A Disappointed Prayer

It happened again God,

A person I admired,

let hate and errors spew from their mouth

accusing other of not being humans

refusing to understand.

I know what you mean when you

say their ears were closed

and their hearts were hardened.

And it hurts, God, when the chinks in the armor

turn out to be pieces of hatred,

Screw TERFism

–and White Fragility

And Sexism

And Heternormativity

And Colonialism

And Exceptionalism

And Ableism–

when people who you hoped could imagine worlds

Of openness, people who helped you to see a better kingdom of God,

turned out to be as human as everyone else.

I guess we all need Jesus in the end–but it’s timeslike these

I really need the Holy Spirit,

to come down and protect my marginalized beloved ones–transgendered, black and brown, poor and disabled.

It’s times like these I need the Holy Spirit to come down and inspire and comfort me,

because I really don’t know what to do with the pieces of my heart when they lie shattered by the people who I trusted to care for it.

And of course, still, always, none of us are Jesus

I guess this is why the Kin-dom God can never, ever

ever

be the vision of one person

No one person is ever going to get all the pieces–

help us to keep imagining it,

together,

encourage us,

especially in times like this we pray.

Amen.

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

Pandemic Prayers & Resources

If you find these resources useful please consider contributing to my Doctorate in Ministry in Creative Writing! 

Enough for Grace

Holy Spirit, as I live and breathe I consider my requirements and hold them up against your grace.

How is it I am enough for you? On the one hand I am never enough. I have this drive to achieve and perfect. But though this drive is a part of being human, I know this is by no means your requirement.

For who is perfect but you, God?

Sometimes, when I imagine heaven, I know I get it all wrong. Picturing it like a Hall of Fame of acheivements or a place of perfection.

When, instead, you promise it to be the feast where everyone gets fed, and no one is too late to join.

Instead, you promise it to be a place where participation is valued, not perfection.

What a balm, to remember that you want each of us to participate.

There is no such thing as perfect communion. If you required perfection for communion, it would unravel–becoming a practice of the singular being a Christ.

Instead, you invite us to come, in all of our messy, fumbling, clumsy ways of love. Instead you encourage any and all to participate in whatever way we can. Jesus stands at the table with open arms, tearing the bread apart with his own hands, his eyes twinkling.

And then, God you make communion: miraculously happen, by being present!

You are there when the lips of the ill or frail touch the elements. You are there when the cup of grace is overfilled and drips and spills over. You cross the great expanses of screens and bring us into communion with one another and you even over the internet. The miracle of your promised presence each and every time we practice communion is perfection itself.

Communion is perfect.

And we are it’s participants, not its perfecters.

Lord, help us to remember you value true and honest participation over any attempt at perfection. You are perfect so we don’t have to be. You created communion so we can be a part of perfection, a part of you, together.

Only you, O God, would see perfection as something to partake in, rather than something to strive for.

In this way communion is truly a foretaste of the kingdom meal. And for that I give you thanks and praise.

Amen.

This Prayer can be used/adapted with credit to Pastor Katy Stenta 

More Mundane Prayers: for surviving the Day to Day

Here is the Link for Pandemic Prayers and Resources: Top Posts are “In an Abundance of Caution” “The Lord is My Shepherd: What kind of Sheep are You” and “Masks: A Prayer”

Seeds NL: Parables of Mark

Parables of Mark

Mark 4:1-34

Psalm 126

File:The Sower - My Dream.jpg

Image found here

Call to Worship

Lord give us the ears to hear and the eyes to see

 

Let our light shine!

Teach us the truth of your parables

Come let us learn about the Lord

Call to Worship

Plant the seed in our hearts

Let us tend it and let it grow

May our church be like the tree of heaven, with room for all

Come let spend some time at home with God

Call to Worship

The Lord has done great things for us

Let us rejoice

May those who sow in tears, reap with shouts of joy

Come, let us shout to the Lord, for he does great things. 

Prayer of Confession: God, we know we have trouble letting everyone into the nest. We claim there is not enough room, or resources, or we discriminate against the odd ducks who look or act different than us. Remind us that the kingdom of heaven is like a tree of bounty with enough food and room for all, and teach us to be more open, accepting and to share more we pray.
Prayer of Confession: I confess that my tears do not feel like they are watering anything today. I have forgotten what seeds I have planted, and have lost hope that they will grow. You know what work has been done, you know that the tending counts, help the good things grow into harvest I pray.

Assurance of Pardon: God promises that we will come home with shouts of joy, carrying a harvest of grace, Know the good news: In Jesus Christ we are forgiven. Amen.

Eucharist Prayer: God, you planted the very first seeds with Adam and Eve and continue to tend the gardens of the earth. On the day of Jesus’ resurrection, the first thing he did was to kneel in the dirt, and be mistaken for a gardener, because he is the gardener. May this meal together plan the seeds of grace in our souls to be tended and grown. Send your Holy Spirit on these elements to nourish us and our community we pray. Amen.

Prayer of Dedication/Prayer of the Day: Lord let us tend what needs to be tending. Help us to root out the weeds, and water and nourish all that is good in the world, help us to grow we pray. Amen.

Hymns: To God Be the Glory; Seek Ye First the Kingdom of God; Somebody’s Knocking At Your Door; Immortal, Invisible, God Only Wise;

With Children: Treasure Hunt: explain that finding the meaning of parables is like a treasure hunt; plant seeds/mustard seeds; cut out and glue lots of kinds of birds on a big tree/nest;

Image may contain: one or more people, possible text that says 'Be a lamp, a lifeboat, a ladder. Help someone's soul heal. Walk out of your house like a shepherd. RUMI ILAIDA TUMBLA COM'

Other Weeks of Seeds of Prayer Narrative Lectionary Resources available here

Seeds: NL ideas 10/28

 

1 Kings 3:4-9

Matt 6:9-10

Additional Scripture

Psalm 5

Ecclesiastes 7

Meditative Thought: What is the wisdom of the Saints?

Call to Worship

Lord let us approach you with wisdom

Let us approach you with hope

Let us approach you with love

Come let us approach the Lord

Prayer of Confession Holy God, we confess that we do not always approach you with wisdom. Sometimes we are afraid, that we do not know everything, and we feel foolish to approach you. Yet, you are always inviting, all people of differing ages, faiths, intelligences and abilities. You promise that all can be used to glorify you. Though we may be aware of our limitations, open our eyes to the possibilities we pray. 

 

Assurance of Pardon

God wisely sent his only son to teach us, but also to love us. Remember the truth. In Jesus Christ, we are forgiven.

Additional Prayer

Call to Worship (from Psalm 5)

                                     

Give ear to our words, O Lord;
Give heed to our sighing.
Listen to the sound of our cry, O Lord;
We pray to you, our God and our King.

You hear our voice in the morning.
At sunrise we offer our prayer.
O God, we wait for your answer.

*Hymn # 80   I Greet Thee Who My True Redeemer 

*Call to Confession  

*Prayer of Confession (adapted from prayer by Brenda Kuyper)

One: Our Father in who art in heaven, hallowed be your name.

Many:  Forgive us when we act in ways that shame your name;                                                                                                                     empower us to honor and praise you by all we think, say, and do.

One: Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.

Many: Forgive us when we are so caught up in our own lives                                                                                                                               that we fail to share your love and grace with the world around us.                                                   

One: Give us this day our daily bread.

Many: Forgive us when we trust too much in the things and people

you have given us, forgetting they come from you.

One: Forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.

Many: Forgive us when we harden our hearts toward those who have hurt us,                                                                                        forgetting that, time and again, you forgive us when we have hurt you.

One: Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil.

Many: Show us the ways we hurt you and the work of the Kingdom.                                                                                                     Embolden us to stand firm against temptation..

One: For thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever.

Many:  Make us your people, serving your kingdom.

ALL: IN CHRIST’S NAME WE PRAY, AMEN.  

*Assurance of Forgiveness                                                                                                                                                                                            

    One: Christ Jesus came that we might know forgiveness and be renewed,                                                                                                     

    becoming more and more like him. 

    ALL: THANKS BE TO GOD FOR THE GOOD NEWS:  IN JESUS CHRIST,

    WE ARE FORGIVEN.

Hebrew Scripture Lesson:    2 Chronicles 6:18-21

Special Music: Make My Life A Prayer to You           Len & Barb Hedges-Goettl

Gospel Scripture Lesson:   Matthew 6:5-13                    

Epistle Scripture Lesson:   Romans 8:26-27  

                                                           

*Hymn #350  Open My Eyes, That I May See                   

Teach Us to Pray Rev. Dr. Len Hedges-Goettl

*Hymn #435   What a Friend We Have in Jesus            

Prayer of Confession adapted from https://www.reformedworship.org/article/june-2013/lord%E2%80%99s-prayer. Cover image from https://www.puttingonthenew.com/2014/04/01/make-my-life-a-prayer-to-you/

Rev. Dr. Len Hedges-Goettl (GATE-L) is an ordained PC(USA) pastor who became a clinical psychologist after discovering he needed more training to continue and deepen his pastoral work with survivors of abuse. Len (and his wife Barb) returned to the East Coast several years ago to be nearer to their grown children, most of whom settled on the East Coast after living in Jenkintown for ten years as kids. Katy, a pastor in Albany, NY, and her librarian husband Anthony have three boys ages 10, 8 and 6. Bob, an Information Tech guy who lives in Philly, will be married to Brenna next year. Social worker Izzy lives with lawyer husband James in NYC. Their youngest daughter Noelle, a theater person, inexplicably lives in Chicago. 

Possible Lord’s Prayer hymns

Presbyterian Hymnal: 

347: Forgive Our Sins as We Forgive

349: Let All Who Pray the Prayer Christ Taught

358: Help Us Accept Each Other

God’s will

#86 (refrain) When We Are Tempted to Deny Your Son

#178 (verse 1) Lord, to You My Soul  Is Lifted 

#287 (verse 1) God Folds the Mountains Out of Rock

#316 (verse 2) Breathe on Me, Breath of God

#324 (refrain) Open My Eyes That I May See

#387 (verse 3) Savior, Like a Shepherd Lead Us

#391 (verse 5) Take My Life

#409 (verse 1) Wild and Lone the Prophet’s Voice

#553 (verse 2) For the Fruit of All Creation

Hymns for the Living Church (1974)

#370 Teach Me Thy Will, O Lord

#516 Father Eternal, Ruler of Creation

Paraphrase(ish)

#203 (verse 2) God of Mercy, God of Grace 

Lord’s Prayer as service music: 

#571 (John Weaver 1988)

#589 (West Indian Folk Melody transcribed by Olive Pattison) 

#590 (Vater Unser/Schumann’s Gestliche Lieder, harmonized by Bach; Vers. Henry J. deJong, 1982)

Silly Humans… (or Do you Have a Flag?)

Eddie Izzard explains how we like to lay claim on things, instead of say, naming things (which I think is our Biblical Calling), we take them over and call them as our own. Or worse, say that God prefers us to own this instead of someone else..

How do we do this? with flags of course

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UTduy7Qkvk8

Or in church’s its with keys. The number of conversations, wranglings, making, processing, changing of and trying to account for  keys is amazing. 

Keys to the Kingdom, right? That is what its really about!

But, to me, the doors to church should be wide open..

I guess I should come out…I am anti-key

I know there are safety concerns and I understand why congregants (esp. older ladies) don’t want to be alone in an unlocked building in the middle of town..

But, I don’t know how we can build trust if we don’t practice it…how can we make people responsible for God’s Kingdom if we can’t hand them responsibilities? How can we work together better?

We give each other space–both figuratively and literally, to make mistakes. 

Tearing Down Walls

Some may call this idealistic, I call it practical faith…

I don’t know how we are going to unlock all the doors we put between each other….but Itrust that God will show us the way!

PS watch the link 🙂

Lady Jabberwocky

Write with Heart

A Pastor's Heart

Thoughts on Life and Faith

10:00 am Worship @NCPC

Won't You Be Our Neighbor

Martha Spong

Clergy Coach

r e F o c u s

a ministry for transition

Church Set Free

Love is the answer - now what's your question?

Living Contemplatively

Shalem Institute for Spiritual Formation

PNEUMYTHOLOGY

ROBERT LAMBERT JONES III

A Spirit Filled Life

Seeing the Sacred in the Everyday

Improvisations

thinking outloud online

G-Free Rev

Knittin' and Preachin'

Infinite Windows

Meditations on faith and art

Mom Meets Blog

Managing motherhood, midlife and a blog

This Everyday Holy

Ordinary Living in the Lectionary