Practical Spirit (column for AOL Patch Morristown NJ)

I have a passion for exploring spiritual and philosophical ideas. I believe at the heart of every tradition is the principle of love and compassion and that is what inspired me to begin writing a column called ‘Practical Spirit.’

Here are some of the topics covered in my Practical Spirit column that appeared on Morristown and Long Valley Patch.com.
  • Morristown United Methodist Church.
How do we continue to practice the spiritual values of love, compassion and caring for the less fortunate, which are at the core of all major religious traditions, while digging out of debt in America and balancing the budget?  A growing number of Americans are sliding into poverty each week due to high unemployment and are in need of help, but many are concerned about the tax increases to support these government programs. However, since there appears to be little job creation in sight, what is the alternative? Some…
Joseph DeMaria, specializes in sacred architecture.
What is it about the design of churches and temples that moves the human spirit? What is it about this type of structure that inspires awe? What are the elements of “sacred space?” “It is a world set apart, that is the primary characteristic of sacred space,” said Joseph DeMaria, an architect based in Morristown who specializes in ecclesiastical design. “Generally everyday activity doesn’t occur there. It is a place where the realm of the spirit takes hold.” Sacred space could take the form of a building or a place, but it’s…
Participants at the Post Modern Hymn Sing Revival led by Composer Mark Miller on Saturday, July 3, 2011 at Church of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary in Morristown, NJ, which was part of a series offered through the local chapter of the American Guild of Organists (AGO).
Does music have the power to elevate the human mind and spirit? Is it integral to the religious and spiritual experience? Musicians, musical directors and composers such as Mark Miller, who currently serves on the faculty at Drew University Theological School and the Institute of Sacred Music at Yale University, believe that it is an essential component of the spiritual experience. “Music creates community. It has the potential to soften the hardest heart and give strength and encouragement. For me, there is…
Bishop John Shelby Spong is a religious scholar at the forefront of the progressive Christian movment. He is a member of St.Peter's Episcopal Church in Morristown, NJ.
There are those, in all faiths, who have unshakable faith in God. And in Christianity, there are those who devoutly believe in not only the teachings of Jesus Christ, but also his bodily resurrection from death and his virgin birth born of the Blessed Mother. But what if you don’t have iron-clad faith in all aspects of the traditional Christian doctrine? Can you still consider yourself a Christian?  For religious scholar Episcopal Bishop John Shelby Spong, who served as the Bishop for the Diocese of Newark for 24 years until he…
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