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As to that prayer, I get it. About a year ago I got angry and started to write the linked hymn text after the news of one mass shooting broke, and by the time I finished it another had happened. And Lord knows how many since then. I haven’t yet resorted to a hymn text full of profanity in the wake of such events, but sometimes I’m sorely tempted... https://hymnsbycharlesfreeman.blogspot.com/2022/05/faith-without-works-is-dead.html?m=1

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Please check again about Middlebury RI. I believe it is Middletown RI

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The caption came with the photo from Getty Images, and we missed correcting it.

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It was changed in the online version - but typos cannot be fixed if you are reading on email.

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I have struggled with the exclusivity of John 14:6 (... No one comes to the Father except through me) - so much so that I wrote a paper on it when I took a Christian Scriptures class in seminary. Your essay gives yet another lense on this passage, connecting the whole idea of coming to the Father with the dwelling place - and, to me at least, holds out the possibility that the dwelling place is here, God with us. So perhaps the possibility of exclusion is more a matter of ignoring that God is here with us. One form of evil is whatever causes us to be unable to experience that closeness.

And thanks for continuing to call out the evil of gun violence in the USA. Our collective worship of guns must end before we sink into anarchy.

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I wrote an extended reflection on John 14:6 in "Freeing Jesus," chapter 5. I almost posted it. But I went this direction instead. John 14 is a very rich text and too many people get wrongly fixated on a single verse -- and take that verse out of context to boot!

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Thank you! I've got that in my kindle app - bought when you kindly told us that it was on sale; still yet-to-be-read. Now I know I need to read it sooner!

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Please post that sometime! I would love to read it (but already have too many books -- including 2 of yours!!)

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Thank you for the beautiful prayer. I get so angry but know the best I can do is pray for a change of heart, a change of laws - that folks will heed yet another wake up call. Lord have mercy.

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I like what you wrote about home and dwelling places. Revelation 21:3 includes these words: "Behold the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God." A great promise! Our home will be quite simply the presence of God. We won't need anything else! Thanks for sharing!

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founding

I am reminded of Rumi ‘s poem

Guest house

This being human is a guest house

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Thank you, Diana. A beautifully written and thoughtful meditation, perhaps very appropriate thought starters for Mother's Day/Father's Day sermonizing, discussing. And for the prayer and poems, too.

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Yes, this PCUSA material is from 2010, but it is a start in this conversation, in this time, in this Interim time.

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May 8, 2023Liked by Diana Butler Bass

Finally, I suggested to a couple of congregants that we utilize the PCUSA materials “Gun Violence, Gospel Values.” I’m pretty sure that our Presbytery still has the video “Trigger” which I had forgotten about. This is long overdue.

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Most of the mainline denominations have good -- and surprisingly radical -- materials about gun violence. I'm deeply grateful for that.

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May 8, 2023Liked by Diana Butler Bass

Diana, I was so appreciative of your prayer this morning. I used it in the Prayers of Intercession during Communion. I did have push back from a 30-something male member about it being too political for usage in the worship service. I replied, “if we can’t pray about gun violence during worship, when will we pray.” That opened us to further conversation, I hope.

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May 8, 2023Liked by Diana Butler Bass

It always confuses/stuns me when people say praying about the gun situation or an end to war or poverty or social justice or immigration/DREAMers, healthcare, etc., etc. in church is political. Jesus was extremely political! He stood firmly against all forms of injustice. However, promoting a particular political candidate or party would be inappropriate within the church service.

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I hoped it would be "political" in just the right way - to encourage brave pastors to take this on more directly in churches. We can change things. We can't give up.

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“Home, a holy habitation. We dwell in sacred space. We do not often stop to consider where we dwell, much less how it shapes us to move about in the world, for either good or ill.”

My book club is current reading “Living Buddha, Living Christ” by Thich Nhat Hanh and your words above fits so nicely with his theme that all is sacred. We do, indeed, dwell in sacred space.

Diana, your writing is a blessing. Thank you.

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I think it was Rosemary Clooney who sang about "This Old House" ... a metaphor of several levels.

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Opps! “ I am living with my son”😩 not licking with my son! My dyslexia often keeps me from seeing my mistakes.

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hahahahaha

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Thanks for the reminder that God not only made our home. God IS our home. And is always a very present refuge. Perhaps one reason violence runs amok in our country today is that we have forgotten that. And the perpetrators of violence are enraged at not having found any home/refuge either within themselves or with any of their fellow human beings.

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Thank you for this meaningful prayer. It is so true and we, as a nation so broken and in need of healing. May God continue to work with and through us.

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By themselves. And the stigma isolates further. We need to do better.

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