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Showing posts from January, 2010

Sunday Prayer: The Tongue of Mortals, Epiphany 4C

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Leader Creator God, we come before you-
Asking prayers for those who
Lead
Nations
Cities
Churches
Homes
All known to you in the womb
May we lead as you desire

Leader Incline Your heart, O gracious God, and teach us to love
Response May our heart be Yours.

Leader Holy One, we come before you -
a people who see in a mirror, dimly
shards of lives
broken,
sick,
poor,
hungry
hidden in our blindness.
Help us to see as You see


Leader Incline Your heart, O gracious God, and teach us to love
Response May our heart be Yours.


Leader God of Mercy, we come before you –
Speaking the tongue of mortals yet
Deaf to the
Cries
Anger
Power
Control
Hidden in our silence
Help us to hear as You hear

Leader Incline Your heart, O gracious God, and teach us to love
Response May our heart be Yours.

Leader Gentle God, we come before you-
Giving thanks for all our blessings
the gift of life
hope
faith
love
family
friends
all we care for this day
Help us to be Your Hands

Leader Incline Your heart, O gracious God, and teach us to love
Response May our heart …

RevGals Friday Five Meme: The Communication Edition

kathrynzj over at RevGals offers this Friday Five Meme:

1) What have been the benefits for you of social networking (blog, twitter, facebook, etc...) For me, like many others, there have been countless benefits - friendships made and or sustained, thoughts and ideas shared, prayers offered, hope and grace and kindness beyond measure.

2) Which medium do you use the most? Or if you use them all, for what do you use each of them? I use them all, although I post on twitter a lot less often than any of the others, and have only used Skype once. Facebook is fun and has reconnected me to lots of friends. But blogging is nicer because the posts are longer, more reflective, or at least more informational. Plus I'll blog with folks I don't know but I don't facebook or twitter with people I don't know.

3) If you could invent a networking site (with no limits on your imagination), what would it provide? What would it not provide? yeah, no ideas here....but I'm sure someone will …

Skin

My husband does not like this new pink blogskin. It's too pink, he says. And he didn't like the first photo I had in the header...although it too was of a sunset it was too busy with the busyness of the skin. (Can you tell that my husband use to work in graphic arts?)...So I explained to him that I wanted something sort of "Valentine's Day-like" and that I tend to change the skin for the season...I actually like the skin, I am kind of a romantic at heart and love old textures - this reminds me of some old wall paper that one would find in a fine old house... quality-fine.

My skin is going through some changes too. As I approach my 53rd birthday, just a few weeks away, I am keenly aware of the changes happening to my skin. First of all, despite the fact that I exercise a fair amount, my skin is sagging. Secondly, I have gained weight, so I have more skin. Mind you, my weight is still ok - but I'm not the thin lean woman I always was...now I just look middle age…

Monday Morning Musings

Yesterday I preached and Presided at Back in the Saddle Church. it was not my best sermon - not bad - just could have used some more development. But as happens, sometimes, I was really busy last week. Seems everything I had to do in January landed on Sat. Jan. 23. I had the sermon to write and a reflection for the Ft blog, the Preacher Party to host, and a phone interview for a potential new call. Add to that some family drama with a 17 year old child (teenage years are synonymous with "drama"....). Still, the sermon was received well enough considering I suggested that we consider Christians, Jews, and Muslims as the body of God and that we focus our evangelism toward those who have no faith tradition. (Of, course that is a wide open field these days...the unchurched, or dechurched).

But mostly yesterday was a fun day at church. Lots of laughing and sidebar silliness between the clergy staff, the altar party, and even members of the congregation. It is a fun church, "B…

Sunday Prayer: Stillspeaking God, Epiphany 3C

Holy and Gracious God, speaking into our lives
May we hear, deeply, may You sound-through us
May we be your body, hands, feet, heart
Reaching out to others may we extend your love.

Inbreaking God, stir us, we pray
To care for the broken,
Hungry, needy, sick, bereaved,
And all who have lost their way.

Stillspeaking God, whisper to us in the silence
That we may quietly hear you and
Gently follow. Stillspeaking God
Shout us out of our illusions.

God of mercy, lead our leaders
Nations, cities, houses of worship,
Houses of people, lead all with mercy
That we, all, may be merciful as you.

God of compassion,
through your Holy Spirit
Forgive us, redeem us, restore us,
teach us, fill us.

Incarnate God, divine and human
Body and spirit, us and you
One, all, thankful hearts
This day and every day.
Amen.

Crossposted on RevGalBlogPals and RevGal Prayer Pals

Hearing Through the Stillspeaking God...

Geraldine Brooks was a correspondent for the Wall Street Journal where she covered the wars in Bosnia, Somalia, and the Middle East. She is also a Pulitzer Prize winning author for the book, “March.” Her latest novel, “People of the Book” tells a story of intrigue and mystery similar to the DaVinci code. The subject of the novel is an ancient haggadah. A haggadah is a book that tells the story of the Exodus of the Hebrew people from Egypt, led by Moses, Aaron and Miriam, through the Red Sea. It is the Passover story told each year on the eve of Passover at the Jewish Seder meal. Brooks crafted this story of fiction on the few details that are known about the famous Sarajevo Haggadah, a beautifully illustrated 500 year old manuscript that somehow travelled from Spain to Vienna and eventually to Sarajevo. It survived the book burnings of the Inquisition, two world wars and the book burnings of the Nazi’s, and the war between Bosnia and Croatia. It’s a story of how three religions, Judai…

RevGals Friday Five: Planes, Trains, and Automobiles

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Songbird, over at RevGals, offers this Friday Five Meme:

1) What was the mode of transit for your last trip? My most recent long distance trip was from SE Arizona to Chicago and back. I drove by myself and made the round trip in a week. On the way there I drove straight through, stopping only for a four hour respite at a security-safe rest stop an hour east of Amarillo Texas. I was motivated to drive straight through because my daughter's dog,



was in the car with me - I was taking him home to her....the drive back was a bit more leisurely....


2) Have you ever traveled by train? Yes. I love train rides, except for the numerous stops and delays. My husband, kids, and I took the train from Chicago to Detroit for a family wedding about 15 years ago. I've taken the train several times from Chicago to Minneapolis and from Chicago to Southern Illinois University when I was in college in the '70's. And, of course, living in Chicago for 35 years I often travelled by "El"…

One of my favorite places

One of my favorite places in this area is a small artists community about twenty minutes south. Here I have found pottery, jewelry, photographs, and enjoyed countless lunches in great little restaurant. Every time I go to this little "town" I wander into the bookstore. And usually I walk out with a few new books to read. With my latest purchase came a bookmark with the address and name of the store, and this anonymous quote:

"A bookstore is one of the only pieces of physical evidence we have that people are still thinking."

Monday Morning Musings

This morning dawned cloudy. I am really hoping we get the rain that is predicted. It hasn't rained here in a month, and this is supposed to be one of our two rainy seasons (December-February, and July - Sept). The lack of rain means a lack of flowers in the spring and summer. The lack of rain means everything is dusty and covered in a layer of fine silt.

Sunday Prayer: In the Shadow of Your Wing

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God of righteousness - spread your wings
Over the earth, enfold the suffering
in clouds of mercy.
Reach into the tragedies of this earth,
Especially the chaos and despair in Haiti
May our hands be yours, bringing relief

Precious is your love, O God
May we take refuge
in the shadow of your wings.

Guide the leaders of nations – in grace
Teach us, your people to be Your heart,
your love abundant.
Like a mountain of love reaching to the heavens
A gift of the Holy Spirit given, that we may be
A place of refuge in the dust, hope in darkness
In your light may we see, may we be light

Precious is your love, O God
May we take refuge
In the shadow of your wings.

Merciful God, be with us all, - this day
The sick and the dying, the worn, and fearful
And all who suffer.
Call us by name, the name you give, love.
A fountain of mercy pouring forth light
You who lift us up, known before birth
Naming, calling, holding, caring.

Precious is your love, O God
May we take refuge
in the shadow of your wings.

Gracious and Holy One, w…

RevGals Friday Five Meme: IF

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Jan over at RevGals offers this Friday Five:

1. If you were a color, what would you be? Most days I'd be green, a deep forest green. But some days I'd be pink and occasionally I'd be blue or yellow. Maybe I'd just be a rainbow:




2. If you were a flower (or plant), what would you be? Again, most days I'd be a tall old, strong Oak tree. One that has weathered the ages but still puts out full beautiful leaves each year. Or maybe I'd be one of the trees on the rim of the Grand Canyon, smaller than an Oak but tenacious:




3. If you were an animal, what kind would you be? A house cat, spending leisurely days lying in the afternoon sun, eating, and playing. OR I'd be a bird soaring the great outdoors. OR maybe I'd be a ground squirrel because they are social creatures and so darn cute!



4. If you were a shoe, what type would you be? Most days I'd like to be a hiking boot, travelling into the wilderness. But other days I'd like to be a beautiful high heel ent…

People of the Book

I just finished reading, People of the Book, by Geraldine Brooks. It's a novel about an ancient Haggadah, a beautifully illustrated manuscript telling the Passover and Exodus story. The story was based in Sarajevo but travelled back and forth between present time and various centuries over the last 500 years. It is loosely based on a real ancient Sarajevo haggadah. Or rather it was inspired by that haggadah.

The journey through time tells of the creation and survival of this haggadah through Nazi invasions and the Inquisition. It's a story about war and violence, hope and survival. It's a story about the presence of God in Christianity, Judaism, and Islamic faiths, and about what binds these faiths together - people, Christians, Jews, and Muslims, living their faith and helping one another. It's a story of the woman conservator who is brought in to repair the book and her quest to learn more about the history of the book. It's also a story about her journey to know…

A Late Afternoon Winter Walk

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photo from flickr fotos: Arizona desert museumcoyote


The sun on its descent to the other side
caused deep shadows, sharply angled
to fall from the trees and houses
across the street and sidewalk

My dogs, leashed with anxious noses in the air
ears pricked, move in harmony with
wagging tails and lively steps
prance down the street for a walk

The air, still warm though winter, harsh desert sun
a gentle breeze hints of the chill
that sneaks in when darkness falls
turning the bird bath to ice

Our walk is brisk, so little day light remains
Up the hill turn around and down
up another round the curve
shadows deepen bush rustles

Quail families out for dinner all in a line
and then the coyote one, two
the entire den wakes and
cries their eerie wake-up call

Just over there, the coyote family hidden
by scrub trees, thickets, cacti
Quick, I tell the dogs as the
wind carries the cry away


(In Arizona one pronounces coyotes in two syllables Ki-otes, not the three syllable, Ki-yo-tee, of the Midwest)

Monday Morning Musings

Ok. So it's not morning anymore. But it is still Monday. And I am still musing. I'll let you know what I come up with....

Sunday Prayer: Living the Baptism of Christ

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Holy God, before time you named us
Through time you redeem us
You call us, precious in your sight
May we love as you love.

Holy One, through the turbulent waters
Make us steady, your hands
Holding strong the fragile and weak
May we love as you love.

Gracious God, may the fruits of our lives
be food for the hungry, bread
clothing, shelter, fire, water, Word
May we love as you love.

God of justice, remove the chaff
Of our lives that keep us from
Hearing, following, Your call
May we love as you love.

Loving God, take this day our fears our
Worries, distractions, and all
Turn them into wheat, heart food
May we love as you love.

Amen.

Crossposted on RevGalBlogPal blog and RevGalPrayerPal blog Photo from the collection of Mompriest: Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori, Mompriest, and Baby Z

RevGal Friday Five: Dreams

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Sophia over at RevGalBlogPals offers this Friday Five Meme on dreams:

1. Do you tend to daydream? I don't spend a lot of time daydreaming. But this time of year, living in the desert, is very bland. The landscape is monotone and one day just blends into another. And, oddly enough, I find myself daydreaming for:

2. Do you usually remember your night dreams? Do you find them symbolic and meaningful or just quirky? Occasionally I remember my dreams. Often they are really obvious of whatever I am thinking about. Sometimes they are veiled in humorous symbolism, like the dream I had once of carrying around a chalice while walking down the street, visiting friends, and arriving at the church.

3. Have you ever had a life changing dream which you'll never forget? No.

4. Share a long term dream for one or more aspects of your life and work. I'd like to live in an old house, well built with hardwood floors, a fenced in back yard for the dogs, and a fireplace. Along with that house I…

All Is Confusion...

Virginia Woolf wrote, "Across the broad continent of a woman's life falls the shadow of a sword." On one side of that sword, she said, there lies convention and tradition and order, where all is correct. But on the other side of that sword, if you're crazy enough to cross it and choose a life that does not follow convention, "all is confusion. Nothing follows a regular course." Her argument was that the crossing of the shadow of that sword may bring a far more interesting existence to a woman, but you can bet it will also be more perilous. (From Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert, pg 95)

This says a lot about life as I've known it - far more interesting than the life I might have led, but also, at times, perilous. I suppose one might say that a life without risk is life not fully lived. I tend to think of myself as a risk taker - or maybe I am a faith taker - I take leaps of faith when I strive to follow God.

Sometimes though that means I fall flat on …

Goin Home

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This morning I woke up with this ear worm...

Chorus:
Swing low, sweet chariot,
Comin' for to carry me home;
Swing low, sweet chariot,
Comin' for to carry me home.

I looked over Jordan,
And WHAT did I see,
Comin' for to carry me home,
A band of angels comin' after me,
Comin' for to carry me home.

Repeat chorus:

If you get there before I do,
Comin' for to carry me home,
Tell all my friends I'm comin' too,
Comin' for to carry me home.

This spiritual was written by Wallis Willis who, after the Civil War became a free man and joined the Choctaw Indian Nation. I know that the hymn refers to our final spiritual home with God, but I also think it can refer to our spiritual home here on earth. Where does my spirit reside? Where does yours?

In the midst of challenges, when a calm inner self is most needed, it is also most difficult to maintain. I can think of a lot of reasons why I would wake up with this in my head and heart. But mostly I think it is a reminder that God car…

Monday Monday

Woke up singing the Mammas and the Pappas, Monday Monday...

Monday Monday, so good to me,
Monday Monday, it was all I hoped it would be
Oh Monday morning, Monday morning couldn't guarantee
That Monday evening you would still be here with me.

Monday Monday, can't trust that day,
Monday Monday, sometimes it just turns out that way
Oh Monday morning, you gave me no warning of what was to be
Oh Monday Monday, how you could leave and not take me.

Every other day, every other day,
Every other day of the week is fine, yeah
But whenever Monday comes, but whenever Monday comes
You can find me cryin' all of the time

Monday Monday, so good to me,
Monday Monday, it was all I hoped it would be
Oh Monday morning, Monday morning couldn't guarantee
That Monday evening you would still be here with me.

Every other day, every other day,
Every other day of the week is fine, yeah
But whenever Monday comes, but whenever Monday comes
You can find me cryin' all of the time

Monday Monday, ...

Weird, isn't i…

Sunday Prayer

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Bright Star, Holy One
Hear our prayer.

Bright Star, Holy One
Be with those who suffer
struggle, cry out, weep
are in pain of heart
or soul or mind
From the darkness
may the glory of God arise!

Bright Star, Holy One
Fill the hearts of
leaders, nations,
cities, and
faith communities
With wisdom and grace
may the glory of God arise!

Bright Star, Holy One
Lead our leaders in
your way, your hope
your love and
your peace
enlighten the pathways
with the Glory of God, arise!

Bright Star, Holy One
laugh with those who
laugh this day, lift up
our joys, our hope
is found in You,
May the Glory of God arise.

Bright Star, Holy One
help us in all we
do, and say, and are
to be your love
shining forth -
may the glory of God arise.

Bright Star, Holy One
hear our prayer.
Amen.

Crossposted on RevGalBlogPal blog and RevGalPrayerPal blog.

A Friday Five RevGals Meme: New Year Prayer

Sally over at RevGals offers this Friday Five:

1. What will you gladly leave behind in 2009? Almost every aspect of my life in 2009 was a challenge: health - mine and family members; employment - mine and family members; subsequently finances were challenged; conflict in some key arenas too...overall 2009 will go down as my least favorite year ever. Will there be lessons learned and something gained from all this? Only time will tell.

2. What is the biggest challenge of 2010 for you? Employment and a move...OR a move, employment and another move? OR worse, a move and no employment. Hard to say what it will be.

3. Is there anything that you simply need to hand to God and say "all will be well, for you are with me"? Been working hard at that, handing God my anxiety over the above....lots of late night railing at God...and it's not just my life but that of a large number of people (ok women, actually women clergy) I know who are struggling with similar issues...leaves me wonde…