These have been hard days. Pandemic and its spiritual, emotional, and physical impacts; social unreset and violence with all the attendant worries and sorrow that brings; economic crises affecting us and those around us; fear of the future with its deep uncertainties and unknowns.
So we share with you some uplifting resources from our friend and ally, Rev. Jim Burklo. We hope you find them useful and helpful. Any light we can shine in dark hours seems well worth the doing.
My Resources for Churches (and everyone else!)
More MUSINGS by Jim Burklo
Every so often, I put out a "musing" that is a guide to my writings and videos. It's that time when churches make plans for their program year, so this is a good moment to share links to my materials for worship, study, and spiritual practice. Use freely. All I ask is attribution!
My BOOKS on Amazon -- Open Christianity (2000) - an introduction to progressive Christianity. Birdlike and Barnless (2008) - a progressive "book of common prayer" for use in churches. Hitchhiking to Alaska (2013) - the spirituality of service and social activism. SOULJOURN (2013) - a novel about religious diversity in America. Deeper Love: Faithful Rhetoric for Progressive Social Change (2016) - a handbook for activists and candidates. Mindful Christianity (2018) - how mindfulness is woven into the contemplative tradition of Christianity - a great resource for church prayer/study groups. Mindful Christianity - a video intro to my book . Coming soon: Tenderly Calling: An Invitation to the Way of Jesus - an introduction to the faith for beginners - great for confirmation and new member groups.
New Words to Old Hymns
Deeper Love - a song for communion - very timely for the election, etc -
Jim Burklo's Book of Common Prayer - liturgical resources including invocations, benedictions, litanies, prayers, poetry, etc
SKITS - for worship - Against or Through? With or For? But or And?
RESOURCES FOR STUDY/PRAYER GROUPS:
Resistance Bible Study - a study series that would be ideal to run in the time between now and the November election. My short rendition on video of a mash-up of Wm Jennings Bryan speeches - he was a fundamentalist Christian who ran 3 times for the presidency as a progressive Democrat. A shorter study: Samaritan Care: Health Care in America
Contemplative Christian Practices - my series of 3 half-hour videos introducing the mystical tradition of the faith. Good for study/prayer groups. Each video introduces practices that take about 30-40 minutes, so devote an hour to each one - and add time for discussion, etc. Contemplatio - The Questions of Jesus - practices for study/prayer groups - Ten Ways to Meet God - more practices
Mindfulness Practice - five short videos that cover the basic content of the classes I teach at USC for Mindful.USC.edu - good for prayer/study groups: Mindfulness: an Introduction - Mindfulness of the Body - Mindfulness of Emotions - Mindfulness of Thoughts - Mindfulness and Compassion - Mindful Habits
How to Read the Bible- some basics for progressive Christians, good for study groups - related: Book of Nature, Book of Scripture - Sacred Myth of the Gospel - The Bible and Bob Marley
The Varieties of God - an outline of different understandings of God, within and beyond Christianity - a great conversation-starter in study groups
SPECIAL SUNDAYS, etc:
Fearless Sunday - 2nd Sunday in Sept (or any other Sunday) - a time for pastors and members of churches to "come out of the closet" about their real theological beliefs (or unbeliefs) - Questions to Ask Your Pastor on Fearless Sunday - What They REALLY Meant When They Signed That Statement of Faith
Election Day: Blessing the Hands That Cast Ballots - Voting Rituals - How to Be a VOTIVATOR (sharing with each other how we vote)
Christmas Poems by Jim Burklo
LENT: Mindful Christianity Practices - WORD JAZZ for Fat Tuesday and Lent
Tax Day: Blessing of the Taxes (in worship) - Prayer for Tax Day - Progressive Taxation and Christian Faith -
Pluralism Sunday (first Sun in May, or other Sunday of your choice) - celebrating in worship the religions of the world - and the principle that other religions may be as good for others as ours is for us! Religious Pluralism and the Bible - A Song for Pluralism Sunday - Seven Principles for Interfaith Engagement
St. Buddha's Day (Aug 26 - or whatever day you choose to celebrate it) - Buddha was once accidentally canonized as a Christian saint... let's revive that tradition as a way of celebrating religious pluralism, and of the striking parallels in the teachings of the Buddha and the Christ!
The Clay Bird (an interfaith message - Christian/Muslim)
The Prodigal Pig
For Sneeches, Both Starful and Starless - the Sermon on the Mount, Dr Seuss-style
Elephant Eggs - pure silliness! punch line: what you need is probably already here.
Of Seeds and Stardust - a poetic science-based creation story
Parable of the Parrot - short story about the heart of the gospel
The Tumbleweeds - a family of tumbleweeds rides with the wind (which blows where it wills...)
Breaking Free - a flower becomes a butterfly - and learns to appreciate flowers
PROGRESSIVE CHRISTIAN IDENTITY - "messaging" for progressive congregations:
SIGNAGE for progressive churches - "elevator speeches" - one-liners that set your church apart
QUESTIONS for "church shoppers" to ask - progressive churches' answers are "yes" to all!
A SHORT HISTORY OF PROGRESSIVE CHRISTIANITY - good for new members groups, etc
THE FOUR SPIRITUAL AWES - a short "tract" that expresses the essence of progressive Christianity - print freely!
We wish you, our members, our communities, our state, nation, and world a brighter tomorrow. Blessed be.