We can sum up the message of the ancient prophets pretty simply. “Do the right thing . . . or suffer the consequences.” To many religious folk, that sounds like a threat from God. In a recent TED talk, we realize, it’s a pretty accurate description of what happens when we don’t keep our commitments […]

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Recapping Our Summer of Listening

It’s been our focus this summer — the spiritual practice of listening. As the summer comes to an end, we revisit the important themes of the summer lesson, and point ourselves forward. Have a listen, Doug

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Toward A Better World: Doing Our Bit

We’re nearing the end of our “summer of listening.” We began this summer with the premise that when people set aside time for spiritual listening, one thing they have heard through the ages is the call to repair the earth. And it is clear to anyone watching – our earth needs repairing. But the need […]

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Jesus said it, not me! Hate your mother! Hate your father. But maybe that’s not the point. Maybe the point is being alert to the powerful pressure to conform — best exerted on us by our people — can keep us from discerning our ways forward. Yep. I think that’s it. Have a listen, Doug

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You have jerks in your life. Sure you do. But have you noticed that we usually have two categories of jerk around us? There are jerks that are “our” jerks, and those who are not. The one is not any jerkier than the other, but we somehow “get” them. Pull that thread a bit, and there […]

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In our summer of listening, we are listening for “the Third Force,” “the Reconciling Force.” There’s a good chance you don’t know what that means. No problem. Robin Camu gave us a lesson recently (CLICK HERE) that helped frame for us, not only how we do the spiritual practices of listening, but what we listen for […]

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This summer, our community is setting aside time for the spiritual practices of listening. This summer our society is in upheaval. – Black Lives Matter, HB2, Dallas, Nice Divisions that have long simmered, are boiling over. Which makes listening critical. In this lesson, I build on what Robin taught us last week. Binary conflicts require a third force, for […]

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Creating A New Reality: The Law of Three

This is Doug. I’m writing about the lesson Robin gave this day. I’m writing because Robin would naturally be reluctant to promote her own lesson, and I think it was a very important framing lesson for the future of our community. It’s important because it tells us what to look for when we find ourselves in intractable […]

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A Fourth-of-July Message: Freedom!

Our Bill of Rights enshrines four essential, socio-political freedoms… – The freedom to speak and say what we think – The freedom to write and publish what we think – The freedom to assemble together and work toward changes we want – The freedom to worship in any form we want But there are freedoms that […]

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Tikkun Olam

Nope. That’s not a typo. Tikkun olam is a thing. A real thing. An ancient thing. When we set ourselves to the ancient practices of listening, the accumulated experience of those gone before us in our tradition gives us a set of expectations about some of the things we’ll hear. One of them, is the calling to […]

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We continue introducing our summer focus on the spiritual practice of listening. This summer, we’re focusing on the art of spiritual listening. If you’re in Raleigh, I encourage you to be part of our Sundays at 1417 Clifton St. in Raleigh, to experience the practices that accompany the lesson. Have a listen, And come along, Doug

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We begin this week, a new lesson on the spiritual practice of listening. We’re combining the lesson with a summer of practicing the art of listening together. If you’re in Raleigh, I encourage you to be part of our Sundays at 1417 Clifton St. in Raleigh, to experience the practices that accompany the lesson. Have a […]

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Expanding God’s table

By John Pavlovitz One of the images that most attracted me to church was the table of God where all were congregated together in unity.  However, the church has done a lot since the time of Jesus to make the table of God smaller and more exclusive.  We owe it to those who are being […]

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Revisiting: We Resolve Conflict (2)

We continue looking at how the story we tell ourselves about sin profoundly shapes our instinct about ourselves, about one another, and about how we deal with the divided lives we all live. In particular, we explore how it affects the instincts we bring to resolving the inevitable conflicts in our lives. Last week’s lesson […]

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Revisiting: We Resolve Conflict (1)

As we’ve seen the story we tell ourselves about sin profoundly shapes our instinct about ourselves, about one another, and about how we deal with the divided lives we all live. Turns out, the story we tell ourselves about sin impacts how we approach conflict resolution as well. More to the point, one sin story […]

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It’s not a big deal (listen to the last three lessons), but it’s a deal. It’s a “ruin-our-lives” kind of deal. So we need to deal with it. When we tell ourselves that our defining center is ugly, ugly, sin-consciousness, we tend to deal with it one way. When we tell ourselves our deepest center […]

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Revisiting: Sin Is Not That Big A Deal (3)

It’s not a big deal (listen to the last two lessons), but it’s a deal. It’s a “ruin-our-lives” kind of deal. So we need to deal with it. When we tell ourselves one story about what sin is, we deal with it one way. Another story. Another way. In the 5th century, Rome tweaked how we […]

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