“This Here Flesh” Sermon Series

Under Construction: Draft Version Complete, All errors are my own. For a WORD version of this document (for formatting ease, email me at Katyandtheword at gmail subject line: This Here Flesh) —Topical prayers may be added

This Summer Series is deeply indebted to the Work of Cole Arthur Riley whose liturgy I have been following for many years. Her book “This Here Flesh” discusses embodied liturgy as a life practice through writing, wondering and breathing in and out who God is in your life and I highly recommend buying or borrowing or listening to the book as soon as possible.

Introduction (Can be used as Letter or Foundation for One)

If you use this series you must credit Cole Arthur Riley’s authorship and Book, as it is foundational for all of the work you see here. Please credit Cole Arthur Riley “This Here Flesh” and Pastor Katy Stenta for liturgy. Additionally, if you want to support her patreon which can be done from as little as $5 a month, that link is available here.

Week 1: Body (Ch 5) & Dignity (Ch. 1) Notes

Topical Prayer: Embodied


Genesis 1: 27-28 God creates humans
Hebrews 2:5-9, 14 Humans little less than angels
Mark 6: 34-44 Feeding 5,000

Call to Worship (breath prayer)
I am embodied. (breathe in)
I am created by God. (breathe out)

Invitation to Confession; Come let us present our full selves to God.

Prayer of Confession: I confess God that some days Jesus Christ’s very humanity escapes me. I do not picture him with scraped knees or grubby nose. I do not see him tripping and falling on his face in front of his disciples. Sometimes I want just a radiant, perfect Messiah. And yet, you sent us a Christ who affirmed our dignity. Jesus got to know us, teaching us, healing our bodies, eating with us and feeding us in oh so many ways. Help us to affirm our own humanity and dignity we pray. (Silent Confession) Amen

Affirmation of Forgiveness: As we live and breathe, the Holy Spirit is present and forgives, know the Good News: In Jesus Christ we are forgiven.

Prayer of the Day/Dedication (adapted from Cole Arthur Riley p. 14): God though some say that do be emotional is to be weak. Who says weakness can’t be beautiful? Let us Go in dignity to lie down and feel. I have nothing to prove. and to know that weakness is still embodied dignity. Amen.

Creative Idea; Take a Moment to Notice Your Body, Do you feel Embodied?

Week 2: Place (Ch 2) & Belonging (Ch 6) Notes
Genesis 28:1-5 Jacob promised a home
Matthew 13:31-32 Kingdom of Heaven a Nest
John 14:1-4 Kingdom of Heaven a House Big Enough
Luke 19:1-10 Jesus Makes a Place of Belonging at Zeccheus’s House

Topical Prayer: Belonging

Call to Worship* (Breath Prayer from Cole Arthur Riley’s @blackliturgies )
I am trying (breathe in)
I am here (breathe out)

Invitation to Confession: Come let us confess ourselves to God.

Prayer of Confession: Jesus, we confess that although you say that there is enough room, and you will be there and that we know the way to our Father’s House—we don’t believe it. It all seems just too big a metaphor to be true. Like the disciples we are full of questions. How exactly will it work? We feel like Jacob, like we have to trick our way into the blessing, or like the blessing itself is a trick. Help us when we feel like we are not worthy or like we do not belong. Fill us with love we pray. (Silent Confession) Amen.

Prayer of Confession: God we confess that we do not want everyone to belong. We grumble, like those who did not like Zeccheus. We would rather judge. Or perhaps we are just shy. Make us a place of radical invitation and hospitality and love we pray. Teach us how to be a place of belonging, just like your kingdom is bound to be. (Silent Confession) Amen.

Assurance of Pardon: God is love, we belong, so we know the truth: In Jesus Christ we are forgiven. Amen.

Prayer of the Day/Dedication: Let us go forth proclaiming the Good News is making a home and God wants to invite everyone, let us go into the world confident that we can share God’s love to others. Amen.

Creative Moment: Draw/Write Your Place, the Place you belong, feel the most at home, if you don’t have one, can you imagine such a place? If you can’t, its ok to sit with that discomfort

Week 3: Wonder Ch 3 & Calling Ch 4 Notes
Matthew 5: Beatitudes
Matthew 18:1-5: Kingdom of Heaven Enter as a Child
1 Samuel 3: Calling of Samuel
1 Timothy 4:11-16: Youth and Devotion
Psalm 19: World Proclaims God’s Wonder

Call to Worship (Breath prayer)
God, you are Wondrous (breathe in)
God, I am your child (breathe out)

Call to Confession: Come, let us be ourselves with God.

Prayer of Confession: God, we confess that we forget. We forget that we are fiercely and wondrously made. We forget that uniquely gifted. We confess that we hide in our busyness or our expertise or our perfection and forget to just be. Help us to be what we are called to be. Beautiful children of God. Beloved and Called exactly as we are. (Silent Confession) Amen

Assurance of Pardon: Christ heals all wounds. Come let us comfort ourselves with the good news: In Jesus Christ we are forgiven.

Prayer of the Day/Dedication: God, let us give permission to stand in wonder with you. Let us notice something beautiful today we pray. Amen.

Creative Moment* (from the book): Find 5 minutes today to do nothing and wonder about things. Preferably outside. Pick a flower or a cloud or a blade of grass or a favorite piece of music or doodle. You don’t have to focus on it the whole time, use it as a muse or inspiration instead of a focal point.

Week 4: Fear

Week 4: Fear Ch. 7 Notes
Psalm 23:1-4a: Shadow of Death
Psalm 91  El Shaddei (rest on El Shaddei v. 1) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/El_Shaddai Mountains can mean places to worship and breasts can mean abundance of food so God of Many Mounds is a really rich image of God here. 
Psalm 22: My God, My God Why Have You Forsaken Me
Proverbs 9:10: Fear of God is the beginning of Wisdom
Deuteronomy 10:12-22: Fear the Lord, Love God, Love the Foreigner

Call to Worship (Breath prayer)
God, I am afraid (breathe in) 
But, You are still God (breathe out)

Invitation to Confession: It is time to open our fears to God.

Prayer of Confession: God we confess that we do not want to show fear. Fear means weakness or vulnerability. It means that we admit that we are flawed, mortal and will someday die. It is admitting that we are not God, and only you are. But is it not safe to show fear to you God? Perhaps this is what the phrase “fear of God” means. It means you are my safe sanctuary. Show me that sanctuary space, especially, when we cannot find that space in other places, I pray. (Silent Confession). Amen.

Assurance of Pardon: God knows us, God loves us, God forgives us. Let us assure one another of this truth: In Jesus Christ we are forgiven. Amen. 

Prayer of the Day/Dedication: God you say fear not, time implication being, because you are with us. Hold our hand, because we are afraid. But hold our hand, so we might walk into the word anyway we pray. Amen. 

Prayer of the Day/Dedication*: God, Protect the part of you that still winces at pain. Refuse to become too familiar with the tragedy. Our souls were made to stir. Stir us, Spirit. Amen.

Creative Moment: What are you the most afraid of? Can you call someone you trust about that fear? Can you take that fear to God? Can you even just take the first step of admitting that fear to yourself? Can you whisper it to yourself in the sunlight? Why is it so hard to confess a fear do you think?

Week 5: Rest Ch 12 Notes
Psalm 23:4b-6: Make me Rest
Psalm 121: I Lift My Eyes to the Hills
Acts 9:36-42: Dorcas/Tabitha Resurrected Did She want to Get Up?
Luke 8: 22-25: Jesus quiets the storm
Genesis 2:1-3: God’s first act with humankind is rest

Call to Worship (Breath Prayer)
God be with me (Breathe in)
God give me sabbath (Breathe out)

Call to Worship* (Breath Prayer)
We’ve done enough. (breathe in)
There is room for our rest. (breathe out)

Call to Confession: Come let us lay our confessions at the feet of Jesus.

Confession: God, we confess that we do not rest easily with you. We feel lazy or lonely. Sometimes we feel like rest is a waste of time, or like our bodies are not worth it, or like we can rest, but maybe not with you God. And we confess, that though your yoke is supposed to be easy Jesus, sometimes we manufacture reasons to make it hard. Help us God. Be the Lord of Sabbath to us Jesus. Refresh Holy Spirit. (Silent Confession). Amen.

Assurance of Pardon: We do not have to earn forgiveness, it is given as soon as we ask, so let us rejoice as we give one another the good news: In Jesus Christ we are forgiven. Amen.

Prayer of the day/Dedication. Jesus says come to me all those who are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. May we always find our rest in Jesus Christ. Amen.

Creative Moment: Find 15 extra Minutes to Rest this Week. Rest can mean being still, reading a book, taking a walk. Try to figure out what rest means for you (Its ok if that is tricky).

Week 6: Rage Ch 9 Notes
Mark 11:12-17 Cursing of Fig Tree & Flipping Tables
Psalm 13 How Long O Lord
Matthew 16: 21-23 Get Behind Me Satan
Psalm 8, Psalm 58: Break the Teeth of the Wicked, Imprecatory Prayer
Luke 1: 46-55 Magnificat

Call to Worship* (Breath Prayer)
How long. God? (breathe in)
I’m tired of hoping (breathe out)

Invitation to Confession: Confess, Rage, God can take your anger

Prayer of Confession: God I am angry. I confess that I cannot even comprehend all the injustice at the world, and yet it makes me want to throw things and scream and shake my fist. It makes me wonder. Why do we not go around and curse fig trees. Why does the church not celebrate flipping tables Sunday? I am so angry, sometimes that it wearies me, What should I do with this anger God? Help me to know please. (Silent Confession) Amen. 

Assurance of Pardon: Christ is for us, Nothing can separate us from the love of Christ, Know the truth of God’s love: In Jesus Christ we are forgiven

Prayer of the Day/Dedication: Jesus Christ, we rage and we hope, we hope and we rage. Let us not lose our emotions, but keep our energy and somehow still keep our eye on you we pray. Amen. 

Creative Moment: Let out a Scream in a field, or read this article about it, or Look at Edvard Munch’s Scream Painting or read one of the Psalms above to yourself very dramatically! Call a Senator about something that you want to be changed and angry (but not shouting, be polite to the workers) or write a letter about something that needs to change ASAP: https://www.senate.gov/senators/senators-contact.htm

Week 7: Repair Ch 11 & Joy Ch. 13 Notes
Ezra 3:10-13: Joy and Sorrow of Repair Mixed
John 20:19-31: Disability & Thomas Resources
John 9:1-41: Man Born Blind Prayer Resource Here
Philippians 4:1-9 Joy and Love beyond understanding

Call to Worship* (Breath Prayer)
I make peace with myself (breathe in)
I know who I am (breathe out)

Call to Worship* (Breath Prayer)
God restore my expectations. (Breathe in)
I want more for us than expectations (Breathe out)

Invitation: Join the Holy Spirit, who inspires us to confess today

Prayer of Confession: Holy Spirit, come and inspire us today. Too often we think repair is all about seeing the cracks and the holes. We forget that repair work can be joyful and beautiful and awe-inspiring. Do you find scars beautiful Jesus? We confess that we do not. We confess, we do not even like confession! Be with us, inspire us, laugh with us, repair with us we pray. Amen.

Assurance of Pardon: Jesus says the word, and all is forgiven, and look it is so—let us say the joyful news: In Jesus Christ we are forgiven. 

Prayer of the Day/Dedication: God you give us the task to repair things not out of duty, but joy. Inspire in us that joy that is found in being made in any kind of health, and help us to separate that from perfectionism we pray. Amen.

Creative Moment: Do a Puzzle, Or Make a Collage.

Week 8: Memory Ch 14

Communion Recommended

Luke 24: 13-35 Story of Emmaus
Genesis 16:7-13 https://bible.oremus.org/?ql=522385526Hagar the God who Sees
1 Samuel 7:7-12: Samuel Erects Stones of help
Deuteronomy 6:4-9 Teach and Write so you remember

“It is queer and beautiful that some of us belong to a God who tells us to consume his body and blood in remembrance. What do the body and blood have to do with a memory” p. 67

Call to Worship (Breath Prayer) 
Do this in remembrance of Me (breathe in)
We Let us Re-Member You (breathe out)

Call to Worship (Breath Prayer)
We are Christ’s Body (breathe in)
We are Christ’s Blood (breathe out)

Call to Worship* (Breath Prayer)
This Body is good (breathe in)
I won’t abandon it (breathe out)

Invitation to Confession: Remember, you belong here, so you are allowed to give it all to God, come let us confess together.

Prayer of Confession: God we confess that we view memory making as a right of conquest or a competition, instead of opportunity to hear the stories that bind us together. Forgive us, Remember us to each other instead, we pray. Amen. 

Assurance of Pardon: God has taught us the good news, and continues to teach us how to forgive one another, so it is with joy we are able to practice what only Jesus can do so easily. Let us proclaim it: It Jesus Christ we are forgiven.

Prayer of the Day/Dedication: Let us go into the world remembering God, and listening for where God’s story might already be in the world. Amen. 

Communion Prayer: It is truly right to give our thanks and praise to you God, because you re-member your body for us. Making each one of us a living breathing piece artifact of your kin(g)dom. Breathing us into the embodied earth. Reminding us that Christ was a savior who put sweat equity into teaching, who put his very spit into teaching and indeed healing. Reminding us that We are attach our memories to things because we are an emobodied existence. How much more, does God remind us to take care of ourselves when he says this is my body broken for you, take and nourish yourselves with it. This is my blood spilled for a new covenant of hope and forgiveness, whenever you eat and drink it, you have a remembrance embodied until I come again. So we pray down your promised Holy Spirit onto these simply elements, to bless them, to make them holy and complete a meal as we need for our bodies and souls so that we might taste the kingdom on our tongues and be in communion with you and the saints as we pursue the world we need. Bless these as elements of your work we pray. Amen. 

Creative Moment: Find an important artifact and Spend a moment with it. Or take a moment to find one: a rock, a feather, a leaf, write a letter. Think about what makes an artifact and why. Make an artifact to commit to yourself that you are an embodied beloved of God’s and that you are going to touch it everyday this week to remind yourself of that. Put it in your car or office or bathroom so you remember to do it.

Week 9: Justice Ch. 10 & Liberation ch. 15 (no notes, because you probably should just reread this chapter) Notes

Week 9: Justice Ch. 10 & Liberation Ch 15
Amos 5:23-24 No false ceremonies, Justice 
Habakkuk 1:1-4 Come make justice
Matthew 11:28-30 My Yoke is Light
Exodus 10: 17-21 Justice for the widow and alien
Psalm 103:1-6 justice and freedom
Psalm 145:5-9 Justice 

More Justice passages: https://justiceco.org/resources/gods-heart-of-justice/scriptures-on-justice-mercy-oppression-and-freedom/

Call to Worship (Breath Prayer)
God wants justice (breathe in)
We get free together (breathe out)

Call to Worship (Breath Prayer)
Justice will roll like waters (breathe in)
Righteous like an everflowing stream (breathe out)

Call to Confession: We are being called to Justice, so confess yourself, because we all want to get there, together. 

Prayer of Confession: God we confess that we confuse freedom with justice. We think that it is just that we are free, and do not understand that true liberation will only come with complete justice for all of our siblings. Open our hearts and minds and spirits to hear from those who are on the margins: the poor, the marginalized, the voiceless, the voteless, the different, those who are not of our race, gender, sexuality.  Give us ears to hear, and melt our hearts so that we can all have grace towards one another we pray. And forgive us in the meantime. Amen.

Assurance of Pardon: Hear the good news, Jesus was all about forgiveness, Jesus forgave people from all walks of life, even unto the cross. All they had to do was ask. So we can stand and assure one another, as a community, of the good news; In Jesus Christ we are forgiven. 

Creative Moment: If identify as a White/CisPerson Follow someone on Social Media who is very different from you: a different gender, race or religious belief . Just listen, don’t comment. Digest. Think about what they say–maybe share their thoughts with comments such as “yes” or “Listen to this” or “Something to consider” be a Magnifier like Mary.

If you are Queer or a POC: Have you checked out The Nap Ministry of late or your accountability partner for relaxation (therapist/spouse/best friend)? Have you followed some of Tricia’s amazing advice of recent? Gentle reminder to check in with that if you haven’t. https://thenapministry.wordpress.com or @TheNapMinistry

*Cole Arthur Riley’s Writing, Instagram Account here

If you would like to support Cole Arthur Riley she has a venmo account available here her venmo is @colenae–she has a patreon available for only $5/$10/etc a month here. You can give one time for a year for $54! If you would like to support my writing I am funding my way through a Phd in Creative Writing in Theology here, but encourage you to support Cole Arthur Riley with venmo, book orders, etc. 1st.

If you want a word doc version of everything for easier formatting (ie copy and paste) please email me at Katyandtheword at gmail and I will send it to just title the email “This Here Flesh” you can do it before the series is finished and I will save it to send to you upon completion. Obviously you are free to use part/all of the series to fit your context; I hope I am keeping in the integrity of Cole’s work.

Bibliography

Cole Arthur Riley, This Here Flesh: Spirituality, Liberation, and the Stories That Make Us (New York: Convergent, 2022)

Available For Purchase Here

*Denotes Prayers directly written by Cole Arthur Riley from her Instagram site here

Prayers for Acts 6: Stoning of Stephen

Acts 6:1-7:2, 44-60

Suggest Pairing Isaiah 66:1-2, 22-23

Call to Worship (based on Isaiah 66:13-14, ) 

God promises, asa  mother comforts her child, so I will comfort you

We shall see, and our hearts shall rejoice. 

Come let us pray for the Lord, for God is Good. 

Come let all flesh give God Thanks and Praise. 

Prayer of Confession: God, we confess that we find comfort in tradition. We have struggled throughout this year as so many things have had to change. Walk with us this spring and we try to understand what it is we need to keep, and what it is we can leave behind. Help us to choose, always and forever, the ways that lead us closer to your kingdom. In Christ’s name we pray. Amen 

Assurance of Pardon: God’s promises to remake heaven and earth in God’s forgiveness. Let us share the good news with one another: In Jesus Christ we are forgiven.

Prayer of Dedication: (unison) Lord, let us go forth giving thanks for all that is good. Place praise for you on our lips and on our tongues, that others might see and know and understand your love. In Christ’s name we pray. Amen.

Hymns: Morning Has Broken, Jesu Jesus Fill Us with Your Love, Called as Partners to Christ’s Service, Great is Thy Faithfulness, Amazing Grace,

Narrative Lectionary Lent: Luke

Finding the Way to Jerusalem; or Getting Lost

During this journey to Jerusalem, Jesus practices the grace that is found within his death and resurrection, twice. First he is rejected by Samaria, the shorter way to Jerusalem (Lent 1) and then he reclaims them as his neighbor (Lent 2), he reclaims them even as he journeys onward. Then we get los (and found), die and see ghost, and then, finally are reclaimed and found with Zaccheus. Journeying to Jerusalem is an exercise in getting lost, dying and resurrecting together.

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

Lent Kit (most items can be found at home)

Ashes to Ashes: Lent/Ash Weds Prayer

Ash Wednesday: Bulletin Prayers & Hymn/Taize Suggestions, Topical Prayer, Video of Topical Prayer

Lent 1: Bulletin Prayers & Hymn/Taize Suggestions, Topical Prayer, Video of Topical Prayer

Lent 2: Bulletin Prayers & Hymn/Taize Suggestions, Topical Prayer, Video of Topical Prayer

Lent 3: Bulletin Prayers & Hymn/Taize Suggestions, Topical Prayer , Video of Topical Prayer

Lent 4: Bulletin Prayers & Hymn/Taize Suggestions, Topical Prayer, Video of Topical Prayer

Lent 5: Bulletin Prayers & Hymn/Taize Suggestions, Topical Prayer, Video of Topical Prayer

Lent 6: Bulletin Prayers & Hymn/Taize Suggestions, Topical Prayer, Video of Topical Prayer

Mandy Thursday: Bulletin Prayers & Hymn/Taize Suggestions, Topical Prayer, Communion Worship Bulletin juxtaposing Psalm 23, Video of Topical Prayer

Good Friday: Worship Bulletin juxtaposing The Lord’s Prayer

Easter Sunday: Bulletin Prayers & Hymn/Taize Suggestions, Topical Prayer, Video of Topical Prayer

Children Ideas

Lenten Devotional Calendar: Feel free to email for doc version and link for google calendar (Katyandtheword at gmail)

Video Collection of Topical Prayers

Life in Slow Motion: A Lenten Prayer

Additional Holy Week Prayers

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

If you need a doc version of all of this for easier formatting, email me at katyandtheword at gmail with the topic line “Lent” and I will send you a copy

If you appreciate my work and want to support me, please contribute to my Doctorate in Divinity in Creative Writing. I have a stretch goal of $2500 by June. and am more than 80% there! Any Amount is appreciated, and I am so thankful where they have gotten me so far!

Mandy Thursday Prayers

Journeying Together

April 1

Maundy Thursday

Last Supper

Luke 22:1-27: http://bible.oremus.org/?ql=476536091

Psalm 34:8-10: http://bible.oremus.org/?ql=476536110

Call to Worship

God, you call us to love and serve one another

Let us enter into this space as disciples of Christ

Jesus, you are about to break your very self for us

Let us enter into communion with each other and you, we pray. Amen.

Invitation: God calls us each by name to approach, come let us confess ourselves to God.

Prayer of Confession: Jesus, we are aware that you are holy and we confess that we do not always understand how you can be motivated to serve. We confess that we do not know how to love and serve one another. We get caught off guard by the command, and that it is very hard to put into practice. Forgive us, we pray. Help us to recognize the ways in which we and others love and serve one another, so that we might be better equipped to do as you command. We pray in your most Holy Name. Amen. 

Assurance of Pardon: Hear the good news, Jesus will always forgive us. So let us reassure one another: In Jesus Christ we are Forgiven. Amen. 

Communion Prayer: Here we are Jesus, the time and place that you serve your very self up for communion. Bless these elements and this celebration of your death, we pray. Send your Holy Spirit, remind us that you created and love us, and give us what we need to sustain us through Holy Week we pray. Amen. 

Hymns: O for a Closer Walk with God, There’s a Sweet Sweet Spirit, What a Friend We Have in Jesus, 

Taize: I am Sure I shall see the Goodness of the Lord in the Land of the Living

For the Complete List of Narrative Lectionary Lent Resources can be found here including a way to receive a doc copy

For the Complete List of Narrative Lectionary Lent Resources can be found here including a way to receive a doc copy

Seeds of Prayer: Extended Advent Resource Topical Prayers + Video Links for each week

Please Share/Adapt with Credit to Katy Stenta and Please contribute to my Doctorate of Ministry with a Donation  I have PayPal https://paypal.me/KatyStenta?locale.x=en_US Venmo www.venmo.com/Katy-Stenta or Google Pay to Katyandtheword at gmail

About Me: My Story & My Writing

I plan to raise $2,000 this year to offset tuition.

Nov. 22 God Amongst Us

Promises, promises

God you are the God of all promises,

I know you are there when promises are made and promises are broken. 

Sometimes we humans have to break promises to be safe, and sometimes the only safe thing for us to do is to keep our promises. 

But I also know, God that your promises are different—they are impermeable, your promises don’t change depending on the circumstances, because you know what you have signed up for.  

You are the eternal parent, the constant companion, the devoted friend. You do not check out when things are hard, nor do you ever give up on me…even when I give up on me.

Lord, you know that’s what I need a God who won’t give up on me. That’s why you are this way. You are exactly the God we humans need.

Thank you for never giving up. And for accepting me the moments I give up.

Thank you for renewing your promises to us: in every rainbow, in every star, in every grain of sand, in every baptism and in every communion. 

Remind me that there are so many ways to access your promises. 

And help me to think not of all my broken promises, but instead to rely upon your kept promises and covenants, I pray. 

Amen. 

Nov 29th Daniel’s Hope in God

Lions, and Tigers and Bears

Lord, sometimes we are like Dorothy in the woods. Repeating to ourselves all the dangers that are along the way.

Lions, and Tigers and Bears, Oh my. 

When we repeat the things that endanger us: illnesses, natural disasters and loneliness. 

Whatever they may be, please turn them into a prayer for help. 

Send your angels to comfort and defend. 

Help us to bravely face the dangers that are in front of us, like Daniel.

Shut the jaws of any and all who threaten us: dear God, we pray, because evil likes to slither like a snake and tell lies, and they roar their powerful roars to threaten us. 

Remind us that your angels are mighty balls of fire, with a zillion eyes and a million wings, and that they are so scary that even the bravest are told to “fear not” when we see them. 

Send your angels upon us we pray in your most Holy Name. Amen. 

Dec 6th 

Joel: God’s Promised Spirit

Poured Out

Lord God, you know that sometimes I feel completely poured out. 

I have given all I can, and I am “all out of nice.” 

I have trouble motivating myself to do more, and I feel empty, or lonely, or done. 

Is this what happens when you pour yours spirit onto the world? 

When the Holy Spirit comes and sparks visions and dreams, do you feel an emptiness?

It is a wonder how you continually make room for us! Guiding us carefully but never taking over us! 

You are not a clockmaker or video game God who simply sets everything up and leaves the room or grabs the controller turning us into God zombies. 

Instead your lead and you coax. You love and are patient. And when we have trouble hearing, seeing or feeling you—you empty yourself out to us. 

You embody our communion, so that we might taste and see you.

You splash into baptism, sealing your love for us in every droplet of water.

Thank you for pouring yourself out for us. Glory be to your Name. Amen. 

Dec 13

Paging the Holy Spirit 

Spirit of the Living God, 

Kneel, fly, Stoop, Nosedive, or even Fall on me. 

I know this is not a new prayer. But I need your Holy Spirit to come. 

I’m hungering for your Spirit, 

Bind the Broken hearted

Proclaim Liberty

Comfort Those who Mourn

Plant Oaks

Raise up the Devastated

Repair the Ruins.

Come as a dove, a duck or an angry goose. 

Do what you do Holy Spirit! And help me to do it too!

Spirit of the Lord, Come upon me! I pray. 

Dec 20th 

Justice Promised

God of Eternity: 

Whispering the promise of Justice to Mary

Telling the truth about just how unimportant powers and principalities are

Promising Mary, that justice will not be delayed

Filling the hungry with Good Things

Only you God, promise to fill the hungry with Good things

This is your promise to a mother who will have to somehow feed her baby

This is your promise to Cousin Elizabeth, who will be bearing Jesus’ forerunner, 

and perhaps best friend cousin, John the Baptist.

You bring your promises to life in Jesus Christ,

help us to magnify them, I pray. 

Amen. 

Dec. 24th

Christmas is Coming

Somehow God  in the midst of the to do lists, the worries and the imperfections. 

Christmas is going to come. 

The baby that has been promised,

will like a miracle, appear. 

A miracle born of long journeys, hard conversations and heart wrenching changes 

in both Mary and Joseph’s lives. 

Gabriel was just the beginning, 

of tumult, and angels, and ministry. 

But it was also the beginning of 

Glory to God in the highest. It was also the beginning of 

peace on earth and goodwill to all humankind. 

Are we ready for the Good news? 

Help us to be ready for the Good News of Christmas, 

this is our prayer.

Amen. 

Dec 25th

Christmas Prayer

Wonderful, awe-inspiring, scary but hopeful counselor of Truth

Mighty, powerful abundant and fully Fleshed God

Everlasting, Eternal and Faithful Parent, 

You are the forebearer, heir and conveyor of Peace. 


Whisper in our hearts.

Gift us with contemplation

Encourage us to embrace the mystery

Allow us to admit we do not understand. 

And teach us the true meaning of Christmas. 

Lord hear our prayer. 

Amen. 

Please Share/Adapt with Credit to Katy Stenta and Please contribute to my Doctorate of Ministry with a Donation  I have PayPal https://paypal.me/KatyStenta?locale.x=en_US Venmo www.venmo.com/Katy-Stenta or Google Pay to Katyandtheword at gmail

About Me: My Story & My Writing

I plan to raise $2,000 to offset Tuition

Fall & Advent Narrative Lectionary 2020 Year 3

Under Construction: prayers and resources will be added as they are written

Theme: God Incarnate: God with us, God for us, God among(st) us

Alt Theme: Waiting for God to Show up, God is always on time

God with us: A God who is always with us, not obscured by place or time, God’s covenant to always be our God and God we are always
God for us: A helper, merciful God, a God of action (not just promises)
God among(st) us: Advent, the God who loves our humanity, our very selves, Holy Spirit & prophecies, Emmanuel

Also I propose you start Advent as early as you want

If people sat outside and looked at the Stars each night, I’ll bet they’d live a lot differently.

God With Us
Sept 13
Creation and Fall: Bulletin & Confessions in the Garden of Eden
Genesis 2:4b-7, 15-17, 3:1-8
Luke 11:4 Opt Psalm 18:31-36

Sept 20th
God’s Promise to Abraham Bulletin and Sermon & Consider Prayer
Genesis 15:1-6 alt Gen 17: 1-8
Luke 3:8 Opt. Psalm 8

Sept 27th
God Works through Joseph: God of the Rainbow Coat , Bulletin 1 with sermon by Rev Dr. Barb Hedges-Goettl Bulletin 2 by Pastor Katy Stenta
Genesis 37:3-8, 17b-22, 26-34; 50:15-21
Luke 6:35 Opt. Psalm 105: 1-5, 16-22

Oct 4
The Promise of Passover: Sermon & Bulletin 1 by Rev. Dr Barbara Hedges-Goettl, Bulletin 2 by Pastor Katy Stenta, Passover Prayer
Exodus 12:1-13; 13:1-8
Luke 22: 14-20 Opt Psalm 105: 31-36

God For us: God in the presence of the Pastor: Change from always being with us—God realized that we aren’t always aware that God is with us, so God became for us
Oct 11
Golden Calf: Bulletin by Pastor Katy Stenta (includes Communion Prayer)
Exodus 32:1-14
Luke 23:34 Opt Psalm 97:6-9

Oct 18
God Answers Hannah (Extended Advent Opt 1) Bulletin by Pastor Katy & Imprecation: Shatter Them
1 Samuel 1:9-11, 19-20; 2:1-10
Luke 1:46-55 Opt Psalm 96

October 25
God’s Promise to David: Bulletin by Pastor Katy and Missing God Prayer
2 Samuel 7:1-17
Luke 1:30-33 Opt. Psalm 89:1-6

Nov 1
God’s Care for the Widow bulletin 1 by Pastor Katy Stenta & bulletin by Rev Dr Barb Hedges-Goettl
1 Kings 17:1-16 [17-24]
Luke 4:24-26 Opt Psalm 146: 5-10

Nov 8
Jonah and God’s Mercy: Bulletin by Pastor Katy Stenta, Bulletin by Rev. Dr. Barb Hedges-Goettl, Jonah Prayer
Jonah 1:1-7; 3:1-10 [4:1-11]
Luke 18:13 Opt Psalm 88:3-7, 13

Nov 15
God Calls Isaiah: Bulletin Prayers by Pastor Katy Stenta & full Bulletin by Rev. Dr. Barb Hedges-Goettl, Sermon by Pastor Katy (tech glitches but ok)
Isaiah 6:1-8
Luke 5:8-10 Opt Psalm 138

God Amongst Us: Compiled and Themed Resources from Katy are all available here: Extended Advent Full On Resources: Bulletin Prayers, Advent Candles, Daily Devotional Calendar, + Videos to add to digital resources Please donate if they help!


Nov 22 (Extended Advent Option 2)
God’s Promises a New Covenant
Jeremiah 36:1-8, 21-23, 27-28 then 31:31-34
Luke 22:19-20 Opt. Psalm 89:31-37

Nov 29
Daniel’s Hope in God
Daniel 6:6-27
Luke 23:1-5 Opt Psalm 91:1-6, 11-13

Dec 6 (Regular Advent)
Joel: God’s Promised Spirit
Joel 2: 12-13, 28-29
Luke 11:13 Opt Psalm 139:1-12

Dec 13
Spirit of the Lord Upon Me
Isaiah 61:1-11
Luke 4:16-21 Opt Psalm 143: 4-10 or Psalm 139: 13-18 (this works next week too)

Dec 20
Jesus’s Birth Announce
Luke 1:26-45 [46-56]
Psalm 113 Opt Psalm 139: 13-18

Dec 24
Birth of Jesus
Luke 2:1-14 [15-20]
Psalm 96

Dec 25
Shepherds’ Visit
Luke 2:8-20
Psalm 123:1-2

Dec 27
Simeon and Anna
Luke 2:21-38
Psalm 131

I’m Tired of Being Part of a Major Historical Event

God, I never realized that historic events aren’t really one thing. Instead they are the combination of humanity’s foibles boiling over to the point of historicity.

I didn’t even know historicity was a real word until today.

And what will bubble up next? Australian Fires, Hurricanes, Derechos, Post Offices. Lord I’m only human, how can I process all this? Or maybe I can’t.

Did racism cause the Black Lives Matter marches and sometime riots? What ingredients meshed exactly right to finally give people the exact things they needed to get out and protest: racism, yes, but also poverty and pandemics, boredom and bereavement, time and trouble.

These sort of things come from the perfect balance, so that the risk you are taking is the best risk possible.

God, I’ve been thinking a lot about risk. Of Hagar the enslaved who risked raising her son in the desert, about Joseph the imprisoned who risked interpreting dreams of his cellmates, of Rahab of Canaan who defied expectations to help Joshua.

What is the perfect risk for us as Christians right now? As we look at this particularly moment in history, how do we decided how to risk, and who to risk, and why?

And how do we risk for ourselves and our community, and yet still practice grace towards all the rest of humanity–who are having to make the same decisions in different circumstances.

Truly we are all weathering the same storm: but in different boats, with different tools and different gifts.

Really God, is now the time to discern gifts? I mean, really and truly God, I want you to know that now is a truly risky time to discern our gifts.

Selah!

Remind us, it’s worth the time.

Black Lives Matter

Remind us, We are worth the time.

Safety first

Remind us, You are worth the time.

God of the poor, the sick and the marginal.

And teach us how to risk in this historic moment, in the best, kindest most gracious way we can.

I pray this with all those who are risking right now. Help me stand with them I pray.

Amen.

Permission to Use or Adapt with Credit to Pastor Katy Stenta

Pandemic Prayers & Resources

Standing in the Breach

Lord, I am not the beggar with a disability waiting at the gate of the church. But I understand their plight better this year. As I stand in the breach of church–trying to hold open the bridge between the world and worship. As we collect money for food pantries, and try to find ways for communities to meet and pray. I feel like we too are stuck at the gate of the temple.

Sometimes we are outside the temple, begging to get in, yet unable to pray.

Sometimes we are at the gates of heaven, barely breathing in and out.

Sometimes we are waiting by the side of someone who is on the cusp of death.

Lord, the breaches are gaping right now: the gap between rich and poor, healthy and sick, abled and disabled, the privileged and the marginal, essential and nonessential, the black and the white and the rest of the people of color.

Help us to be the disciples at the breach, fixing our eyes upon them, seeing not just their stated wants but also their deeper needs. Help us to to touch those who are stuck, and to take their hand and walk with them in the community. Even if that touch and walk is only metaphorical today.

Lord we know what it’s like to be in the breach.

Show us how to be the helpers, the healers, we pray.

Remind us that no help is too little, that we are longing for one another’s company, touch and presence.

Help us to be present and stand in the breach, we pray.

Amen.

Eastertide Resources

Act of God

Is this an act of God, asked Abram & Sarai when they were barren

Hagar when she was abused by Abram & Sarai

Job when he watched everything he loved drip away

Joseph when he was cast into the pit

Puah & Shiprah when they were ordered to put the babies in the water

Moses when he understood his people were enslaved

The Prodigal wondered when he was lost, the widow thought when she lived on nothing, Mary & Martha questioned when Lazarus died, the disciples cried when they arrested Jesus for heresy.

Is this an act of God we ask when the hurricanes howl and the tornados terrorize and the earthquakes wreak havoc?

How about a world pandemic is this an act of God?

Where is our Force Majeure? We want a new contract. If it’s an act of God then there’s nothing under our control and we can just wait for God’s helicopter to save us.

But Abraham & Sarah became the parents of nations

Hagar kept her child safe & found her freedom

Joseph was raised from the pit the Pharaoh’s advisor

Puah & Shiprah hid the babies from the Pharaoh

Moses lead the slaves to freedom

The Prodigal came home, the Widow gave away her mites, Lazarus was healed and returned to Mary and Martha, and Jesus rose from the dead.

I don’t really know what an act of God is.

But I know who God is, God is the God of jubilee, the God healing, the God of redos, reconciliations and resurrections.

Image result for rainbows

We can enact the will of God. We are Abraham & Sarah, Joseph, Puah & Shiprah, Moses. When we enact the will of God return home, we become healed, give to the poor and become resurrected with Christ.

Are we an act of God? God I pray that we are.

More Prayers & Resources for the Pandemic

 

Shannon A Thompson

Author. Speaker. Librarian.

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