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Questing for universals in the observation of particulars, in Ojai Valley and its surrounding mountains...
Recent Activity
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Many if not most of us spend a frightfully huge percentage of our time hunched over our “smart” phones, staring and poking at them. It’s not all bad. But it’s certainly problematic for many, if not most, of us. For... Continue reading
Posted Jan 10, 2024 at Musings
Speech and Academic Integrity on Campus: Progressive Christian Campus Ministers Take a Stand For more information: [email protected] We are leaders of progressive Christian ministries at colleges and universities around the United States, deeply concerned with right-wing assaults against free speech... Continue reading
Posted Jan 9, 2024 at Musings
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“Hell and heaven are in the human mind.” Walking down a narrow, cobbled alley in Lisbon, holding Roberta’s hand, I spied a painted tile on a wall, with this quote from “F.P.” I was intrigued. A few days later, I... Continue reading
Posted Nov 17, 2023 at Musings
for discussion in the ZOE progressive Christian campus ministry network 11-16-23 Jim Burklo Dear campus ministry colleagues in the ZOE network: Higher education is under attack. And we are unusually gifted with the ability to defend it. Right-wing “cancel culture”... Continue reading
Posted Nov 16, 2023 at Musings
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You are incomparable. I am incomparable. So why do we persist in comparing ourselves to others? And suffering the frustration that results? You and I are, as the scripture says, crowns of creation. Little lower than the angels. We’re microcosmic... Continue reading
Posted Nov 5, 2023 at Musings
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As a citizen of the United States, I am implicated in today’s horror in Israel and Gaza. The pain and heartbreak and fear and suffering are overwhelming. I voted for the president who is now supplying weapons for the conflict.... Continue reading
Posted Oct 19, 2023 at Musings
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Father Ricardo Elford at Tumacacori Mission, Arizona, 2011 On Sept 19, 2023, a progressive Christian hero passed from among us. May the memory of Father Ricardo Elford inspire generations of faithful justice activists for years to come. Since 1967, Ricardo,... Continue reading
Posted Oct 5, 2023 at Musings
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Fall Equinox in Ojai The sun slips a bright note under my door: Its announcement of the season's arrival. I stare at it reverently. A quietude falls over the valley: All is caught in a hush, a pause, Languid in... Continue reading
Posted Sep 28, 2023 at Musings
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(art by Bardia Soltani) There is a crisis of loneliness in America and much of the rest of the Western world. I have seen its effects first-hand on a university campus. It's an epidemic in higher education generally, contributing mightily... Continue reading
Posted Sep 22, 2023 at Musings
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“Take heed, dear Friends, to the promptings of love and truth in your hearts. Trust them as the leadings of God whose Light shows us our darkness and brings us to new life.” From “Advices and queries” of the Yearly... Continue reading
Posted Sep 11, 2023 at Musings
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The Bible is mostly a collection of profound myths: unreal stories that can help us see what it is real, and see what we really need to change. One of these wonderful biblical myths is the story of Balaam and... Continue reading
Posted Aug 28, 2023 at Musings
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(Above: a Hindu juggernaut in the Ojai, CA, 4th of July parade this year - it has a big American flag on the back. Watching it, hearing the Hare Krishnas chanting "hare hare" around it, made me proud to be... Continue reading
Posted Aug 13, 2023 at Musings
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The Revelations of Ashley As Typed with her Thumbs onto her IPhone I, Ashley Anderson, was parking in the staff lot at the Great Mall on my way to work at the Yogurt Shop, when I received revelations which I... Continue reading
Posted Aug 1, 2023 at Musings
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We are but eddies in the current of life. I walked along a dirt path next to a roaring canal fed by the Deschutes River in Bend, Oregon: past budding chamisa, golden grasses nodding in the morning breeze, stubby juniper... Continue reading
Posted Jul 23, 2023 at Musings
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When I was directing the drop in center for homeless people in Palo Alto, one day one of our regulars, a panhandler who suffered from alcoholism, excitedly reported to me an incident that had happened the day before. A man... Continue reading
Posted Jul 5, 2023 at Musings
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The Empty Self “Hell and heaven are in the human mind.” Walking down a narrow, cobbled alley in Lisbon, holding Roberta’s hand, I spied a painted tile on a wall, with this quote from “F.P.” I was intrigued. A few... Continue reading
Posted Jun 15, 2023 at Musings
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There’s already a lot of common decency in America. We just need a lot more of it. And there is nothing particularly masculine, feminine, binary, non-binary, capitalist, Marxist, “woke”, or “anti-woke” about practicing common decency. Common decency means telling the... Continue reading
Posted May 25, 2023 at Musings
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The non-religious are by far the fastest-growing religious demographic in America. So how shall we who are progressive Christians talk about our faith with them, when the appropriate occasions arise? Religion is the organized, communal expression of spirituality. But spirituality... Continue reading
Posted May 18, 2023 at Musings
These chants are ones I’ve been using for many years in progressive Christian worship, interfaith/spiritual life on campus, and many other settings in my career. A bunch of them come from the wonderful Taize community in France, which focuses worship on chants. I take the liberty of switching some words... Continue reading
Posted Mar 1, 2023 at Souljourning
These chants are ones I’ve been using for many years in progressive Christian worship, interfaith/spiritual life on campus, and many other settings in my career. A bunch of them come from the wonderful Taize community in France, which focuses worship... Continue reading
Posted Mar 1, 2023 at Musings
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You just can't make this stuff up. Reality is indeed weirder than fiction. A few days ago, I read a piece on Religion News Service by Christian Pinkston. He decried the "cannibalism" going on among his fellow evangelical Christians who,... Continue reading
Posted Mar 1, 2023 at Musings
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On the TV coverage of the upcoming Super Bowl on 2/12, there will be a major ad for the "He Gets Us" campaign, which is also showing up on billboards, etc, all over the country. It is a hundred-million-dollar ad... Continue reading
Posted Feb 28, 2023 at Musings
What would it mean for you and me to “end systemic racism” in America? I’ve been pondering deeply the fact that the five police officers accused of the recent pointless, needless killing of a man in Memphis, Tyre Nichols, were... Continue reading
Posted Feb 27, 2023 at Musings
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“There is no more urgent question for American Christians than this: What’s wrong with the American church and how can its life and ministry be renewed? Virtually everyone agrees something is radically wrong with the church… We must find a... Continue reading
Posted Feb 25, 2023 at Musings
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Twixt twelve and thirty years, who was Jesus, we ask? The Bible says nothing worth taking to task. A square or a rounder? - we’re all left to wonder How hearty he partied, how much did he blunder? ‘Twas the... Continue reading
Posted Feb 17, 2023 at Musings