Erasure

Erasure

You can’t erase Queer
It doesn’t matter
How hard You try
With bullying
Hate
Guns
Bonfires
And bookbans

Shaming cultures
And evil gods
Can’t make People “Don’t say gay”

Evidence of “Roommates”
Hermaphrodites
Two Spirits (don’t appropriate)
Third genders
And Trans*
People
Go back
to the beginning
Of time

And Don’t
Get me started
On the Bible
With the Poly Trinity
David & Jonathan
Joseph’s Rainbow/Lady’s Coat
God’s pronouns
Revealed in flames
Ruth and Naomi
Song of Songs
The Eunuch
The Bible is Queer

You can’t erase
LGBTQIA
It Only
Gets clarified
As time Goes on
So YES
You have
To learn
New terms
#NotSorry

Yes we will
Have

#TransDayOfRemembrance

No we will
Not shut up
Personhood
Is on the line

You can’t erase
People

It hasn’t worked
Yet
And it never
Will

I promise you
I will keep
Remembering
And Naming
And Believing
And Listening

And History shows me
I am not alone
QUEER are Beautifully
And Fiercely made
In the image
Of God

No one will
Ever erase
That

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

Charlottesville, A Prayer

Here’s a prayer for Charlottesville
Where the gunshots echo across
a million schools in the United States

A Prayer for Charlottesville
For the Black People
who tiptoe lightly across the land


While White Boys bluster loudly
with their guns and tiki torches, because they know who has rights
and who doesn’t, as they high five the police along the way

Here’s a prayer for Charlottesville
Where Heather Heyer was brutally run over
with a car filled with malice and fossil fuel

And now
Where football players, mere children, Black, Young and Gift
Have their lives too lost

Because America cannot
will not
in its obsession with power, colonialism and capitalism
is sinfully unable disarm itself

We are a death cult

Here’s a prayer for our children
brutalized by “Shooter drills”

I remember when I had thought that Columbine was a
historical rarity–Back in the day when I was in high school

I turn forty this year

I remember 9/11 when we cried no more
And gave blood and ate together

And then prayed to God and immediately brutalized
our black and brown neighbors
And bought bombs and guns

Here’s a prayer for America
obsessed with “Safety”
instead of loving our neighbors

Is love safe?

Here’s a prayer for love
Beautiful and fierce
May it renew us in ways we do not expect

Away from cars
and guns
and violence

May we let people rage
and cry
and lament
as needed


And then may we turn our words
Into actions
And to do what needs to get done

We Pray

Amen.

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

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

Prayer for Peace

Life Giving God
Erase all the things
That Rob us of life
Open the ears
Of those who can’t hear
Break apart the bad policies
And politics


Breath Giving God
You know how to
Get us to become a culture
Of seed planting
Instead of death dealers

Help us to slough off
All the skins
That we think
“Protect” is
Lay us bare before you
So that can finally heal
And find peace

Please
God of Respite
Melt our hearts
And resurrect us
Into tranquility
We pray
Amen

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

Mara: A Bitter Prayer

Call me Mara Today, God
Because I am bitter,
and the back of my throat aches
from too much crying,
as the grief hits me again, and again

And the place I call home
is a nation that likes to “protects” the unborn,
but locks up immigrants & Black and Brown kids, cannot feed thousands of children,
Corners the the market on formula and then doesn’t regulate it properly,
stops the payments for vulnerable families, destroys queer families,
and totally reopens the nation before any babies can receive vaccinations.

Call me Mara, God, Embittered
that people want “young families” don’t come to church
in a culture where parents, especially mothers, are expected to do every single thing on their own, and are judged for every imperfection.

Call me Mara, God,
For I am broken;
When there is a market for bulletproof backpacks,
when the news is about the latest, and which of the massive shootings–
where domestic violence and white supremacy is acceptable
to the degree that no warning signals are put out for terrorism
and armoring up, Lord God Almighty, Seems to be the only way us humans seem to be able to respond to any kind of violence.

Call me Mara, God.
Because despite voting, and letters, and marching and the sobs of countless families…

not

one

thing

has changed.

Call
us Mara
God.

Because, these too are our Children
And tomorrow, my throat will still be sore from crying
and I will still taste the bitterness of tears–that’s what home tastes like now.

I bet you want to be called Mara too, God.
Because they are your children too!

Selah! Mara, Selah!

Amen.

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

#rejectedsermontitles Really Your Thoughts and #Prayers? That’s all you got?

Prayers are so much more than a comforting platitude

Context:

At the beginning of the week, and saw that the passage was about prayer. Thank God, because no matter what happens this week, I know that it will apply.

Then the African-American caretaker of an autistic man was shot……

I am the mother of an autistic child. Right now he is small and cute. When he flaps his hands giving “exclamatory hands” to excitement or frustration, its not very threatening, and if he does throw a tantrum he is still small enough that I can pick him up in a worse-case-scenario.

As the mother of an autistic child I can say, I don’t care who this police officer was aiming for, this was a terrible action.

So what am I supposed to do, pray?

What can others do for me and my son, pray for us?

Sermon:

Prayer is often used as a comforting action–but that is not its only purpose.

When you pray for someone, you are placing them in God’s hands. You are enacting love. You are opening yourself to be in relationship with them.

Whenever there is a harsh disagreement in the church congregation, session (board of leaders) or the Presbytery (our higher governing board). I will be the first to raise my hand and call for prayer.

And I’ll tell you what it is difficult to immediately stop and pray, the temptation is to continue arguing, the temptation is to prove that I am right, and that you should be listening to me!

This is exactly when prayer is needed, though, because you are trying to focus on God, to change your own individual perspective. Prayer is an act of Holy Imagination, where the world is viewed as the beginning of what God wants for us. God’s priorities and love are given voice and precedent over our own perspective. True prayer, opens oneself to actively love others, and that love is changing. That action is one in which we practice persistence to build a practice and discipline of prayer.

Time after time the most effective antidote to bigotry and prejudice is not education or knowledge. Its not about who is on the “right side of history.” Its having a relationship with someone who is different than you. Its knowing and loving a queer person or a person of color or one who is trans, female in leadership, or living in poverty.

Love is dangerous, because love changes your perspective.

Praying for someone is looking at them and loving them. Praying for another person an act of loving God, one where you recognize the other person as a child of God.

Just as Jesus looked at Martha, and then loved her, and then spoke to her last week.

So too are we called to love each other. Prayer is a discipline by which you practice seeing the world as God wants it to be, so we are more equipped and enabled to bring that world into being. Praying for one another is loving them through all the joys and hardships and struggling to find community with them, especially when we disagree.

Prayers are so much more than a comforting platitude, prayer is one of many disciplines by which we are able to get things done.

Lord teach us to pray….