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1. Is religion or spirituality important to you in your daily life? If so, how? 
 Every day, I am grateful that my spirituality led me across the country to where I live now. When I first traveled to the Pacific Northwest in 2008, I felt I had found a home, a place where I could just be. Since moving here in 2014, I find myself immersed in the natural beauty here, and I can feel myself almost touching what the Celts call this thin line that separates this world from the next.   When I was a religious satirist penning work for the "Christian" market (1994-2011), I felt a sense of unease whenever I was called a "Christian" author. The Christian (read "evangelical") publishing world kept trying to market me as this cutting edge Christian, a biblical badass if you will. This commercialization of my faith journey never felt true for me, and I grew to conflate this kind of marketing with institutional Christianity. I still connect to my childhood faith through very infrequent participation in rituals such as the Eucharist, or walking a labyrinth when I can find a quiet one. These days I'm more likely to have a spiritual experience at a communal event like the Round, a multicultural interweaving of music, poetry, and art that's more spiritual than most church services – or at ecstatic dance. 2. How has your understanding of “God” evolved throughout your life? 
 My childhood introduction to the concept of God was Christian, but nontraditional to say the least. My parents were an earth mother and a far left leaning Episcopal priest and sociology professor father. I gravitated more toward the radical nature of Jesus of Nazareth than the distant divine nature I saw represented in God the Father. My understanding of God underwent a serious deconstruction in the process of my obtaining an M. Div./ MSW, and I became a religious satirist who railed against those religious and political leaders who try to impart their version of God onto our political landscape. As I critiqued those misinterpretations of God, I found I could define what God is not, but not what God is. I found myself exiting the church, and indeed all of Christianity, as a seeker, feeling that no one source can truly define those mysteries, which some call God, that exist beyond us.   3. What do you think about religions other than your own?

 Even though I attend the occasional church service, I'm not sure there's an organized religion where I feel I truly belong. While I have no faith in religious institutions, I continue to have spiritual experiences in religious contexts. For example, during a ten-day trip to Jordan, I happened to be there during Ramadan. I couldn't participate in the prayer services and fasting rituals directly, but the experience grounded me and moved me profoundly.   4. Can you share a time when your faith helped you understand a significant event in your life? When I was dealing in my early twenties with the deaths of my parents. I walked in to St. Bart's (Episcopal) Church in Manhattan right as they were undergoing a charismatic renewal. I felt this sense of radical love and acceptance that I attributed to divine inspiration. Here the Rev. Judy Baumer gave me the surrogate parenting and guidance I desperately needed. I have left this form of the faith behind and developments in neurobiology have taught me what I experienced was not divine intervention but healing via the compassionate support of a community. Still I am convinced that without this community, I'd be pushing daisies by now.   5. What is your faith in one word /phrase or image? 

Connecting through community. Those looking for a further exploration of my reflections can tune into this interview I did for the Progressive Spirit podcast http://progressivespirit.podomatic.com/enclosure/2016-10- 09T05_38_44-07_00.mp3