"I do not believe that such groups as these which I found my way to not long after returning from Wheaton, or Alcoholics Anonymous, which is the group they grew out of, are perfect any more than anything is perfect, but I believe that the church has an enormous amount to learn from them. I also believe that what goes on in them is far closer to what Christ meant his church to be, and what it originally was, than much of what goes on in most churches I know. These groups have no buildings or official leadership or money. They have no rummage sales, no altar guilds, no every-member canvases. They have no preachers, no choirs, no liturgy, no real estate. They have no creeds. They have no program. They make you wonder if the best thing that could happen to many a church might not be to have its buildings burn down and to lose all its money. Then all that the people would have left would be God and each other."
— Frederick Buechner in Telling Secrets

"Any religion that professes to be concerned about the souls of men and is not concerned about the slums that damn them, the economic conditions that strangle them, and the social conditions that cripple them is a spiritually moribund religion awaiting burial. . . .

"Ultimately what matters most is love and community, including a commitment to social justice and careful stewardship of the earth's resources. There's where hope lies, regardless of how little or how much any one of us may possess materially. Liberal Christianity in the twenty-first century must lead the way through its firm commitment to progress, the essential goodness of humanity, tolerance, and freedom."
— Scotty McLennan in Jesus Was a Liberal

"In terms of eco-spirituality, love leads us to identify ever more with the Earth, for love is the great unifying and integrating power of universe. For centuries we have thought about the Earth. We were the subject of thought, and the Earth was its object and content. After all that we have learned of the new cosmology, we must think of ourselves as Earth. Earth is the great living subject feeling, loving, thinking, and through us knowing that it thinks, loves and feels. Love leads us to identify with Earth in such a way that we no longer need to become aware of these things, for they have become second nature, Then we can be mountain, sea, air, road, tree, animal, We can be one with Christ, with the Spirit, and ultimately with God."
— Leonardo Boff in Cry of the Earth, Cry of the Poor

"Have a 'Wonder Week.' Concentrate each day on a different sense: Monday, smell; Tuesday, touch; Wednesday, taste; Thursday, seeing; Friday, hearing; and Saturday, synesthesia (the interplay of the senses). Notice what each sense is drawn to and irritated by. Try to expose your senses to new sensations. Go into a natural food stores, where herbs and spices are stored in bulk, and see how many you can identify by smell alone. Walk barefoot. Assemble a platter of as many tastes as possible: salty, sweet, bitter, bland, etc. Look for odd color combinations. Scan the stations on your radio noticing types of music, modulations of voices, and more."
— Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat in Spiritual Rx

"I have been profoundly influenced by the religions of the world. From Zen I have learned never to believe that I have grasped the truth or have understood anything fully. From Taoism I have been taught to find strength in yielding and never to believe that my conception of the meaning of things is ever completely accurate. I have learned from Christian mystics to be content in a cloud of unknowing and to risk the dark night of the soul, and to cultivate deep and ironic ignorance. Among the Sufis and Native Americans I find the image of the fool as a persona of holiness."
— Thomas Moore in The Soul's Religion

"A good worship curator unpacks the elements of the service in a particular space she has thought about and deliberately arranged. She is aware of lighting levels, temperature, seating, projections, sound, and every element that contributes to the worship experience. She decides what should be printed on handouts, a data projector, or an overhead projector. She determines how much or how little explanation is needed for people to be able to participate fully in the worship. She guides people through worship and connects the various elements of the service together into a flow, including selecting songs or readings as needed. She understands why the church exists and what worship is about."
— Mark Pierson in The Art of Curating Worship

"Breathing in: O Mystery . . .
Breathing out: . . . alive in me!"
— Joyce Rupp in The Cup of Our Life

"Longing is a compass that guides us through life. We may never get what we really want, that's true, but every step along the way will be determined by it."
— Joan D. Chittister in The Psalms: Meditations for Every Day of the Year

To Practice This Thought: In what directions are your yearnings pointing you?

"O God, help me to believe the truth about myself no matter how beautiful it is!"
— Macrina Wiederkehr quoted in A Grateful Heart edited by M. J. Ryan

To Practice This Thought: Identify one beautiful truth about yourself.

"Start your day with the affirmation 'I am vibrantly alive!' Say it enough times so that it sinks into your consciousness and seeps into your body. Whenever your energy feels depleted during the day, repeat the affirmation. In the last hours of the evening, let your 'I am vibrantly alive' extend outward to support others through your prayers."
— Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat in Spiritual Rx

Go to Index for Alphabet of Progressive Christian Spirituality