Progressive Faith Sermons - Dr. Roger Ray

Economists are predicting that one in six restaurants will be permanently closed as a result of the pandemic. Sadly, when progressive congregations emerge from our current sabbatical or at least our retreat to online only services, the casualty rate may be much higher than what has hit the restaurant business. Still, the progressive church was already changing, and this nightmare virus may have simply accelerated our transformation. When our congregations attempt to again open their doors to seated church services, what will those services look like? Will there be choirs? Congregational singing? Passing the Peace? Communion? This is a sad time but it may also be an opportunity for thoughtful and meaningful change so that when we do return to church, the church we return to will be much more meaningful than the one we put into mothballs.

Direct download: 20201129_Sermon.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:04am EDT

How did wearing a mask to avoid spreading the Covid virus become a politically partisan issue? It has become apparent that one of the most difficult tasks ahead of the USA is learning again how to disagree without dividing the nation. For many of us, this isn't about politics, it is about ethics and being honest about both economics and science. It is hard to bridge the gap to those who seemed to have denied reality but the stakes are too high not to try to hold out an olive branch and try to reconcile our deeply divided nation.

Direct download: 20201122_Sermon.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:00am EDT

At the end of World War I, there was a hope that this had been the “war to end all wars.” Armistice Day was established to celebrate the agreements that they hoped would lead to an eternity of peace on the planet earth. It was only 30 years before the world was plunged into another global conflict that claimed even more lives. As horrific as wars are, there is a tendency to glorify wars and those who survived fighting in them, so that Armistice Day became Veterans Day so that rather than honoring world peace, we were back to, ipso facto, honoring the hellscape of war. Veterans for Peace are asking us to take the focus off of them and to put it back where it belongs, on a deep and passionate commitment to peace. We can honor the courage and sacrifice of soldiers while demanding, in the 21st century, that there be no more wars.

Direct download: 20201114_Sermon.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:43am EDT

Despite Tuesday’s election results, Donald Trump received widespread support across the USA, signaling a tolerance for, and, in many cases, a celebration of, Trump’s performative fascism and a growing normalization of White nationalism. Understanding that the popularity of Trump is a symptom of these deeper problems in our society, we realize that we still have vital work to do to close up the vulnerabilities that make fascism possible. Now is not only a moment to celebrate, but a moment to rededicate ourselves to creating a future where kindness and compassion, justice and wisdom, are not only possible, but real.

Direct download: 20201108_Sermon.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:00am EDT

President Kennedy’s speech he was set to deliver on the very day when he was tragically assassinated included this plea to the nation, “let us not be petty when our cause is so great. Let us not quarrel amongst ourselves when our Nation’s future is at stake.” Every presidential election is important, but it is not an exaggeration to say that both global and domestic issues are at stake this week in unprecedented ways. No matter who wins the election, a huge portion of the country will be deeply disappointed, and it is not unrealistic to fear more than vitriolic language as there are those who literally want to start a civil war. So let’s strive to be the good people who will go high when others go low so that we can shepherd our nation through the coming tumult towards a better 2021.

Direct download: 20201101_Sermon.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:00am EDT