A Disappointed Prayer

It happened again God,

A person I admired,

let hate and errors spew from their mouth

accusing other of not being humans

refusing to understand.

I know what you mean when you

say their ears were closed

and their hearts were hardened.

And it hurts, God, when the chinks in the armor

turn out to be pieces of hatred,

Screw TERFism

–and White Fragility

And Sexism

And Heternormativity

And Colonialism

And Exceptionalism

And Ableism–

when people who you hoped could imagine worlds

Of openness, people who helped you to see a better kingdom of God,

turned out to be as human as everyone else.

I guess we all need Jesus in the end–but it’s timeslike these

I really need the Holy Spirit,

to come down and protect my marginalized beloved ones–transgendered, black and brown, poor and disabled.

It’s times like these I need the Holy Spirit to come down and inspire and comfort me,

because I really don’t know what to do with the pieces of my heart when they lie shattered by the people who I trusted to care for it.

And of course, still, always, none of us are Jesus

I guess this is why the Kin-dom God can never, ever

ever

be the vision of one person

No one person is ever going to get all the pieces–

help us to keep imagining it,

together,

encourage us,

especially in times like this we pray.

Amen.

Feel free to use/adapt/share with credit to Pastor Katy Stenta

Pandemic Prayers & Resources

If you find these resources useful please consider contributing to my Doctorate in Ministry in Creative Writing! 

Oct 31 Solomon’s Temple

1 Kings 5:1-5; 8:1-3

John 2:19-21

Psalm 148

Call to Worship

Praise the Lord from the heavens and in the heights

Praise God, all his anger, all his host!

Praise God, sun and moon and all of the shining stars!

Let us praise the name of the Lord, for God commanded and they were created!

Let us praise God, men and women, young and old together!

Come, Let us praise the name of the Lord together!

Prayer of Confession: God we confess that we sometimes are searching for wholeness, sometimes we want to build a temple or find a special spot, when the truth is, you are with us the whole way. Show us how you have the whole world in you hands we pray . (Silent Confession) Amen. 

Assurance of Pardon: God is with us, guiding us and forgiving us. Let us proclaim the truth to one another: In Jesus Christ we are forgiven. Amen.

Prayer of Dedication: God, that you are always holy, and that holiness does not need to be trapped or contained. Help us to share your holiness with the world we pray. Amen. 

Hymns: Holy, Holy, Holy, Immortal Invisible God Only Wise, Jesus Thy Boundless Love to Me O Christ the Great Foundation

Children: Here is the church, Here is the Steeple Open the door and see all the people but change it to Here is the church, here is the church here is the church

More Year 4 Narrative Lectionary Resources

If you find these resources useful please consider contributing to my Doctorate in Ministry in Creative Writing! I have already Successfully funded year 1, and am now working on Year 2!

A Scattered Prayer

God, this is a prayer

For the pieces of my brain

That don’t fit

Or make sense to me right now.

You know, God, that I do not like to be confused.

And I hate when my body does things without telling me.

I feel tattered, and frayed around the edges

And my thoughts are frayed bits of something, that I still can’t catch ahold of—

In truth my thoughts still want to fly apart

And so I’m scattering a prayer, like seeds

To grow into something,

Can you please tend it?

In the in-between?

And I will try not to worry, about what is lining up, and what isn’t,

And instead just trust,

That scattered prayers are ok today.

Take them off my hearts, and hold them in the palm of your hand

And remind me

That every scattering helps and counts

Take each scattered prayer, I pray.

Amen.

Feel free to use/share/adapt with credit to Pastor Katy Stenta

Pandemic Prayers & Resources

If you find these resources useful please consider contributing to my Doctorate in Ministry in Creative Writing! 

My Columbus Day Confessional

God, I’m contemplating today–

in an age of Columbus day, and Capitalism and Cancel Culture.

God I’m thinking of the slow spread of Indigenous Peoples’ Day,

Where we try to slowly acknowledge a heritage

we cannot claim,

and a past of slavery and disease and Colonialism, we must confess.

God, I’m thinking hard today about my white bloodstained past

My Pilgrim heritage–my ancestors physically came over with them —

My Imperialistic Roots–after the revolution we disappeared in shame for a while

My Religious anxiety–we pushed our white God onto everyone with the best of them

I’m thinking hard God, because Indigenious history is my history, even as it isn’t my heritage.

And I know (and you know God) that no land acknowledgment is going to fix that.

There is work to be done–that isn’t cancel culture or capitalism or Columbus Day.

But it is confessional and listening closely and doing the hard work of the day.

God help me to do the hard work of Decolonizations today,

and everyday, but especially today,

I pray.

In the name of Jesus Christ–refugee of his time, friend of the marginal and victim of Imperial violence, in the name of that Jesus Christ I pray.

Amen.

God Calls David

Living Into this God Given World: Judgement

1 Samuel 16: 1-13; Psalm 51:10-14

John 7:24

Call to Worship:

God, we approach you asking that you bless us

Let us bless one another, and bless you, God

Come Let us worship the Lord

Come, let us worship, God together!

Prayer of Confession: God we confess that we are far too eager to judge based on appearances–actually we are far to eager to judge period. This is not our job but yours. Unburden us from judgement, and remind us that most of our work is to bless and be a blessing we pray. Amen.

Assurance of Pardon: Our God promises always to forgive us. Let us remember: In Jesus Christ we are forgiven. Amen.

Prayer of the Day/Dedication: God, you remind us that kings and government and justice do not always go together, but God and grace always does. Help us when we are uncertain or afraid or judgemental to lean into your grace, so that we might handle things with more patience, clarity and equanimity, and remind us always to work towards a kingdom of justice and peace we pray in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

Children: Justice isn’t fair! Talk about how being the oldest is different than being the youngest or being an only child is being different than being an only child. Discuss how it is really, really hard for things to be equal in human world–and that humans are not very good at being fair. Then talk about God’s justice and mercy, and the good news is that God’s justice and mercy isn’t about everyone getting the same thing, but instead everyone getting what they need according to their needs and talents. Justice is much better than fair.

Hymns: There is a Wideness in God’s Mercy, Amazing Grace, God Our Help and Constant Help and Refuge, God Our Lord a King Remaining, All Hail to God’s Anointed, O God of Every Nation, This Is My Father’s World, God is My Strong Salvation, My Shepherd Will Supply My Need,

More Year 4 Narrative Lectionary Resources

If you find these resources useful please consider contributing to my Doctorate in Ministry in Creative Writing! I have already Successfully funded year 1, and am now working on Year 2!

October: A Prayer

God,

I’m thinking a lot this October,

about how sweet and innocent I was over the summer.

How I thought it would be all downhill this fall.

How we would be older, and wiser, and vaccinated.

And I must confess that the reality is not really living up to the dream Lord.

I really have to stop being in survival mode–because I can’t sustain that anymore.

So one of these days, I’m going to sit down, and figure out

what October 2021 means–

even as October 2021 marches on,

and I have to look at my phone real quick to double check

are we in 2022 yet? Am I wrong? are we in 2021? I’m still confused about time God.

So here’s a prayer God, to get out of survival mode, and into resurrection mode.

Can these bones live Lord? I say to the Halloween decorations, as I spread out

the skeletons and spiders in yard, and buy enough candy for one of the few safe holidays to celebrate

Can these bones live Lord? As I pray and pray

and pray and pray and pray for 5-11 vaccines, so that we can finally get

down to the brass tacks of baby vaccinations.

Can these bones live, Lord?

As I think of the two years lost in the ministry, the wise saints who have gotten older

the families that have gotten more worn down,

the community that has huddled closer over the last 18 months.

But they are good bones of ministry, I think fiercely,

And we are doing good things, as we brave the elements to worship ouside,

as we pray and take care of those in our congregation who are sick

these are the bones of ministry I think as our deacons keep in touch with our far flung families,

and our Sunday School teacher bravely starts a new ministry

Can these bones live?

You know God….

Meanwhile, I think I’ll concentrate on the plan of getting through October

–Thanks for letting me do it one day at a time God—

and thank you for October.

Amen.

King County Library on Twitter: "“I'm so glad I live in a world where there  are Octobers.” ― Anne of Green Gables. Whether it's a classic you enjoyed  as a child or

Narrative Lectionary: Advent Year 4

If you find these resources useful please consider contributing to my Doctorate in Ministry in Creative Writing!

(Under Construction, only the kit is written)

The Fullness of God/Fulfilled By God

Advent Devotional Kit

Week 1: Full of Prophesy/Life Dec 5 Ezekiel Valley of Dry Bones

Ezekiel 37:1-15

John 11:25-26

Week 2: Full of Purpose

Isaiah 55:1-13

John 4:13-14

Week 3: Full of God’s Word

John 1:1-18

Psalm 130:5-8

Week 4: Full of Good News

Luke 2:1-14 [15-20]

Psalm 96:7-10

December 25 Shepherds Visit

Luke 2:8-20

Psalm 123: 1-2 or

Dec 26 A Voice in the Wilderness

John 1:19-34

Psalm 32:1-2

Fullness of God/Fulfilled by God Advent Kit

Supplies: Week 1: Pen and Paper, Week 2: Favorite Beverage, Week 3: Candle, Week 4: Candle again Christmas: Note from Week 1

Week 1 Full of Prophesy

Reading

Ezekiel 37:1-14
37The hand of the Lord came upon me, and he brought me out by the spirit of the Lord and set me down in the middle of a valley; it was full of bones. 2He led me all around them; there were very many lying in the valley, and they were very dry. 3He said to me, “Mortal, can these bones live?” I answered, “O Lord God, you know.” 4Then he said to me, “Prophesy to these bones, and say to them: O dry bones, hear the word of the Lord. 5Thus says the Lord God to these bones: I will cause breath to enter you, and you shall live. 6I will lay sinews on you, and will cause flesh to come upon you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and you shall live; and you shall know that I am the Lord.” 7So I prophesied as I had been commanded; and as I prophesied, suddenly there was a noise, a rattling, and the bones came together, bone to its bone. 8I looked, and there were sinews on them, and flesh had come upon them, and skin had covered them; but there was no breath in them. 9Then he said to me, “Prophesy to the breath, prophesy, mortal, and say to the breath: Thus says the Lord God: Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe upon these slain, that they may live.” 10I prophesied as he commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they lived, and stood on their feet, a vast multitude. 11Then he said to me, “Mortal, these bones are the whole house of Israel. They say, ‘Our bones are dried up, and our hope is lost; we are cut off completely.’ 12Therefore prophesy, and say to them, Thus says the Lord God: I am going to open your graves, and bring you up from your graves, O my people; and I will bring you back to the land of Israel. 13And you shall know that I am the Lord, when I open your graves, and bring you up from your graves, O my people. 14I will put my spirit within you, and you shall live, and I will place you on your own soil; then you shall know that I, the Lord, have spoken and will act,” says the Lord.

Activity: Write a Note to Yourself, something you want to hang onto throughout the season. It can be a hope, a feeling, a promise from God. Keep it simple and straightforward.

Week 2 Full of Purpose

Reading

Isaiah 55:1-13

55 Ho, everyone who thirsts, come to the waters; and you that have no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without price. 2Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread, and your labor for that which does not satisfy? Listen carefully to me, and eat what is good, and delight yourselves in rich food. 3Incline your ear, and come to me; listen, so that you may live. I will make with you an everlasting covenant, my steadfast, sure love for David. 4See, I made him a witness to the peoples, a leader and commander for the peoples. 5See, you shall call nations that you do not know, and nations that do not know you shall run to you, because of the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, for he has glorified you.
6Seek the Lord while he may be found, call upon him while he is near; 7let the wicked forsake their way, and the unrighteous their thoughts; let them return to the Lord, that he may have mercy on them, and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon. 8For my thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways my ways, says the Lord. 9For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. 10For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return there until they have watered the earth, making it bring forth and sprout, giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater, 11so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and succeed in the thing for which I sent it. 12For you shall go out in joy, and be led back in peace; the mountains and the hills before you shall burst into song, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands. 13Instead of the thorn shall come up the cypress; instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle; and it shall be to the Lord for a memorial, for an everlasting sign that shall not be cut off.

Activity: God has purpose for us and we shall not come away empty. Take 10 minutes with your favorite beverage and take the time to savor that fact that God has purpose for you. Surely a God who has given us so many good things to eat, has good plans for us to fulfill.

Week 3 Full of God’s Word

Reading

1In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2He was in the beginning with God. 3All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being. What has come into being 4in him was life, and the life was the light of all people.
5The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it. 6There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. 7He came as a witness to testify to the light, so that all might believe through him. 8He himself was not the light, but he came to testify to the light. 9The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world. 10He was in the world, and the world came into being through him; yet the world did not know him. 11He came to what was his own, and his own people did not accept him. 12But to all who received him, who believed in his name, he gave power to become children of God, 13who were born, not of blood or of the will of the flesh or of the will of man, but of God. 14And the Word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen his glory, the glory as of a father’s only son, full of grace and truth.
15(John testified to him and cried out, “This was he of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me ranks ahead of me because he was before me.’”) 16From his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace. 17The law indeed was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. 18No one has ever seen God. It is God the only Son, who is close to the Father’s heart, who has made him known.

Activity: Light a Candle and think about how you’ve heard God’s word or seen it fulfilled this week. Where have you seen God in action? Or maybe God is calling you to fulfill God’s word, and you need to take a moment to figure it out.

Week 4: Full of Good News

Reading

Luke 2:1-14

2In those days a decree went out from Emperor Augustus that all the world should be registered. 2This was the first registration and was taken while Quirinius was governor of Syria. 3All went to their own towns to be registered. 4Joseph also went from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to the city of David called Bethlehem, because he was descended from the house and family of David. 5He went to be registered with Mary, to whom he was engaged and who was expecting a child. 6While they were there, the time came for her to deliver her child. 7And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in bands of cloth, and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.
8In that region there were shepherds living in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. 9Then an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for see—I am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people: 11to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is the Messiah, the Lord. 12This will be a sign for you: you will find a child wrapped in bands of cloth and lying in a manger.” 13And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God and saying, 14“Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace among those whom he favors!”

Activity: Light the candle again if you wish. What is a sign of Good News Today? Have you heard or seen good news? Was it online? A story from a friend? Where was the good news? Did you tell that good news to someone else as well? Think about how you hear and tell good news. Did you forget to share it? Can you tell the story to someone? Do you have someone you can count on to tell good news to or to give you good news? Who are the Good News angels in your life.

Christmas: Full of Christ

Reading Luke 2: 15-20

hen the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go now to Bethlehem and see this thing that has taken place, which the Lord has made known to us.” 16So they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the child lying in the manger. 17When they saw this, they made known what had been told them about this child; 18and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds told them. 19But Mary treasured all these words and pondered them in her heart. 20The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them.

Activity: Take out the card you wrote on, reflect on how God moved with you through the season. Does being full of Christ today make you think differently about what you wrote? Would you change it? Did you go in a different direction than you thought? Did God teach you something? This is your note, scribble, doodle and make notes on it as needed.

Feel free to Email me at Katyandtheword at gmail for a doc version of this Kit

If you find these resources useful please consider contributing to my Doctorate in Ministry in Creative Writing!

Oct 17th: God Calls Samuel

Living Into this God Given World: Judgement

Samuel 3:1-21

John 20:21-23

Psalm 46

Call to Worship:

God we come to here your voice

Let us hear the call of the Lord

God we come to answer your call

Let us gather together in the name of God!

Prayer of Confession: God we confess that it is hard to hear your voice of calling, sometime we confuse it with other callings. Sometimes we think we are only dreaming. Help us to hear your voice clearly we pray. Amen.

Assurance of Pardon: Hear the good news, God never gives up on us, God calls us and forgives us every time. Let us tell one another the truth: In Jesus Christ we are forgiven. Amen.

Prayer of the Day/Dedication: God, you call to us. Let us sit quietly and hear your still small voice we pray in your most Holy Name. Amen.

Hymns: There’s a Sweet Sweet Spirit in This Place, Here I am Lord, Called as Partners in Christ’s Service

Children: Explain the Concept of Priesthood of All Believers–that everyone is called by God, not necessarily to be pastors but to be helpers in the world, brainstorm all the things that people might be called to help. Point out that Samuel is a child.

More Year 4 Narrative Lectionary Resources

If you find these resources useful please consider contributing to my Doctorate in Ministry in Creative Writing! I have already Successfully funded year 1, and am now working on Year 2!

A Blessing for (Surviving) Today

Here’s a blessing for you.

Because you are still here,

And it’s been a year, of ::gestures inarticulately:: everything.

And we need all the blessings we can get.

So here’s a bless this mess.

A blessing on your head,

one that grants you good dreams,

and moments of respite,

and times to let go,

and moments to connect with your beloveds,

and reminders that your worth is not defined by your productivity

and that its ok not to be ok

and that this is not the new normal, nor should it be.

So all the blessings–

for being here,

and doing the things

and being you.

Keep at it! Take breaks,

Drink water, take care of yourself,

and be blessed,

For you are a beloved child of God.

No matter what.

God bless you, Child of God.

Today, Tomorrow, and Always.

Amen.

Feel free to use/adapt/share with credit to Pastor Katy Stenta

Pandemic Prayers & Resources

If you find these resources useful please consider contributing to my Doctorate in Ministry in Creative Writing! I have already Successfully funded year 1, and am now working on Year 2!