Progressive Faith Sermons - Dr. Roger Ray

Fear provokes prejudice and makes people willing to sacrifice their rights in favor of an authoritarian government that promises protection from the “others.” But shouldn’t faith offer some cure for fear? Can’t we see other races and nationalities as sisters and brothers rather than a threat? We are on the verge of an election and, hopefully, substantive social progress.

Direct download: 20200830_Sermon.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:55am EDT

170 Danish scholars from 5 universities came together to consider how the world needs to change post covid-19. They make five crucial suggestions: 1) Move away from ‘development’ focused on aggregate GDP growth. 2) Develop an economic framework focused on redistribution. 3) Develop a form of agriculture that is regenerative. 4) Reduce consumption and travel. And finally, 5) debt cancellation. This sermon acknowledges the seriousness of the current pandemic but also seeks to honestly articulate how messed up the world was before covid-19 to imagine a better world when the pandemic is over.

Direct download: 20200823_Sermon.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:34am EDT

Self-care has become a buzz phrase in recent years, and we’re (necessarily) hearing about it even more during this pandemic. In a healthy, functioning society, self and community care is integrated into its habits, relationships, organizations, and culture. Special actions would not be required except in times like these, and preparations to meet such a crisis would have been carefully made. Although we have known for some time that this is not the case in the United States, the COVID-19 pandemic has revealed just how unprepared we were. Moreover, it has reminded us in very public and painful ways that unhealthy, unsustainable, and unjust work and life conditions serve to perpetuate oppressive systems and cultures. It leaves those most impacted with the least access to time, resources, safety, and energy to devote to personal and social healing, as well as movement building. We must insist that all people, especially essential workers and vulnerable populations, have access to the care they need.

Direct download: 200816_Sermon.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:09am EDT

Anthropologist, Margaret Mead, said that the first sign of human civilization was the discovery of a 15,000 year old skeleton of a man who had a broken femur. She speculated that such an injury could only mean that others had cared for this man for several weeks while the broken bone mended, something that was not seen among our ancestors prior to that time. The issue is, however, that we have to make similar decisions every day to keep human evolution from slipping backwards. Especially, in the midst of this pandemic, we have to make choices to be more “human” as we care for those who are physically at risk, those who are unemployed, impoverished, and without either shelter or access to healthcare. Evolution didn’t happen once thousands of years ago, it is something that must be renewed daily or we are in danger of slipping back into more primitive if not reptilian ways of thinking.

Direct download: 20200809_Sermon.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:06pm EDT

We really are not in the same boat but we surely are in the same storm. The pandemic is very inconvenient for the people who get to keep their jobs, income, health insurance, and home. But those who are now unemployed, uninsured, evicted or facing foreclosure are in another kind of boat and it is in danger of sinking. Refusing to wear a mask, resisting “stay home” orders or social distancing rules, and certainly, refusing to get the vaccine when it is available is a luxury of the secure that the poor can not afford for us to choose. Basic human compassion demands that we set politics and personal preference aside and all work together to reach the goal of “herd immunity” so that going to work or visiting neighbors is not a life threatening proposition.

Direct download: 20200802_Service.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:26am EDT