Justice, Mercy & Light Extended Advent

Please Support my Writing, I am Funding some of my Doctorate in Creative Writing as a Public Theologian through donations https://gofund.me/554d36e3 Thank you to all those who have donated, I have successfully completed 2 years thanks to your support.

If you need a doc version of these resources-please email and I will get it to you as much as I have completed* (I have medical leave so things may slow a bit)

Advent Readings Calendar: If you have Canva

Advent Readings Calendar: Pdf Link

Expanded Advent Daily Suggested Reading Calendar by Rev. Dr. Barb Hedges-Goettl (expanded for full story) with Hymn Suggestions Goettl https://bjhlog.wordpress.com/2022/11/27/daily-readings-for-advent-and-songs-through-january-7/?fbclid=IwAR2xFTVltIRayRlsOSy1QI0Z7E6QG5j9ZzH3r1oA4e8hiwuslBZJUGIlWJY

Unfreezing Christmas: A Narnia Christmas Pageant (Easy)

Unfreezing Christmas: No Rehearsal/Pickup Version Narnia

Advent Candles Liturgy

God of Peace: To Silent Night

God the Weaver to Away in the Manger

Magnify the Lord, To O Come All Ye Faithful

Blue Christmas Worship Including Suggested Comfort Candle (also see: Advent Prayer)

Justice, Mercy & Light Extended Advent

Advent Unleashed: https://katyandtheword.com/2022/11/28/advent-unleashed/

Advent Prayer

Messy Hope, A Prayer

Nov 13th Micah: Mercy

November 20th Christ the King Sunday/Swords into Plowshares

November 27th Faith

Dec 4th Love and Justice

Dec 11th Justice & Joy: Magnificat Realized

Dec 18th Jesus as Emmanuel

Let’s Write Liturgy Workshop

We have still have room in my first liturgy workshop if you want to join

This will be an instructional, small group (limit 10) and experiential workshop.

Do you want to learn how to write prayers and liturgy? Psalms and Calls to Worship? Confessions and Personal Prayers? This Zoom Workshop is designed for all levels and experiences for people to engage in prayer writing–using the scripture as your guide.

Sunday November 20th 4pm-6pm (Eastern) $40

Led by Katy Stenta, Pastor, Writer and Educator

For more information to sign up, email Katyandtheword at gmail.com. Titled “Liturgy”

I plan to hold more in the future–but I am taking the rare opportunity as I come off leave to hold a Sunday Session

Katy Stenta is a regular contributor to Sermonsuite, RevGalBlogPals, and is published in Enfleshed, Presbyterian’s Today and Outlook. She received her undergraduate in English and History and Minor on Philosophy at Oberlin, her M. Div. and MA in Christian Formation at Princeton Theological Seminary. She is currently pursuing her D. Min. in Creative Writing as a Public Theologian at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary. She also writes personal prayers regularly at katyandtheword.com.

Little/Big Things Prayer

Lord God, Almighty in Heaven
When 2 people dying
becomes blip
on the news…

When Anti-Semitism
needs to become
A Roar of despair
for a major
German distributer
to drop a name

When this flood gets
lost with the last one
And the fires
And tornados
weary your soul

I want say
God,
Come get
Your Humans

And I worry about
the next political arguments
I will have
About gender, sexuality
and disabilities–
Because they are not political
but about people

I admit to deep weariness
with this thing
we call
you call
Humanity
God

But then

I find rest and restoration

In

Children’s laughter

Red Autumn leaves against cloudy skies

unexpected time for naps

the right to complain to you God

the taste of chocolate upon my tongue

cats who snuggle

a text from a friend

It is amazing how the smallest things
Can be the most important–
I fully admit, you designed thing well

We humans would have focused
on only the big things

But a moment to notice the good things
the space to rewatch a favorite show

a hug

a cup of coffee

playing our favorite song on the loudest volume

How did you know that we would need these things?

Thank you God–for all the little things–

Keep sending them please.

Amen.

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

Dark Red fall leaves drenched in little droplets of rain
Red leaves drenched in little droplets of rain

Be

Yes
Yes

I am doing the hard work of resting
Sleeping

Trying to let my body heal
Ok God

I’m trying
But I have some words

About resting without the surgery I need
Trying so hard

Not to do
Or think
Just to be

God why is it hard

Just to be
Be Still

And know that
I am God

Easy for You to Say God

Even Jesus
Ran away
To Mountains and Hills
To Lakes and Boats

Even Jesus took naps
And meals with Friends

Even Jesus said: Enough Today is a holiday
and turned everything off

How are you?
everyone is asking

Tired, I answer

What a wealth of meaning
a word can have

I sleep,
and sleep

And try not to do things
And sleep

God, you know its been ten months
Of just living, so when the doctor said how are you doing things?
I said, I just am.

I cannot tell if I am sick

Or I am weary

Come to me
all

All who are heavy
Burdened

Your Promise
Is Rest

But here I am, trying to be

Be still, you whisper, take the time.
So I’m trying, not to try

Why is it so hard?

“Its ok” the Holy Spirit whispers
As I lay down again

Its ok…
I’ll rest in the difficult and restlessness
Amen.

If you enjoy my work please consider giving to my Doctorate in Ministry in Creative Writing https://gofund.me/554d36e3

Let’s Write Liturgy

Do you want to learn how to write prayers and liturgy? Psalms and Calls to Worship? Confessions and Personal Prayers? This Zoom Workshop is designed for all levels and experiences for people to engage in prayer writing–using the scripture as your guide.

Sunday November 20th 4pm-6pm (Eastern) $40

Led by Katy Stenta, Pastor, Writer and Educator

For more information to sign up, email Katyandtheword at gmail.com. Titled “Liturgy”

Katy Stenta is a regular contributor to Sermonsuite, RevGalBlogPals, and is published in Enfleshed, Presbyterian’s Today and Outlook. She received her undergraduate in English and History and Minor on Philosophy at Oberlin, her M. Div. and MA in Christian Formation at Princeton Theological Seminary. She is currently pursuing her D. Min. in Creative Writing as a Public Theologian at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary

Let's Write Liturgy written in almost cursive by a quill pen melting into the holy spirit dove

Speed Bumps–A Prayer

OK God,

Do I complain about this speed bump now?
The Covid standing in the way of surgery?

I’m taking a deep breath–of gratitude for quadruple vaccinations
And so few symptoms that I did not know

And thankfulness for masks

and frantic prayers that I didn’t infect anyone–and really that I didn’t infect anyone vulnerable.

And for a Day of Work that somehow came together in Coverage
really its a miracle, so easy that I feel guilty about how easy it was
I know you gotta be laughing at that one God
How easily we humans feel guilty, right?
(But I planned to be there and had been excited to see all the people and miss them)

But really, I long for deep healing
The rest and restoration that I could almost taste

The baby-sitting, rides, meals, work, set-ups, coverage, therapy, bracing

I really do not want a drop of it to go to waste, and the idea of setting it all up again is
Daunting
Wearying
Soul-wrenching

So I pray that you have this figured out already
Just like the Church Government meeting I obviously could not go to this week–what with the surgery and/or covid (that I thought I wanted to sign up for)

And so many other things as they go past that I thought, oh I thought I wanted to sign up for that, but I’m glad I didn’t because I realize now that I did not really have the time for that.

Ok God,

What now?

The wait for Monday is a Lot–
And this feels more like a speed bump to healing
It feels like a mountain, or a quest

I lift my eyes to the hills
the annoying, freaking have to climb them hills
From whom will my help come?

Fine it will come from the Lord my God…

But I don’t have to like it today.

Here’s hoping for surgery on the other end.

Amen.

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

Coming Out Day Or the Bible is Queer, A Prayer

Image: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/e/ed/Logo_ncod_lg.png

God I remember–when you came out of the closet–
Flaming!

And Moses, said, What are your Pronouns?
And God says, I am what I am

And Moses says,
Cool, I gotch-you, You’re the God of Pronouns!

And, God says, Good, because I have a feeling,
This will get more complicated!

And then People were doing Violence to one another
So God turned the World On and then Off again

And sent the animals two by two Upon a boat
And hung up God’s weapon, a Bow (that’s an old school gun)

And said, I’m hanging up my weapon, so you will hang up yours
As a sign that Love is Love is Love is Love

And Noah said Cool
And God said, Cool, Because I have a Feeling this might get misconstrued someday

God I remember when Joseph
Draped Himself in a Lady’s Coat

And his bros made fun of him
And tried to feed him to the Lions

And God said, Nope, I claim the Queer One
And then we “retranslated” it as a Rainbow coat, so no one will understand him as Queer

(And you laughed again God, didn’t you? You mysterious and all knowing I Am)

And then Joseph said what you meant for Evil, God meant for Good
No one can take away my God, And God said mmm-mmmmm

And I remember Isaiah, where the prophet saw God,
And clearly identified God as multiples, and referred to God as them

And scholars thought up a new word Trinity–
And we ignored the singular/multiple thing–and God waited for it to dawn upon us.

And then there was when Ruth declared her love and devotion for Naomi
And said where you go I will go, your people will be my people, your God will be my God

And God laughed and said, this will be the foundation text for weddings
This found-family declaration between too women, shh! Don’t tell the Conservatives.

And then came Jesus who instructed us, “Care for the Least of these”
and “Let no one revile you in my name” and “Welcome the Stranger”

And we nodded along like we knew what he meant
and then we disciples whispered among ourselves about exceptions

And God, God you knew
You knew. You knew before we knew

You know, the Bible is so Queer;
It would not even be the Bible, if it did not include rainbows and flames

It would not be Holy without found families
and radical, unconventional love

God only knows, that it is not us who gets to say who belongs to God;
it is but our job to practice welcome and hospitality

Someday, perhaps
we will get the laughter of angels right

And so Coming Out Day Blessings to those who can celebrate
And safe spaces and sanctuary to those who can’t

May those who are Lesbian, Gay, Trans, Ace, Bisexual, Nonbinary, Queer, Androgynous, Demi, Intersex, Questioning, Omnigender, Poly, Pan, and of Two Spirit find the space to be their full self.

And may they scream or yell or ignore or bless God as wish–
Because,

Because
You are God, and you care to endure all those things when your children have suffered so

May we create a world where Coming Out day
that is a true celebration and choice


May all people be celebrated in their fullness we pray–not because of the Bible,
but just Because, We pray this together!

Amen.

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

Nov 6th Prophecy Truth & Healing: Healing Truths

Full Resource

Nov 6th Healing Truths

Praying for Truth

If you would like to support my work, please give to my gofundme for my D. Min in Creative Writing or in an exciting new prospect become a Patron for only $3 a month!

2 Kings 5:1-15a Elisha heals Naaman, a foreigner and leper
Matt 8:2-3 Jesus heals a leper
Psalm 41

Call to Worship (based on Psalm 41)
Bless is the Lord, the God of Israel
God is from everlasting to everlasting
God we love to be in your presence
Come let us worship God

Call to Confession: We come to God to confess those things that still hurt and need healing

Confession: God be gracious to me and heal me for I have sinned against you. I know you consider the poor and the sick and care for them. God, I know there is all kinds of healing in the world, and that you are a healing God. Help us to heal and to continue whatever healing you are doing in the world. We pray this in the name of your son Jesus Christ. Amen. 

Assurance of Pardon: God you are gracious and promise to raise us up and to heal all sins, so we know the good news In Jesus Christ we are forgiven. Amen. 

Prayer of the Day/Dedication: God you empower us, like Naaman to pursue healing. We pray this in the name of your son Jesus Christ. Amen. 

Hymns: There is a Balm in Gilead, I’ve Got Peace Like a River, O Christ the Healer, Lord I Want to Be a Christian, Today We All Are Called to Be Disciples, Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing 

Children: Talk about Baptism and how it cleans sin permanently with the help of confession—its kind of like a bath. Talk about Naaman and how he wants to be special but he just needs a bath. The Pigeon Needs a Bath by mo willems or Alexander and the Terrible Horrible No Good Very Bad Day 

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If you would like to support my work, please give to my gofundme for my D. Min in Creative Writing or in an exciting new prospect become a Patron for only $3 a month!

Oct 30th Prophecy Truth & Healing: Praying for Truth

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Oct 30th Prophecy Truth & Healing

Praying for Truth

If you would like to support my work, please give to my gofundme for my D. Min in Creative Writing or in an exciting new prospect become a Patron for only $3 a month!

Oct 30th Solomon’s Wisdom Praying for Truth 
1 Kings 3:4-9 (10-15), 16-28 Solomon prays for wisdom, 2 women and a baby
Matt 6:9-10 Our Father
Psalm 16

Call to Worship
I bless the Lord, who is always before more
God is is in my heart, instructing me
Be glad, my soul rejoices
My body also rests secure
Come let us go to God
Let us worship God

Call to Confession: God calls us to the wisdom and knowledge, come let us give ourselves to God through confession.

Prayer of Confession God we come to you praying for wisdom. We confess that we do not always know who is right or who is telling the truth. We confess that we are attracted to power or money instead of acting justly or loving mercy. But you hold fast to the boundary, even when we lose it. God is always before us, and show us the path of life and remind us how to walk humbly with you we pray. Amen

Assurance of Pardon: In God we can rest secure, and let us proclaim and rejoice in the truth: In Jesus Christ we are forgiven. 

Prayer of the Day/Dedication: Teach us to pray and live into wisdom, so the paths of truth and healing may unfold before us. Help to know your ways as we go God. Amen. 

Hymns: A Mighty Fortress is Our God, When at Night I Meditate, My Shepherd Will Supply My Name, Invisible Immortal God Only Wise, In You Lord I Have Put My Trust, Within Your Shelter Loving God, Guide Me O Thou Great Jehovah 

Children: Talk about asking questions and how God is ok with questions. Talk about how “I don’t know” is a legitimate answer and how God is full of mystery. What If by Samantha Berger Pete the Cat and the Missing Cupcake

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If you would like to support my work, please give to my gofundme for my D. Min in Creative Writing or in an exciting new prospect become a Patron for only $3 a month!

Oct 23rd Prophecy Truth & Healing: David and Bathsheba

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Oct 23rd Prophecy Truth & Healing

Telling the Truth David and Bathsheba

If you would like to support my work, please give to my gofundme for my D. Min in Creative Writing or in an exciting new prospect become a Patron for only $3 a month!

2nd Sam 11:1-5, 26-27, 12:1-9 Nathan’s parable indicts David and he repents
Psalm 51:1-9
Matt 21:33-41 Parable about the Wicked Tenants
Psalm 53

Call to Worship

God we are here for your steadfast love
Your steadfast love endures forever
God we are here for your mercies
They are new every morning
Let us worship our loving and merciful God
Come let us worship our amazing God!

Call to Confession: God it is good to know ourselves in you—for then we know we are whole and wholly beloved, come let us confess ourselves to God. 

Confession: God, we confess that we do not always recognize ourselves. Sometimes the stories of our lives sneak up on ourselves, like David. Sometimes we condemn something and then realize that we too have sinned in that fashion. Forgive us and our judgmental ways. Teach us grace, forgiveness and the hope of the resurrection we pray. Amen. 

Assurance of Pardon: God promises restoration and resurrection, so we know that when we confess grace is assured, let us proclaim the good news: In Jesus Christ we are forgiven. 

Prayer of the Day/Dedication: God is with us, even when we become unrecognizable, God finds us and greets and sits with us. Let us go into the day, the week and the world remembering that this God will be with us no matter what. Amen. 

Hymns: Amazing Grace, What a Friend We Have in Jesus, Why Has God Forsaken Me, Have Mercy On US Living Lord, O For a Closer Walk with God, Jesus Thy Boundless Love to Me

Children: Talk about wearing costumes and masks so much that we might not recognize ourselves but God recognizes us, and that we cannot hide from God. Runaway Bunny, The Goblin and Empty Chair 

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Oct 23rd Prophecy Truth & Healing

Telling the Truth David and Bathsheba

If you would like to support my work, please give to my gofundme for my D. Min in Creative Writing or in an exciting new prospect become a Patron for only $3 a month!