Rejecting Evil: a clarification, Membership Questions

The Membership Questions: If I Wrote them
Expanded:
Do you reject Evil
Of Guns
Of White Supremacy
Of the False Gospel of Hate
Of the Nationalism
Of trying to Control Your Child’s Life
Do you reject the idolatry of Power, Greed, Imperialism, Capitalism and Control?

Do you surrender to the Loving and Searing Truth of Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, who opens your heart in such away that you continually examine your life and ask–am I living in a way that adhere’s to God’s Life Giving Standards?

Do I, to Love my Enemies, Are the Imprisoned? Give Food to those in Near, Somehow free myself To Not Judge those different than you and to Welcome those who are different in Gender, Race, Sexuality, Age and Ability to my House, Home, Table and Life?

Do I affirm the Apostles Creed, as far as I understand it, knowing that it is a lifelong mystery. Do I affirm what I know and commit to continual study of the Apostles Creed and God?

LGBTQIA, After Colorado Springs

Sacred Space

Rainbow Tears

MicroViolence

Erasure

Dancing

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

A Halloween Prayer

A Prayer for the Weird Ones
the ones who don’t fit
the ones who take comfort in being scared

Here’s a prayer for those fascinated by magic
the mystical
the liminality, those marginal places in-between

Here’s a prayer for the lonely–
those who identify with the goblins, the witches and trolls
the ones who want to be able to go up to strangers and demand hospitality

This is a prayer for all those who can find beauty in what others find ugly
the ones who are fascinated with the inner workings of bodies
or diseases, or want to study psychology
or fear, or loneliness, or liminality

Here’s a prayer for the kind of holiness that comes from being different
The kind of prophecy that comes from telling the truth
the kind of radicalness that comes from opening your doors to the mess on the street

What kind of holiday is All Hallow’s Eve?
Where we say, life is messy and ugly and beautiful and short?
Where we acknowledge all that is scary in the world,
and fill it with the laughter and joy of children?
Here’s a prayer to celebrating that kind of holiday

Here’s a prayer for the children–who always understand it first
Who confront death with a sharp honesty that is refreshing,
And help us to confront our fears with real questions,
and the worrying answers of “I don’t know.”

Here’s a prayer for All Hallow’s Eve, where we celebrate
the complexity of humans, humanity
and human life.

Halloween Blessings to all who need it.

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

Image and Prints of this image can be bought Here: https://www.johnhendrix.com/prints/the-holy-ghost-holidays

#Debt, #Ruth

Ruth is about how terrible it is to be worth less than nothing—

And how hard it is to have to beg and dig through leftovers and makeshift family to eat

And how important teaming up together among the powerless to pursue rights to land and food and shelter in spite of being indebted women without children who were culturally worth “less than nothing”

And if you think it’s about “finding Boaz” you’ve missed it.

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Grinding Teeth, A Prayer

Sometimes I wonder
If Jesus ground his teeth

Did you wake up in the middle of the night
Feeling like you were about to fall?
From some inexplicable nightmare?

When you got through a harrowing encounter
with the officially officials—you know the ones that had been building
Did you come home with a headache?

Did you practice breathing techniques, and peaceable responses, and politeness and smiles
like most of the women, disabled people and marginalized around you…
All of us knowing—this is how we make it

Did you preach the Good News as a survival technique
Not as a toxic positivity to push on people

But the Bare Bones to give those hungry for scraps of answers of

“Why am I Here? And “Does this even Matter?” And “How Do I face tomorrow?”

And did you sit and look at the stars—Christ—and evaluate your day, and try to comfort yourself:
With the little things that went right; and the good things you saw, and the big picture you were working towards.

Did you ache with the work of it all Jesus? And roll your jaw, and take a deep breath to relax your shoulders, before you faced another fully human day?

Thank you for being human with us Jesus.

Amen.

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

If you want to support my work, follow my blog or please give to my Go Fund Me for Creative Writing (year 2) Doctorate or become a supporter with perks on Ko-Fi

Not Oppressed, A Prayer

God
How stupid are humans
That we have to claim
Christians are oppressed
To get attention

Is it bc we know
Your the God of the oppressed?

Oh Jesus
Who weeps
Who wants to protect
The broken under your wings

Tell the Pharaohs,
Street Corner Prayers,
Herods & Warmongers

To shut up
(a word we gloss
Differently in the Bible)

And if they don’t listen
Shut them up
Anyway

Do your thing God
For the oppressed,
Enslaved, orphaned,
Widowed
Care for the children.

Do your Prince of Peace thing
Because surely
That is the way
To help the oppressed

And we Christians,
We will muddle along
Definitely not oppressed
And hopefully
Helping the oppressed
Too

Lead the way Prince of Peace.
Lead the way.
Amen!

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

Countdown to the End of the Year, A Prayer

Ok God,

I don’t know when you have ever,

ever

Asked for our resume,

or our qualifications

(In fact you call us no matter what)

Nor do you ask us to make an accounting

of our year’s end accomplishments and goals

**

Instead I picture you.

Sitting down with us, at the end of the year–

Like a good friend does at the end of the day.

Allowing us to reflect

on the good and the bad and the ugly.

***

And you don’t mind if the language is crass , or the tears start to flow,

**

…Or sometimes we feel like we have nothing at all worth saying.

***

We humans like to mark time, because that’s how we are made.

And you like to sit and mark it with us, because you God, understand.

Our obsessions with days and weeks and hours and cups of coffee.

***

So God, when I start counting,

You remind me that I can’t count the stars,

and our blessings outnumber those–

and you remind us that every single person,

is beloved and no one is forgotten.

**

Neither is our small joys and accomplishments.

**

Everything Counts,

And we don’t need to.

Only you God, can make both true.

Thank you God,

for keeping track of the important stuff,

and letting the other stuff Go

And sitting with me, as I take stock.

Amen.

Please feel free to use/adapt/share with credit to Pastor Katy Stenta

If you like my prayers, consider adding your email to the list and/or contributing to my 2nd year in Doctoral work in Creative Writing for Ministry https://gofund.me/70a114f9 I am funding 1/3rd of it through fund-raising. Every contribution from $5-$200 helps. I successfully funded my first year this way, and truly appreciate your support!

Creative Writing & Giving Tuesday

Hey Friends!

I am trying to get donors for my next year of Doctoral work in Creative Writing! This is a working theologian’s degree at Pittsburgh Seminary where I continue to work 32+ hrs a week (less in the summer) and try to put my degree to immediate use!

The way we are funding is 1/3rd from my family, 1/3rd from continuing Ed funds, and 1/3rd fundraised. As you know I offer prayers, liturgies and more all for free here at WordPress. My next class is in January in Fantasy and Christianity which is my area of specialty and I can’t wait! We are centering on C S Lewis and comparing him to other authors.

I’ve had 107 views today (Giving Tues Nov 30 2021) on katyandtheword.com. If everyone gave $25 today I’d be done https://gofund.me/aaeb4910 I have 3000 views a month which means if everyone gives – couple of bucks say $2-$5 over the next month I’ll def be done in 2 weeks. Please consider giving what you can. As you can see any amount would help!!

Katy at Katyandtheword

Thanks! For your support and thanks for Praying with me!

Being Human

An experiment in poetry

Thanks to my Doctorate in Ministry in Creative Writing at Pittsburgh Seminary

By Katy Stenta 

The story gets more fantastic

The more we tell it

It gets bigger

Even when we make it more concise

The better adjective, the simple adverb

The timing

All of which can be 

drilled down

to this thing called perfect


But the human being

Exists outside of perfection

There is no perfect time to be human

There is no perfect relationship 

No perfect creation

made by human hands

Humankind works so hard to tell its story

Because maybe if we describe our faith

more perfectly, more people will follow it

Why do we chase perfection? 

Why do we want the feeling of 

having the exact words

to shape how our experiences exist—

Do we not then pretend that our experiences are 

unembodied? 

Do we not want to be lost in a fantastic story

precisely because we have struggled too?

Do we not experience our lives as Science Fiction?

Too technical to explain, too human to let go 

of our essence.

I think I prefer Science Fiction to Perfection. 

Gathering & Gospelling: Worship IV

Worship IV

Chapter 5: Never Start a Funeral with Logistics: Commitment: Here I am, I am Here 

See Creative Moment: Moment to capture people’s attention and imagination p. 170

Numbers 6:22-26

22 The Lord spoke to Moses, saying: 23Speak to Aaron and his sons, saying, Thus you shall bless the Israelites: You shall say to them, 

24 The Lord bless you and keep you; 

25 the Lord make his face to shine upon you, and be gracious to you; 

26 the Lord lift up his countenance upon you, and give you peace.

Isaiah 3:6-8 

Then one of the seraphs flew to me, holding a live coal that had been taken from the altar with a pair of tongs. 7The seraph touched my mouth with it and said: ‘Now that this has touched your lips, your guilt has departed and your sin is blotted out.’ 8Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, ‘Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?’ And I said, ‘Here am I; send me!’

Call to Worship: 

God you called Abram and Sarai

And Abraham and Sarah said here I am Lord

God you walked with Ruth and Mara

And Ruth promised to Naomi: Your God will be my God

God your wrestled with Jacob

And Israel made peace with his brother Esau

God you are always present with us.

Here I am Lord, I am here with the lord, my God today. 

Confession: Reflective Questions

What do we enjoy about gathering?

How is your prayer life Going? 

Creative Activity: Write a Promise about how to be more fully present with God and Church, Present it to God (In offering or on the communion table or you can be more creative and hang them on a tree or weave them through threads)

Homework: Set aside a day for viewing people different. At the beginning of the day pray for all those who you are going to be in contact with that day in person, online, through the phone or however they may come. Ask God to help you think of each person you come in contact with for the next 24 hours as a messenger from God, either someone you can help/pray for os someone God can use to teach you something. Take notes for the day. At the end of the day ask the Holy Spirit if anyone on that list is someone you should be praying for intentionally or get to know better.

Study Verse: Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, ‘Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?’ And I said, ‘Here am I; send me!’—Isaiah 3:8 

Prayer of Dedication/the Day: Lord Jesus, thank you. All I have is yours. All I am is yours. Help me hand it to you. Amen. (Unbinding the Gospel p. 185)

Hymn Suggestions: Here I am Lord, Somebody’s Knocking at Your Door, O Jesus I Have Promised, Take My Life

Gathering & Gospelling Worship Series

If you want doc versions, sample bulletins, and the handouts as a separate materials page, email me at Katyandtheword at Gmail

If you use this material, please consider donating to my GoFundMe for my Doctorate in Ministry for Creative Writing as a working Theologian. Any Contribution from $5-100 is appreciated and I am happy to provide receipts as needed.