Irresolute: A Prayer for the New Year

God, I’m praying here because I sense this is not the year for resolutions.

Self-improvement does not feel adequate for all that is going on…and it certainly isn’t appropriate when survival has been the first and primary goal.

God, I am trying to practice being thankful for my body. Because thought the ups and the downs my body has gotten me through the year. And am working to process and absorb the trauma that has hammered down. I’m trying to practice gentleness, with the flesh that envelopes me. Did Christ look at his body and struggle with gentleness and thanksgiving?

God, you know I have other things to absorb too. The lessons of economies and ongoing structures of neglect and violence. The rawness of the human condition has been made plain, which is why an individual resolution won’t do this year.

A prayer is more fitting God, because resolutions are about certainty, and prayer is about all the places I’m floundering and trying to figure out.

After all God, it’s been the year of flexibility and pivotry and other bendy things.

So here I am God, praying for the New Year, for the new things. On the things that are unresolved, the things we are working on, the things that are not just about me and now but are more communal and complex in nature.

So, God, help me as I’m irresolute this year. Help me to be okay with it. Or, maybe not. Not everything is ok.

So here’s to an irresolute year–of community and mutual aid and epiphanies and a way to be present.

Let me be as present as I safely can. And let it not be not a resolution or a goal, but rather a way to strive for I pray.


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

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Christmas Blessing

With Credit to @blackgirlinmain Shay Stewart Bouley on Twitter who congulated those cooking their first Christmas dinner–with full empathy for how nerve wracking it is– her tweet inspired this.

A blessings on all those who had to cook, who aren’t usually responsible for Christmas dinner–blessings for those who did tacos or takeout or didn’t cook at all and just rustled up whatever was around.

A blessing for whom the Christmas rituals were too short this year, missing people and missing traditions, and a blessings for whom they were too long because the holiday is such a struggle.

A blessing for those for whom Christmas is the end of a very long and very tiring season and they are awaiting a little bit of a break or a restart, and a blessing for this for whom Christmas means no break at all, and often means double work and double stress and little grace or gratitude from those around you.

A blessing on those who have experienced a loss, for whom Christmas hits hard and lonely, a blessing for those who are dealing with infertility when everyone is screaming about babies being born.

A blessing for the families who don’t have the money to do Christmas, for the families that are too busy worrying about a roof over their head or food to eat to feel blessed in any way.

A blessing for the sick and those caring for them. In this time of trial, may there be compassion and moments, however brief, of respite.

A blessing for those who aren’t sure if they want to celebrate Christmas, for whom it’s complicated or carries too much baggage or carries too many to do lists or litmus tests of faith.

A blessing for those for whom this is their “first” Christmas of any kind, good or bad, because transition is tough and we need these blessings.

A blessing on those who are tired, alone, trapped, in danger. A blessing for victims of abuse, victims of state brutality, those who are imprisoned and those who are stuck in violent or unsafe situations, a blessing for those in the midst of war in what should be a season to pursue peace.

A blessing for those who are searching for hope: through family or friends or social media, a blessing because the search can be long and hard and you can get lost upon the way and talk to the wrong people as the magi can tell you.

A blessing for those whom I’ve forgotten, those who are at the corners of my mind, but somehow skipped over. I lift you up to God, because God knows your heart. God knows the blessings you need, so I pray that God gives you the blessings you need.

Christmas Blessings be with you all.

Screw you 2020: A Psalm

Screw you 2020, May you disappear into the dusts of time.

God grant us long memories to prevent such injustice, disease and hunger that were given reign over us in 2020. It was always there lurking, and we let it sneak up on us, like a demon.

Screw you 2020, you and the bus you came in on, with fires in Australia, Hurricanes in the gulf and more fires in the Western US. Screw you and your human made explosions in Beruit, your stealing of children in Nigeria, flooding in Guatemala, and then the creeping pandemic that stole the breath of the elderly, and then the frontline workers and finally the general public.

May the taste of 2020 be washed out of our mouths by the clear and cool waters, let them roll down in justice. Let them wash away are bigotries and selfishness, and teach us the that shared water tastes the sweetest, and let us never sell water to one another, but instead give it with grace ever dripping, like the savior.

Goodbye 2020, and do not let the door hit you on the way out with your loneliness and horrible mental health days and having to say goodbye to our beloved through phones or windowpanes.

Let us welcome our new population–the long haulers, the disabled (who hey we might have finally noticed), the overworked and underpaid essential workers, the lonely, the newly estranged or divorced, the poor and impoverished, the teeming homeless and underused.

Let us gather these populations together like the siblings they are, and let us (when it is safe) throw a huge feast, where all are invited, welcome and accepted. Let us put our Black and Brown Siblings, Our Queer family and our Disabled Kin at the head of the table. Shut our mouths and give us ears to hear what it is they have been trying to stay lo these many years.

Goodbye 2020, we didn’t all survive you, but may we all learn from you.

Get out.

For me and my house, we follow the God of justice, who wants not hypocrisy or wealth, but acts of peace.

May we provide for every single person in such a way that they do not feel that they are only worth their productive value in society. For those who can and do work may we pay each and ever one of them a living wage, may we educate our children well and never begrudgingly and let us honor and value their teachers.

May we value science and learning over selfishness, and health over selfishness, and the community over selfishness, and those more vulnerable than us over selfishness.

May we be polite and respectful of food workers, mail workers, warehouse packers and custodians, for theirs is the work of the Lord. Stop up our mouths when we judge or disdain.

Who are we to be jealous when someone who is poor gets something good to eat?

Who are we to tell people they cannot work if they are disabled, and that they are worth only $300 and it works not for us for them to be married?

Who are we to devalue stay at home parents and caretakers of all kinds, and to say that the care is their responsibility and yet not give them even a crumb of bread to eat?

Who are we to judge the person who has to depend upon family systems to survive and live in intergenerational homes and then blame them for their close quarters?

Truly I say to you, God’s grace is infinite, and if Jesus were here he would be flipping the tables on 2020 and all that lead to it.

He would be feeding school children every day and supporting parents and caretakers.

Jesus would spread the wisdom of the gay community who survived the AIDs pandemic, and would empower those who live with disabilities to teach us not only to survive but to thrive within whatever our current confines are.

He would house the homeless, feed the hungry and clothe the naked, showing us how easy it’s always been!

Jesus would give rest to the Essential workers, he would comfort those who are working, living, breathing the hospital and emergent care, he would clean up on behalf of the custodial services.

Jesus would stop up the mouths of those who sing dangerous songs, but empower singers to share their art safely, he would encourage the artists, who gave us stories and virtual concerts and lessons and hidden rainbows to carry us through the storm.

If Jesus was here he would feed the food workers of the shut down industry.

He would find companionship and penpals and bubbles for the lonely, the elderly and the singles and the children and the ones who are outcast from their own family.

Jesus hates hypocrisy and would call out the politicians who speak a good game and then give more money to the entitled. He would especially tap the shoulders of those who follow Christ, reminding them of the humble path they are called to walk .

And Jesus would legitimize and celebrate the ways we’ve adapted and worked together. Jesus would encourage all the people who had good news, and tell them it’s ok to have bits of happiness in the midst of it all, and he would do it in such a way we would be inspired to share that happiness any and every way we can.

Jesus doesn’t stand for your nonsense 2020. You are a dumpster fire.

And if Jesus doesn’t stand for it, then I won’t either.

Screw you 2020.

From our Lips to God’s ears, we pray.



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

A Puerto Rican Colleague Rev. Dr, Amaury Tanon-Santos translated to Spanish here.

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Christmas Prayers of the People

Dear God, we admit that it is a wonder that babies can be born right now. As we look at the little eyes and noses, we think how can this happen right now?

Joy flashes, followed immediately by prayers for all those who have been working in the midst of a dumpster fire.

The doctors, nurses, administrators, chaplains and custodians.’

As we sit here, on this lone noel, we miss those family and friends we cannot see,

and grieve all the lives lost to a pandemic. We cry and mourn with all of those missing parents, grandparents, brothers, sisters, friends, for whatever reason. We also lift up those communities that have been especially hard hit.

Communities of color, communities in poverty, communities that work as essential works. Be with them this Christmas.

We grieve that we are in a universe that values money and jobs over people, and we grieve too all the jobs and homes and work that has been lost, because they affect people.

We grieve for all of those who are struggling: the homeless, the hungry, the almost homeless, the ones drowning in medical debt, those who are living off credit card for lack of a community structure that helps.

Please help us to do a better job of caring for one another as a community.

Lord, we feel like we are caught in the fire and in the world. Help us as we muddle through.

Remind us that Jesus too came into a dumpster fire of the world. He was born and cried, and suffered huger and marginalization and loneliness. Jesus knew the world was on fire,

And Jesus came anyway.

As Mary, who knew all the pieces of what was to happen, pondered at the wonder of a baby being born in the middle of this.

Give us permission to ponder and wonder as to how this happens. And lift our prayers to Jesus, helps us to feel and experience Christ’s love somehow in the midst of all of this.

Jesus we need you so much.

Please come anyway, we pray.


Feel free to use with credit Pastor Katy Stenta