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Grace Bats Last (Luke 24:1-12)

Rev. Susan Sparks | Posted 03.21.2016 | Religion
Rev. Susan Sparks

Baseball and Easter are a perfect match. This year, Opening Day falls just a week after Easter Sunday. But beyond the calendrical coincidence, many people have referred to baseball as a religion.

Offerings, Then and Now (Parashat Vayikra, Leviticus 1:1-5:26)

Rabbi Dr. Michael Shire | Posted 03.16.2016 | Religion
Rabbi Dr. Michael Shire

On one hand, we can be grateful that we have responded to God's call (vayikra means "and God called") very differently in a post-biblical world; on the other hand, we can still recall with wonder and mystery the ancient cult as described in our parasha.

Jesus, Justice-Fatigue, and Why Being Black Is Exhausting (John 12:1-8)

Billy Honor | Posted 03.09.2016 | Religion
Billy Honor

These days persons like myself (that is, black and involved in fighting social injustice) are almost constantly giving explanation for the continued contested existence of black life in America and quite frankly, this can be extremely exhausting.

With Water, String, and Laughter: Finding the Divine (Parshat Pekudei, Exodus 38:21 - 40:38)

Rabbi Emma Kippley-Ogman | Posted 03.09.2016 | Religion
Rabbi Emma Kippley-Ogman

This month, the Torah has led us on a comprehensive tour of the folk art museum of ancient Israelite desert wandering, a full accounting of the physical culture of our portable sacred space in the wilderness.

The Bible And Quran Are More Similar Than You May Think

The Huffington Post | Carol Kuruvilla | Posted 05.03.2016 | Religion

Islamophobia has become frighteningly commonplace in the U.S. There's a lot of hatred, misinformation and misplaced fear being directed at Muslims and...

A Campaign That Includes Us All (Parshat Vayakhel, Exodus 35:1-38:20)

Deborah Skolnick Einhorn | Posted 03.02.2016 | Religion
Deborah Skolnick Einhorn

The preceding one-dimensional campaigns -- in which both color and gender are circumscribed -- serve to emphasize the expansive ways in which individuals can be moved to give for the sake of community.

Dismantle the Prison of Political Polarization (Luke 15:1-3, 11b-32 & 2 Corinthians 5:16-21)

Rev. Keith Anderson | Posted 02.29.2016 | Religion
Rev. Keith Anderson

Can we trust the power of that forgiveness for ourselves, our world, and even our perceived enemies? Can we move from mass incarceration to a ministry of reconciliation?

By the People and for the People (Parshat Ki Tissa: Exodus 30:11-34:35)

Stephen Hazan Arnoff | Posted 02.24.2016 | Religion
Stephen Hazan Arnoff

This week's Torah portion, Ki Tissa, suggests two poles of leadership, a useful model for election season or any time. The reading begins with a call to order for the entire Israelite enterprise.

A Covenant of Neighborly Justice: Break the Chains of Quid Pro Quo (Isaiah 55:1-9)

Walter Brueggemann | Posted 02.23.2016 | Religion
Walter Brueggemann

In this season of Lent, this text of summons may be a sobering one for us. In this election season amid shrill or buoyant rhetoric, we may not notice that there real choices to be made, even as Jews in ancient Babylon were confronted with real choices of a most elemental kind.

Nurturing Art: The Sacred Work of Creativity (Parshat Tetzaveh Exodus 27:20-30:10)

Rabbi Adina Allen | Posted 02.18.2016 | Religion
Rabbi Adina Allen

This week's Torah portion, Tetzaveh, is all about connection to the Divine. We pick up in the midst of God's instructions to Moses about how to construct the sacred space in which the Divine Presence can dwell.

Revolutionary Love: Dismantling Hierarchy and Pushing Boundaries (Romans 10:8b-13)

The Rev. Jacqueline J. Lewis, Ph.D. | Posted 02.15.2016 | Religion
The Rev. Jacqueline J. Lewis, Ph.D.

The claim of the specific flesh of Yeshua as Messiah dismantles hierarchy, pushes boundaries, puts in the center what has been overlooked, loathed, and discounted. To confess that Messiahship-Lordship-Loveship of the man from Galilee is to make a radical claim for the way God is fond of the Other.

6 Sexy Love Notes You Might Not Expect To Find In Religious Texts

The Huffington Post | Carol Kuruvilla | Posted 02.13.2016 | Religion

"Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth: for thy love is better than wine." With this sensuous line, the Song of Solomon raises the curtain on a...

Making Space for the Divine -- and Each Other (Parshat Terumah, Exodus 25:1 - 27:19)

Rabbi Jordan Braunig | Posted 02.10.2016 | Religion
Rabbi Jordan Braunig

May we be blessed to be bold and courageous enough to build sacred dwelling places, and may the reward for struggling to keep housing available be an ongoing sense of proximity to the Holy One.

Teaching With Patience and Presence (Parshat Mishpatim, Exodus 21:1-24:18)

Rabbi Sharon Cohen Anisfeld | Posted 02.04.2016 | Religion
Rabbi Sharon Cohen Anisfeld

Teaching, mentoring, and providing guidance and support to young people who are trying to find their way in a complex world requires sustained presence, patience, persistence, and compassion. The same is true for learners at any stage of life.

Many Covenantal Paths: Catholic and Jewish Partnership (Parshat Yitro, Exodus 18:1-20:23)

Rabbi Daniel Lehmann | Posted 01.27.2016 | Religion
Rabbi Daniel Lehmann

In this week's Torah portion, Parshat Yitro -- named for Moses' father-in-law -- Jethro (Yitro in Hebrew) is described first as a priest of Midian, and only after that as the father of Moses' wife.

Walls: Not in My Backyard (Luke 4:21-30)

Greg Carey | Posted 01.26.2016 | Religion
Greg Carey

Lots of our public conversations these days relate to boundaries. In a presidential election year, with seemingly countless candidates and endless debates, it's hard to avoid the angry voices and fierce scowls.

Honoring the Blank Spaces (Parshat B'shalach, Exodus 13:17-17:16)

Rabbi Minna Bromberg | Posted 01.20.2016 | Religion
Rabbi Minna Bromberg

This is the teaching I take from the distinctive layout of the Song of the Sea: the space of the in-breath is the birthplace of all song. Honoring this space, no matter how limited it or we may be, allows us to reconnect, throughout our songs and throughout our lives, with the Infinite from which all song flows.

Tamir Rice and the Anguish of Our National Sin (Nehemiah 8:1-10)

Robert Williamson | Posted 01.18.2016 | Religion
Robert Williamson

Facing the anguish that must surely arise, we must not tarry in our guilt too long, but take action to right the wrongs we have done. To make reparations to those we have oppressed. For it is in this just peace that the Lord takes joy. And the joy of the Lord will be our strength.

New Church Problems: Mormonism

Mette Ivie Harrison | Posted 01.15.2016 | Religion
Mette Ivie Harrison

The Mormon Church is a fairly new religion, not quite 200 years old. It was founded in 1830 by Joseph Smith, and though Mormons believe that it re-est...

Watching, Waiting, Reflecting: Dreaming in Times of Darkness (Parshat Bo, Exodus 10:1-13:16)

Adam Lavitt | Posted 01.13.2016 | Religion
Adam Lavitt

Rather than sitting idly by, paralyzed by cynicism -- or charging toward the power brokers with vengeance -- we can get up and join hands with our ancestors. Together, we will gaze into the darkness, waiting patiently until our eyes adjust and we can see something amidst the darkness.

Manifested Hospitality for the Greater Good (John 2:1-11)

Rev. Shively Smith | Posted 01.26.2016 | Religion
Rev. Shively Smith

The activities of the Christian community should be no less vigorous as we enter the mid-month point in January 2016 and the energy of the Christmas Season has passed. In fact, it is on this Second Sunday after Epiphany that an honest evaluation of our situation locally, regionally, and abroad should be made.

Moses Was Twice a Refugee (Parshat Va'era, Exodus 6:2 – 9:35)

Rabbi Joshua Stanton | Posted 01.07.2016 | Religion
Rabbi Joshua Stanton

Some in Europe and the United States are dithering, uncertain of what to do. Others are actively stoking the fires of xenophobia, and speaking out against the refugees. A notable few are fulfilling their ethical obligations to welcome those who so desperately need a place of refuge.

The Missing Piece (Luke 3:15-17, 21-22)

Rev. Susan Sparks | Posted 01.05.2016 | Religion
Rev. Susan Sparks

In our scripture this week, Luke 3:15-17, 21-22, we are reminded of life's key piece through the story of Jesus' baptism. The moment Jesus emerges from the water, a voice descends from heaven and declares: "You are my beloved son, with whom I am well pleased."

How Experience and Confession Make Teachers and Students Masters

Catherine Nagle | Posted 12.30.2015 | GPS for the Soul
Catherine Nagle

I'm really enjoying the gift of Oprah's "Super Soul Sessions" since it helps me to see that I'm still a work in progress and to determine the areas wh...

Aligning Ourselves With the God Who Changes (Parshat Shemot, Exodus 1:1-6:1)

Rabbi Lisa L. Goldstein | Posted 12.28.2015 | Religion
Rabbi Lisa L. Goldstein

When we seek alternatives to the structures of fear and hate, we cannot just substitute another attempt at absolute power. We have to cultivate different ways of interacting with whatever we don't like or understand.