Intelligent, Respectful Dialogue – what a concept?

If you haven't seen this powerful TED talk from Megan Phelps-Roper, it is so worth your time ...

And then, take in this lengthy dialogue between two professors with lots of differences, but even more important things in common. (BTW, this Peter McLaren is a friend, but not a relation.)

May we all cultivate the courage to differ graciously ...

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Q & R: A curriculum of love for my church?

Here's the Q:

I feel called to help my church move to a curriculum of Love after reading the latest book, The Great Spiritual Migration. Is it possible for Brian to open an online discussion where people could propose sermon topics and we could do-develop them with Brian's guidance? My lead pastor does not understand how we would implement Brian's ideas for a wide variety of age groups and experiences. I see some sermon suggestions for other books on this site, but we need some for the School of Love as soon as possible so it doesn't just remain an idea that is too difficult to carry out.

Here's the R:

Thanks for your interest. For starters, I recommend you check out my book We Make the Road by Walking. It is a year-long curriculum for a congregation, a small group, a youth group, or a new church planting venture. People are developing all kinds of additional resources too - from youth curricula to kids' curricula. You'll find lots of links here.

Here's a link to John Stonecypher's amazing kids and youth curriculum.

The book/curriculum gives you a fresh overview of the whole Bible - which also provides a fresh overview of the Christian faith, from the perspective of "a curriculum of love." Again, you'll find links to resources here.

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The Evangelical and Catholic wings of the religious right, together with Republican political extremists and powerful corporate elites, have created an emergency in our country.

Right at the moment we most need to care for our environment, they’re denying science and rolling back environmental protections.

Instead of helping us find strength in racial and religious diversity, they’re fueling an ugly resurgence of division, fear, and prejudice that threatens minorities and undermines the common good.

They’re attacking the free press, covering up corruption, and spreading misinformation.

And to make matters worse, instead of helping poor and middle class people, they’re channeling even more wealth toward the richest of the super-rich.

This isn’t just a fire drill. The house is on fire and it is time for progressive Christians to come together as never before, not just to complain, but to conspire and collaborate … for the sake of the planet, for the sake of the poor, for the sake of peace, and for the sake of vulnerable people everywhere.

That’s why I’m working with a highly competent and committed team of progressive Christian leaders to form the Convergence Leadership Project.

Here’s the big idea:

The Problem: Many of our churches and denominations, like our country at large, are polarized and paralyzed. They have to walk on eggshells for fear of offending conservative members including major donors who openly or tacitly support this ugly, fearful resurgence of white Christian nationalism.

The Solution: Fortunately, there are growing numbers of individuals and congregations that are tired of walking on eggshells. They’re fired up and ready to move forward. Many are from Mainline Protestant denominations. Many are from historic Black churches and other ethnic minority congregations, and some are from the historic Peace Church tradition. Growing numbers are progressive or post-Evangelicals, or are part of forward-leaning Catholic fellowships and organizations.

To help these people and congregations find each other, dream together, and learn and work together, the Convergence Leadership Project is being launched:

to train you and thousands of others like you

to be vibrant spiritual activists

in a growing, multi-denominational movement

of just and generous Christianity.

This progressive Christian movement can be a vital partner in the larger multi-faith movement for peace, justice, ecological responsibility, and inclusion for all.

Because the challenge is so great, we need you and thousands like you to get involved.

As part of the Convergence Leadership Project:

You’ll have access to live, in-person events along with 24/7 online learning, so you can become a stronger, more confident, more energized leader.

If you’re a pastor, we’ll help you approach key lay leaders so you can begin to build momentum as a congregation dedicated to spiritual activism. If you’re a lay leader, we’ll help you approach your pastor. We’ll give you suggested scripts that you can use or adapt to find the best way forward.

We’ll help you get senior citizens, young people, families, and even kids involved, because spiritual activism includes everybody and we need all hands on deck.

Once you are building momentum within your congregation, we’ll help you discover a peer group of fellow Christian activists from around your region and across the country.

The cost is affordable, and we’re developing full and partial scholarships for minorities, seminarians, and church planters.

Lay leaders will be eligible to receive a Certificate in Christian Leadership, and pastors may fold this training into degree programs in cooperating seminaries.

Most important, we will work together, pray together, and grow together, living out the teaching and example of Jesus in this critical moment in history. I hope you’ll join me as part of the Convergence Leadership Project. Go to to learn more and take your first steps in getting involved.

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Something’s going on …

Progressive People of Faith are coming together to counter our nation's ugly resurgence of White Christian Nationalism ... If you'd like to connect with some of my efforts in this regard, check out Convergence Leadership Project. 


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Companions on the Inner Way

I had a wonderful time last week with Companions on the Inner Way. If you would like to enjoy a week of spiritual enrichment, where you actually practice contemplative and communal disciplines (rather than just learning about them) - all in the company of warm and wonderful people, I highly recommend this beautiful gathering.

Here are the slides from my presentations last week on the topic of Liberation Spirituality.

liberation spirituality

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