Broken, A Prayer

Dear God

I know

Every time a denomination

Breaks over justice issues:

Like slavery, racism,

women in ministry, abortion rights,

And the personhood of LGBTQIA siblings

That you are crying big tears—

Tears that say

“Jerusalem O Jerusalem

I long to snuggle you under my wings—

Unified and beloved—

And peck to death any who threaten you”

Just kidding Jesus I added that last part,

Based on what mother hens actually do.

But I also think God,

As violent words, weapons, wars and rhetoric

Batters our souls—because after all bad theology kills

You crucified Christ know that better than anyone.

—I think about how you took bread

Among your beloved

You took bread

Blessed it

Broke it

And said “This is my Body Broken—

Broken for you”

Jesus, today your Body feels broken;

Again.

Bless it we pray

Bless this Broken Bread

Bless our crumbs

Teach us Belovedness

And

How to be a resurrection people

In the midst of brokenness

Scarred and real

So we can say together

We are Christ’s Body

Teach us this

we pray.

Amen.

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

God of Pronouns, A Prayer

O God of Pronouns,

We give Praise to the Great One

the one who is identifiable as God

“I am, what I am” you say!

The great They!

The Incarnate He and She–

the God of Trans-Being!

Impregnating Mary,

Fathering God,

Breastfeeding God of Many Mounds/Breasts*

God of Mountains and Might!

You shatter all stereotypes!

Making every single person, male and female, in your image.

Exactly in your image!

male-and-female, intersex, nonbinary,

Spectrum, rainbow God who put your promise for nonviolence

in the symbol for queer love,

before humanity knew

because you knew

who had Joseph, who could not sleep with a woman

in a beautiful lady’s cloak, perhaps of rainbow colors,

before we knew,

you knew.

God of pronouns, who said ,you can call me

he or she or they; whatever makes you feel closest to me.

Invisible and Visible God: on this day where visibility is not enough

where celebration, belovedness, affirmation and acceptance is the bare minimum

Remind us that you are the God of Pronouns,

so of course you affirm and celebrate them.

God of Saul/Paul, Jacob/Isaac, Mara/Naomi, Abram and Sarai and Abraham and Sarah–

God of Joseph of the Coat of Many Colors, of the Ethiopian Eunuch of the Virgin Mary,

God of all the found families in the Bible.

Remind us that you affirm us in our full identity: Name, Pronoun, Found Family, All of it.

And for this we give you thanks and praise, to the great I am, the great They/Them.

Thank you God!

Amen.

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

*In Hebrew the word we often translate as Almighty means God of many mounds which can mean the God of many mountains (places to worship) or the God of many breasts (places to get nourishment)

Affirming Prayer

I want to pray for you and affirm

As the ashes have just been smudged

On your forehead

And we feel a little fragile these days

With war, and pandemic and climate change

And racism

And transphobia and homophobia

And all the Ableism

And all the hate—

So much hate that it’s bitter on our tongues

And it polluted the air we breathe

And we can feel it—

trying to X us out of existence

Because hate hurts all of us;

Even as it tricks the hater into feeling powerful.

But anyway I’m praying that you..

Yes you, know that you

Are created in the image of God

Exactly as you are.

With all of your so called flaw

And imperfections

And differences,

Remember that our God is

Manifold, and that they

Love multiplicity and variety

And invented rainbows

And galaxies

And microbes we can’t even see—

So trust me, and be affirmed

Even in, especially in your fragility

That you are known, created and beloved

By God, exactly as your are

And take their blessings I’m your heart I pray.

Amen.

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

God of Trans 🏳️‍⚧️ Kids

Because Trans Lives are Sacred

God of Trans 🏳️‍⚧️ Kids
Change every politicians mind
For I do not understand their hearts of stone

I still do not understand the state sanctioned and sponsored violence that takes children

From first Disabled kids, Then Native American families, then Black and Brown families,

And now Trans Kids from their families

But Jesus descendant of and Rahab,

Prophet chased out of Egypt like Moses, Child of the lineage of Jesse like Esther.

You know & You know, how important family is..Both blood family and found family.

Lord God you know that government cannot define your name or your family and when you are asked these things so often you reply:

What do you say?

Because you know the truth, and God knows the truth of your identity and no one can take that away from you.

But that doesn’t mean that the jeers and stones do not hurt

when they are thrown at you—”Let those without sin throw the first stone.”

Lord I’m a little bit lost at what to pray for right now (bc I’m so ANGRY) except to pray for my trans brothers & sisters and non-binary siblings

Because you God are trans! Making male and female, all of the varieties in between, each in your image. And proclaiming each and every individual GOOD! exactly as they are.

Protect those who are trans* and gender no conforming, help their families and defeat our enemies as only you can I pray. Amen.

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

Being Open to Interpretation, #faith

Faith is opening oneself up to interpretation. Laying your whole being and existence of the line in order to interpret

the who of oneself

the why of existence

the where to now of being

These interpretations are done, usually, using a text, speaking from the Presbyterian perspective that text is the Bible, followed by the Confessions of faith and the Book of Order (our rules/discipline/consistituational documents)

But opening ourselves up to interpretation means being open to the interpretations varying, and interpretations themselves to change, because GOD is not a static being.

Consistent and faithful–God can be counted on.

Generally most people think God does not change, altho this does little for the times in scripture when God changes God’s mind (go figure).

But I say, if God can change God’s mind so can we.

If God is not static, neither should our faith.

If something is not growing, its not alive, we want a lively faith, we need to be growing in our interpretation and our understanding.

I have learned so much, by listening closely to all those people whose faith is especially different than mine. To my one best friend who never was churched but has a strong sense of God and Jesus. To my other best friend who was raised more Pagan than anything else and has a strong sense of the Greek & Roman Mythos of the world.

To my siblings all of whom are millennials, none of whom attend church regularly.

To all the fellow-clergy on twitter & Facebook who are feeling our way through social justice issues and the state of the world.

To my LGBTQUIA community who can interpret scripture in ways that are beyond my ken as a hegemonic individual.

To my brown sibs and and black sibs who are empowered, loving and honest in ways that need to be heard.

Here I am, open to interpretation, and my faith informs that, and the scriptures equally are being interpreted and re-interpreted.

And I read the Bible, and that is Canon, but I read the other texts too, Langston Hughes and Madeline L’engle, Martin Luther King Jr., Malcolm X, Malala Yousafzai, Elias Chacour, and so much more.

If you are asking a questions of faith, be sure to be open to interpretation, hard as it is.

For you know, that’s the kind of faith that will change you.