​An exploration of in-spiriting experiences — those moments of sudden insight, realization and/or inspiration.  Far from being limited to biblical times, epiphanies accost us frequently and in times of great need, like now.

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Our culture can be both deeply narcissistic and shaming all at once.  What might it mean to celebrate you for who you are? To appreciate the beauty that is you, inside and out?

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What is it to be a person? To have identity? By listening to the answers of existentialism and Buddhism, we might be provoked to rethinking our assumptions about who we are - and what connects us to each other.

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Welcome to the Prophet
by Mr. Shahid Naseer

Muslims consider Muhammed, peace be upon him, to be the “Seal of the Prophets” — the prophet of God, peace, and truth.  Shahid Naseer, director of public relations for the Muslim Association of Greater Rockford, will be our guest today.  Come to learn about the faith of our neighbors and celebrate religious diversity in our community.

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That was the question that the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., asked in one of his books: with the possible answers “chaos or community.” We’ll reflect on Dr. King’s prophetic legacy and what it means to ask and answer that question today as we confront the powers and principalities of racism, sexism, and injustice.

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Taking my inspiration from a sermon preached by Thomas Kerr at the laying of the cornerstone of the Church of the Christian Union (the name of our congregation at the time) in 1888, I’ll reflect on how we weave together a sense of mystery and a commitment to reason and science. For Kerr, archeology and biblical history helped enliven, not diminish, his faith. Can the same be true for us - from physics, neuro-biology, anthropology, and more?

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As we explore our theme of Presence, reflections on the importance of stillness. We live in a world that wishes us to rush headlong in the next moment. How do we cultivate the capacity to pause, become clear, so that our lives are sustainable and our work is actually effective?  

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We live our lives telling stories about the way the world works, can we change the world by telling a different story?

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 Does the Arc Bend?  Matthew will reflect on the election.  Does the Moral Arc of the Universe bend toward justice? Or is that a fairy-tale we tell to keep the horror at bay?  If it does bend, what work, now, is ours?

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