Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Pluralism Sunday Press Release

Below is the press release for Pluralism Sunday. I'm still not sure how I'll handle it and my congregation is likely different in make up and intent than others participating. I'm not a big John Spong fan, for instance, and he's quoted below. Still, I do believe in the importance of religious pluralism. So, if you're interested, check it out.
PRESS RELEASE: FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
PLURALISM SUNDAY: May 27, 2007
in progressive churches nationwide
For more information: contact Rev. Jim Burklo, coordinator, Pluralism Sunday:
jtburklo@yahoo.com , 415-332-3790, or Rev. Fred Plumer, President, The Center for Progressive Christianity, center@tcpc.org, 253-303-0022
For a full description of the event, see: www.tcpc.blogs.com/pluralism_sunday


________________________The Center for Progressive Christianity, (TCPC.org) a national network of 370 affiliated congregations of many denominations, will be celebrating the diversity of the world's religions on PLURALISM SUNDAY, May 27, 2007. Churches are participating in the event in a variety of ways, exploring and sharing the spiritual riches of other faiths. Churches are inviting people of other faiths to preach, including elements of other religious traditions in their worship services, and offering study groups and other events. Their message: one does not need to believe that Jesus is the only way to God in order to be a Christian, and that Christian faith is deepend by learning about other religions.

"In this nation of increasing religious diversity, more and more people have come to realize that no one religion rightly can claim superiority over all others. More and more people have been exposed to the insight and wisdom in spiritual traditions other than their own," says Rev. Jim Burklo, pastor of Sausalito (CA) Presbyterian Church and coordinator of PLURALISM SUNDAY. "Many folks see the damage that religious chauvinism is doing in the world today, and have turned away from Christianity because they think that it claims to be the only true pathway to God. On PLURALISM SUNDAY, Progressive Christians swing open the doors of their churches and invite everyone to discover a form of the faith that abandons this prideful, hurtful claim." TCPC's Welcome Statement, which can be seen at http://www.tcpc.org/, includes these words: "We are Christians who recognize the faithfulness of other people who have other names for the way to God's realm, and acknowledge that their ways are true for them, as our ways are true for us."

PLURALISM SUNDAY will be held on May 27, which is the Christian day of Pentecost. According to the biblical legend in the book of Acts (chapter 2), Jesus' followers gathered after his death and resurrection in the "upper room" in Jerusalem, and though they spoke in different languages, suddenly they were able to understand each other through the power of the Holy Spirit. PLURALISM SUNDAY invokes a Holy Spirit of deep respect that moves us to embrace the diversity of religions of the world. It is a time for churches to celebrate the common language of the soul that transcends the boundaries of faiths.

Each participating church is making its own unique plans for PLURALISM SUNDAY. For example, at First Congregational Church in Long Beach, CA, the director of the Shura Council, which represents the imams and leaders of Muslim communities in southern California, will be the preacher. Christ Community Church in Spring Lake, MI, will hold sessions in the weeks prior to PLURALISM SUNDAY to study "The Faith Club", a book by three women - a Muslim, a Jew, and a Christian - who sought to find common ground on which to share their faiths. University Place Christian Church in Enid, OK will use multiple languages to express the wisdom of different world religions in worship. Mizpah United Church of Christ and Bet Shalom (Reform Jewish) Congregation in Minneapolis will have a "pulpit exchange".

John Shelby Spong, retired Episcopal bishop and author of Jesus for the Non-Religious and many other books, is a member of the advisory board of The Center for Progressive Christianity. He says "the Christ path leads me to a God who is bigger than Christianity and thus God can not be bounded or limited to the spiritual yearnings of a particular people. Pluralism is necessary because we are human."

The Center for Progressive Christianity is a network of churches that take the Bible seriously because they don't take it literally, believe that striving for justice and peace is just as important as personal morality, and welcome gay and lesbian people just as they are. See the 8-Point Welcome Statement of TCPC for a fuller description of the progressive Christian movement.

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Jim Burklominister, Sausalito Presbyterian Churchpersonal website: www.openchristianity.comweblog: www.tcpc.blogs.com/musingsPO Box 236, Sausalito, CA 94966415-332-3790 -- www.sausalitopresbyterian.comA progressive (www.tcpc.org) churchWorship: Sun 9:30 am"Open Christianity: Home by Another Road" by Jim Burklo - at www.risingstarpress.com
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1 comment:

Cicero said...

hiya Bob,

PluralisticJohn 14:6:

I am mostly the way, the truth that works for some and the life...force of all working for justice. Almost no one comes to the Father except near me (ethically or philosopically speaking, but no pressure).

Jason