• Education,  SBNR

    From Teaching Faith to Losing Faith

    Many think of a Christian seminary as a quiet place of contemplation, faith-seeking, and life-changing learning. And it often is. There you will find dedicated teachers who try to turn their students toward God and toward others. These professors have endured long years of schooling, low salaries, and 24-7 work schedules: counseling, grading, meetings, research, writing, dealing with student angst, and hours in the classroom. It can be an inspiring place for students and teachers alike. What many don’t realize, however, is that many of these hard-working teachers who have tried to instill love of God and world-helping ethics in their students are now being pushed out. It is true…

  • SBNR

    Are We Being Honest? Are We Being Respectful?

    Recently I attended a Winter Solstice event held at a United Methodist Church.  On this evening, they did many of the things I have become familiar with from my three years researching alternative spiritualities and the ‘spiritual but not religious’ movement.  At this event they “called the directions”, had a guided meditation about finding spirit in nature, did some drumming, invited people to do a dance from Dances of Universal Peace, and had a hymn to the goddess Persephone.  Now, I realize that the mainline Protestant churches are more and more open to inter-faith dialogue and cooperation.  And I realize the white mainline Protestantism is rightfully concerned about its decline in…