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Brian's Blog

  • October 8, 2015

  • October 6, 2015

    Faith Leaders on Earth's Climate

    You can jump directly to various speakers here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cl2IMb0pGOY

    If you'd like to hear specific speakers from Coming Together in Faith on Climate, you can use this as a guide:
    Rev. Gary Hall - 0:00
    Rev. Otis Moss & Brian McLaren - 3:00
    Rabbi Steve Gutow - 5:10
    Imam Mohamed Magid - 10:00
    Moss/McLaren - 5 Initiatives - 13:40
    Rev. John Dorhauer - 18:40
    Rev. Sharon Watkins - 23:15
    Rev. Geoff Tunnicliffe - 26:05
    Rabbi Shoshana Meira Friedman, "The Tide is Rising" - 31:05
    Sr. Simone Campbell - 36:15
    Ambassador Ebrahim Rasool - 41:55
    Rev. Suzii Paynter - 46:55
    Moss/McLaren/Interaction - 51:45
    Rev. Fred Small, "Tree of Life" - 56:30
    Most Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori - 1:01:40
    Senator Sheldon Whitehouse - 1:06:21
    Rev. Amy Butler - 1:10:40
    Moss/McLaren - 1:14:30
    Rt. Rev. Marianne Budde - 1:19:45

    Links to organizations and more here … http://faithandclimate.org

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  • Randall Balmer gets it right on Evangelicals and Trump


    Regarded by many conservationists as the greatest environmental president ever, Carter also understood nature as God's creation and worked to protect it. Reagan, on the other hand, appointed James Watt as secretary of the interior; Watt favored development over conservation and was unremittingly hostile to the protection of the environment.

    By the 1980 election, evangelicals had seized on abortion as a pretext for abandoning Carter. As governor and as president, however, Carter had worked very hard, within the confines of the law, to reduce the incidence of abortion; Reagan, while governor of California, signed the most liberal abortion bill in the nation. Although he came around to a so-called pro-life position by 1980, Reagan, as even his apologists acknowledge, made no serious attempt to make good on his promise to outlaw abortion.

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  • October 4, 2015

    A moment of worship

    I received a great gift from my friends at Riverside Church in New York when they used one of my songs in a recent service. It turned out beautifully. The whole service is so worth enjoying, but if you just want to hear and see the song, you can take it in from 17:40-21:30, here:
    Here are the lyrics:

    Lord, every star, blazing bright, shines of you Lord, mountains tall, high with might, stand for you And these hearts beat to you And these feet dance for you And these hands raise to you And these lives live to you

    Lord, every leaf, green, red, gold paints of you
    Lord, every wave, crashing bold, roars of you
    And these hearts beat to you
    And these feet dance for you
    And these hands raise to you
    And these lives live to you

    Lord, every tear, truly cried, cries to you
    Lord, every love, longing deep, calls to you
    And these hearts beat to you
    And these feet dance for you
    And these hands raise to you
    And these lives live to you

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  • October 3, 2015

    A reader writes: Rocked in a Good Way

    A reader writes (and asks):

    Just wanted to THANK you for this intriguing book WE MAKE THE ROAD BY WALKING! That (& trilogy New Kind of Christian) has been huge to this Lutheran-turned-Methodist (Wesleyan) girl! A LOT if my old thots on faith have been rocked, but in a GOOD way! I've had a lot of questions & they are seeming to find answers the longer I live. I have been "opened" & I KNOW God is at the heart of my "awakening". Thank you & I am continuing to explore.

    May I ask you, what do you think of George MacDonald's work? I have been led to him, but as if yet, haven't read any of his work...only excerpts from Michael Phillips' work. (You see, I think even fiction can lead to faith...)

    Thanks again for stretching me & I only wish I could use this as a sermon series! But alas, I am retired!

    God bless you as you spread the GOOD NEWS!!

    Thanks for your encouraging words. On George MacDonald - I was a English major in college and grad school and so, as you might expect, I am a big fan of MacDonald. He saw as few have seen how deeply faith and imagination are connected. Here are two of my favorite quotes from him:
    It matters little where a man may be at this moment; the point is whether he is growing.

    When we are out of sympathy with the young, then I think our work in this world is over.

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  • October 2, 2015

    A Week Ago ...

    A week ago, an amazing group of people from around the continent gathered in Washington, DC, at the National Cathedral for Coming Together in Faith on Climate. We were so inspired by Pope Francis' message on "integral ecology" that we wanted to echo and amplify that message to the best of our ability.

    In the weeks to come, we'll be building on that momentum. If you'd like to learn more, check out our five initiatives here.

    You can watch the whole Celebration from Thursday, 24 September, here:

    And you can watch the follow-up discussion from Friday, 25 September, here:

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  • September 30, 2015

    A Moment of Disappointment

    There is so much to celebrate about the recent visit of Pope Francis to Turtle Island (aka the USA). But there are also reasons for disappointment, especially this from my friend Mark Charles:

    About half way through his speech, Pope Francis mentioned the indigenous peoples of this land. My heart jumped. I was nervous, but eager. This was it. Here was the section. What would he say? What sin would he address? The Catholic Church's Doctrine of Discovery? The colonialism of Europe? The stolen lands and broken treaties of the United States?

    … I waited in anticipation…

    "Tragically, the rights of those who were here long before us were not always respected. For those peoples and their nations, from the heart of American democracy, I wish to reaffirm my highest esteem and appreciation. Those first contacts were often turbulent and violent, but it is difficult to judge the past by the criteria of the present."

    What??? Did I hear him right???

    "…it is difficult to judge the past by the criteria of the present."

    My heart sank. My body went numb. I could not believe my ears. Pope Francis was standing on the world stage dismissing the Catholic Church's devastating Doctrine of Discovery.

    Be sure to read Mark's commentary on Benjamin Netanyahu's speech to Congress, earlier in the article

    Also see this.

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  • September 28, 2015

    So much beauty ...

    A friend reminded me of this amazing scene …

    A good meditation for a Sunday.

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  • September 26, 2015

    Friends in New York

    I'll be at Riverside tomorrow with @PastorAmyTRC to debrief @Pontifex visit & talk abt ‪#‎climatechange‬. Join us https://www.facebook.com/events/785964668181258/permalink/785964688181256/ … ‪#‎TrendingAtTRC‬
    I'll be preaching at 10:45 service ...

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  • September 22, 2015

    Two powerful messages on Climate ...

    This one from Ambassador Daniel Speckhard, head of Lutheran World Relief. Quotable:

    Both the Bush and Obama administrations have agreed that compassionate foreign aid to the poor overseas—through disaster relief, improved health, and sustainable development—is the right thing to do and a critical part of our national security, complementing investments in defense and diplomacy. Because promoting stable and responsible societies and governments promotes our interests as well as our values, instability and assault on the poor and vulnerable unleashed by climate change requires us to respond
    He will be part of our Coming Together in Faith on Climate gatherings this week. (There's still room for your to join us on Thursday evening!)

    Also participating will be Senator Sheldon Whitehouse. Here is one of the most powerful moral voices you'll ever hear addressing Congress ... (AKA "the hall of mammon!")

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  • September 21, 2015

  • September 20, 2015

    To the creative ...

    A gift from Joel McKerrow …
    More here.

    Another gift here:

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  • September 17, 2015