Yeah! Not As Easy As It Sounds (Hospitality)

If hospitality is about tea cozies and finger sandwiches, it’d just be a matter of tidying up the house and having people over. But in the spiritual tradition, hospitality is a much more demanding proposition. It means “radical inclusion of the other, the outsider, the stranger.” In that context, we might need some prep work in […]

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Radical Inclusion: The Three Magi

The Twelve Days of Christmas doesn’t mean much any more. But back in the day, each of the days celebrated an important story — the last day, the story of the three magi. It is a story about God abolishing sectarianism. What? Yep. It’s a story about Divine Life, Divine Light, being given to everybody — not […]

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Being on the Edge of Becoming 

by Jennifer Murray The word “virgin” can lend to thoughts of barrenness, but it can also mean whole and content.  Meditation and reflection and contemplation.  Receive the grace of the love that is always there. Am I full or am I empty?  Do I leave a space to be filled by the divine?  Or am […]

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Advent 1: Joining the Way of Divine Gestation

by George Fuller Look up “gestation” in the dictionary or using Google. We are being developed and grown in the womb of the Divine and our faith is being gestated within us. We are continually changing, whether we are comfortable with it or not. It happens around us and within us simultaneously. This is the […]

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The “S” Word

We don’t use the word “sin” very often at NRCC because it has gotten kind of encrusted with toxic meanings over the centuries. However, it is an important spiritual concept. In this lesson we look at the double nature we tend to carry inside ourselves — we don’t want to deceive ourselves, but we are prone to […]

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Community Meeting (a pretty important one)

A lot has happened to our community recently. Our minister (me) got the boot from the denomination we were part of. Our community voted to keep the minister (again, me), which meant our vote was to both leave the denomination, and since the denomination owns the building, to find a new home. It’s been a lot. And while all that […]

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Our Brains: A Blessing . . . And A Curse (2)

Last week, we saw how our brains have a built-in motivation system to get us up, out of bed, eating, drinking, procreating, and doing the things we need to further our lives and the species. The whole system is a real blessing. But it’s also a curse. It sucks us into a time-focus that is anything but […]

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Our Brains: A Blessing . . . And a Curse (1)

There are some chemicals in our brains that create a motivation cycle which really helps us. These chemicals get us out of bed, and motivate us to eat, and work, and make babies — all the stuff we need to do to sustain life. What a relief! When something goes wrong with these motivating chemicals in […]

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But Doug – Surely Not In Our Painful Moments!

This lesson is about staying engaged in the present moment. It is about not borrowing regrets from the past — or anxiety from the future. But sometimes we don’t borrow regret or anxiety — we borrow relief, or respite. In our painful moments, it is much easier NOT to live in the present moment. So […]

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“No Such Thing As Time!” That’s Just Crazy!

Before you dismiss the idea of time not being the solid thing we all live in – you should hear what philosophers and physicists have to say. If time really is a persistent illusion in which we all live — what Jesus said about staying in the present moment — makes a lot of sense. […]

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I’m a Future-Fixate-er. You?

“Staying present to the moment.” It’s a buzz-phrase in contemplative circles these days. But what does it mean? Does it mean we don’t plan our futures? Does it mean we don’t interpret our pasts? If so, we’re pretty much out of luck. Who can do that? I don’t think it means either of those things. […]

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Staying Current with the Present Moment

We took a break in August, from our lesson series on rethinking prayer (lots of change going on in our community). Today we return. In this lesson, we rehearse some context — why prayers of detachment are so valuable on the spiritual journey. We give this review, as context for one remaining prayer in this lesson — […]

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OK . . . Now What?

Last week we had a community vote to leave our denomination. It was a gutsy thing for the community to do, because in the denomination we were part, the local church doesn’t own the church building. We will be renting back the building for a while, but we’re searching for a new home. As you […]

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