The Common Good

Results for Faith and Spirituality

All I Want for Christmas Is Uncertainty
Originally Posted: 12/23/2014 - 10:31am | Type: Blog

I am longing for the gift of uncertainty, a type of profound mystery that welcomes questions, a faith that requires a leap of faith to sustain. Have you ever been enamored by a ch ...

Converting People: I Don't Buy It
Originally Posted: 12/23/2014 - 10:16am | Type: Blog

To be more specific, I don’t believe in people converting people. Conversion, obviously, happens. And other people may be there, even standing by and handing the convert a pamphlet. The convert may even be say ...

Dreaming of God With Us
Originally Posted: 12/22/2014 - 9:53am | Type: Blog

custom and law, Joseph had the full right to have Mary stoned to death. Deuteronomy 22:23-25, part ...

In Celebration of the 'Average' Church
Originally Posted: 12/19/2014 - 5:37pm | Type: Blog

Let me tell you why I, a pastor of one of those "average" churches, still bother. You may have never attended an "average" church, but you've certainly ...

Mary’s Song
Originally Posted: 12/18/2014 - 11:20pm | Type: Blog

Mary sings about politics and economics, the dangers of unchecked power and the foolishness of false pride, and what it means for persons and nations to eschew the common good. ...

Hope in the Dark Times
Originally Posted: 12/18/2014 - 10:46pm | Type: Blog

The first time I really got it, I was 16 years old. The first time I really got it, I was 16 years old. I had traveled by myself to visit distant relatives in Paris, with ...

Purple Flowers of Hope
Originally Posted: 12/18/2014 - 10:39pm | Type: Blog

What storms are you weathering this Advent? What fires assail your mind, body, and spirit? What relationships cry out to be restored? As we wait and prepare for the arrival of Christ in our midst, both in Beth ...

Church of England Names Its First Woman Bishop; Libby Lane to Assume Historic Role
Originally Posted: 12/17/2014 - 2:27pm | Type: Blog

Lane, 48, a mother of two and the wife of an Anglican vicar, will be consecrated as the eighth bishop of Stockport, in the Diocese of Chester, at a ceremony at York Cathedral on Jan. 26. ...

2014 in Review: An Unsettling Year, with Religion in a Starring Role
Originally Posted: 12/17/2014 - 2:02pm | Type: Blog

Christopher Scuderi of Universal Heart Ministry on Dec. 23, 2013, at the Salt Lake City County offices. Photo ...

The Birth of Jesus Is Not a Sweet Story
Originally Posted: 12/17/2014 - 10:43am | Type: Blog

As told by Luke and Matthew, the birth of Jesus isn’t a sweet story. It is God intervening in human depravity and sorrow, offering hope to the hopeless, light to those walking in darkness. ...

Secular Solstice: Doing Good for Goodness’ Sake
Originally Posted: 12/17/2014 - 10:15am | Type: Blog

Those lighting the candles are nonbelievers — humanists, atheists, skeptics, and other freethinkers — and the candles represent no unseen divinity, but the actions and intentions of those who light them to mak ...

'Does Your Work Interfere with Your Life?'
Originally Posted: 12/17/2014 - 11:00am | Type: Blog

Find the nexus of your gifts and the world's need. Make your own career lattice. Be a lifelong learner. I was once asked to participate in our organization’s "Take You ...

Report: Vatican Investigation Ends with Praise of U.S. Nuns
Originally Posted: 12/16/2014 - 10:43am | Type: Blog

The much anticipated final report of a Vatican-ordered investigation of U.S. nuns was released today without controversy. The much anticipated final report of a Vatican-ordered i ...

The Pastoral Irony of Advent
Originally Posted: 12/16/2014 - 9:27am | Type: Blog

This is my first Advent as an ordained minister, and I am attempting to quickly learn so many things. Including: what Advent means in different cultural contexts; how to determine the "accurate" them ...

VIDEO: RavelUnravel
Originally Posted: 12/15/2014 - 2:54pm | Type: Magazine Article

The Editors Videos of people of several religious backgrounds expressing their faith.  Project Interfaith, an ...

Come, Lord Jesus
Originally Posted: 12/15/2014 - 2:10pm | Type: Blog

Is this not our great hope, to transform the world? God is with us. This Advent may we again move forward in faith. “A time to wait.” I’ve always struggled with Advent as a ...

TIMELINE: LGBT People and the Recent Church
Originally Posted: 12/15/2014 - 1:56pm | Type: Magazine Article

Jenna Barnett A timeline on the church concerning the LGBT community.  The recent history of the church’s tre ...

Why Are Manger Scenes So Weird?
Originally Posted: 12/15/2014 - 12:01pm | Type: Blog

We’ve left out all the messy parts. The oh-my-God-what-now parts. The I’m-screaming-as-loud-as-I-can-because-it-really-hurts parts. The oh-no-I’ve-stepped-in-the-animal-droppings parts. The real parts. And tha ...

VIDEO: We Are Not An Issue
Originally Posted: 12/15/2014 - 1:56pm | Type: Magazine Article

The Editors A video depicting the church.  In the long-running “culture war” over whether or not to accept an ...

Why Jews Skipped Hanukkah and Wrote the Most Beloved Christmas Songs
Originally Posted: 12/12/2014 - 5:05pm | Type: Blog

“White Christmas,” written by Jewish lyricist Irving Berlin, topped the charts in 1942 and launched popular Christmas music, encouraging many others — Jews and non-Jews — to write more odes to the holiday. ...

AUDIO: Margaret Atwood Reading from "Year of the Flood."
Originally Posted: 12/15/2014 - 1:56pm | Type: Magazine Article

Lani Prunés A Sojourners exclusive audio reading from Year of the Flood.  In her reflection on the beatitude ...

Pope Francis Is Naming New Cardinals. Will Any Be American?
Originally Posted: 12/12/2014 - 2:24pm | Type: Blog

The Vatican announced Dec. 11 that Pope Francis will name a new batch of cardinals in February, adding to the select group of churchmen who will someday gather to elect his successor. Rome won’t reveal the names until next month, but could an America ...

Dalai Lama Says Pope Francis' Unwillingness to Meet 'Could Cause Problems'
Originally Posted: 12/12/2014 - 12:56pm | Type: Blog

The Vatican has not had diplomatic ties with China since 1951, and its Communist leaders object to meetings between heads of state and the Tibetan leader. The Dalai Lama said Dec. ...

Gratitude with Hope
Originally Posted: 12/12/2014 - 8:58am | Type: Blog

I'm grateful for the warm, safe shelter of my home when there are 610,042 experiencing homelessness on any given night in the U.S. I’m grateful for more than enough to eat when there are 805 million peop ...

Grace Stories
Originally Posted: 12/12/2014 - 12:16pm | Type: Blog

Advent is a time for stories. In my childhood, these weeks were filled with Sunday school pageants, beautifully illustrated children's books, and swapping out Legos for the figurines in my mom’s Nativity ...

7 Concerning Pope Francis Quotes About Women
Originally Posted: 12/11/2014 - 11:09am | Type: Blog

When Pope Francis this month wanted to highlight his appointment of several women to a blue-ribbon theological commission, he called the female theologians “strawberries on the cake.” ...

Synod on the Family: Dialogue or Clash Between Factions?
Originally Posted: 12/10/2014 - 2:34pm | Type: Blog

Pope Francis used his weekly audience Dec. 10 to challenge media reports of “clashes between factions” at the recent bishops’ synod on family issues. Pope Francis used his weekly ...

The Gift of Hopelessness
Originally Posted: 12/10/2014 - 12:11pm | Type: Blog

This Advent I am grateful for the gift of hopelessness. Yes, you read that correctly. “But as a mountain erodes and crumbles and as a rock is moved from its place, as water w ...

Archbishop Justin Welby: Anglican Communion May Not Hold Together
Originally Posted: 12/09/2014 - 4:49pm | Type: Blog

In a lengthy  interview  in The Times of London, Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby predicted that the Anglican Communion might not hold together because of strong disagreements on the ordination of women as bishops and full rights for LGBT people. ...

Why God Is Sending Christians Straight to Hell
Originally Posted: 12/09/2014 - 2:33pm | Type: Blog

So much of Christianity has become about avoiding hell. But if there’s one thing I’ve learned as a hospital chaplain, it’s that God is sending Christians straight to hell. So muc ...

Injustice Has Many Names
Originally Posted: 12/09/2014 - 3:06pm | Type: Blog

Every name of a life lost is an image of God. When we lost them, we lost a little piece of God’s image in the world. There is power in a name. One of the things happening in o ...

Retreats Aim to Help LGBT Youth Recapture Some of Their Broken Spirituality
Originally Posted: 12/09/2014 - 9:36am | Type: Blog

expressing their hopes, dreams and fears. Photo by Alex Fradkin / RNS. Garrett, 23, was raised ...

The Public Private Life of Thomas Merton
Originally Posted: 12/15/2014 - 1:56pm | Type: Magazine Article

Christopher Pramuk 100 Years after his birth, the postmodern sensibilities of this Catholic author and monk kept new generations coming ...

Bear Mountain
Originally Posted: 12/15/2014 - 1:56pm | Type: Magazine Article

Brian Doyle Five boys and one quiet honest wry excellent priest.  FATHER PAUL DROVE US in one of the two pari ...

What About the Meek?
Originally Posted: 12/15/2014 - 1:56pm | Type: Magazine Article

Margaret Atwood Do you always have to let bullies kick sand in your face at the beach?  THIS IS SURELY the mo ...

Disputable Matters
Originally Posted: 12/15/2014 - 1:56pm | Type: Magazine Article

for full inclusion of LGBT Christians in the U.S. evangelical world, and he is only 23 years old. Raised ...

5 Takeaways from Pope Francis' Latest Interview
Originally Posted: 12/08/2014 - 2:23pm | Type: Blog

Gay marriage was never on the agenda at the recent Bishops’ Synod on the Family and the subject “did not cross our minds,” Pope Francis said in a new headline-grabbing interview. ...

Considering 12 Sides of Jesus
Originally Posted: 12/09/2014 - 9:05am | Type: Blog

I grew up reading Scripture, have written several books about Jesus and the Bible, but somehow I’m always left with a sense that there’s more — a lot more — about Jesus and about being a follower than we gener ...

You Don’t Want To Be A Prophet
Originally Posted: 12/08/2014 - 12:15pm | Type: Blog

The prophet’s road is lonely not because she escapes the hubbub of everyday life in order to retreat and draw near to God. No, the prophet’s road is lonely because she is called to the most troubled corners of ...

Tackling the Hard Questions
Originally Posted: 12/17/2014 - 11:27am | Type: Magazine Article

David P. Gushee It's time for Bible-believing Christians to take a new look at what scripture teaches us about gays and lesbians—and ...

January 2015
Originally Posted: 12/15/2014 - 2:30pm | Type: Magazine Issue

January, 2015 What the Bible Says (and doesn't say) about gays, lesbians, and the church. ...

Rhythms
Originally Posted: 12/09/2014 - 9:32am | Type: Blog

Christianity’s rhythm is cyclic, repetitive. Still, in the same way that we can continually find new gusts of loveliness and truth in old Scriptures our eyes have taken in before, each Advent is a fresh encou ...

Does a New Book Question Pope Francis' Legitimacy?
Originally Posted: 12/05/2014 - 3:12pm | Type: Blog

Was there a secret plot to elect Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio at the papal conclave last year? Did Bergoglio — who became Pope Francis at that conclave — give the go-ahead to such a plan? And does that cam ...

Hope in the Christ’s Resurrection
Originally Posted: 12/05/2014 - 11:06am | Type: Blog

I don’t have hope this Advent because of the great work Sojourners is doing here in Washington, D.C., or because I try my hardest to live a righteous and loving life. I only have hope because of this Jesus. ...

Shore
Originally Posted: 12/10/2014 - 10:14am | Type: Blog

After the monsoon, after work, I catch you with your face in the hot laundry, the syntax of spring held together by sap, hanging wild and worried and crazy in the lowest branch. In the ripe country, sa ...

Can 'Good Will Hunting' Help You Decide What to Do with Your Life?
Originally Posted: 12/03/2014 - 3:16pm | Type: Blog

It probably can’t. It may help you ponder the kind of person you hope to become, and it might even help you orient yourself towards the next few baby steps you take in this life, but decide what you want to do ...

This Is Jesus, in His Glory
Originally Posted: 12/05/2014 - 12:33pm | Type: Blog

"This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” Luke 2:12 As the people walked into the sanctuary, the worship team behind us started to sing. “This is Jesus, ...

Will Faith Stay Safe or Stand Tall?
Originally Posted: 12/03/2014 - 10:50am | Type: Blog

If faith couldn’t address the dark sides, then it was just ritualized nostalgia. It was an in-crowd affirming itself; it was nice people gathering for pleasing ceremonies and making no discernible difference i ...

What Ever Happened to Rob Bell, the Pastor Who Questioned the Gates of Hell?
Originally Posted: 12/02/2014 - 1:53pm | Type: Blog

In 2011, his book “Love Wins” pushed the evangelical envelope on the nature of heaven, hell, and salvation. Many dismissed him as a modern-day heretic, unwilling to embrace traditional evangelicals beliefs abo ...

Out of the Silence
Originally Posted: 12/02/2014 - 5:04pm | Type: Blog

One summer my cousin Betty and I sneaked through the barbed-wire fence of a neighbor’s orchard and ate so many wild plums right off the tree that we almost made ourselves sick. Betty was 13 and I was 9, and I ...