Progressive Faith Sermons - Dr. Roger Ray

Of course, we would all like to end the partisan bickering in Congress as well as around our own family dinner tables! But at what price? When are we reaching a healthy compromise and when are we just surrendering, giving away our closely held values and beliefs? Peace, without justice, is really just surrender.

Direct download: 20221030_Sermon.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:00am EDT

In the parable of the Pharisee and the tax collector at prayer, Jesus warns of the dangers of contempt. Yet this hasn’t stopped us from finding ways and excuses to label people as contemptible and treat them with contempt, often using that contempt to control and hurt one another. Jesus’ story invites us to observe how easily we fall into this trap and get caught. Reflecting in this way, we begin to understand how the Pharisee’s contempt was an obstacle to his ability to be part of the change, and the tax collector’s humility was the open door to transformation.

Direct download: 20221023_Sermon.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:00am EDT

Jesus’ parable of the persistent widow still hits close to home: a world where those in need are ignored by those in power, where those in power are unjust, and where the marginalized and oppressed must wear themselves out just to be heard. In a world like this, we recognize the struggle: how do we “break the mold” of the normal, everyday ways we are conditioned to accommodate injustice, creating little opportunities for change to take root, without losing heart?

Direct download: 20221016_Sermon.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:00am EDT

We often talk about violence as a last resort, even while our society increasingly relies on violence as the first and most trustworthy solution. But this wholehearted commitment to violence as a solution has come at a steep price – the failure to invest in our personal and social wellbeing. Even if we believe that violence is sometimes necessary, or inevitable, we all benefit from moving as much as possible from harming to healing, and from coercion to connection. The work of this moment is to increasingly learn better ways to parent, teach, practice religion, do business, organize society, and treat one another that rely less on violence and coercion, and more on equity and goodwill.

Direct download: 20221009_Sermon.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:00am EDT

The FCC's Fairness Doctrine that required honesty and full disclosure in TV and radio news was removed thirty-five years ago, making way for the advent of 24 hour news programs and talk radio filled with propaganda, distortion, and entertainment that tries to pass for news. Intentional or not, the profit motive influences the content of news programs, leaving the public uninformed about important issues and seething about the inconsequential or the just plain false conspiracy theories of the day. The prophetic pulpit, then, has a larger responsibility to inform and to challenge our modern society.

Direct download: 20221020_Sermon.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:00am EDT