Progressive Faith Sermons - Dr. Roger Ray

Our wisdom lesson offers us a view of the how things could be, through illustrations and words. It’s the kind of world that everyone could enjoy living in, because it would be organized around compassion, equality, and justice. But that world has mainly lived in human imagination, though not because it is impossible. Instead, we have inherited a set of obstacles to achieving well-being for all. A case in point is the mobilization of the powers that be to defend the power and wealth they have accumulated – even in the midst of a global pandemic and in the face of an uprising against police brutality and White supremacy. While much of public discourse continues to fixate on the fear and fascination of “looting” by protesters, the real thievery of runaway capitalism continues and even increases. Until Black lives are more valuable than White profit, the world we’ve imagined will stay in our dreams.

Direct download: 20200628_Sermon.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:31am EDT

Covid-19 will also have a casualty count among congregations. Which churches will survive into the 21st century and, frankly, which ones really shouldn’t? If loneliness is the number one form of suffering in the western world, surely the connections made in a faith community should be a major solution to that isolation. But, perhaps more importantly, the churches that will survive the virus and the ongoing church exodus will be congregations that are morally relevant on a global scale as we address the social justice issues that exist in the real world (demanding that we stop obsessing about superstitious beliefs in invisible beings and places).

Direct download: 20200621_Service.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:07pm EDT

While we are currently focused on racism as it appears to us in policing and in the pandemic, we know that the roots of racism are centuries old and expressed in every dimension of our culture. Today we are especially focusing on race and healthcare outcomes. We welcome sociology professor, Kyler Sherman-Wilkins to our pulpit to speak to this specific area of his academic expertise.

Direct download: 20200614_Sermon.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:46pm EDT

Many progressive people, maybe even especially progressive clergy, are often so afraid of criticism that they keep their most passionate beliefs to themselves. This is especially true for those of us who live in deeply conservative areas dominated by traditional forms of religion. However, since most of us did not have the luxury of being born into progressive families, we had to think, study, and painfully grow out of our comfortable prejudices into a new place of open minded and liberal views. Don’t we then owe it to others to have the courage to speak up? This is especially true in this moment as demonstrations continue across the globe as we seek to bring an end to police brutality and murder of minorities and to seek greater justice generally for people of color. Now is a time for a prophetic community of faith to make its voice heard.

Direct download: 20200607_Service.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:30am EDT