For Such a Time As This

Ruth 1:1-18 Psalm 16:1-2, 5-11 While I was visiting the Taize monastery in France several weeks ago, one of the situations I heard about constantly was the refugees. For four years, civil war has been raging in the country of Syria and since then over four million refugees have fled the country, desperately searching for sanctuary where they can stay alive. This week, […]

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World Communion Altar

I was debating what to do for my World Communion Sunday altar design when I discovered these two lovely designs by Preaching in Pumps: http://www.preachinginpumps.com/altar-design/world-communion-sunday-2014/ http://www.preachinginpumps.com/altar-design/world-communion-sunday-table/ After being inspired by her design, I stacked many hymnals on the back of the communion table (to elevate my props) and then covered the table with a worldly-looking table cloth that I got from […]

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World Communion Sunday and Gun Violence – Pastoral Prayer

God of all the countries and all people, You call us to be one family, To see that we are all in this together. And yet, and yet, Here we are praying for another gun shooting. Every time it happens, whether in schools or movie theaters, in churches or while filming the news, we weep. We prayer for all the loved ones affected: Mothers and daughters, fathers and sons, Teachers and students, friends and fiancées, And we pray for our nation: Show us where to begin as individuals and a people, That we might be a nation who does not glorify violence, That we might be a nation who acts Creatively and courageously To end this violence against the innocent. Help us be prophetic; Help us embody your Shalom; And see that, yes indeed, we are all in this together. Hold us in your embrace, sustain us with your grace. Gracious God, through all the trials and turmoil of life through storms dangers fears endings big decisions sadness loss illness at the time of death hold us in your embrace, sustain us with your grace Loving God, through times of great joy in life through births growth new seasons rebirth beginnings recovery health wholeness healing of mind, body, or spirit hold us in your embrace, sustain us with your grace God of the universe God of bread and wine God of morning and night God of water, sun, earth, air […]

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Esther – Pastoral Prayer

Scriptures: Psalm 16: 1-2, 5-11; Esther 4:8-17 Teach us your Way, O God, That we might be open to your Spirit, To She, who moved over the face of the waters On the first day of creation And gave birth to all life and light. Teach us your Way, O God, That we might trust your Spirit to guide us forward, That we might be inspired by prophets like Esther Who declared that they had come to the earth For such a time as this And dared to bear your Light in the night time of their fear. Teach us your Way, O God, That we might accept our gifts and potency. In places of chaos and uncertainty, hurricanes and illness, discernment and pain, war and resettlement, empower us bear the light of Christ for one another, And to speak the words of peace That we each long to hear. Teach us your Way, O God, That we might praise you For the surprising, ingenuous manner that your Kin-dom breaks into our world, Like yeast in bread, Like a treasure buried in the daily gardens that we tend, Like a stranger who unexpectedly walks an extra mile with us, Like a soft dirt path beneath our feet, Beckoning us forth. Teach us your Way, O God, That we might be swept up in worship with the saints, Which surges in wonder, gratitude and desire, And shapes our lives into an […]

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Liturgy of Farewell II

Blessing for a Move One:    A church community is constantly changing. Babies are born, loved ones come to the end of their lives, individuals and families come and go in our church life. It is a step of faith to become involved with a church family, to develop a vision of the realm of God on earth and to work to make that vision a reality. All:      It is also a step of faith to let go, as we must when those in our congregation feel called to relocate to a new place. One:    We express our appreciation this morning for [names of people leaving], for their presence and action in our community, for the memories made together, the joys we have celebrated and the sorrows we have shared.   Individuals may briefly share a memory, word of gratitude, or blessing.   All:      We give thanks for your family’s varied gifts of leadership, music and service, for your friendship, kindness and faithfulness. One:    We recognize that there is much that is unique about us here at [name of church], a distinctiveness that has brought us together as one people. All:      Yet we recognize we have much in common with other churches. We do not merely let you go—we SEND you to a new place to serve and become involved in another part of the Body of Christ. One:    As you depart, know that there is […]

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