and demanding emotionally honest answers.

Bishop Spong’s Newsletter

Column by Fred Plumer on March, 23 2017

Good morning friends. I am the Board President of ProgressiveChristianity.org and have held that position for over 12 years. Our organization has been the publishers of the Bishop Spong’s newsletters and the owners of the John Shelby Spong website for nearly five years now. The website is titled, A New Christianity for a New World. I hope you all avail yourself to this treasure of fascinating and interesting articles by Bishop Spong that go back almost 20 years. As subscribers you have access to these absolutely wonderful writings of one of the best authors of our time. If you have trouble accessing these nearly two thousand articles by Bishop Spong please contact our office and we will help you. This morning, however, I want to share with you some of the things we are doing with your subscriptions newsletter.

A Letter to my Community of Readers

Column by Bishop John Shelby Spong on December, 24 2014

Dear Friends:

As the calendar in the year 2014 dictates this column should arrive at your email address at about 2:00 o’clock A.M. Eastern Standard Time on December 25th. …

Lectureship that Challenges What is, in the Name of What Can Be

Column by Bishop John Shelby Spong on May, 23 2013

The Third Annual John Shelby Spong Lecture was held at St. Peter’s Church, Morristown, New Jersey, near the end of April. A crowd of people, numbering around 400, according …

My Way into an Interfaith Future

Column by Bishop John Shelby Spong on June, 28 2012

Last week I introduced you, my readers, to an interfaith “think tank” in which I shared recently at a conference center known as the Chautauqua Institution in Western New …

Examining the Story of the Cross, Part VI: The Enigma Called Judas

Column by Bishop John Shelby Spong on April, 14 2011

The anti-hero of the Christian story in general and of the crucifixion story in particular is one who is known as Judas Iscariot. Scorn and ridicule have been heaped …

My Friend: Richard Lester Shimpfky 1940-2011

Column by Bishop John Shelby Spong on March, 30 2011

Recently, I preached at the funeral of one who had been a close friend for more than 40 years.  His name was Richard Shimpfky.  Let me tell you something of …