Supporting religious freedom and the separation of church and state

From the beginning of Christian faith, churches have wrestled with how to relate to governing authorities and live as responsible citizens. Following Jesus means both honoring the role of the state in maintaining justice and peace, and speaking prophetically to it when it fails to do so for all. To do this, separation is inherently needed. This protects the state from being co-opted by religious dogma, and faith communities from being co-opted by political agendas. At the heart of this separation is the realization that the loving and transformative power Jesus demonstrated stood in stark contrast to a heavy handed imperial power. 
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“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....

God and Guns

COMMENTARY  |  Convergence Network

Riverside Church in the City of New York, in partnership with Everytown for Gun Safety, hosts "God and Guns: Faith Leaders Address Gun Violence", an intensive training on gun violence for faith leaders. Interview segments include Rev. Rachel Johnson, Rev. Rob Schenck, Lucy McBath, and Abigail Disney (director of the documentary film "Armor Of Light"). Filmed & edited for Manhattan Neighborhood Network....

Finding True Freedom

SERMONS  |  This We Affirm


This is a transcript of a sermon preached by Robert Cornwall Fourth of July Weekend (2009). Based on a reading from Galatians 5:1-6, 13-14, the message is that true freedom is not found in nationalism or patriotism, but in Christ.  Freedom then is a gift, but freedom involves responsibility. Finally, Freedom leads to community.  That is, true freedom is found not in autonomy (libertarianism), but in commitment to the other.
...

A City Called Heaven by Paul Bellan-Boyer

COMMENTARY  |  This We Affirm

Mark 1:1-15 Psalm 57 Timothy 4: 6-11,18 Isaiah 52:7-10

City Called Heaven Blog Post
By Paul Bellan-Boyer
The Beginning of the Good News- a message from Mark! ...

Nomad: A Spirituality For Traveling Light (Book)

OTHER RESOURCES  |  BrandanRobertson

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

Called For a Purpose: podcast

COMMENTARY  |  This We Affirm

Isaiah 42:1-9

https://faithelement.net/9-03-called-for-a-purpose/

We feel acceptable or unacceptable in God's Eyes... A podcast on perspective regarding who God loves. ...

A Hymn After Gun Violence

WORSHIP  |  This We Affirm

Isaiah 4:2; 1 John 4:18; James 3:1-12; Micah 6:8; Matthew 25:35

A hymn written after the Orlando mass killings, plus other hymns for reflection on gun violence:


To see the complete resource, click here: http://www.carolynshymns.com/to_a_place_of_celebration.html

To a Place of Celebration
EBENEZER 8.7.8.7 D ("Why Do Nations Rage Together")

To a place of celebration filled with laughter, dancing, joy,
Came such violent devastation — one man's efforts to destroy.
God, we grieve for loved ones taken; we lament, "What can we do?"
Now, we're feeling lost and shaken; heal our nation! Make us new!
Weapons kill — and so does silence; hear our prayer as we confess:
We have given in to violence, we have bowed to hopelessness.
God, we've lost our sense of vision of a world where there will be
Plowshares made from violent weapons, justice in society.
Give our leade...

Trump And A Post- Truth World by Ken Wilber

OTHER RESOURCES  |  This We Affirm

The election of Donald Trump is an evolutionary self-correction that has been decades in the making — a backlash against the failure of the leading edge of consciousness (postmodernism and pluralism) to acknowledge the lie underlying the progress they’ve pursued: it’s not equal, it’s not consistent, and it doesn’t make room for everyone. But a new integral force is emerging that can move beyond the narcissism and nihilism of political correctness to offer genuine leadership and move towards a developmental-based wisdom of greater wholeness....

A Sermon About Cynicism and Listening for God

SERMONS  |  This We Affirm

Joshua Smith preaches on missing prophets because of our cynicism....

Prophetic Voice Episode 1: Prophetically Incorrect

COMMENTARY  |  Darkwood Brew

Pop quiz: What does an 8th Century Jewish shepherd have to say about the modern economy, the 1%, and politics as usual? Join Darkwood Brew’s Rev. Eric Elnes, Ph.D. for the first episode of an in-depth conversation with Frank Schaeffer as they explore the precarious art of prophecy in Amos’ day, and in our own....

A Confession for Our Callousness

WORSHIP  |  Floyd Thompkins

Rev. Floyd Thompkins offers a prayer of confession for when we've become callous to the needs around us....

Arise: A Call to Worship for Activist Congregations

WORSHIP  |  Floyd Thompkins

John 4:23

A Call to worship for congregations who have a social justice profile!...

Worship Series: Angels Among Us

WORSHIP  |  Marcia McFee

This fully-scripted Advent/Christmas series from the Worship Design Studio features the stories of the winged messengers who visited Zechariah, Mary, Joseph, and the Shepherds. What messages we can offer that will counteract a culture of fear and bring #morehope, #morepeace, #morejoy, and #morelove to the world? This series is compatible with Affirmation #7, Prophetic Voice. Read the synopses here, and learn more about the full package including worship scripts for the season, suggestions for children in worship from Guest Expert Mark Burrows, original music by Chuck Bell and Marcia McFee, and more at www.worshipdesignstudio.com/angels....

Worship Series: Risky Business

WORSHIP  |  Marcia McFee

This series, originally designed for Epiphany Plus (Narrative Lectionary), can be used anytime you want to emphasize how Jesus calls us to take risks on behalf of love and justice. Scriptures show Jesus rubbing rulers the wrong way, eating with "sinners," and putting himself amidst the sick and unclean. Compatible with Affirmation #7, Prophetic Voice....

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....

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