Archive for March, 2012

Sermonette by John Shore: “Playing the kazoo at a requiem mass”


Once again, the work has been done for me.

Why this white Christian “leader” was silent about Trayvon Martin | JohnShore.comA question that’s lately been raised in the blogosphere (here; here; here) is why more white Christian leaders haven’t spoken out against the death of Trayvon Martin. Putting aside the question of whether or not I’m a Christian leader (I’m not), when the story broke of young Martin’s death I did receive a number of requests to write about it.

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Sunday Jubilee Time: “Thank you for being my water, Jesus”


Sometimes it’s the theology that grabs me, and sometimes it’s the sound.
It was the deep chords of the chorus that attracted me to this song … but “It don’t do no harm to mourn sometimes.”

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A feast day for angelic troublemakers


St. Patrick’s Day doesn’t get much play in the chapel. We celebrate Bayard Rustin Day instead —

Brother Outsider — ResourcesNow available on DVD for home viewing from our online store.Click here to buy the DVD Educators and educational institutions can order Brother Outsider through our educational distributor, California Newsreel. Click here for the Brother Outsider Discussion Guide:guide.pdf Download the discussion/curriculum guide produced in partnership with Frameline’s Youth In Motion program.

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via Rustin

How we celebrate Bayard Rustin Day

  • By all means get the DVD if you can — it’s wonderful.
  • Print and frame a picture of Brother Bayard and welcome him to your table with a vegetarian feast. I think we’re going with red curry noodles (no fish sauce, please) and Thai Corn Pancakes.
  • Then place him on your angelic troublemaker ancestor angelic troublemaker altar — if you don’t have one, you’ll start one tonight, I bet.

I also like to give him a vegetarian treat every Saturday, and listen for any directions he might have for me.

So Happy Bayard Rustin Day, everybody — and do feel free to post any good links you find!



Sunday Jubilee Time: Spiritland


During her wonderful show last night, Momma Starr of Old Style Conjure played several numbers by the late Coco Robicheaux — whom I had never heard of until he died.

Anyway, this was one of them — and I had to say Amen to every word.

Embedly doesn’t know what to do with this link, so click here to listen to “Spiritland.”

Sermonette: Christians Reclaim Embrace the Pagan


All right, so we’re having an evening service at the Chapel tonight 🙂

This is wonderful and edifying, as far as it goes:

Celebrating ‘Pagan Christianity’A few years ago Frank Viola and George Barna collaborated on a book called Pagan Christianity?: Exploring the Roots of Our Church Practices. In the book, readers learn about the “pagan roots” of many of the church’s long held traditions, practices, and resources.

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The first Christians were defiers of convention; they were innovators (and that’s why your Bible is  a pile-o-pages surrounded by covers, and not a basket of scrolls). Some of them even had a keen appreciation for all the gifts and talents that the Love Supreme gave human beings. And that’s how these “pagan” things got into the church.

But I’ve been a universalist from childhood, so I want to go even farther than that.  I’ve always believed that  “There is truth in all religions,” as the saying went in my childhood. It follows, then, that God is not neglecting anybody.

It follows, then, that exclusionary commands and scriptures — “touch not the unclean thing,” and all that — need to be reclaimed themselves.

The Altar at Missionary Independent Spiritual Church in Forestville CA includes Catholic church and folk saints, African, Hindu and Chinese deities, and Buddhas

The “unclean thing” is not the carved statue from India or Africa, or the vévé drawn on the floor, but the idols we make of our own suspicion and self-righteousness.

Vévé of Maman Brigitte

O Love Supreme, may our beliefs, faith and/or religion not degenerate into spiky-fenced, bludgeon-wielding tribalism; remind us always that there are no Orcs of Righteousness. Instead, let us keep the eye of the Spirit open to recognize our brothers and sisters of the Golden Rule, wherever they worship (if they worship), by whatever name they know you.