Progressive Faith Sermons - Dr. Roger Ray

It has always been true that Covid-19 presented a greater threat to the elderly and those with pre-existing conditions but in this time that so many people insist on calling "post covid" we are still losing 300 people a day to Covid and most of them are over 65, and the majority of them have been vaccinated. Our indifference towards the death of the aged reflects the veneration of youth in our culture and the devaluation of the lives of senior citizens. Being dismissive of the threat Covid represents to the elderly is a mistake we need to consider, especially considering the contributions made to our world by those who are no longer "hot."

Direct download: 20230226_Sermon.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:00am EDT

For many of us, society is not a safe place to exist, and we lack the supports and resources we need to thrive as human beings. Yet even when we enter into movements and spaces dedicated to working for social justice, activism fatigue and burnout take their toll. Can we practice in such a way that kindness leads to confidence, compassion and wisdom create safety, and a trustworthy community helps us remain open to change?

Direct download: 20230219_Sermon.mp3
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Many societies, including American society, have made mindless consumption a way of life. Not having clear paths for working with suffering in skillful ways, we are encouraged at every turn to merely cope, while our core social issues are often left unhealed and untransformed. Spiritual and reflective practices offer a way for us to cultivate insight, let go of habits that harm, make healthy choices that heal and make us happy, and build cultures and communities where we can continually move from mindless consumption to grateful contentment.

Direct download: 20230212_Sermon.mp3
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The beginning of Black History Month has been already crowded with new entries in our long history of violence and inequality. Yet even while we mourn, honoring the grief and rage of the recent murder of Tyre Nichols, officials in power have been quick to remind everyone that protests must be “peaceful and nonviolent” and that there is a “right way” to protest. However, people’s anger and grief at injustice is not the root problem. What is “out of hand” is a system that depends on police brutality and systemic racism. And the best way to prevent violent protests is to create a just, equitable, compassionate society.

Direct download: 20230206_Special.mp3
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We spend a lot of time focused on understanding and transforming social norms that bring about injustice, oppression, and violence. But we also know that it is just as important to hold that awareness of our capacity for injustice alongside an awareness of our capacity for cooperative, kind relationships. We use the wisdom of both to learn how to establish wellbeing in ourselves and healthy relationships with others. Reflecting on the Buddha’s teachings on “The Bonds of Fellowship” is one way to remind ourselves how important it is to practice healthy community, and some simple pathways to do so.

Direct download: 20230205_Sermon.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:00am EDT