The Common Good

Results for Faith and Spirituality

The Problem with Certitude
Originally Posted: 05/25/2012 - 8:41am | Type: Blog

I'm troubled by the way many Christians choose to take definitive and certain stances about complex issues, and the rhetoric they use to state and defend these positions, rhetoric that tends to divide rat ...

Vatican Details Rules on Virgin Mary Sightings
Originally Posted: 05/24/2012 - 12:51pm | Type: Blog

The Vatican has published rules to evaluate the authenticity of the dozens of apparitions of the Virgin Mary reported each year. The Vatican has published rules to evaluate the au ...

Tell The Story of Who You Are With Your Whole Heart
Originally Posted: 05/24/2012 - 12:57pm | Type: Blog

Every soul cries: “Am I worthy of connection?” We then allow the mass public to tell us the answer to that. Please note: that unstable analysis can never end well no matter how popular one may seem. This lead ...

Catholic Bishops Divided in Legal Battle Against Birth Control Mandate
Originally Posted: 05/23/2012 - 4:22pm | Type: Blog

The wave of lawsuits filed this week by more than 40 Catholic groups against the Obama administration’s birth control mandate was meant as a demonstration of church unity and influence in the face of what some ...

Vatican Denies Bid to Keep Boston Catholic Churches Open
Originally Posted: 05/23/2012 - 3:26pm | Type: Blog

Groups of Boston-area Catholics who have waged an eight-year battle to block the sale of parish buildings are running out of options as the Vatican has rejected their appeals. BOS ...

Does Love Last Longer in Arranged Marriages?
Originally Posted: 05/23/2012 - 2:59pm | Type: Blog

Quinn, 23, a quiet engineering student from Springfield, Mo., wanted to settle down, and asked his ... to keep her daughter from dating, which Unificationists frown upon. Jaime, 23, saw her friends fawn over ...

Standing with Nuns, Standing for Compassion
Originally Posted: 05/23/2012 - 3:03pm | Type: Blog

This incident has inspired thousands to react in solidarity with American nuns. Long before the Vatican statement was released, however, I’ve had a sense that compassion is something powerful enough to trigger ...

Pope Benedict XVI Gives Direction to U.S. bishops on Hot-Button Issues
Originally Posted: 05/23/2012 - 11:16am | Type: Blog

In his speeches, Pope Benedict XVI often echoed bishops' concern about religious freedom and the challenges confronting the American church. In his last address, on May 22, he warned bishops of the “threa ...

Jennifer Grant Asks 'What is an Evangelical?'
Originally Posted: 05/23/2012 - 11:24am | Type: Blog

As part of our ongoing series, "What is an Evangelical?" author Jennifer Grant used some creativity to get the message across. As part of our ongoing series, "Wh ...

The Naked Pastor: Three Ways to Leave the Church
Originally Posted: 05/23/2012 - 9:26am | Type: Blog

Paul Simon says there must be 50 ways to leave your lover. The Naked Pastor figures there must be at least three ways to leave your church. Paul Simon says there must be 50 ways ...

‘Old Catholics’ Embrace New Movements
Originally Posted: 05/22/2012 - 11:06am | Type: Blog

Archbishop Michael Seneco, of Washington, D.C., is a gay man who plans to marry his longtime partner in September. Bishop Jim Morgan, of Ogden, Utah, is also gay and has been with the man he considers his hus ...

Catholic Groups File Suit Over HHS Birth Control Mandate
Originally Posted: 05/22/2012 - 11:22am | Type: Blog

Dozens of Catholic universities, dioceses and other institutions filed lawsuits in courts around the country on Monday in a coordinated effort, spearheaded by the U.S. hierarchy and Catholic conservatives, to ...

Cleveland Catholics ‘Anxious,' 'Edgy’ as Parish Re-openings Drag On
Originally Posted: 05/18/2012 - 10:42am | Type: Blog

It's been nearly a month since Bishop Richard Lennon announced he would reopen 12 closed churches, but so far no shuttered sanctuaries have been resurrected. CLEVELAND — It ...

Young Pastor at the Forefront of Social Change in Australia
Originally Posted: 05/18/2012 - 8:26am | Type: Blog

Young pastor Jarrod McKenna describes it as “rolling up our sleeves and just getting on with the practical work of loving our neighbors.” He’s been arrested more times than he ca ...

Church That Stood Up For Gay Rights Faces Closure
Originally Posted: 05/17/2012 - 3:22pm | Type: Blog

of 23 percent. When the church was growing financially desperate earlier this spring, a predominantly ...

Unexpected Hope: The Vocation of the Church
Originally Posted: 05/17/2012 - 1:21pm | Type: SojoMail

May 17, 2012   QUOTE OF THE WEEK "The church is supposed ...

Unexpected Hope: The Vocation of the Church
Originally Posted: 05/17/2012 - 1:22pm | Type: Blog

So I want to speak directly to you about the vocation of the church in the world. Let me start with a baseball story. I have been a Little League baseball coach for both my son’s teams over many years. And I’ ...

Church Softball League Calls a Foul on Bisexual Pastor
Originally Posted: 05/17/2012 - 9:47am | Type: Blog

"It seems like my sexuality doesn't have anything to do with how my congregation plays softball," Darnell said. "It's frustrating because this is who is representing Christianity in ou ...

Vatican Says Unity With Traditionalist Society of St. Pius X Needs ‘Further Discussions’
Originally Posted: 05/17/2012 - 9:47am | Type: Blog

The Vatican's doctrinal office said “further discussions” will be needed with the traditionalist Society of St. Pius X (SSPX) in order to heal a decades-long split within the Roman Catholic Church. ...

N.T. Wright Asks: Have We Gotten Heaven All Wrong?
Originally Posted: 05/16/2012 - 4:08pm | Type: Blog

N.T. Wright has explored Christian misconceptions about heaven in previous books, but now devotes an entire volume, "How God Became King: The Forgotten Story of the Gospels," to this trendy subject. ...

Chuck Colson’s Memorial Steeped in Prison Themes
Originally Posted: 05/16/2012 - 3:47pm | Type: Blog

Prison Fellowship founder and former Nixon aide Chuck Colson was memorialized Wednesday (May 16) at Washington National Cathedral in a service steeped in Scripture and prayers about prison and redemption. ...

Preparing a Home (Day Fifteen)
Originally Posted: 05/16/2012 - 1:29pm | Type: Blog

A home is only a home if it’s lived in. Likewise, a life is only full if it’s broken open and shared. I’ve become a serious blog slacker, at least by my typical standards. My reg ...

Nuns on the Frontier
Originally Posted: 05/17/2012 - 9:30am | Type: Blog

American nuns in the 19th century. In the current controversy between the Vatican and U.S. religious women, a short history showing that it’s nothing new. Professor emerita of ...

Walter Wink: Remembrance and Reflection
Originally Posted: 05/16/2012 - 1:12pm | Type: Blog

Walter Wink, 76, a world-class biblical scholar and non-violent practitioner, crossed over to God on May 10 at his home in Western Massachusetts. Following a slow decline, he had been in hospice for several we ...

Agape Doesn't Mean "Potluck"
Originally Posted: 05/15/2012 - 3:01pm | Type: Blog

If we knew that the people entering the doors of this, our little House for all Sinners and Saints, were actually Jesus’ friends, that they were those whom Jesus loved then despite what we thought of their per ...

Evangelical Leader Says Engaging Mormonism is a Christian Mandate
Originally Posted: 05/14/2012 - 2:16pm | Type: Blog

Richard Mouw never intended to start a riot within the evangelical community by saying his fellow believers had "sinned against Mormonism." But that’s exactly what happened. ...

Thanks for Your Thanks!
Originally Posted: 05/14/2012 - 1:50pm | Type: Blog

Have you ever given someone a gift they really needed? A gift that made them cry and laugh at the same time? We got to do that last week. Have you ever given someone a gift they ...

Christianity As Impurity Cult, or It's Okay to Leave
Originally Posted: 05/14/2012 - 1:37pm | Type: Blog

I guess I should offer a caveat right from the start. I know I'm privileged.  I know that my white, southern, maleness may make the following invalid to many. Still, I'm in The Body known as the Church, too. So, here's some mu ...

Stuttering Clergy Spread the Word
Originally Posted: 05/14/2012 - 11:24am | Type: Blog

Last week was National Stuttering Awareness Week, and increasingly, clergy who stutter are willing to talk about their stuttering, and how a profession that rewards inspiring speech can be open to those with s ...

Womanhood and Discerning 'The Call'
Originally Posted: 05/13/2012 - 3:45pm | Type: Blog

It was drilled into my brain that even though I felt a “calling” as a writer, a storyteller, etc., it was extremely different from 'the call.' Read: What your husband is doing is more important than ...

This Is My Body (Day Ten)
Originally Posted: 05/11/2012 - 5:07pm | Type: Blog

On the rare occasion we actually slow down long enough to pray, worship, reflect or simply be in the moment, we have no idea how to do it. I watch people in church, and it’s clear from the body language that w ...

Catholic Bishops to Scrutinize Girl Scouts
Originally Posted: 05/11/2012 - 4:01pm | Type: Blog

of the 2.3 million Girl Scouts in the U.S. are Catholic, so the organization cannot afford to lose its ...

Pope Finds Kindred Spirit in German ‘Feminist’ Saint
Originally Posted: 05/14/2012 - 9:00am | Type: Blog

On Thursday, Pope Benedict XVI ordered Hildegard von Bingen, who died in 1179, to be inscribed “in the catalogue of saints,” thus extending her cult “to the universal church.” Her ...

I Am My Mother's Daughter (Thanks Be to God)
Originally Posted: 05/15/2012 - 8:26am | Type: Blog

When asked to describe my mother, Helen, my usual answer is: Queen Esther in espadrilles and a matching purse. Esther comes to mind when I think of Mom because she was fiercely loyal, smart, determined, brave ...

Don’t Think Too Hard; You’ll Kill God (Day Nine)
Originally Posted: 05/11/2012 - 10:49am | Type: Blog

It’s not hard to understand why lots of folks are howling that such postmodern theology is yet another subversive form of atheism, intent on killing God once and for all. But if that’s really all there is to o ...

In Celebration of Women
Originally Posted: 05/10/2012 - 12:29pm | Type: SojoMail

May 10, 2012   QUOTE OF THE WEEK "SNAP participation at f ...

Mom, Mick Jagger and Me
Originally Posted: 05/10/2012 - 12:22pm | Type: Blog

So, this week I honor my televangelist-watching mother. She's not perfect. No one is. I love her the more for it. I love her laughter and her questions. And I'm honored that she trusts her son enough ...

In Celebration of Women
Originally Posted: 05/10/2012 - 10:33am | Type: Blog

This Sunday is Mother’s Day. Here at Sojourners, we’re taking the entire week to celebrate not only mothers, but all women who have made an impact on our lives. For their strength, heroism, charity and wisdom, ...

Motherly-ness: Shaping a Woman's Soul
Originally Posted: 05/09/2012 - 1:48pm | Type: Blog

However, the question I got in that class made me think of why we should be celebrating Mother’s Day in church and how far the church has to go yet in how we “handle” motherhood. How we talk about it, how we h ...

Thank-A-Nun Day is Today!
Originally Posted: 05/09/2012 - 1:39pm | Type: Blog

Thank you to everyone who has responded by writing a Thank-You Note. Thank you to everyone who has responded by writing a Thank-You Note. (It's not too late! You can still pa ...

The Matriarchal Blessing
Originally Posted: 05/09/2012 - 12:38pm | Type: Blog

With Mother’s Day just around the corner, I’ve been thinking about the matriarchal blessing—the moment when an old woman, staring death in the eye, communicates to a younger female relative or friend that life ...

Rob Bell: 'Surrender the Outcomes'
Originally Posted: 05/09/2012 - 10:46am | Type: Blog

How do you step out and take a risk — as a pastor, as an artist, as a parent, as a person — when the job description of a pioneer or a vanguard comes with the assurance of persecution? “Surrender the outcomes, ...

Mother's Week: Letting Go and Outside, Poems
Originally Posted: 05/08/2012 - 5:51pm | Type: Blog

  Letting Go By Stacy Barton looking back the leaving began at once the loss of you like summer grass before the season’s end your tiny form expands me still a willow of a woman you catch my breath like a breeze ...

Driving Home
Originally Posted: 05/08/2012 - 3:24pm | Type: Blog

This past spring break, I took my 14-year old daughter to the Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center. My daughter has had a difficult middle school experience, especially these last two years. This las ...

Pope Wants Catholic Colleges to Ensure Faculty is Faithful to Church Doctrine
Originally Posted: 05/08/2012 - 12:25am | Type: Blog

VATICAN CITY -- Pope Benedict XVI on Saturday (May 5) called on Catholic colleges and universities in the United States to do more to affirm their "Catholic identity," particularly by ensuring the do ...

Boy with a Broken Heart is Born (Day Six)
Originally Posted: 05/07/2012 - 10:06pm | Type: Blog

It was hopeful watching the church family rally around the Vigils, praying for them, bringing them meals, visiting and doing what they could to offer support in what I’m sure felt like a time of emotional free ...

Mother's Week: Homecoming, A Poem
Originally Posted: 05/07/2012 - 6:23pm | Type: Blog

Suddenly you are there, the smell of womanhood about you. Hi Mom. Homecoming By Stacy Barton   Suddenly you are there, the smell of womanhood about yo ...

A New Way of Being Christian in the Public Square
Originally Posted: 05/07/2012 - 4:09pm | Type: Blog

Christian Millennials are now coming of age and recognizing the flawed strategies and broken agendas embraced by their forebears. They've seen how the religious right (and the religious left, for that ma ...

Buddhist Abbey a Dream Fulfilled for U.S. Nuns
Originally Posted: 05/07/2012 - 2:53pm | Type: Blog

There aren't a lot of Buddhists in America -- around 3 million or so, according to the Pluralism Project at Harvard University. There isn't exactly an abundance of monasteries here either, let alone ...

A Hundred Hidden Kisses (Day Five)
Originally Posted: 05/07/2012 - 2:34pm | Type: Blog

It sounds strange to say that Amy leaves well, but it’s true. She’s way better at it than I am. And at least now, glancing in the rearview, I can see why it’s a good skill to have. ...