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My Spiritual GPS

In conversation with friends the topic of favorite spiritual writers came up. New books, recent articles, favorite quotes from various sources were shared. And then someone offered the following question: Who is your spiritual GPS? A few moments of silence and then a lively discussion ensued! I was at first intrigued by the question and then there he was with his various publications lining my book shelves! Henri Nouwen! He was a Dutch priest, professor, spiritual writer, and theologian. He based his thesis for an advanced degree on the work of Anton Boisen, an American minister who founded Clinical Pastoral Education, the training and education undertaken by every board-certified hospital and hospice chaplain. I did not know this about Henri Nouwen until much later in my spiritual journey with him. As a board-certified chaplain I appreciated him and his work even more. Fr. Nouwen focused on psychology, pastoral ministry, spirituality, social justice, and community. In his writings an…
Recent posts

3V Clergy Speak Out Against Hate and Violence

The courage to say NO to hate

I was going to write this blog about something different, but the recent events, especially the most recent shooting in a San Diego synagogue on the last day of Passover have totally occupied my thoughts.
I am preparing a small service for my students for Yom HaShaoah- Holocaust Remembrance Day.We usually light a candle and read some poems and sing a song.I felt I needed to do more this year.The Holocaust is not some distant past event of history.The students have seen videos of Nazis marching on the streets of American cities yelling anti-Semitic slogans.Houses of worship are targets of violence of hate all over the globe, including 2 synagogues here in our country. These acts of hate and ignorance must be confronted head on, and Holocaust Remembrance Day seems the perfect day to begin.
As a clergy member, these recent events have left me bereft and downtrodden.My faith is tested, and my sadness is all encompassing.Of course, I see the goodness in those who rise up against such hate.He…
Circles for Peacemaking
You have probably heard of at least some of the elements that go into peacemaking circles and perhaps you have used some of them in discussion groups or decision-making exercises. The elements - a talking piece, a facilitator or keeper, guidelines that all agree on, and consensus decision-making - are simple; used together they create a powerful and effective way to make decisions, do restorative justice, and build community.
Circles can be used for purposes such as community-building, healing, decision-making, transforming conflict, celebration, and more.In some communities, courts will participate in restorative justice circle processes to decide on sentencing for certain types of crimes.Some schools use circles to handle school discipline.Circles have been effective in working with rival gangs to reduce violence.
The circle process draws directly from the traditions of indigenous people who use a Talking Circle to discuss community issues and it is supporte…

Liberation is Costly -- Reverend Dr. Linda Anderson

South African bishop Desmond Tutu said: “Liberation is costly.  Even after the Lord had delivered the Israelites from Egypt, they had to travel through the desert.  They had to bear the responsibilities and difficulties of freedom.  There was starvation and thirst and they kept complaining.  They complained that their diet was monotonous.  Many of them preferred the days of bondage and the fleshpots of Egypt.  We must remember that liberation is costly.”   Liberation is costly.  A rebirth into freedom requires courage and it requires sacrifice. Think about your own lives. Are you in the midst of breaking free from something? Breaking free from the circumstances, the situations, the conditions, the patterns, the work, the people that keep you enslaved?  Are you in the midst of experiencing new growth, in the midst of your own particular exodus?  For some of us rebirth into freedom is major.  We are liberating ourselves into different work states, different relationship states, different…

Next steps?

At last night's community forum, Belief and Truth from a Multifaith Perspective: Finding Unity in Diversity, many expressed a desire to continue these kinds of conversations and to take action together for building bridges in our community. These are some of the ideas that were shared for next steps:

Find something concrete that we can work on together in our communityCome out with a statement to the community about this gatheringHave clergy visit other houses of worship for teaching and conversation Invite people of other faiths or no faith traditions into our houses of worshipBring younger people into our interfaith programsAsk elected officials to talk about this kind of workIdentify root causes of hatred and address themEncourage media coverage of our programs What other ideas do you have for next steps? Please share them in the comments.

Belief and Truth from a Multifaith Perspective: Finding Unity in Diversity