Thursday, June 30, 2011
Here is this week's question:
Wednesday, June 29, 2011
First, at Quotidian Grace, Jody Harrington is sharing pictures of her visits to historic locations, including one of her most recent destinations, the Mount of Transfiguration. She writes:
The first one was a young woman serving in the Israeli Defense Forces. She and another female soldier were at the Western Wall in their uniforms with their rifles in their hands, trigger-ready. I'm actually used to seeing armed soldiers everywhere in Israel, even and particularly at the holy places. And the truth is I've seen fewer on this trip than before. Armed soldiers inside the Kotel plaza, where people pray and not just outside at the entrances bolstering security have always bothered me. Some of the female soldiers pray at the wall with their guns. Others take photos with their guns at the wall. It's always hard to see. But this woman was a black woman. And when I saw her I felt both kinship and dissonance. She could a have been Mizrahi, an indigenous black Jew; she could have been Beta Yisrael, an Ethiopian Jew. She could have been the adopted child of American Jews who made aliyah (moved to Israel). I don't know her story. I just know that she is black like me and not black like me. Both of us passed through the womb of Mother Africa and we each found ourselves in different contexts. I though about her military service (so different from mine as a chaplain - I was never armed) and how much of it might be protecting settlements and clashing with Palestinians. I wondered what it was like to be a black Israeli with a brown face on that side of the line. I wondered how the Arabs saw her. And I wondered if it was like some inner city folk's experience black police officers, "black and blue, more blue than black." I didn't speak to her because I didn't know what to say. But I have not forgotten her.
Last night we were in the mother of all traffic jams. A big SUV came at us in what was left of the now single lane we were in going the other way as a result of all the cars parked on both sides of the road. It had Mad Max styled grills all over the windows. Our driver told us that Israeli settlers in Silwan, an Arab neighborhood in East Jerusalem were in so many violent clashes with the Arab Israeli citizens into whose neighborhood they had encroached that they had to armor their cars. As the man got out of his car to try to make us back up the street so that he could get through, our diver rolled up the windows and locked the doors, saying he's probably armed. He was. He was also black, and quite handsome with cornrows. And he was furious with us. Our driver refused to move. He got his car around us only because his mirrors were higher than ours, passing with inches to spare. I have never imagined the face of the Israeli occupation was a black face like mine and I was deeply troubled. I still am.
The folk who I've met here are all sympathetic to the Palestinians and Israeli Arabs. And all socially and politically moderate to some degree. They are from the US, UK, Scotland, Australia and New Zealand. They all have colonial histories. And they're all white, with the exception of myself, a Korean graduate student and an African American graduate student. I'd love to talk to someone who knows this place inside and out about race here, but it troubles me that so many of the experts to whom I have access are white, American or European or even progressive Jews and Israelis.
I am haunted by images of the occupation as black on black crime, to borrow a phrase from my own context, and it disturbs me deeply.
Tuesday, June 28, 2011
We give you thanks, O God of compassion,
for the salvation you have revealed to the little ones
through Christ Jesus, our wisdom and strength.
Teach us to take up his gentle yoke
and find rest from our burdens and cares. Amen.
You can read the passages for this week on this page
So what does this week bring....
PSalm 45: a wedding psalm it seems, or maybe you'd prefer to pair Genesis with the Song of Songs passage?
Zechariah: The passage Matthew uses in telling his Palm Sunday story; the coming of the king and the results thereof
Romans: Paul wrestles with his own nature. An opening to talk about human nature? Maybe to explore why we seem to do things when we "know better"?
Matthew: Jesus comments on people who are never satisfied, and their apparent intelligence. Then offers some apparently contradictory advice about burdens. How can the same man who exhorts his friends to take up their cross and follow him say that his yoke is easy and his burden is light?
And of course we can't forget that this weekend is Long. Friday is Canada Day, when we became a country through and Act of Parliament, Monday is Independence Day, when the US launched itself into becoming a country through less peaceful means. How, if at all, will these holidays shape your worship? Are you able to ignore them completely or do they have to be acknowledged in your context? OTOH, does the Long Weekend mean you will have a much emptier sanctuary?
Let us know in the comments how worship is shaping this early in the week.
Yoke from here
Rebbecca at the Well from here
Monday, June 27, 2011
A review of the book; In the Bleak Midwinter (1st in the Clare Fergusson series) written by Julie Spencer-Fleming. The title is taken from the hymn by Christina Rossetti (1830–1894), In the Bleak Midwinter. Here are the first lines;
In the bleak midwinter, frosty wind made moan,
Earth stood hard as iron, water like a stone;
Snow had fallen, snow on snow, snow on snow,
In the bleak midwinter, long ago.
I stumbled on this book while recovering from Arthroscopic surgery. It was an easy read for my unfocused mind. Clare Fergusson is a newly ordained Episcopal Priest in her first appointment. She is a second career clergy after serving in the military as a Helicopter pilot. The book describes her as a square peg in a round hole of her new congregation. How many of us felt that way going to serve our first church, second church or third Church?
The book begins in the cold of winter with a newborn infant left on the doorstep of the church. But until the baby’s parents can be found and contacted, everyone’s in limbo. This leads to a search for the baby’s mother. It also leads to the bringing together of Clare with the town’s police chief, Russ Van Alstyne. There is a quick development of a friendship that has some elements of attraction in it. It also leads to gossip among the church members and the town people. She seems oblivious to the gossip or the impact it could have on her ministry. I wondered when we have found ourselves in similar situations?
She joins the Police Chief in a search for the baby’s mother, which leads them into the secrets of the town, the family, and more deaths. (I won’t give away all the plot. The box that contained the baby and his blankets also had a note asking that the baby be named Cody and given to a pair of childless lawyers, Geoff and Karen Burns, parishioners at St. Alban’s who have been desperate to adopt a child. But the baby is placed with a foster family instead. The couple then try to enlist Clare to help them get the baby.
Finding the abandoned baby sparks Clare to begin a mission project to help unwed mothers, but her enthusiasm is rebuffed by the senior warden of the socially conservative church vestry, a retired army colonel. How many times have we run into this in churches we have served?
One of Clare’s weaknesses is that she is impulsive and jumps in feet first without thinking. This gets her into trouble. The other is she has a strong need to help other people. But you also get a picture of Clare’s dedication, her leading worship, and her praying. We can even read about Clare’s call to ministry
The last part of the book I thought was over done, but may have been that way to show some of her former military skills.
The cast of characters are well developed and enjoyable to get to know. The settings of the Adirondacks and the little town are well described. It has many twists and turns along with keeping the killer undisclosed for some time. There are moments in this book where spirituality comes into play but not in a preachy sort of way. Russ is an agnostic which Clare handles thoughtfully without over powering him with religion.
I think it is a good read and I look forward to reading the others in the series. If you are looking for a good book to read this summer, this book may just be it. After all it is a hot summer and this book is set in the winter.
Julia Spencer-Fleming, the author, was herself an army brat born at Plattsburgh Air Force Base. She says of these books: “Millers Kill is an amalgam of the towns and villages that I knew as a child. My family settled in the Adirondack Piedmont in the 1720s and I spent a lot of time tramping those hills . . . eavesdropping on the small-town gossip. . . . That part of New York, where poor farms and Saratoga money and the mountains all come together, has always held a bone-deep fascination for me.” Spencer-Fleming now lives in Maine with her husband and three children.
A Fountain Filled with Blood (Clare Fergusson Series #2)
Out of the Deep I Cry (Clare Fergusson Series #3)
To Darkness and to Death (Clare Fergusson Series #4)
All Mortal Flesh (Clare Fergusson Series #5)
I Shall Not Want (Clare Fergusson Series #6)
One Was a Soldier (Clare Fergusson Series #7)
Sunday, June 26, 2011
We come this morning first thanking you
for all the many blessings you have sent our way.
We thank you for your steadfast love that endures forever.
We want to tell you how often we feel so like Abraham
that we are being tried and tested.
We often feel like the Psalmist and wonder how long this testing is going to last.
We often wonder how long we will be in pain.
How long will this sadness last?
How long must we suffer?
Will we be able to go on with life when it feels like it has lasted forever?
Lord we call on you for your stead fast love to take us out of our pits,
We call on you for your mercy to reach out to those who need your healing touch.
We call on your faithfulness for all who are struggling with their faith..
We call on your care for those who are less fortunate to be the Lord who provides for their needs.
We call on you for the healing of the nations.
We pray for those in North Dakota who are dealing with major flooding. We pray for those whose homes destroyed or damaged by volcanic eruption in Chile and Ethiopia;
We lift up to you the violence and terror in the Middle East;
We pray for the people of Greece that there may be relief from economic straits they are in.
We cry out for those who are entrapped in modern day slavery that may be set free.
We pray for all who are still recovering from Spring storms.
We continue to pray for the jobless that they may find meaningful work.
We offer up to you the homeless of the world, especially the children, may there be homes and improvement in their wellbeing.
God of hospitality, may we remember that you welcomed us so that we too would welcome others into our churches, that we share with them the cup of cold water.
May we remember that as we welcome others we welcome you.
We pray all this in the name of the Father, Son and the Holy Spirit.
Saturday, June 25, 2011
In case you haven't read the texts for this week you can find them here.
I believe that the woman coming from a local Jewish temple is going to comment on the binding of Isaac, as that is also the reading this week from the Torah. I look forward to what she will offer. I also look forward to what the Imam will offer from the reading of the Qu'ran.
And, so, I am deeply pondering what I will say about the Gospel....
10:40 "Whoever welcomes you welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me.
10:41 Whoever welcomes a prophet in the name of a prophet will receive a prophet's reward; and whoever welcomes a righteous person in the name of a righteous person will receive the reward of the righteous;
10:42 and whoever gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones in the name of a disciple -- truly I tell you, none of these will lose their reward."
Wow. Welcoming strangers and prophets and young children who will sing the calling prayers from the Islamic faith...It's my first real foray into a truly interfaith worship service and I am curious how it will turn out.
What about you? Where are the texts leading you and what is the Spirit stirring in you?
I have lots of fresh produce from our local farmers market as well as delicious coffee. Pull up a chair and join the party! We're here to help if you have a quandary or need some feedback on your sermon. We're here to laugh with you, cry with you, hug you, pray, and support - in any way you need.
Friday, June 24, 2011
In addition to the Worldviews Seminar the congregation I serve is planning to participate in Episcopal Faith Shared
and Faith Shared. I am working to have members of local Jewish and Muslim congregations present and participating in our Sunday morning service.
So, in honor of a week of interfaith study and celebration:
1. Have you ever had an experience of a religion other than your own? And, if so, what was it like for you to experience something different? If you haven't, what religion might you like to study, experience, and learn more about?
2. Have you ever studied, travelled, or explored other cultures? What and where, and when?
3. Any stories you wish to share about a person (author, teacher, etc), or a friend or colleague, from another culture or religion, who has impacted you in some capacity?
So, not exactly a five question Friday Five. You can respond in five easy answers, if you wish, or one reflection. If you play, please leave a comment, and you'll be likely to get more comments if you link directly to your post. Here's how!
Thursday, June 23, 2011
I would also like to add a word of thanks to earthchick and revhoney who have been hosting this feature for over two years now, and to the panel of experienced pastors who have offered so much to us. If you are a reader/commenter and have been an ordained minister for ten years or more, we would love to add you to our panel. Send us an email to inquire further.
Now, here's our rerun, with answers originally gathered by earthchick for June 25, 2009:
This week's question involves a really tough situation - for both the parishioner and the minister. The minister writes:
A woman in my parish unexpectedly lost her adult daughter a few months ago. She has been experiencing severe, paralyzing, debilitating grief compounded by alcoholism. She rarely accepts offers to visit, although she will occasionally speak to me on the phone. She has been evaluated by social workers, but will not accept any alcohol or grief counseling. I am overwhelmed. I feel helpless to help her. I know I can't fix it, and I'm honestly having a hard time even being a non-anxious presence, because nearly every time I speak to her she repeatedly asks me how I would feel if I lost my child. I don't know what to say to that heartbreaking question - not the first time, and not the tenth time. I really don't know what to do.
I don’t know what to do either.
I am reminded of a wise chaplain in a psychiatric ward who once counseled me to listen to what my gut was saying when I sat with people experiencing mental health problems. Often they did not say very much, but how they were feeling was communicated to me in how I went away feeling (I hope that makes some sort of sense!).
As you describe this woman’s situation and your own response I feel lost, overwhelmed, helpless... I feel it, you feel it, is it too simplistic to suggest that she feels that too? So ‘all’ you can do is be the steady presence – continuing to ring and ask how she is, continuing to pray, responding with a visit when she is ready for that.
She’s in a rough sea – you’re the beacon of light when she’s ready to try and steer for shore.
And you don’t need to be alone – at least one other person needs to also be phoning her from time to time, and maybe if you have the right people a small group could pray for her and let her know they are doing that. It is all you can do – and I pray it will help in time.
Among the comments on the post were the following:
Thanks to all who wrote. If you have other thoughts about ministering to the grieving, especially with the added complication of substance abuse, please share in the comments.
Wednesday, June 22, 2011
Raising children is hard. Raising tweens is hard. Raising teenagers is hard.
Not just hard, it's heartbreaking.
One of my favorite lines about parenting is that it's like watching your heart walk around outside of one's body.
A few days ago I was driving to a volleyball game listening to music from 20 years ago. As Tracy Chapman's "This Time" began to play I couldn't help but cry. There are 3 albums that I listened to nonstop during a very depressed and broken time when I was 19--Tracy Chapman's self-titled album & Crossroads, and the Indigo Girls's self-titled album. It never fails that as soon as a song from one of those cds plays I remember all the heartache and emotions of that time in my life. It transports me to that time in my life but it's not like a flashback and it's not emotionally crippling. This last time I cried during "This Time" I cried for the girl I was, wishing that I could hold her and tell her that everything would be okay. I wanted to assure her that life was going to be wonderful and good.
Today, I wish I could hold my middle girl and tell her the same. Of course I tried but I'm sure she didn't hear it. I know her nearly 40 year old self couldn't break through. I fear walking those years with my girls. I know how tender and fragile I was, I was close to ending it all and never making it to 40. I hope and pray my girls don't know, don't experience walking on the edge of life, of sanity in the way that I did.
Some days I remember that they have a life that I did not. They have two parents who love and care for them, there's no abuse. As my eldest pointed out yesterday, she and one other kid in her class are the only two kids who have homes in which their parents don't fight all the time and aren't already or in the process of divorce. We're not perfect but our life is good.
Then some days, I wonder about how much genes play a role in our lives. Are they doomed to struggles with depression and anxiety due to my lovely gene pool? I know better. I know it's a mix of both. I pray that they have it easier than I did but will be as compassionate, loving, and strong as I grew to be because of my struggles. I hope they can learn through my mistakes and make their own that aren't quite as devastating.
Monday, June 20, 2011
your love stands firm from generation to generation,
your mercy is always abundant.
Give us open and understanding hearts,
that having heard your word,
we may seek Christ's presence in all whom we meet. Amen.
(Prayer found here)
Another Sunday, another sermon. Or at least that is how it sometimes feels to those of us who have to prepare them
You can read the Lectionary passages for this Sunday here.
It is an interesting mix. In Genesis 22 the brave (or foolish--they often seem the same don't they?) can take on the question of child sacrifice. Or in the alternate Hebrew Scriptures reading from Jeremiah one could take on the question of how to know a true prophet.
Or maybe you like Paul's letter to the Romans. In this week's section Paul is talking about sin and law (Paul? Sin and law? What a surprise!) And includes one of his best known phrases "The Wages of Sin is death" (which in English is poor grammar since Wages is plural and so it should say "are" not "is").
Or do you prefer to talk about the Gospel reading. Here we have Jesus telling the disciples how blessed the people who will welcome them are. Of course that may be a way of hinting that there will be many who will not welcome the disciples or their preaching...
And of course sometimes we like to look at the Psalms. Both suggestions this week serve as invitations to talk about God's steadfastness and trusting in God to protect/sustain us.
Or maybe now that we are in Ordinary Time you are deciding that the Lectionary is going to be set aside to allow a focus on a certain theme or to explore a specific story/book in Scripture. Wherever the Spirit (or the Church) is leading you this week please share it with us in the comments. And if you have a link that you find helpful feel free to post it too! (for help on how to post a link check here)
Welcome image found here
Sacrifice of Isaac image found here (lots of other options on the same story there as well)
To get the full brochure and registration form, please email RevGalBlogPals. The $100 deposit is due on July 1, which is only 11 days away! We have reserved more berths this year than in the past, but we've also set an upward limit for the first time. So don't delay!
Saturday, June 18, 2011
Oh God who created the world,
You are still at work in this world creating.
Your handiwork is shown everywhere in this world.
Every time there is a newborn we see your creating work
Your keep showing us your created children your fatherhood.
Your fatherhood is so different then our earthly fathers.
It is neither too harsh nor too soft.
It is neither too much nor too little.
It is neither too stiff nor too malleable.
Our earthly fathers try to love us the best they can given how they were loved.
Often they fail us, often they are quite capable.
Some of us miss our fathers terribly and some of us have had to put up boundaries with our fathers who were abusive.
Some of us have been abandoned, deserted or left by our fathers.
But you have always been our Father who loved us without fail.
You loved us so much that you sent your son into this world
To spend time with us,
To teach us, to show us your love,
To heal us, to save us,
To give us joy, and to give us your peace.
His death and resurrection made way for the Holy Spirit
Who keeps your creating work happening.
Your Holy Spirit keeps us knowing you are with us always.
Knowing that you love us, we pray for those who feel unloved.
Knowing that you heal us, we pray for those who need to be healed.
Knowing that you save us, we pray for those needing to be made whole.
Knowing that you give us joy, we pray for those whose lives are joyless.
Knowing that you give us your peace, we pray for those who live in war zones.
We pray all this in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit
Remember the classic TV show "Mission: Impossible"? The team always took the impossible mission and somehow made it possible.
Today's mission: SERMON COMPLETION
If we choose to accept this mission, here are the lectionary texts of the week:
We are given the (so called) "Great Commission" by Jesus in Matthew 28:16-20 and there is so much about Jesus' expectation that seems impossible, or at least implausible. Even that first word "Go ..." seems uber-challenging at times.
So, what did God have in mind (Genesis 1:1-2:4a) when dream became urge became labor became creation? What was possible for God to set in motion has become impossible for humans to sustain. Or has it?
Psalm 8 affirms that human beings were created to be a little lower than God? How low will we go? Is it possible to find the place where we belong?
Paul's final word to the energetic and contentions Corinthian church (2 Corinthians 13:11-13) was to "put things in order." Is it indeed possible for the word of a preacher to inspire change?
Which of these texts hold possibilities for your sermon? And ... Trinity Sunday or Great Commission? Or something else entirely?
Welcome to the 11th Hour Preacher Party where it is totally possible for your sermon-to-be to become sermon-ready-to-go! Ask for help, work out whatever loose threads are hanging and share ideas for themes, illustrations, children's time, and anything else you have to offer of a liturgical or non-liturgical nature. Lurkers and non-preaching cheerleaders are urged to join in!
May snacks and humor abound!
"Good luck, friends!"
Friday, June 17, 2011
So these categories of attention are a jumping off point for today's Friday Five:
Pick five of the six actions and write about how you are practicing them today or recently. For a bonus, write about the sixth one you originally didn't choose!
What or how are you
If you play, please leave a comment, and you'll be likely to get more comments if you link directly to your post. Here's how!
Thursday, June 16, 2011
There are no questions in the matriarchs' queue this week, so let's work one that appeared on the RevGalBlogPal Facebook page this week...
Wednesday, June 15, 2011
Today's post is by Melissa Bane Sevier at Contemplative Viewfinder. She is beginning a sabbatical and thinks about what that means. Praying for peace and rest for Melissa and, in some form, for every one of us....
Yesterday I began a twelve-week sabbatical. It is with great interest, then, that I notice one of this Sunday’s lectionary readings is Genesis 1:1—2:4.
God was certainly busy during the creation process. Heavens and earth. Light and darkness. Sky and seas. Plants and trees. Sun, moon and stars. Creatures of sea and sky. Wild animals, cattle and creeping things. People.
Then there’s this: So God blessed the seventh day and hallowed it, because on it God rested from all the work that had done in creation.
I often wonder why the biblical editors, with all the oral and written traditions they had to choose from, chose certain passages to include over others. From a theological perspective, especially if we assume Genesis was compiled during the exile, the inclusion of the concept of the seventh day (Sabbath) makes sense. A Jewish people in a foreign land were reaffirming their identity, their separateness, hanging onto their cultural and religious uniqueness. A day set aside for worship and rest reminds them who they are. If that observance is designed in the very fabric of their creation story, then the meaning is even more significant.
I fully understand why we humans are told to rest. We need it to replenish our bodies, minds and spirits. But why talk of God’s resting? Was it merely instructive?
Or could it be that there is something as important in rest as there is in work? We tend to think of rest as the lack of something (labor), when maybe we should imagine it more positively.
The verse I find most interesting immediately precedes the one I quoted above: And on the seventh day God finished the work that God had done, and God rested on the seventh day from all the work that God had done.
The seventh day, the day of rest, was the day on which God finished the work of creation. You’d think it would’ve been finished on the sixth day, making it okay to take a day off. But the resting is apparently part of the creative process.
This speaks volumes to our human requirement for rest. It isn’t just because we’re tired, though we certainly do get tired. It’s also because we were designed to function in the cycle of labor and rest and creativity. It is a whole, not just a series of parts.
I imagine God sipping a cup of coffee that seventh day and reflecting, “Nice. Good colors, phases of light and dark. And those puppies—how cute are they!” Maybe a day off gave God a chance to come up with some adjustments. “Those flies seem always to be bumping into things. Maybe compound eyes will be better.”
God’s seventh day was a day of rest, and it wasn’t until that seventh day that the work of the other six was completed. Resting isn’t separate from what we do when we’re not resting; it’s part of the whole.
You may not be able to take an entire day, whether it’s on the weekend or not, to do your resting. But the cycle is still between work and not-work, wakefulness and sleep, finding the times and the places for rest, embodying the full expression of the seventh day of creation.
There’s always something more to be done, isn’t there? More meetings, more housework, more gardening, more creating. But before we get back to that, we must complete the cycle, our “seventh day” of setting those things aside so that we may return to them renewed. The seventh day is an essential element of who we are and what we do.
So give it a rest. God did.
Tuesday, June 14, 2011
God of delight,
you Wisdom sings your Word
at the crossroads where humanity and divinity meet.
Invite us into your joyful being
where you know and are known
in each beginning,
in all sustenance,
in every redemption,
that we may manifest your unity
in the diverse ministries you entrust to us,
truly reflecting your triune majesty
in the faith that acts,
in the hope that does not disappoint,
and in the love that endures. Amen.
I once read about a man who wasn't crazy about getting to church on Easter but never missed Trinity Sunday. His reason? He knew that the church folks could come up with an explanation for Easter. But he always wanted to see if the preacher could explain the unexplainable Trinity.
The Lectionary texts for Trinity Sunday this year are here. In year A we get the hymn of Creation (seriously, it is so hymnic--does anybody have it set to music?), a blessing from Paul to the folks in Corinth, and the Matthean Commission to baptize in the name of Father Son and Holy Ghost.
This site has some great icons to go with the Genesis reading.
Let us know in the comments where you are heading, or at least where you think you are heading, this early in the week.
Prayer from here
Stained Glass Window from here (the text with it is kind of different though)
Shield graphic is from here
Monday, June 13, 2011
Sunday, June 12, 2011
Come, Holy Spirit! Many of our assemblies were bursting with the Spirit today, lit by songs of fire and wind. I could not help but think of John Donne's
Batter my heart, three-person'd God, for you
As yet but knock, breathe, shine, and seek to mend;
That I may rise and stand, o'erthrow me, and bend
Your force to break, blow, burn, and make me new.
The Spirit often feels like a boisterous presence among us, shaking the timbers of the churches as well as our souls. Two weeks ago I was in Japan, plans to take a ferry across the Inland Sea scuttled by a great wind - a Tai Phun. Yet it was not the great winds and deluging rains that took my breath away, it was the post-typhoon clarity. The water pouring forth from a steep mountain side, folding and re-folding the light of the sun, molten gold in the afternoon sun.
Estonian composer Arvo Pärt's setting of the traditional Pentecost sequence, Veni Spirtus Sancte, has that same stilling clarity for me. Clear, ringing quietly, in the space cleared by the great winds and flames, the Spirit works here, too...
We are excited to be celebrating the church’s birthday today.
However, we are not sure what it would be like
if the Holy Spirit blew through our churches again as it did on the day of Pentecost.
In fact we not so sure we want that to happen again in our church.
It scares us this power of the Holy Spirit, and
yet we know that without the Holy Spirit
we are unable to accomplish the vision you have for your Kingdom of God.
We need your Holy Spirit.
It is after all your church.
So we pray;
come Holy Spirit come,
pour out your power into us your people and your church.
We do want to be your body of Christ in this world
that is often hurting, hungry and cynical.
We want to bring the good news to the poor, heal the broken-hearted, preach deliverance to captives, bring recovery of sight to the blind and set at liberty all that are bruised.
We want to be your body of Christ by praying for all who suffer, are poor, despairing, burdened, blind and battered.
So we pray for them right now and
claim the power of your Holy Spirit to do your will in this world.
We pray for your power of healing for those who are physically sick, for those who are emotionally ill, for those who are mentally ailing, for those who are money sick, for those who are spiritually unwell and for the world that is sick.
We pray for the healing of your creation,
and the renewal of the face of the land.
We pray for those who are thirsty,
that they would drink from your fountain of living waters and
never thirst again.
Thank you for hearing our prayers in the name of the Father, Son and the Holy Spirit!
Picture Pentecostes from church forum.org
Saturday, June 11, 2011
Friday, June 10, 2011
She was hopping with excitement, but we gave her lots of coaching, and when we arrived she gazed about with wonder at the lovely venue, and when the orchestra began to tune up she sat up straight and gazed, enraptured, with her mouth literally open. It was pure delight to watch her enjoying brand-new sights, sounds and surroundings.
This experience led me to remembering times of discovery, of new experiences. Some were my own experiences and some were remembered from my children, or those of others. Share with us today about five memorable moments of insight, discovery, awareness--from childhood or later, something you experienced or something you shared with someone else.
It is always helpful to post a direct link to your blog entry in your comment using the following formulation: <a href="the url of your blog post goes here">what you want the link to say goes here</a> For a complete how-to click here.