Advent 2

Participating in the Sixteen days of activism to end gender based violence this prayer poem was written and published first in 2010 for Anglican Women's Empowerment in conjunction with the Episcopal Women's Caucus as part of a project with UNWomen and the NCC.

Let us pray for the Spirit of Wisdom to rest upon us  A spirit of understanding and knowledge 
Grant us to live in harmony
God’s mercy prevail

Let us pray for God’s steadfastness to gird our spirit 
May peace prevail like lamb and wolf
Grant us to live in harmony God’s mercy prevail

Let us pray, for voices crying out in the wilderness 
Women living in fear, children hiding
Grant all a place of harmony God’s mercy prevail

Let us pray, repent of harm done to the innocent 
Clear the chaff of abuse and hurt
Bear the Spirit of harmony God’s mercy prevail

Let us pray for the God of hope, joy and peace to fill 
All hearts, one voice glorify
God, prepare the way God’s mercy prevail

Prayer poem and photo by The Rev. Terri C. Pilarski

A prayer for the first week in Advent

Holy and Gracious One, God of our Mothers and Fathers, we give you thanks, this day and every day.
Thank you for this gift of life, a precious blessing, a hope - that we may
magnify Your Name.
Be with us as we labor through this life.
Be with us as we struggle through pain.
Be with us in our suffering.
Be with us through the storms the ice, snow, wind. Real or metaphor.
Be with us this day.
Be with us as we labor to birth new life, whatever that new life might be.
Be with us that we can be your hands and heart in a broken world. Amen
Prayer poem and photo by Terri c. Pilarski

Thanksgiving homily: V-formation for a broken world

Deuteronomy 26:1-11, from the propers for the Feast of Thanksgiving...
Although I didn't use a manuscript, I said something like this at our ecumenical Thanksgiving Ebe service 

The other day I was standing in my kitchen looking out the sliding glass door, back across two acres of land. There I watched a mismatched flock of geese take flight, a lead goose with three followers on one side, but only one goose on the other. They were struggling a bit. But then I saw two more geese coming up from behind, flying as fast as they could to catch up with the others. 
I thought back to my childhood living in central Wisconsin near Horicon Marsh. Every fall migrating geese stop at the marsh to rest and refuel for their long journey south. The sky is full of multiple V formations of geese in flight. Visiting the marsh when its full of migrating geese is amazing. Thanksgiving time always brings back this childhood memory of a sky full of honking geese flying in V formations. 
It turns out that ma…

That Our Differences May Be Our Greatest Asset of Love

In 1847, my great grandfather, five generations back, travelled with his family from Ohio to Missouri and then across the great plains to settle in Northern Utah. He homesteaded on land that was the traditional winter grounds of the Shoshone people. He took a piece of the land as if it were his birthright. As did all of my ancestors, all of whom settled in northern Utah and southern Idaho. My grandfather, George Washington Hill became well known and is still remembered in the Mormon Church as a missionary to the Shoshone people. He befriended them, learned their language, wrote the first English-Shoshone dictionary so that Mormons and Shoshone could communicate. 
The Bear Rive massacre took place in the winter of 1863, not far from where my great grandparents lived. 200 US soldiers travelled from California to attack the Shoshone in their winter camp grounds. They attacked in the early morning, before the people were awake, and decimated the tribe. A few survived, including the chief a…

Leaning toward a Healthier but Imperfect Self...

I come from a family of saints, who are nonetheless unrepentant sinners. My saintly ancestors were also Mormon pioneers who risked life and limb to follow their faith, worship without persecution, and settle northern Utah and Southern Idaho in the mid 1800’s. They yearned to create beloved community. One of these, George Washington Hill, is described as athletic, handsome, and ambitious. 

Although his wife, Cynthia Uttley Stuart, held the indigenous people, the Shoshone, with great disdain, George quickly sought them out. He learned the Shoshone language, all four dialects, and created a Shoshone-English dictionary to help others communicate. Family lore and Mormon history leads one to think that he was beloved by all, including the Shoshone. As the story goes, the chief had a dream about Inkapompy, as George was called, which means red hair, and invited George to come and meet with him. While there George baptized 102 Shoshone. My family thinks of George as a saint. I have found no rec…

Adapting to Rip Currents of Life and Faith

Luke 18:1-8 Jesus told his disciples a parable about their need to pray always and not to lose heart. He said, "In a certain city there was a judge who neither feared God nor had respect for people. In that city there was a widow who kept com- ing to him and saying, `Grant me justice against my opponent.' For a while he refused; but later he said to himself, `Though I have no fear of God and no respect for anyone, yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will grant her justice, so that she may not wear me out by continually coming.'" And the Lord said, "Listen to what the un- just judge says. And will not God grant justice to his chosen ones who cry to him day and night? Will he delay long in helping them? I tell you, he will quickly grant justice to them. And yet, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?" 

When I was 16 years old I spent most of the summer with some friends and their family in a cottage near Lake Michigan. There was a sma…

Tuesday Prayer

Gracious God, In a world that is simultaneously Expanding and contracting Help us to breath in a steady rhythm in and out that the expanding may helps us grow and the contracting will not make us smaller Help us to see You In and Out In all ways always. In the rising sun In the birds that fly In the changing seasons In the vast diversity of human kind all colors all the many ways we are human made in your image a reflection of you in the world made to love  made good to do good may our expanding and contracting be a gentle rhythm like a breath of fresh air instead of gasp in fear for life. Amen.

Written for The RevGalBlogPals Tuesday Prayer