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RGOD2: The courage to hope

(Editor’s note: This is the first of a three-part series running daily through Saturday, Oct. 5.)

Sant Egido Community returns to Rome for their annual conference where religions and cultures dialogue

In 1968, Andrea Riccardi had a dream to create a lay community of dedicated Christians and other people of goodwill to bring peace and justice on the Earth. The community began on the edge of the Vatican feeding the poor and needy of Rome and has since expanded its shared life of prayer and work to many places around the world.

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RGOD2: When in Rome ...

An Irish medieval traveler once wrote: “Going to Rome involves a lot of travel and difficulty. You will not find your God there unless you take God with you.”

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COMMENTARY: What Pope Francis has known about gay priests

Pope Francis continues to send seismic shock waves across the globe with his liberal-leaning pronouncements. And they are the most affirmative remarks the world has ever heard on the dicey subjects of abortion, contraception and same-gender marriage.

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Heart & Soul: Living in integrity

As the senior minister of Joyful Living Spiritual Center in San Diego, I often use a book each month on which to base my Sunday talks. (I call them “talks,” not sermons, because I am sharing ideas, not telling people what they should do or not do.)

Presbysterian church installs lesbian pastor | VIDEO

ROCHESTER, Minn. -- An exciting and historic day for members of Community Presbyterian Church in Rochester as a new pastor is installed.

She's a lesbian and long-time LGBT activist.

Laurene Lafontaine has been a Presbyterian minister for about 26 years.

She was installed as the pastor of community Presbyterian during a ceremony Sunday afternoon, and the congregation is excited to have her.

The ceremony was put on by the Presbytery of the Twin Cities Area and Community Presbyterian Church and included several speakers some of whom are religious leaders and LGBT activists.

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RGOD2: Banking on the Pope and the World Bank

Pope Francis made headlines on Thursday when he talked about how the Roman Catholic Church’s preoccupation with sexual issues needs to end. Abortion, gay marriage and contraception cannot define the only issues that concern the church.

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RGOD2: Remembering rightly

Memory, by itself, is not to be trusted. In 1995, I wrote 300 pages about working in the first decade of the AIDS epidemic in California and Uganda. It was an exercise in catharsis – to somehow take the story from inside my heart and memory, and externalize it to paper and a computer. I thought it might be edited into a book someday but the principal reason was to share the experience and get it outside of my own reality.

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Heart & Soul: What are you thinking about?

It is estimated that humans have at least 15,000 thoughts per day. Think about what we think about. What’s for lunch? There goes a cute guy (or girl). Where are my car keys?

We also have thoughts about our thoughts. Do you make New Year’s resolutions, or set goals for yourself? Often when we do, and we begin to work on them, other people, and even our ego, will give us a whole long list of reasons why that couldn’t possibly happen for us. Too old, too fat, not attractive, tried it before and failed, not smart enough.

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RGOD2: Remembering the Dream through the gay voice of James Baldwin | VIDEO

In tribute to the 50th anniversary of the “I Have A Dream” speech by the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. in Washington on Wednesday, I watched a superb film about African-American and gay writer James Baldwin.

I highly recommend it. It is called “The Price Of The Ticket” and as part of the PBS American Masters series places him as one of the great prophets of our age.

The film is a helpful lens to look again at Dr. King’s legacy and what it first meant to people like Baldwin who became one of the great voices of the Civil Rights Movement.

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Heart & Soul: Choosing to navigate a two-way street

It’s pretty exciting to see marriage equality in so many U.S. states.

It wasn’t very long ago that the possibly of walking down the aisle with our same-gender partner seemed like a dream that might or might not come true in the distant future, or even in our lifetime.

We remember what it felt like for people to refuse to consider our side of the conversation, to treat us with disrespect and completely ignore our opinions and desires.