Walking humbly with God while loving our enemies

Authentically and humbly embracing our flaws is central to the path of Jesus. If we’re honest, we realize that we rarely live up to the principles and ideals we espouse. While these ideals may stand in contrast to some of the values found in non-religious circles, following Jesus does not make a person inherently morally superior to those outside of faith. The humility and authenticity of Jesus is perhaps mostly clearly seen in his instructions to love those who consider us their enemies. When love extends even to those who are hardest to love, we make room for reconciliation and resurrection.
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FEATURED CONTENT

“The Long Road to Freedom” by Jacqui Lewis

SERMONS  |  Convergence Network

Dr. Jacqui Lewis is Senior Minister Middle Collegiate Church in the East Village of Manhattan. Middle Church is a dynamic 900-member multiracial, multicultural, inclusive congregation in which everyone is welcome just as they are as they come through the door. Lewis is also the Executive Director of The Middle Project, an institute that prepares ethical leaders for a more just society....

WOMEN GATHER

OTHER RESOURCES  |  This We Affirm

The Secret Question: Who is the Enemy?

COMMENTARY  |  Herman Waetjen

John 11:1-44

In this article, Herman Waetjen explores the connections between resurrection and love of enemy, showing how resurrection, experienced here and now, liberates us from eye for an eye thinking....

Nomad: A Spirituality For Traveling Light (Book)

OTHER RESOURCES  |  BrandanRobertson

A copy of Brandan Robertson's book "Nomad: A Spirituality For Traveling Light" ...

Jesus and HomoSexuality

OTHER RESOURCES  |  This We Affirm

Gen 2:20-25, Romans 1:18-27, 1 Timothy 1:10, Leviticus 18:22 20:13

http://www.crosswalknapa.org/blog/2017/3/11/jesus-and-homosexuality

Think about this statement: Loving, covenanted, same-gender sexual expression can be compatible with being a committed follower of Christ....

Salt and Light: Living a Faithful Life Podcast

SERMONS  |  This We Affirm

Mathew 5: 13-20

https://faithelement.net/9-06-salt-and-light/

Podcast

We take a look at a popular passage that calls for Christians to be “salt and light” in the world. What can we learn about living a faithful life by looking more closely at the nature and use of both salt and light?

...

Not Like Me: A one person monologue to use in worship

WORSHIP  |  This We Affirm

http://sacredise.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/NotLikeMe.pdf

Creative ways to Worship with a Monologue

Not Like Me: A one person dialogue ...

An Open Letter From Millenial

COMMENTARY  |  This We Affirm

Prayer to End Violence

WORSHIP  |  This We Affirm

http://rev-o-lution.org/2015/10/01/prayer-to-end-violence/

Prayer in a time of turmoil to End Violence...

Pregnancy and Loss

SERMONS  |  This We Affirm

http://rev-o-lution.org/resources/pregnancy-and-infant-loss-remembrance-day-october-15th/

Pregnancy and Loss
Prayers and suggestions for those that have lost babies.......

Humility and Honesty

OTHER RESOURCES  |  Richard Rohr

Matthew 13:44

Adapted from Richard Rohr, Everything Belongs: The Gift of Contemplative Prayer

A daily meditation on the connection between humility and honesty.  
...

Praying and Acting for Peace

WORSHIP  |  This We Affirm

John 20:19, Mathew 5:3-10

Compassion: Karen Armstrong and The Middle Way Podcast

OTHER RESOURCES  |  This We Affirm

https://www.charterforcompassion.org/charter/karen-armstrong-2008-ted-prize

Compassion Podcast on Interfaith Dialogue: Karen Armstrong...

Mental Health: A Guide for Faith Leaders

OTHER RESOURCES  |  This We Affirm

http://www.pathways2promise.org/mental-health-a-guide-for-faith-leaders/

A Guide to Faith Leaders for Mental Health issues that may arise. ...

The Authority of Apology

SERMONS  |  Nadia Bolz-Weber

Nadia Bolz-Weber gives the Honors Convocation Address at Iliff School of Theology....

Spirituality of Letting Go: Week 1 Summary

OTHER RESOURCES  |  Richard Rohr

The Center for Action and Contemplation offers a meditation on forgiveness....

On Forgiveness and Abuse

OTHER RESOURCES  |  Rachel Held Evans

Rachel Held Evans discusses what forgiveness and grace mean for those that have suffered abuse....

A Christmas Story of Sorts

OTHER RESOURCES  |  The Liturgists

Lang tells his story.  A story of family, acceptance, and forgiveness....

Forgiving Victim

OTHER RESOURCES  |  Richard Rohr

Richard Rohr discusses how Jesus is the ultimate forgiving victim.  While he is a victim, he forgives and makes sure that no one else becomes a victim in response to his death....

The Practice of Forgiveness

SERMONS  |  This We Affirm

From sojourngrace.com:

"Anne Lamott says that not forgiving is like drinking rat poison and waiting for the rat to die. It’s hurting someone, just not the rat. In a week like this, what does forgiveness have to offer us? Isn’t forgiveness just another way of letting the aggressor off the hook, and holding the victim responsible for their own pain? Join Jessica Mitchell as she asks the question, Could your soul be asking you to process something so you can let it go?"...

A Sermon in Forgiving

SERMONS  |  This We Affirm

Brian Rossbert at House For All Sinners and Saints preaches on forgiveness, using the example of the Amish response to a schoolhouse shooting....

The Ideology of Jesus

OTHER RESOURCES  |  This We Affirm

Rich A. Rosendahl calls for us to follow the Christ's example, to love, and not follow the ideologies of those around us....

Q & A: Enabling or ???

OTHER RESOURCES  |  Brian McLaren

Brian McLaren discusses compassion and justice....

Relational Entanglement

OTHER RESOURCES  |  This We Affirm

Genesis 16 Genesis 21

From sojourngrace.com:

"Genesis 16 and 21 record two stories of how the Ishmaelites came to be. But what’s interesting in these stories is how the characters relate to one another. In this message, Pastor Colby draws on insights from Quantum Physics, the Cross, and Wonder Woman to show how we can better learn to love ourselves and love one another."
...

What Love Looks Like (Relaxing)

SERMONS  |  This We Affirm

From sojourngrace.com:

"If you could reverse engineer some of your most healthy relationships, one of the things you might find is the existence of a non-anxious presence. In this sermon, Colby suggests that Love Looks Like Relaxing. Which is to say, having an open handed and open hearted posture toward the people in your life is one way to help your relationships thrive."...

Thursday Night Dome Speaker: Shane Claiborne

SERMONS  |  Shane Claiborne

Shane Claiborne speaks about discipleship at the ELCA Youth Gathering....

Friday Dome Speaker: Leymah Gbowee

SERMONS  |  This We Affirm

Leymah Gbowee speaks at the ELCA Youth Gathering about hope in all the pain in the world....

Humility Episode 1: The Great Convergence

COMMENTARY  |  Darkwood Brew

In the past few decades, a new historical trend has been quietly playing out. Refugees from Christian liberalism and conservatism have been finding each other in a powerful Great Convergence. This convergence isn’t a watered-down attempt to find “middle ground” for the sake of getting along. Instead, it is a dynamic and sometimes chaotic journey through a new wilderness, where those alienated or estranged from their native traditions on the Left and the Right are drawn to find ancient Biblical faith that works in the modern world. The first episode of this eight-part series, lead by Rev. Eric Elnes, Ph.D., finds deep meaning and hope in what this unlikely group of fellow travelers is learning along the way....

The Truth about what I Think about Individual Conservative Christians

OTHER RESOURCES  |  Sheri Faye Rosendahl

Sheri Faye Rosendahl discusses how she engages with American Conservative Christians, despite their polarizing differences in theology....

Turning Cheeks and Punching Nazis

OTHER RESOURCES  |  Sam Altis

From abetterstorypodcast.com:

"Turn the other cheek" has been used to perpetuate oppression for years, but when we look at what Jesus was trying to do, we find a radically empowering statement. "
...

Orlando

OTHER RESOURCES  |  Rob Bell

Rob Bell responds to the Pulse nightclub shooting.  He tackles loving our LGBTQ+ brothers and sister, gun control, and grief....

The Truth about Sheep

SERMONS  |  Nadia Bolz-Weber

Nadia Bolz Weber preaches on what it means to be a sheep and a shepherd....

Make Sure You are In Need of Forgiveness

SERMONS  |  Richard Rohr

Matthew 18:21 Matthew 18:22 Matthew 18:23 Matthew 18:24 Matthew 18:25 Matthew 18:26 Matthew 18:27 Matthew 18:28 Matthew 18:29 Matthew 18:30 Matthew 18:31 Matthew 18:32 Matthew 18:33

Father Richard Rohr gives a homily on forgiveness and mercy....

Learning to Lament: The Culture of Denial

OTHER RESOURCES  |  Rob Bell

Rob Bell talks about God's heart and the danger and courage of lament....

Converging Paths Interview with Maryanne Stevens, RSM

OTHER RESOURCES  |  Eric Elnes

Eric Elnes interviews Dr. Maryanne Stevens, RSM, about "God experiences" that continue to shape her personal and professional life.  Dr. Stevens is President of the College of St. Mary in Omaha, NE, as well as the Board Chair for Omaha's renowned Tri-Faith Initiative (www.trifaith.org) where a Jewish synagogue, a Christian church, and an Islamic mosque have co-located to a 35-acre Commons to move beyond interfaith dialog to interfaith community....

Converging Paths Interview with Imam Jamal Daoudi

OTHER RESOURCES  |  Eric Elnes

Eric Elnes interviews Imam Jamal Daoudi about "God experiences" that continue to shape is personal and professional life.  Imam Daoudi is the spiritual leader of of the American Muslim Institute – the Muslim partner in Omaha, Nebraska's Tri-Faith Initiative (www.trifaith.org).  Imam Jamal was born in Damascus, Syria where, from the age of 12, he attended Abu Nour Islamic Center, under the direction of the eminent scholars of that center. Imam Jamal holds a B.A in English Literature from Damascus University and a Doctor of Ministry degree from United Theological Seminary in Dayton, OH.  He came to the U.S. in 1995 and became a U.S. citizen in 2005 – the same year he received the Martin Luther King “Living the Dream” award for peace advocacy.
...

Converging Paths Interview with Wendy Goldberg

OTHER RESOURCES  |  Eric Elnes

Eric Elnes interviews Wendy Goldberg about "God experiences" that continue to shape her personal and professional life.  Ms. Goldberg is a founding member of Omaha, Nebraska's Tri-Faith Initiative (www.trifaith.org), where a synagogue, a mosque, and a church are co-locating to a 35-acre Commons in order to move from interfaith dialog to interfaith relationship.  She is also member of Temple Israel (the Tri-Faith’s Jewish partner) and has served on its Board of Trustees, as President of the synagogue, and as Temple Israel’s Program Director.  Wendy currently serves as a project manager for Project Harmony, an organization dedicated to protecting and supporting children and ending child neglect and abuse....

Converging Paths Interview with Ashley Swartz

OTHER RESOURCES  |  Eric Elnes

Eric Elnes interviews Ashley Schwartz, a farmer, grandmother, volunteer firefighter, a Christian, and transgender activist who made her gender transition twenty years ago while continuing to live and farm in her hometown of Malmo, Nebraska. Ashley credits her transition as instrumental in bringing her into closer relationship with God and her community.  In this interview, Ashley shares intimately about her path and the "God experiences" that continue to shape it....

Converging Paths Interview with Floyd Thompkins

OTHER RESOURCES  |  Eric Elnes

Eric Elnes interview's San Francisco Theological Seminary's  Director of the Center for Innovation in Ministry, Rev. Floyd Thompkins, about "God experiences" that have shaped his personal and professional life.   Floyd has served as a dean and chaplain at two world-class institutions, Stanford and Princeton universities. There he developed unique, highly effective programs to empower underserved teenage youth and young adults in urban and rural areas. He also led Antioch Baptist Church, the oldest African American Church in San Jose, CA, and was the Education and Administrative Pastor of Covenant Christian Church in Douglas, GA....

Converging Paths Interview with Rabbi Aryeh Azriel

OTHER RESOURCES  |  Eric Elnes

Rev. Dr. Chris Alexander interviews Rabbi Aryeh Azriel, one of the founders of Omaha, Nebraska's Tri-Faith Initiative (www.trifaith.org) about human nature, Judaism, the Tri-Faith Initiative, and the future of interfaith cooperation. Rabbi Azriel is Rabbi Emeritus of Temple Israel and serves as Scholar-In-Residence at Countryside Community Church (UCC), both in Omaha, NE....

The Faith of Jesus in a Pluralistic World - six sermon packet

SERMONS  |  Eric Elnes

John 14:1-6; Deuteronomy 32:7-12; Deuteronomy 6:4-9; John 10:11-18; Acts 178:22-31; Colossians 1:13-20

This 6-sermon resource packet by pastor/biblical scholar, Rev. Eric Elnes, Ph.D., is focussed on how Christians may "claim fully the path of Jesus without denying the legitimacy of other paths God may create for humanity" (Phoenix Affirmation 1). The series specifically and sensitively addresses Jesus' statement in John 14:6 that "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me."  The series helps people understand the historical and literary context of this statement, and a number of translational and interpretive possibilities that suggest that the most common interpretation (that Christianity is the only way) is the least likely one that Jesus would affirm.  Also available (at additional cost) is a complete small group video resource produced by Darkwood Brew which is available in DVD and internet streaming formats (https://darkwoodbrew....

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