A Conspiracy of Love (a sermon series)

Rev. David Felten, the pastor of “The Fountains” United Methodist Church located in Fountain Hills, AZ and co-creator of the “Living the Questions” book and video series, preached a series of 19 sermons based on my book “A Conspiracy of Love: Following Jesus in a Postmodern World.” Then for the 20th in the series, he invited me to join him for conversation via Zoom. The series ran from January 2021 through June 2021.

He said of the book, “I’ve really enjoyed its comprehensive overview of our rapidly evolving ‘situation’ (whatever you call this moment in time). ” Thank you, David.

[Note: I have edited the Sunday worship service videos to only include the sermons.]

Part 1: the way of Jesus

Part 2: Jesus and the Christ

Part 3: the path of transformation

Part 4: a conspiracy of love

In this 20th and last episode of the series, my writings are featured throughout the worship service — the call to celebration (adapted from my litany “the Way of Jesus”), my “Prayer for Discipleship,” my “Creed of Love,” words of blessing (adapted from my writings), my “Doxology for Humanity” (one verse), and finally a hymn I wrote to a tune by Chris Rice called “Follow Jesus.”

an invitation to follow Jesus

An animation by Kurt Struckmeyer inviting us to the Way of Jesus, using his own words (or paraphrases) to follow him in a life of discipleship. It is just under 4 minutes long.  Enjoy!

Animation: Copyright © 2014 Kurt Struckmeyer
Music: “Expression,” Copyright © 2007 Helen Jane Long. Used with permission.

PBS FRONTLINE: From Jesus to Christ

PBS FRONTLINE presents the epic story of the rise of Christianity. Drawing upon new and sometimes controversial historical evidence, the series transports the viewer back two thousand years to the time and place where Jesus of Nazareth once lived and preached and challenges familiar assumptions and conventional notions about the origins of Christianity. First shown in April 1998.

Companion articles to the videos may be found at www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/religion.

David Voas TED talk

Religion is in decline across the Western world. Whether measured by belonging, believing, participation in services, or how important it is felt to be, religion is losing ground. Society is being transformed, and the momentum appears to be unstoppable. You might be asking yourself two questions. Is it actually true? And even if religion is currently losing ground, could things change in the future?

Kevin Brewin TED talk

“Mutiny! What our love of pirates tells us about renewing the commons.” Whenever the resources of the many are enclosed for the benefit of the few, pirates will rise up, break that down and put riches into the hands of the common people.

“The Rebel Jesus,” a Christmas song by Jackson Browne

All the streets are filled with laughter and light
And the music of the season
And the merchants’ windows are all bright
With the faces of the children
And the families hurrying to their homes
As the sky darkens and freezes
Will be gathering around their hearths and tables
Giving thanks for God’s graces
And the birth of the rebel Jesus
They call him by the “Prince Of Peace”
And they call him by “The Savior”
And they pray to him upon the sea
And in every bold endeavor
And they fill his churches with their pride and gold
As their faith in him increases
But they’ve turned the nature that I worship in
From a temple to a robber’s den
In the words of the rebel Jesus
We guard our world with locks and guns
And we guard our fine possessions
And once a year when Christmas comes
We give to our relations
And perhaps we give a little to the poor
If the generosity should seize us
But if anyone of us should interfere
In the business of why there are poor
They get the same as the rebel Jesus
But pardon me if I have seemed
To take the tone of judgement
For I’ve no wish to come between
This day and your enjoyment
In a life of hardship and of earthly toil
There’s a need for anything that frees us
So I bid you pleasure and I bid you cheer
From a heathen and a pagan
On the side of the rebel Jesus



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