#reLentless #truth

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Truth is my weapon of choice. When meeting with adversity and evil. When facing down the human machinations that we call politics, when dealing with the perniciousness of gossip, when hearing a criticism that burns my soul….I choose truth

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Its a chancy weapon, because its a double edged sword, naming who I am in the situation even as it names others. It becomes confession. When you tell the truth you admit to yourself, and all others, that you are but human.

And I am all too human, horrible at remembering the names of my 40 some congregants who I have known for 6 plus years (and I am young), bad at details, fumbling at asking for help when I need it. I am small and frail. Spending a season admitting that I was, am and will be Ash is hard.

But even as I admit who I am, I also admit who God is.

“You are my God” “To you I cry all day long”

“Be gracious to me” and “Gladden the soul of your servant” for all that I lack, God has, and all that I wish for, God knows and all that I need, God is.

Other gods, do not dirty their hands with humanity. They may bargain or scheme with humans, using them or playing with them. But they do not broker humanity choosing to enflesh themselves through their only son.

I will bow down before the Lord my God, and glorify her Holy name, for God alone does wondrous things, stepping beside us in the daily, dirty, beautiful thing called life.

Only God does it all through truth, revealing to us who we truly are

Revealing to us who God truly is

Because you Lord, “have helped me and comforted me”

Praise Be to God

http://bible.oremus.org/?ql=355488475

Links of Prayer: Narrative Lectionary for Lent

Links of Prayer Resources for Lent.
A broad number of prayers from a variety of pastors/denominations. All variations of theology and kinds of prayers were accepted to show the vast richness of God’s work.
 These prayers are meant for personal spiritual practice or for congregations who follow the narrative lectionary.
They include a Call to Worship/Opening Prayer, Prayer of Confession, Assurance of Pardon, Communion Prayer, Prayer of Dedication/Offering and Some are Paired Psalm-Prayer Station Guide by Rev. Shea Zellweger
Feel free to use/edit. Credit to the original author (i.e. based on prayer written by XXX) appreciated.
March 1st Ash Wednesday by Rev. Mary Austin
March 5th The Good Samaritan by Rev. Dr. Robyn Provis
March 12th The Lament Over Jerusalem by Rev. Courtney D. Arntzen
March 19th Lost Coin, Lost Sheep, Lost Son by Rev. Mike Williams
March 26th Rich Man and Lazarus by Rev. Tracy Spencer-Brown
Apr 2nd Zacchaeus by Rev. Katy Stenta
Apr 11th Triumphal Entry/Palm Sunday by Rev. Jeanne Gay
Apr 13th Last Supper by Rev. Amy Fetterman
Apr 14th Crucifixion by Rev Lee Ann Higgins
      Good Friday Liturgy of the Nails http://wp.me/p2rhxZ-25W
Apr 16th Resurrection/Easter by Rev. Dr. Barb Hedges-Goettl

A Resource:Narrative Lectionary Advent Prayers

Many Thanks to those who have pitched in to write prayers. Page will be edited as more prayers come in.

These are resources, seeds and jumping off points. Hopeful they are useful!

advent-candles-with-messages

 

Advent 1 Nov 27 Daniel 6:6-27 Daniel in the Lions’ Den Luke 23:1-5

Author: Pastor Andrea Allen Advent theme is “God Makes a New Home in Us.”

Advent Wreath: Psalm 62: Hope

v. 5-8 For God alone my soul waits in silence,
for my hope is from him. 
6 He alone is my rock and my salvation,
my fortress; I shall not be shaken. 
7 On God rests my deliverance and my honour;
my mighty rock, my refuge is in God.                                                                                               8 Trust in him at all times, O people;
pour out your heart before him;
God is a refuge for us.

Call to Worship: (Based on lyrics from hymn “O radiant Christ, incarnate Word” by Ruth Duck 1991 found in Voices United #84)

One: Come, let us prepare ourselves this Advent, our faith and hope renew.

All: God, come, lead the peoples to your peace.

One: We gather for a time of hope found in waiting and preparing for the light to be born within us again.

All: God, come, shine upon our shadowed world.

One: We come into this time to pause, to pray, and to share in our worship.

All: God, come, make your home within our hearts.

Gathering Prayer Gracious God, We give you thanks for today and for the opportunity to prepare and celebrate this Advent season. Be with us as we worship you, reminding us that you are our living God, and that your love endure for ever. Guide us to hear your word to each of us today and be with us as we seek to live out your call. In the name of Jesus the Christ, in whom we await, Amen.

Call to Confession O Holy God Today we come to you asking for your forgiveness for those times when we have not left room for you to build a home within our hearts and our lives; those times when we have pushed you out of our hearts and lives. Advent is a busy time in our world when so many activities, parties, and events pull us away from you, forgive us when we leave you to the last of our lists and help us to put you first in our lives. Forgive us when we forget the importance of the season of advent, when we forget to cherish the time of waiting and preparing, and so we push along with the world to celebrate Christmas before it is time. Daniel prayed to you in a time when doing so was dangerous. He trusted in you and because of that you kept him safe. Forgive us when we do not trust in you but rather put our trust in the world and turn away from you. In the name of Jesus the Christ we pray, Amen.

Assurance of Pardon: Today and every day, God loves us, forgives us, and sets us free. Today and every day we remember that our living God endures forever. God’s kingdom will never be destroyed and we will always have a place in God’s kingdom. Amen.

Communion Prayer (TBD)

Offertory Prayer O living God, we thank you for your constant presence in our lives and in response to the constant blessings you give, we offer you our gifts today. Accept our offerings of time, talents, and treasures that they may further your work here on Earth so that one day all will truly know your Kingdom here on Earth. Amen.

Advent 2 Dec 4th Joel 2:12-13, 28-29 and Luke 4:16-21

Author: Pastor Shea Zellweger

Advent Psalm: Peace Psalm 2

v. 6-8  There are many who say, ‘O that we might see some good!
Let the light of your face shine on us, O Lord!’ 
7 You have put gladness in my heart
more than when their grain and wine abound.                                                                            8 I will both lie down and sleep in peace;
for you alone, O Lord, make me lie down in safety.

Lighting of the Advent Wreath

Leaders: Hear our fervent prayer, oh God.

People: Listen to our plea, and grant us your peace.

Leader 1: Our old men have visions of a time when all will be content, for all will have enough, no longer driven to spend and consume.

Leader 2: Our young women dream of nations who wage peace and not war.

People: Listen to our plea, and grant us your peace.

Leaders: We light the second candle, a blue candle, which carries the glow of peace. In the midst of turmoil, its steady glow reminds us that when all seems bleak, even then there is peace to be had.

People: Come, o Prince of Peace, Come.

Song of Response

O Come, O Come, O Adonai, who came to all on Sinai high.

And from its peak a single law, proclaimed in majesty and awe.

Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel shall come to thee, O Israel

Call To Worship

One: Sing Praises to God, all you who dwell on Earth!

Many: We sing our praise, echoing the joyous strains of the angels.

One: God gives strength to us, the people of God.

Many: God blesses us with peace.

One: In peace, let us sing praises to God.

Many: In peace, let us worship!

Prayer of Confession

One: We confess our sins before God and one another,

[Pause for silent confession]

God, whose peace surpasses all understanding, we do not always seek peace.

Many: We sow the seeds of strife and division.

One: Nation wars against nation, and our people fight amongst themselves.

Many: Forgive us, o Lord, for we know not what we do.

Assurance of Pardon

One: Our God is a merciful God. Our conflicts have already been forgiven. We receive God’s forgiveness together as we follow the path of peace laid before us.

Many: Thanks be to God

Reading: Joel 2:12-13, 28-29

Prayer of Thanksgiving

We praise and thank you, God, for the visions and dreams you have poured out on your people. As we await your coming, may we prophesy with boldness your lasting call to walk the path of peace together.

Offering Dedication Prayer

Here are our gifts, Lord – the work of our hands. The sweat of our brows. The first fruits of our harvest. We dedicate them to your service. May they help to spread your reign of peace throughout the Earth. Amen.

Advent 3 Dec 11 Isaiah 61:1-11 and Luke 4:16-21

Author: Pastor Katy Stenta

Advent Candle Joy Psalm 98

v. 7-9 7 Let the sea roar, and all that fills it;
   the world and those who live in it. 
8 Let the floods clap their hands;
   let the hills sing together for joy 
9 at the presence of the Lord, for he is coming
   to judge the earth.

Call to Worship

God you send the Holy Spirit, clothing us in the good news

You bind up the broken-hearted and comfort those who mourn

We are planted  in God, who loves justice.

Therefore we will rejoice in the Lord! Let us exult the Lord with our entire being!

Prayer of Confession: Lord we confess that joy is difficult. We would rather smile or be nice, than find the joy in our lives. We are too busy, too worried or too polite to embrace the God who cares for the lost, the poor and the forgotten. We long for a connection to this God who knows where to plant us and how to tend to us. Forgive us we pray and teach of the joy of the Lord who repairs the brokenness of the world. 

Assurance of Pardon: The Spirit of the Lord comes upon us, clothing us in salvation. Hear the Good news of the Lord, in Jesus Christ we are forgiven. Amen.

Prayer of Communion: Mighty God, you gave us life, blowing your Holy breath into our lungs. Walking with us through time, you saw that we could only understand your law as a burden. Thus you gave us your very self, so we might feel your joy in the work of love and care, in your son Jesus Christ. Jesus who was born among us, broke bread together with us and died for us. Upon Jesus’s resurrection, all sin became forgiven. It is from this God we receive the invitation to the table today….

Prayer of Dedication: Lord, let us give with joy all that we have to you, so that we might truly build the kingdom of God together.

 

 

 

 Advent 4 Dec 18th Luke 1:26-49 and Psalm 113

Author: Pastor (Dr.) Barb Hedges-Goettl

Advent Candle: Joy Psalm 84

v. 8-108 Let me hear what God the Lord will speak,
   for he will speak peace to his people,
   to his faithful, to those who turn to him in their hearts.* 
9 Surely his salvation is at hand for those who fear him,
   that his glory may dwell in our land.                                                                                              10 Steadfast love and faithfulness will meet;
   righteousness and peace will kiss each other. 

One: Hallelujah! You who serve God, praise God!

Many:  Just to speak his name is praise!

One: Just to remember God is a blessing—

Many:  now and tomorrow and always.

One: From east to west,

Many:  from dawn to dusk,

All:  keep lifting all your praises to God!

Call to Worship B Psalm 113 NIV

One: Who is like the Lord our God,

Many: the One who sits enthroned on high?

One: Who stoops down to look on the heavens and the earth?

Many: God raises the poor from the dust

One: God lifts the needy from the ash heap.)
Many: God seats them with princes,
One: with the princes of his people.

All: Praise the Lord.

Alternative Call to Worship (Luke 1)

One: The Lord is with you.

Many: What kind of greeting is this?

One: Do not be afraid; you have found favor with God.

You are caught up in service to the Kingdom of God.

Many: How can this be?

One: The Holy Spirit will come upon you

and the power of the Most High will overshadow you

for with God nothing is impossible.

All: We are servants of the Lord. 

May God’s word to us be fulfilled. 

Prayer of Confession:

God, we confess that sometimes our plans don’t allow for your plan.                                                                                        We rely only on ourselves, not on you and on one another.

Creator, Spirit, and Lord, forgive us when we do not consult you.

Break through to us with your Advent, your coming, your calling

(Silent Confession)

Assurance of Forgiveness:

One: God looks with favor on the lowliness of God’s servants.                                                  The Mighty One has done great things and holy is his name.                                                                               The Son of the Most High was given the throne of David.                                                             He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of this kingdom there will be no end.             Thanks be to God for the Good News:

All: In Christ Jesus we have eternal and abundant life.

Prayer of Great Thanksgiving/Communion Prayer

We give you thanks, Lord God on high.                                                                                    You are high above all nations.                                                                                                  Your glory is above the heavens.                                                                                               From the rising of the sun to its setting, we praise your name.                                        We thank you for the gift of Jesus Christ, your son and son of Mary.                      Although his greatness overwhelms us, he came to dwell among us.                           You gave to him the throne of his ancestor David, yet he reigns now and he will reign forever. Of his kingdom there will be no end.                                                                          We magnify you, Lord. We rejoice in you, our Savior.                                                           For you have looked with favor on our lowliness, doing great things for us.  Make us a part of your great work.                                                                                                                     As you give the barren one joy and a home, give us joy and a place to be at home.          As Christ Jesus heals and helps those in need, let us lift the needy from the ash heap.   As Christ Jesus the King sits with sinners, may all be welcome at this feast.                   As you raised up Christ Jesus from the cross, let us raise the poor from the dust.      For with you, nothing is impossible.                                                                                             As your Spirit came upon Mary and your power rested on her, shed your Spirit and your power this day.                                                                                                                    Come upon these gifts of bread and cup, that they may be for us the body and blood of Christ Jesus. Embolden us to be the body of Christ Jesus and carry Christ into the world, transforming it by transforming us.

Offering

O God, like Mary, we belong to you, body and soul. Like Elizabeth, when we meet you, we are filled with the Holy Spirit, and leap for joy. How happy we are when we believe in you, for it is then that our gifts, our lives, and our selves find their fulfillment.

 Christmas Dec 25th Luke 2:8-20 and Psalm 123:1-2

Author: Katy Stenta

Advent Candle Psalm 68

v. 19-20 19 Blessed be the Lord,
who daily bears us up;
God is our salvation.
Selah 
20 Our God is a God of salvation,
and to God, the Lord, belongs escape from death.

Call to Worship

Come to Bethlehem and let us see the one whom angels sing!

Let us sing with the angels: Glory to God in the highest, on earth peace and goodwill to all!

Come, let us see God!

Come Let us see the Christ child!

Prayer of Confession: Lord, we confess it is hard to approach you. It is hard to see the Christ child. Forgive us and help us to see you, to know you and to love you we pray.

Assurance of Forgiveness: Christ has come, love incarnate, salvation of the world! Know the Good news, Jesus Christ was born today, and it is in him we are each, and every one of us, forgiven. Thanks be to God.

Prayer of Thanksgiving: Jesus, you are here with us today. Before the world even began, God knows us and loved us into being. Then God translated Godself into human form–so we might see and taste salvation in the feast of love. Providing to us the good news in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Let us give thanks to the God who created us, became human with us, and died to save us all. Let us continue to give God praise….

Offering Prayer: Light of the world, you have given us your only son. May we offer our gifts in return from the joy of the birth of Jesus Christ, we pray. Amen.

#confession #Love and #Politics

Generous Jesus, we confess that you are the Son of God. You heal the sick, you comfort the stricken, you find the lost ones. Yet, we confess we find it easier to love you than our neighbor. We would rather love our politicians and celebrities than those who live right beside us. We continually make ourselves into groups, codifying who is us and who is them. We do this to show how we are better or how we are always right. Forgive us Jesus. Remind us to call any and all neighbor, especially those who are close enough to annoy us. Help us to give of ourselves through love and devotion like the widow. Teach us how to love we pray…

#ashwednesday is for….

Ash Wednesday is for when all four of your checks hit after the bank closes but before you can put your husband’s check in, including the really big rent check, and they therefore all BOUNCE!

Ash Wednesday is for your four year old child throwing up all over the house, and not quite getting the try to aim for the bowl or the toilet concept

Its for your special needs kid being better focused in class, even as you worry about his continual bad smell

Its for losing your voice on the night the pastor has to lead service

Its for your eldest who is struggling to concentrate getting a good email from the teacher.

 

Ash Wednesday is to lay out your whole self before God

To confess yourself, not to feel ashamed, but to be able to see yourself as God’s beloved

The very act of owning  who you are and your reality, the act of being you as God’s, frees you to be reflective of God.

I confess myself and seek God…because to me, they are the same thing….

Ps 34:4-5  I sought the Lord, and he answered me;
    he delivered me from all my fears.
5Those who look to him are radiant;
    their faces are never covered with shame.

#peace and #advent #prayer

Prayer of Confession: Lamb of God, we confess that we do not always do peace well. We confess that we are not always the instruments of the kingdom. Reshape us, Lord. Mold us from swords into plowshares, makes us the tools of your peace through the planting of seedlings of hope, joy and love where ever we go, heal our hearts so we might in turn bring healing to others we pray… (Silent Prayer)…Amen

Ash Weds: Narrative Lectionary Here’s what we’re doin’ tonight!

 

 

sheep

Ash Wednesday March 5, 2014

Psalm 23: King James Version

Call to Worship

23 The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.

He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.

Repentance: Confession and Creation of the Ashes (writing and burning of our sins)

He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.

Silent Contemplation

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.

Communion

Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies:

The Lord be with You

And Also with you

Lift Up Your Hearts

We Lift Our Hearts to the Lord

Let us give thanks to the Lord our God

It is right to give our thanks and praise

Epliclesis Prayer &  The Lord’s Prayer

Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven, give us this day our daily bread, forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors and lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil, for thine is the kingdom and the glory and the power forever.

Bread  & Cup: Intinction

(please dip the bread in the cup, taking care to keep your fingers from touching the liquid)

Ashes

Thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.

Benediction
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

 

Prayers and Liturgy by Pastor Katy Stenta who is the solo pastor at a bigger on the inside church in Albany, NY and enjoys reading fantasy, soaking up sunshine, playing with her three sons and visiting her husband at his work, the library.

Holy Complaining Batman @unvirtuousAbbey

And so, God gave us complaining. As we look at the Hebrews in the desert, we notice they do a lot of complaining. Here they are, stuck in the desert, and they are hungry. So they complain, they grumble, they mummer, they complain. They realize that they are truly on their own now, they are free (through God), and in that freedom they are responsible, so they start to complain, they cast blame on their leaders Aaron and Moses (which, as Moses points out, means they are really blaming God)…

There are two kinds of complaining in the world. The overwhelming negative complaining……and then there’s the kind of complaining that bonds us together, the kind that makes us feel like a family.

When I was in College, my second week of Freshwoman year was 9/11. Through it I found lifetime friendships, and from that suffering we embraced one another, had giant sleepovers (because we couldn’t sleep in our parents room even though that’s what we wanted to do), and gave out hugs freely. This was my first, and best interaction at Oberlin. Immediately my friends and I’s motto started to be “always room for one more” causing us to continually scoot back and open up our table to the outsiders…and it mostly remained our motto (even for those who were so socially inept they had trouble even among us nerds and dweebs, although granted, THAT was difficult)

This kind of suffering bonded us together, because we walked with each other and felt some measure of the same horror that the other felt.

When my sister was joining a sorority, I was partially fascinated and partially horrified, here these kids were, afflicting one another so that the new group could “bond” thru shared suffering. That is how powerful suffering was..(my sister started to stir rebellious talks of decency and rights and never did make the soriority).

Its scary, but it also shows us how God utilizes complaining to ease our suffering and bond us together. I believe that God does not cause our suffering, I believe there is REAL and present evil at work, but I believe God suffers with us. I believe that she gave us Christ to witness, endure and walk with us in that suffering, and I believe that complaining can be a way to bind our concerns.

So when the Hebrews Complain, their surface complaint is that they are hungry, their real complaint is that they are free, that they are concerned, that they are facing the unknown and that they feel like no one is with us….

This shared experience, the whole community grumbled… is exactly what makes them not alone in the world. Because they are all complaining about the same thing, they start to coalesce , coming together as a true community and group–not one that is just universally oppressed, as they were in Egypt, but as a community that has to work together to survive and thrive, one that has to practice cooperation and trust (Truly this is why church is so important)

This is why Grumpy Cat is so popular, because he is voicing complaints that different communities can relate to! (in a caustic and snarky way), but that kind of complaining becomes confessional–we think hey, I feel like that too!

That is why we have Confession, that is why we have Joy and Concerns, because God gives us the opportunity to Open our Mouths, to admit when we feel like we are running on empty, that we are malnourished, and yet burdened, that we are expected to take on heavy loads, when we are at our limit.

And then, God does what we don’t expect.

God doesn’t condemn our complaining, mark it as sin, and then wash our mouths out with soap for our disrespect.

Instead he fills our mouths with food, so that we can’t complain. He fills our mouths with bread (living eternal bread through the communion with Jesus Christ), and meat, he fills our mouths with praise, giving us a chance to complain, helping us to come together as a community through that shared experience, and then gifting us with enough nourishment to sustain that community.

So come to church, complain (some), and share in each other’s crevices, so that they become not the cracks that make us fall apart, but instead the edges on which we grow!

PS for some Good Holy Complaining follow @unvirtuousAbbey on Twitter

Exodus 16:2-5

In the desert the whole community grumbled against Moses and Aaron. The Israelites said to them, “If only we had died by the Lord’s hand in Egypt! There we sat around pots of meat and ate all the food we wanted, but you have brought us out into this desert to starve this entire assembly to death.”

Then the Lord said to Moses, “I will rain down bread from heaven for you. The people are to go out each day and gather enough for that day. In this way I will test them and see whether they will follow my instructions. On the sixth day they are to prepare what they bring in, and that is to be twice as much as they gather on the other days.”

John 6: 30-33, 41-42

30 So they asked him, “What sign then will you give that we may see it and believe you? What will you do? 31 Our ancestors ate the manna in the wilderness; as it is written: ‘He gave them bread from heaven to eat.’[c]

32 Jesus said to them, “Very truly I tell you, it is not Moses who has given you the bread from heaven, but it is my Father who gives you the true bread from heaven. 33 For the bread of God is the bread that comes down from heavenand gives life to the world.”

41 At this the Jews there began to grumble about him because he said, “I am the bread that came down from heaven.” 42 They said, “Is this not Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How can he now say, ‘I came down from heaven’?”

Is the Holy Spirit Spiral Shaped?

Holy Spirit, breathe into us your light, your life, stir up hope in us. We confess that we go in circles, trying to find our own way to God, help us to ask for directions, move us on the path towards you Lord, God. Lead us into a spiral, instead of in circles! we pray this in your most Holy Name. Amen

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When your in debt…

Maybe this is really obvious to other people, but apparently its not really helpful to go to a big stewardship conference when you are about $100,000 in debt. (at least it not if your me….)

There I’ve gone and said it. My family and I are over $100,000 in debt, and the end seems nowhere is sight. We live paycheck to paycheck, my husband works three part time jobs, I work one fulltime job. I try to tutor (although I’ve let that fizzle recently). We rent out our extra car, and we have wonderful people who we pay (not very much) to help us to take care of our 3 boy-boys. We try to stay off the credit cards, but when bills come they come. And maybe we could have put off having children, but every time we’ve had a child someone has been home (first two were during our summers at grad school and the third was when my husband was looking for a job by my new church) so we know we are saving a TON on childcare. We are done with that (we think) and I guess we could have not had kids, but honestly that so does not work for us. So we can’t really see what else to do……

Here is the part that gets me…We’re not alone. Most people my age are struggling with debt. I’m lucky that I have a job with benefits (which frankly is why we have 3 kids) but really, we aren’t really “making it” so to speak.

So when I went to the kaleidoscope stewardship conference, I really wanted to hear about the United States’ problem with debt, in the context that we pray and promise the forgiveness of debt. I wanted intellectual conversation, theological discussion. I probably would have settled for the fact if someone (besides me and my big mouth) had raised the issue…

What the conference was: A great bag of tricks and tools, and a new set of language to think about stewardship–a training for stewardship teams or world-weary pastors, a way to address money in (primarily) big churches or churches with undergivers.

A nice way to think about these situations are like this (your planting the seeds of stewardship)

328 × 272 – colsdioc.org

What it discussed: Healthy financial practices–including giving, personal relationships, thankyous, ongoing stewardship (instead of a once a year thing), and some reflection about where people do put their money and why it isn’t church (instead). For thoughts about wealth and how it effects judgement read this fascinating article..

575 × 300 – staparish.net

What it didn’t include:

ways to leverage Time and Talent as well as money, (much) theological discuss, what to do if you were in financial distress (or are already in debt), and the fact that we are moving on from institutional religion to something else in Christianity….

The story was pay your debts and then you can get on with your life…..apparently I will never be able to get on in my life.

I guess I pictured the conference to be more about this…

and less about this

367 × 224 – salempresbytery.org

If your interested in my theology of debt read my brilliant post about Ruth here!

But here is the long and short of it.

American’s Don’t God to Church (this report notes that “overwhelmingly, they think that religious organizations are too concerned with money and power, too focused on rules and too involved in politics.”)…ok so again an indication our “stewardship” approach should probably be more about sharing what we’ve got rather than raising money for the instituion….

All Americans have to deal with debt (sequester anyone??), ESPECIALLY those Millennial/Nones we (us religious people) are so desperate to connect with….

We pray for, Christ promises and we attest to the forgiveness of debts.

Anyone else notice that Christianity is dropping the ball here?

I vote we find a way to REALLY address debts and the feeling of worthlessness it induces (again read my Ruth post for more on this)

And since I’m one of those in deep debt. I pray we do it soon!

 

Graph from the fascinating article linked above

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