The 77% Weekly

The Religion-Outside-The-Box Newsletter

January 2007 – Issue 1/40

In This Issue


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The 77% Weekly:
The Religion-Outside-The-Box Newsletter
people find and be with (the) God (of their
understanding) 40
out of 52 weeks a year.

is a non-denominational,
internet-based, 501c3 tax
exempt religious congregation.

From Rabbi Brian

Weeks before my son was
born, I wrote out all of the issues of The
77% Weekly
until the end of 2006. I figured
that I would spend time in his first 6 weeks on
Earth to finalize the first issues of the new year.
I didn’t.
(I could have.
But, I chose not to.)
Instead I’m going to introduce a guest columnist who
will be filling in until mid-February while I
continue my transition from being a full-time Poppa.

With love,

Guest Columnist

My friend Larry was both a minister and a
professor of sociology for 50 years. It was only
after he retired from both that he discovered that
he has the soul of an artist and that his inner
child likes very much to create stained glass art.

Weekly, we have dinner and then we each work on
stained glass art projects. We talk at length about
life, religion, the Bible, and God.

Larry, over the years, has written a number of what
he refers to as Simple Prayers. They are beautiful.
I think of them as prayers Garrison
would have written if he were an
ordained minister.

Here is what Larry wrote as an introduction to his
Simple Prayers:

I am not a person who is particularly
attracted to prayers uttered in public places. I am
often called upon to offer public prayers and I do
so when I am asked to. However, the temptation to
perform and pontificate in public places is very
great. It is not easy to be honest and vulnerable in
our public praying. One would think that it would be
much easier to be honest with God in our private
moments. But it isn’t. Our need to try to impress
the Almighty seems to know no boundaries… even in

The purpose of these simple prayers is to help us
talk to God in the way true friends try to speak to
one another. True friends speak to one another about
the full range of their human concerns and feelings
without trying to either impress the other or be
less than truthful in what they have to say. Praying
to God should be our highest form of truth-telling.
It is my hope that the prayers I have chosen to
share with you will encourage you to be open and
transparent before God and to speak the truth when
you pray.

– Laurence C. Keene

is honored to have Larry’s writing grace these first
issues of 2007.

Simple Prayer: The Joy of Playfulness

– Laurence C. Keene

I was watching the little children stepping on their
shadows, dear Lord. They were actually trying to run
after their little child-like shadows. Their game
went on and on for several minutes. They were lost
in their playfulness. I looked at their faces and I
saw my face reflected in one of them. But all of a
sudden my face vanished and it wasn’t my face at
all. My vision of my own childhood passed away as
quickly as it came. My own playful spirit vanished
too. Just a vapor for a moment extinguished by adult
realities. I miss that little child in me. I miss
those playful moments when the most serious thought
I had was to successfully slip away from my own
shadow. I think I understand why adults look so
longingly at children at play and why children
absolutely never look the same way at adults who are
busy working. I think children understand something
the rest of us adults don’t. Please, dear God,
revive some of the child in me so I can remember and
understand what a magnificent gift I once had and,
hopefully, can have again.

More thanks!

In addition to
those listed in issue
40/40 of 2006
, the following
people also contributed to the financial well-being
of this internet based congregation in 2006:

  • Erik, Pamela, Madeline, & Charlotte Hartog
  • Larry & Virginia Keene
  • Caryn Pawliger & Gary Seligman
  • Constance Reynolds
  • Julia Schofield

Click here if you would consider
making a tax-exempt contribution to help further this
ministry-rabbinate’s goal of empowering people to
find and
be with (the) God (of their understanding).

Thank you to all who believe in this dream.

With love,

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