Information about Zen Buddhism, including access to an excerpt from Abbot Anne Rudloe's Butterflies on a Sea Wind HERE
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Meet the "God Squad" - the brains behind "Faith, Food, Friday." They're running with the contrarian notion that maybe we should be talking about the challenging issues that surround faith in America after all? With faith (or lack thereof) used too often as a political tool, the public square could probably stand a change of pace. Whoever you are, whatever your beliefs, bring an open mind, an open heart (and an appetite) for what we hope will be a continuing conversation that defies the biases we seem to have against each other. Every program will include a changing cast of characters to spark the discussion, from leaders in the faith community to scientists, to secularists, to - who knows - maybe you. We hope you'll join us as we explore what happens when we cross each others' thresholds and break a little bread together.
In American Grace, Harvard Kennedy School of Government sociologist Robert Putnam (of Bowling Alone fame) described a set of earthquakes that have occurred in the last half century: The first was in the 1960's with the sexual revolution and the dramatic accompanying changes, experienced by some as a transforming freedom. But others watched in horror at what they essentially saw as a collapse of the moral and ethical principles that had been at the heart of Western Civilization for two centuries. The aftershock of the freedoms of the 60's became the rise of politically engaged evangelical Christianity. Finally, we are now in the midst of a second aftershock, one in which the number of what Putnam calls "nones" – people not identifying with any particular religion – has risen exponentially, likely as a reaction against the rise of political Christianity. The number of "nones", even through the incredible changes of the 1960's sexual revolution, had remained remarkably constant between 5% and 7% of the American population until now. Currently 17% of us are "nones", and that number is heavily dominated by young people (about 30% of them are "nones"), thus indicating a major trend for the future.
Their theory for the increase in "nones" is - according to Eric Weiner - "that we've mixed politics and religion so completely that many simply opt out of both; apparently they are reluctant to claim a religious affiliation because they don't want the political one that comes along with it." More and more Americans would define themselves this way - as spiritual, but not affiliated with an organized religion.
The God Squad will take a look at what this means, what's spiritual and what's religious and why does it matter? Joining them will be the Reverend Robin Gray from the Unitarian Universality Church of Tallahassee and John Pekins, who has found spirituality through his practice of Buddhism.
Spiritual but not Religious
January 13, 2012
(Audio may take a moment to play)
First Baptist Church downtown, 108 W. College Avenue (enter from either the Adams Street or Duval Street Welcome Center entrance)
This event is free and open to the public; there is no charge to attend. A hot lunch is available (menu below) for $8 if you RSVP by the Tuesday prior to the event, $10 after Tuesday and at the door. All meals are paid for at the door, cash or check.
Roast beef (baked chicken breast available with request by RSVP by Tuesday Jan 10th only)
Mashed potatoes & gravy
Directions: Enter First Baptist Church (108 W. College Avenue) from either main Adams Street or main Duval Street entrance. Go downstairs and you will see the check-in table in front of the Fellowship Hall. If you're early, you might need to ask to be buzzed in.
Parking Directions: Parking available on-site off of Duval Street (opposite Ron Sachs Communications). You may also park in metered spaces on Park Avenue or Adams or at Kleman Plaza.
Acts of Faith (Acts of Faith covers religion and spirituality news wherever it exists, from politics to parenting, from sex to sports. Look for news, analysis and opinion to keep you up on daily conversations about faith, spirituality, ethics and values. Reporters Sarah Pulliam Bailey and Michelle Boorstein edit and contribute to Acts of Faith.)