You have the right to practice your own beliefs, so long as you harm no one. The Universal Life Church encourages you to realize your freedom by becoming an ordained minister, speaking your own truths about life. "We are All Children of the Same Universe"
The Washington National Cathedral, one of the largest churches in the country, has decided to remove two stained glass windows honoring Confederate generals Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson. Citing the violence in Charlottesville last month, among other factors, the church voted overwhelmingly in favor of taking the windows down.
"Their association with racial oppression, human subjugation, and white supremacy does not belong in the sacred fabric of this Cathedral," church leaders said.
The decision comes in the wake of inflamed tensions across the country regarding the removal of Confederate statues and symbols. Critics argue that taking down such images effectively erases parts of history that ought to be preserved, no matter how uncomfortable. But church officials don’t see it that way:
“People ask: ‘Are we whitewashing history and trying to forget reality?’ But the truth is that slavery is as old as the Bible. We believe in a God that liberates slaves.”
What do you think of the decision?
President Trump has decided to put an end to DACA – a program which gives temporary visas to “Dreamers”, or people who were brought to the U.S. illegally as children. Without visas, Dreamers will be at immediate risk of deportation. As tensions surrounding immigration are already high, the move was bound to generate controversy. Interestingly, though, some of the strongest pushback has come from the president’s own religious advisors within the White House.
Among those opposed to the decision is Trump evangelical advisor Samuel Rodriguez. He issued a plea to the administration, asking them to reconsider:
“As a pastor, I cannot sit idly by while the federal government threatens to forcibly separate families by deportation. In the Scriptures, we read the timeless words, ‘Therefore, what God has joined together, let no one separate’ (Mark 10:9). It is no individual’s or government’s place to rip families apart, let alone millions of them.”
Where do you stand on the issue?
While the bulk of the rains seem to have stopped, and news coverage begins to shift, the people of Houston will require significant aid for months or years to come in the devastating wake of Hurricane Harvey.
In an effort to spread awareness that this is far from over, we're asking our followers to join us in assisting the ongoing relief efforts in Texas. For every "Share" this post receives, the ULC will donate $2* to the Greater Houston Community Foundation, an organization working with a network of nonprofits in the region to provide immediate relief to flood victims.
We understand not everyone is able to give directly, which is why we'd like to donate on your behalf. Just click "Share" on this post and help spread the word.
Our hearts go out to the people of Texas as they brave the flood waters and look to the great task of rebuilding after such great devastation. Help us show solidarity with them by providing supplies and funding to the hard-working helpers on the ground.
*up to $10,000
Today marks the beginning of the hajj, the annual Muslim pilgrimage to the Islamic holy city of Mecca. This year, an astounding 2 million Muslims from all around the world are expected to take part in the five-day event. The hajj is one of the five pillars of Islam, and all able Muslims are required to make the journey at least once in their lifetime.
The experience obviously has deep spiritual significance, but is not without its perils. Participating in the hajj requires long waits amid massive crowds in the desert heat, creating potentially dangerous situations. Indeed, a tragic 2015 stampede resulted in the deaths of over 2,000 people and spurred calls for better safety measures.
With that in mind, we wish all those making the journey safe travels. Hajj Mubarak!
Social Services officials in London are under fire after investigators learned that a five-year-old Christian girl was forced to live in a strict Muslim foster home. Her new caretakers reportedly tried to convert the girl to Islam; they forbade her from eating anything with bacon, removed her Christian cross necklace, and told her holidays such as Christmas and Easter were “stupid.”
Although the child was eventually returned home, she reports being traumatized by the experience. The girl’s mother was outraged to learn that her daughter had been placed in what she considered an unsuitable environment.
“This is a five-year-old white girl. She was born in this country, speaks English as her first language, loves football, holds a British passport and was christened in a church,” the mother told reporters.
All of this got us thinking: what role should a caretaker's religion play in children’s lives? Was Social Services wrong to place the girl in a Muslim home?
An Indiana elementary school teacher sparked controversy after sending home a letter instructing students not to discuss religion in the classroom. Specifically, the teacher took issue with the words “God, Jesus, and Devil,” insisting that they might make other students uncomfortable.
A number of parents complained, arguing that children should not be prevented from talking about their beliefs at school. The district’s superintendent sided with the parents, stating: "In this situation, we want to be sympathetic to all our students with diverse backgrounds. But at the end of the day, they have the freedom to say things as long as it's not disruptive to the environment."
The teacher was forced to issue an apology.
Nonetheless, the incident raises an interesting question: should our public schools be free **from** religion, or free **of** religion? Where should the line be drawn?
It’s rare for everything to go perfectly on your wedding day, but one couple found themselves in a uniquely uncomfortable position when their priest decided to go rogue mid-ceremony. Apparently feeling that the photographers were too close to the altar, he angrily threatens to stop the ceremony if they don't back off.
The audience sits in stunned silence as the bride and groom's mortified faces are caught on camera. Talk about a wedding nightmare!
More and more, couples are choosing to personalize their marriage ceremonies by asking a friend or family member to officiate. For those who wonder why, perhaps this should be exhibit A!
Minister Scolds Photographers - The same video we've all seen but in hi def.
The solar eclipse is upon us! As the planet’s sole source of energy momentarily disappears, eclipse-viewers experience a period of eerie darkness before the world reawakens.
In that sense, it's no wonder that our ancestors saw solar eclipses as harbingers of doom. What besides forces of evil could bring about the dark of night during midday?
But in modern times, many view the solar eclipse instead as a time of transformation and revolution. The coming together of light and dark may symbolize something larger: the unification of good and evil.
What is your interpretation?
Our hearts are heavy today reading about the horrific incident in Barcelona that authorities are now calling a terrorist attack. Far from achieving any sort of vile “goal,” such barbaric acts of violence only put the cowardice of the perpetrators on full display.
No matter the perceived grievance, killing innocent people solves nothing. As the writer Isaac Asimov aptly put it, “violence is the last refuge of the incompetent.”
Our thoughts go out to the victims and their families in the wake of this horrible tragedy.
“No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.” - Nelson Mandela
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The Center for Spiritual Living - Seattle is the place where people from all walks of life and spiritual paths come together to learn more about themselves, about Spirit, and about how to use spiritual principles to build a better life and world.
No matter who you are or where you are on life's journey, you are welcome here! The United Church of Christ encourages the spiritual quest of each person and its churches are places to explore that journey with no tests of creed or dogma.
"A small church doing a disproportionate amount of good"
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The UPC Young Adults Community Group meets weekly on Tuesday's and is just one aspect of the various young adult groups to get involved in. https://www.facebook.com/groups/upcyacommunitygroup/ We meet every Tuesday, 7-9 pm at UPC (Knox Rm.)
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We are a friendly open and affirming congregation in North Seattle. No matter who you are or where you are on life's journey, we want you to feel welcome and spiritually nourished here.
We are a resilient Episcopal community working together to build the kingdom of God in our neighborhood and city. Join us as we practice our faith in Jesus