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Let the church die, so that the church might live

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  • Young Voices: Catholic ritual and liturgies counter our culture's death-denial. But what of a church that refuses to look upon itself and denies that it is in its own season of death?
  • Related: Open letter to the US Catholic bishops: It's over.

Mark Piper, National Catholic Reporter


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January 3, 2019 |

Amen, amen, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains just a grain of wheat; but if it dies, it produces much fruit. Whoever loves his life loses it, and whoever hates his life in this world will preserve it for eternal life (John 12:24-25).

Here in the dead of winter, I offer a metaphor, a request, built upon my observations and yearnings for meaning in a church that mirrors the world inasmuch as both are experiencing seasons of suffering. The request is this: Let thechurchdie, so that the church might live.

Having come of age during the wafer wars, Boston, Rome's investigation of LCWR and continuously increased polarization and scandal, let the obviously sick and dying die.

https://www.ncronline.org/sites/default/files/styles/author_bio_pic/public/authors/Mark%20Twitter%20Headshot%20July%202018.jpg?itok=DC3uSCvP / Mark Piper, a Packers fan in an unholy land, works in the nonprofit sector. He resides in Chicago with his family and holds a master's in public policy from DePaul University and a bachelor's from St. Xavier University; he isanalumus of Amate House, an AmeriCorps-approved year of service organization sponsored by the Chicago Archdiocese.

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Related:

Open letter to the US Catholic bishops: It's over. Editorial Staff, National Catholic Reporter (NCR)

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This time, it has to be different. Bishops, the prolonged abuse scandal would suggest that you've not done very well taking stock of yourselves.
 

 

 

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Accepting the Truth About Climate Change is a Matter of State/Church Separation

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  • We get one shot at life and we get it on this one planet. Let's not ruin it.
  • Related: Preaching on Climate Change: Why it Matters

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Hemant Mehta, Friendly Atheist

Another mundane “miracle”: a cross left standing in the wake of a hurricane that killed 33 people. God didn’t save the people or even the church from Hurricane Michael. Instead, he saved a torture-device-turned-religious symbol.


This religious myopia is remarkably consistent. After Hurricane Harvey, Christians claimed that their god saveda cross and let over 100 people die. And it might not have been a cross, just a telephone pole.
 

Hemant Mehta is the editor of Friendly Atheist, appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the uniquely-named Friendly Atheist Podcast. He is a former National Board Certified high school math teacher in the suburbs of Chicago, where he taught for seven years.


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Related:

Preaching on Climate Change: Why it Matters, Jim Antal, Utne

https://opimedia.azureedge.net/-/media/images/utr/editorial/articles/online-articles/2018/08-01/climate-church-climate-world/global-disaster-jpg.jpg / Climate change is not going to affect me; it’s someone else’s problem. The challenge is too enormous; there’s nothing I can do about it, so why should I think about it? Photo by Getty/BenGoode

  • Learn about the benefits of preaching on climate change and educating yourself about the issues this catastrophe presents.
  • Related: Federal Climate Report Predicts At Least 3 Degrees Of Warming By 2100.

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Help enlighten others. Be sure to pass this on to friends and kin. We must break the system's  ability to lie with impunity.

God made the world for all, not for a few.

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  • The Peace Pulpit: We in the church today are suffering, as everyone knows, a severe crisis. Part of the problem is the wealth of the church and the wealth of religious leaders.
  • Related: Jesus exposed the delusion of wealth.

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Thomas Gumbleton, National Catholic Reporter

Nov 15, 2018 | As we reflect on the Scripture readings this evening, especially the Gospel, it's very important that we remember the context of what happens in the Gospel lesson. We're all very familiar with what we call the "widow's mite," that story of the widow who gave her last two very insignificant coins into the box for the poor. It's often used when people are trying to raise money for the church. Think about that widow; she gave everything. Can't you give something?

But in the context, Jesus really isn't focusing so much on what the widow gave, but rather on the failure of the religious leaders.

https://www.ncronline.org/sites/default/files/styles/author_bio_pic/public/authors/Thomas%20Gumbleton.jpg?itok=l-z5SE8a / A longtime national and international activist in the peace movement, Thomas Gumbleton is a founding member of Pax Christi USA and an outspoken critic of violence and militarism.

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Related:

Jesus exposed the delusion of wealth. Tom Ehrich, Morning Walk Media

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They were greatly astounded and said to one another, "Then who can be saved?" Jesus looked at them and said, "For mortals it is impossible, but not for God; for God all things are possible." (Mark 10.26-27)

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Jesus exposed the delusion of wealth.

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They were greatly astounded and said to one another, "Then who can be saved?" Jesus looked at them and said, "For mortals it is impossible, but not for God; for God all things are possible." (Mark 10.26-27)


Tom Ehrich, Morning Walk Media

Submitted by Evergreene Digest Contributing Editor Mike Steigerwald.

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October 11, 2018 | If wealth isn’t the goal, then what is? If wealth doesn’t guarantee one’s life, “then who can be saved?”



This was no idle question. From earliest days, people have sought land, possessions, and portable wealth like gold. In a brutish world, wealth bought safety and power. In a world of scarcity, wealth housed and fed the family.

Tom Ehrich is a writer, church consultant and Episcopal priest based in New York. He is the author of Just Wondering, Jesus and founder of the Church Wellness Project. His website is www.morningwalkmedia.com.

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Related:

Dark God Matters: When the Church Tries to Whitewash Black and Brown ... , Sam Kline, Patheos

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Contemporary churches of different ethnic and racial makeups still teach and preach a whitewashed Christianity-one that is invested in maintaining institutional racism.
 

 

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Special Project | Dealing with Addictions at the Holidays

  • Part 1: Guide//5 Helpful Tips for Staying Sober During the Holidays
  • Follow these basic tips and you can have a wonderful and happy sober holiday season.
  • Part 2: Advent//Deepening Our Commitment to Recovery
  • Having struggled through the dark in our addictions, why not spend these weeks of light … renewing our commitment to recovery?

Compiled by David Culver, Ed., Evergreene Digest

 

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Part 1: Guide//5 Helpful Tips for Staying Sober During the Holidays

https://www.thefix.com/sites/default/files/styles/article/public/dreamstime_s_101157670.jpg / When you’re constantly running from place to place and engaging with different people, it’s easy to begin to feel worn down and drained, which can lead to feelings that could put your recovery at risk. PC: ID 101157670 © Gpointstudio


The truth is that sometimes, the holidays can just be tough. But you don’t have to go in blindly. Follow these basic tips and you can have a wonderful and happy sober holiday season.

Beth Leipholtz, the Fix

12/10/18 | For some people, the holidays are a joyful time that is looked forward to all year long. For others, this isn’t the case. Sometimes the stress of traveling, gift-giving and time with extended family takes a toll and can be daunting – especially, perhaps, for those in recovery from substance use disorder.

The truth is that sometimes, the holidays can just be tough. But you don’t have to go in blindly.

https://www.thefix.com/sites/default/files/styles/medium/public/DSC_0079.jpg / Beth Leipholtz: Beth is a Minnesota girl who got sober at age 20. By day she is a website designer, and in hersparetime she enjoys writing about recovery.

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Part 2: Advent//Deepening Our Commitment to Recovery


https://www.thefix.com/sites/default/files/styles/article/public/dreamstime_s_28346078.jpg / We are here only to bring light in our own unique ways to those alone in the dark, to remember that light from above illuminates the unsteady ground under our feet.

Haven’t we struggled through the dark in our addictions and now live inside truth’s illumination? So why not spend these weeks in spiritual reflection and renewing our commitment to recovery?

Kerry Neville, the Fix

12/12/18 | Advent, from the Latin, adventus — “a coming” — is, for Christians, the season celebrating Jesus Christ’s impending birth and his second coming after his death. The liturgical readings over the four weeks are centered on hope, preparation, joy, and love. It is also the season of the Advent wreath and its four candles, one lit successively each week, and of the Advent calendar and its 25 chocolates secreted behind twenty-five cardboard windows. Reflection and prayer, sweetness and light: the dark illuminated by remembrance and anticipation.

When I was drinking? The season for wanton indulgence: cranberry cosmopolitans, eggnog, mulled wine, and Irish coffees. Parties and booze and blackouts and hangovers. Superficial, carnal pursuits superseded any spiritual meditative pleasures. How many Christmas Eves did my then-husband and I spend slogging wine into the wee hours while last-minute wrapping gifts, crankier with each downed glass? And then the wretched hangover on Christmas mornings when our kids, wiggly with Santa excitement, woke us at dawn — “Get up! Get up! Get up!”— and how we dragged ourselves from bed, desperate for ibuprofen and coffee?

https://www.thefix.com/sites/default/files/styles/medium/public/kerry-neville.jpg / Kerry Neville teaches at Georgia College and State University. She is the author of two collections of short fiction, Remember to Forget Me and Necessary Lies. Her work has appeared online in publications such as the Washington Post, the Huffington Post, and the Fix.

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