The Common Good

Results for Faith and Spirituality

Passover Prep Takes Spring Cleaning to a Whole New Level
Originally Posted: 03/30/2012 - 4:33pm | Type: Blog

While Passover cleaning of one form or another has been around since the Israelites fled from bondage in Egypt -- Passover's central theme -- some say the lengths to which many contemporary Jewish familie ...

Palmed, Passionate Drama
Originally Posted: 03/30/2012 - 12:00pm | Type: Blog

Dramatic structure serves to sharpen our focus and draws us into narrative as imagined and experienced co-conspirators in the Palm Sunday service. The Bible is steeped in drama.   ...

You Might Be an Emergent Christian If …
Originally Posted: 03/29/2012 - 3:48pm | Type: Blog

In order to clear up any confusion, once and for all, I thought I’d compile a list of simple criteria to help you figure out if you are officially an emergent Christian or not. I’ ...

Elijah at the Table: Pascha and Passover
Originally Posted: 03/29/2012 - 12:05pm | Type: Blog

“Easter? Isn’t that over ?” I’m already gearing up to hear this, just as I launch into trying to trying to actually make something spiritually of Lent’s remaining weeks, after my feeble efforts, while also anticipating the Feast of Feasts that aw ...

One Psalm, Two Causes, Two Meanings
Originally Posted: 03/28/2012 - 4:55pm | Type: Blog

For decades, Psalm 139 has been a byword of the anti-abortion movement, printed on posters in crisis pregnancy centers. More recently, it's been tied to high-resolution ultrasounds, the movement's mo ...

Who Controls My Body? The Struggle to Reconcile Spirituality, Sexuality
Originally Posted: 03/28/2012 - 1:46pm | Type: Blog

I honestly don’t know how I’ve made it 33 years like this. It is certainly not for lack of wanting sex or trying to make myself available. But somehow, between God’s sometimes-firm resistance to me getting my ...

Pope Benedict XVI in Cuba: A Media Round-up
Originally Posted: 03/28/2012 - 9:28am | Type: Blog

Pope Benedict XVI’s 3-day visit to Cuba began Monday, when President Raul Castro greeted the pontiff at the airport of Santiago de Cuba. The arrival was fairly quiet, but the evening Mass in Santiago’s plaza w ...

Report Says Church Giving on the Rebound
Originally Posted: 03/27/2012 - 5:43pm | Type: Blog

The recession and a sluggish recovery have made for a lighter collection plate in recent years, but a new study shows that giving to U.S. congregations bounced back in 2011 as the economy improved. ...

‘Covenant’ to Bind Anglican Communion Appears Dead
Originally Posted: 03/27/2012 - 7:07pm | Type: Blog

effectively lost their battle within the Church of England when the Diocese of Lincoln cast the 23rd vote ...

The Bouquet
Originally Posted: 03/27/2012 - 3:41pm | Type: Blog

“God doesn’t loves us as a flower but as a bouquet.” Most every Sunday Ruth or Lily Janousek hands me a drawing on the way out the door. I have quite a collection. Lily and Rut ...

Lapsed Catholics Explain Why They Leave Church
Originally Posted: 03/26/2012 - 7:24pm | Type: Blog

TRENTON, N.J. — As part of a survey to understand why they have stopped attending Mass, a few hundred Catholics were asked what issues they would raise if they could speak to the bishop for five minutes. The ...

Four Reasons Why I Came Back To Church
Originally Posted: 03/26/2012 - 6:38pm | Type: Blog

I’ve written a couple of pieces recently that have gotten a lot of attention about why younger people tend to walk away from church. Some readers suggested I might also post a piece about why young adults come ...

The Delicate Art of Persuasion
Originally Posted: 03/26/2012 - 1:33pm | Type: Blog

It’s been a mind-boggling fortnight at the Internet water cooler. Kony 2012. Mike Daisey’s dubious portrayal of Apple’s manufacturing practices abroad. Questions of whether the “Christian Movie Establishment” ...

Church Sign Epic Fails, Continued
Originally Posted: 03/26/2012 - 10:26am | Type: Blog

You’d think I’d eventually run out of material for this weekly series I’ve been doing. Fortunately for me, there is no apparent end to the phenomenon that is the bad church sign. ...

Thesis vs Jesus: When it Comes to Faith, Which Matters More?
Originally Posted: 03/23/2012 - 11:13am | Type: Blog

the transfiguration (Luke 9:28); before he was arrested (John 17: 1-26); and minutes before he died (Luke 23 ... (Luke 10:21). And he beseeched God to forgive his executioners. (Luke 23:46). Yet Jesus’ did not tell ...

Can Rich Folks Go to Heaven?
Originally Posted: 03/23/2012 - 11:01am | Type: Blog

Jesus said it’s easier for a camel to go through the eye of the needle that you used to stitch that Noah’s Ark for your child’s bedroom — than for a rich guy to get to heaven. Let. That. Sink. In. ...

Pope to Find Mixed Political Messages in Mexico Trip
Originally Posted: 03/22/2012 - 4:51pm | Type: Blog

Times have changed to such a degree that politicians now seek out the pope and prelates for support. But that does not mean all is well. The hostility of some in more liberal Mexico City show how far the relat ...

Songs for the Lenten Journey
Originally Posted: 03/22/2012 - 4:50pm | Type: Blog

a chord structure common to folk/roots music. With over 20 musicians and 23 songs, Brooklyn’s collective ...

Churches Lost $1.2 Billion in Recession
Originally Posted: 03/22/2012 - 4:31pm | Type: Blog

According to the 2012 Yearbook of American & Canadian Churches, the almost $29 billion contributed by church members represented a 2.2 percent decrease in terms of per capita giving. ...

Pillsbury Bake-Off Puts Crimp in Cook’s Passover Prep
Originally Posted: 03/22/2012 - 3:23pm | Type: Blog

A national bake-off takes place 11 days before Passover, and all the weeks Amy Siegel typically devotes to preparing her kitchen for the holiday she's spent rehearsing her decidedly non-Passover-friendly ...

Chaplains Say More Prisoners Switching Religions
Originally Posted: 03/22/2012 - 2:31pm | Type: Blog

Religious conversions are on the rise in American prisons, according to a recent national survey of chaplains by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life. Religious conversions a ...

Man Behind ‘Rapture Pets’ Rescue Admits it’s a Hoax
Originally Posted: 03/22/2012 - 10:29am | Type: Blog

The owner of a business who claimed he would provide atheist rescuers for Christians' pets left behind in the Rapture now says his service was an elaborate hoax and never had any clients. ...

America to Politicians: Easy on the Religion Please
Originally Posted: 04/17/2012 - 4:05pm | Type: Blog

New research released today by the Pew Forum shows that the American public are becoming increasingly anxious of the amount of religious language being used by their public officials. ...

Bishops’ Point Man on ‘Religious Liberty’ Gets a Promotion
Originally Posted: 03/21/2012 - 8:44am | Type: Blog

If there is any Catholic bishop in the U.S. who probably didn't need a bigger platform, it would be William E. Lori, who was named Tuesday by Pope Benedict XVI as the next archbishop of Baltimore. ...

Catholics Eye Cleveland Closures for National Precedent
Originally Posted: 03/21/2012 - 8:37am | Type: Blog

Catholics fighting church closings across the U.S. are keeping their eyes on the Catholic Diocese of Cleveland, where Bishop Richard Lennon was overruled by the Vatican for not properly following church law an ...

The New Anglicanism
Originally Posted: 03/21/2012 - 7:24am | Type: Blog

"What do think will happen" a longtime Episcopalian asked me in Charlotte, N.C., "now that Archbishop ... er ... " "Rowan Williams," I said. " ... yes, Rowan Williams, has ...

Son Says Sibling Rivalry Fueled Crystal Cathedral Downfall
Originally Posted: 03/20/2012 - 4:52pm | Type: Blog

As the Crystal Cathedral tries to find its footing without any members of founder Robert H. Schuller's family at the helm, the only son and one-time successor says "sibling rivalry" played a key ...

Nonbelievers to Rally for Unbelief in Washington
Originally Posted: 03/20/2012 - 4:47pm | Type: Blog

Thousands of atheists and nonbelievers will gather this Saturday (March 24) on the National Mall in Washington for the "Reason Rally," a daylong event featuring speakers, music and comedy to promote secular values. The goal of the event is ...

The Sacred Rite of Hunting Bald Eagles
Originally Posted: 03/20/2012 - 12:13pm | Type: Blog

Until recently, it was illegal for Native Americans to acquire bald eagle feathers and parts – relics used for a variety of tribal rituals and ceremonies – by any means other than family or the National Eagle ...

Remembering Pope Shenouda III: 'A Heart for Unity'
Originally Posted: 05/23/2013 - 4:23pm | Type: Blog

The death of Pope Shenouda III, leader of the 10 million Coptic Christians centered in Egypt, comes at a critical time for this church, which makes up about 10 percent of the Egyptian population. Today’s funer ...

Judge Rules for Breakaway Church in St. Louis
Originally Posted: 03/19/2012 - 4:35pm | Type: Blog

Wading into sensitive church-state territory, a Missouri judge has ruled in favor of an independent-minded Catholic church that claims ownership of its property and autonomy from the Archdiocese of St. Louis. ...

Stuffed Cows and the Self-Imposed Cost of Free Grace
Originally Posted: 03/21/2012 - 4:03am | Type: Blog

It was remarkable to me, with a little bit of healthy distance, how similar the two situations ended up being. Though in one, the fit was about mourning the loss of some ideal that might have been (but probabl ...

Home, Sweet Home
Originally Posted: 03/19/2012 - 11:13am | Type: Blog

As children we might make a game of it. You know, like when you play tag with your friends and you create a safe place where you can't be tagged. Even when we play games it's important to have a plac ...

More Epic Fail: A Tour of Ill-Conceived Church Signage
Originally Posted: 03/19/2012 - 10:09am | Type: Blog

Some Christians reject science, but math too? There's a fine line between relevance and pandering, and they found it. Now why is it again that folks think Christians are narrow-minded? Science, Math, and ...

Naomh Padraig: St. Patrick's Day, John O'Donohue and Blessing
Originally Posted: 03/16/2012 - 6:24pm | Type: Blog

To bless someone, in the most literal sense of the word, is to confer your hopes to them. That's why so many traditional blessings begin with the word "may." To bl ...

Cleveland Bishop Has 60 Days to Appeal Church Closures
Originally Posted: 03/16/2012 - 4:16pm | Type: Blog

CLEVELAND--Bishop Richard Lennon on Wednesday (March 14) received the official Vatican decrees that overturn his closings of 13 Catholic parishes, the diocese said, kicking off a 60-day period for him to decide whether to appeal. "The process t ...

Priest Defends Denying Communion to Lesbian
Originally Posted: 03/16/2012 - 4:09pm | Type: Blog

A Catholic priest who was pulled from ministry after a furor over denying Communion to a lesbian at her mother's funeral insists he did the right thing and criticized the Washington archdiocese for discip ...

Slavery, Tokenism and the Atheist PR Debacle
Originally Posted: 03/16/2012 - 3:40pm | Type: Blog

Atheist activism is hardly news these days. Folks are feeling increasingly convicted about taking their disbelief public, and more specifically, pointing out the damage done by religion. But it seems the most ...

Archbishop of Canterbury Resigns and Speculation Quickly Turns to His Successor
Originally Posted: 03/16/2012 - 3:21pm | Type: Blog

Williams' surprise announcement stunned the religious world, even as the short list of prospective successors swiftly began to circulate. Williams, 61, has led the Church of England and the world's 7 ...

Tony Blair, UK's Chief Rabbi on the Resignation of the Archbishop of Canterbury
Originally Posted: 03/16/2012 - 2:52pm | Type: Blog

Upon learning that Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury, has announced his intention to resign at the end of the year, former British Prime Minister Tony Blair and the UK's Chief Rabbi Lord Sacks ...

Breaking: Archbishop of Canterbury Resigns
Originally Posted: 03/16/2012 - 12:29pm | Type: Blog

Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury, announced this morning that he is resigning at the end of the year. After more than 20 years as bishop and then archbishop, Williams plans to return to academia at Cam ...

Crystal Cathedral: A Cautionary Tale
Originally Posted: 03/16/2012 - 10:34am | Type: Blog

* As members of the Schuller family head in new directions — Coleman and brother-in law Jim Penner plan to start a new church this Sunday — the famous glass-walled church offers a cautionary tale of the p ...

In St. Patrick's Footsteps: Humor and Humanity
Originally Posted: 03/15/2012 - 11:15pm | Type: Blog

We know very little for sure about Ireland’s patron saint, the embodiment of the spirit of the place where I was born and raised, and the reason many of us will be partying this weekend to remember a land wher ...

Knotted Celt
Originally Posted: 03/15/2012 - 11:12pm | Type: Blog

Howling wind whipped my long, unruly hair in penitent lashes across my face as I stood in the rain, staring at the churning sea at the northernmost point of Ireland. This place, Malin Head in County Donegal, f ...

Sermon on Losing Your Life and How Jesus Isn’t Your Magical Puppy
Originally Posted: 03/15/2012 - 2:00pm | Type: Blog

See, I wrote another sermon this week. A real one. I worked on it all week. And then yesterday afternoon I threw it away and just wrote you this letter instead. Because I realized that in my sermon I was tryin ...

Spiritual Refugees, Mainline Protestants and Missed Opportunities
Originally Posted: 03/15/2012 - 3:24pm | Type: Blog

I've been speaking at many small colleges that have historical ties to the oldest mainline denominations in the U.S. I have been noticing something interesting: a terrific hunger for a deeper spirituality ...

Tithing: No Buts About It
Originally Posted: 03/15/2012 - 1:09pm | Type: SojoMail

March 15, 2012   QUOTE OF THE WEEK “A huge problem is that the ...

What is Church 2.0?
Originally Posted: 03/15/2012 - 12:54pm | Type: Blog

Here is a condensed version of a workshop I offer on the concept of “Church 2.0.” I talk in it about the popularity of things like the “Why I Hate Religion But Love Jesus” video and Mark Driscoll’s Acts 29 Net ...

Tithing: No Buts About It
Originally Posted: 03/15/2012 - 1:00pm | Type: Blog

I’ve been lying about money. No, I’m still lying about money. But, I’m getting better. I’ve been lying about money. No, I’m still lying about money. But, I’m getting better. ...

Military Atheists Get Ready to ‘Rock Beyond Belief’
Originally Posted: 03/14/2012 - 4:29pm | Type: Blog

population, while those who state "no religious preference" make up the second-largest group, at 23 ...