Sunday, May 31, 2009
Friday, May 29, 2009
Thursday, May 28, 2009
By Mary Oliver
Truly, we live with mysteries too marvelous
to be understood.
How grass can be nourishing in the
mouths of the lambs.
How rivers and stones are forever
in allegiance with gravity
while we ourselves dream of rising.
How two hands touch and the bonds
will never be broken.
How people come, from delight or the
scars of damage,
to the comfort of a poem.
Let me keep my distance, always, from those
who think they have the answers.
Let me keep company always with those who say
"Look!" and laugh in astonishment,
and bow their heads.
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
The new constitutional provision cannot properly be interpreted as having repealed, by implication, the preexisting state constitutional right of same-sex couples to enter into an officially recognized and protected family relationship except insofar as that preexisting constitutional right included the right of access to the designation of marriage...
[A]lthough Proposition 8 eliminates the ability of same-sex couples to enter into an official relationship designated “marriage,” in all other respects those couples continue to possess, under the state constitutional privacy and due process clauses, “the core set of basic substantive legal rights and attributes traditionally associated with marriage,” including, “most fundamentally, the opportunity of an individual to establish — with the person with whom the individual has chosen to share his or her life — an officially recognized and protected family possessing mutual rights and responsibilities and entitled to the same respect and dignity accorded a union traditionally designated as marriage.”
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
by Maya Angelou
in equal amounts.
will not build the temple.
will destroy its walls.
Monday, May 25, 2009
Saturday, May 23, 2009
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
On Monday, Lori and I attended a luncheon in Richmond honoring Bishop Peter Lee, of the Diocese of Virginia, for his lifetime achievements in promoting ecumenical cooperation, sponsored by the Virginia Council of Churches.
Tuesday, May 19, 2009
How do we know a sin when we see one? Bishop Dan Edwards of Nevada wrote a brief and insightful commentary on that question this past Saturday on his blog. I highly commend Bishop Dan's blog (his travel commentaries through Nevada are terrific), and reprinted in full below is his essay on sin:
How do we know a sin when we see one?
By Bishop Dan Edwards
A recent letter to our diocesan newsletter chided church leaders for failing to teach that homosexuality is a “sin.” I don’t want to tackle the question of whether homosexuality is a sin or not on a blog. It takes more words and more serious reflection than this medium affords. But it does raise an important question I want to ponder a little. What is a “sin”?
The letter to the editor sparks this question for me because Scripture does not define homosexual acts as sins. Only one specific homosexual act is prohibited and it is described as a ritual purity violation, which is quite a different matter. Ritual purity violations are in the category of planting two kinds of crop in one field or wearing a poly-blend suit, not the category of murder, theft, adultery, and other such moral issues having to do with justice and integrity. But if something is not defined as sin in Scripture, that doesn’t resolve the question. Scripture doesn’t say anything about “enhanced interrogation techniques” (torture), toxic waste dumping, or human trafficking – but I feel certain in my heart that those things are sins. So how do we know if something is a sin?
We get some interesting notions about it. I grew up in East Texas where there were many small denominations of the Free Church traditions. They were divided over whether certain specific acts were sins. Some said all dancing was a sin; others believed only fast dancing was a sin, and others thought fast dancing was ok but slow dancing was a sin. Some believed it was a sin to go to a movie -- ever; others held it was ok to see a film on Saturday night but it would be a sin to do so on Sunday. Some believed smoking was a sin. Others thought smoking was a sin if done by women, but it was ok for men. The there was hair! We had letters to the editor of the Texarkana Gazette arguing that the male hair styles of the 70’s were sin. Others held that it was a sin for a woman to trim her hair at all. (That incidentally is the only one of these notions that actually had a Biblical basis.)
One of the great virtues of the Anglican Tradition, always held, then made explicit during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I, is that we are free to disagree about such things, but we don’t divide up over them. We still pray together and love each other as family. It is the nature of families to disagree. That keeps it interesting. But as we disagree, what kinds of arguments can we use? How do we discern right from wrong? How do we engage in moral reasoning?
Scripture may not answer all our questions, but it is our starting point. The letter of the law kills, but the Spirit gives life. So we read our Bible looking for the mind of God and the heart of Christ. “What would Jesus do?” is a solid way to start.
But when Scripture doesn’t give us a clear answer, we have tradition to draw from. That doesn’t mean we are stuck with the morality of primitive times. If so, we would still be practicing slavery and executing people for stealing sheep. Tradition is our warehouse of experience -- what have we learned from the past? Some practices have proven over the centuries to be wise and merciful. Others have done more harm than good. Tradition means we look at our experience and learn from it.
And we use our God-given reason. Logic is part of that. Kant may be out of fashion, but not with me. He demonstrated that there is a rational core to the moral order. His principles of moral reasoning are an essential step: Is this a rule we can apply to everyone? Are we faithful to the rule to never treat another human being as a means to an end, but always as an end in himself or herself. Kant used logic to validate the Golden Rule laid down by Jesus. But there is more to Reason than logic. All we can learn from psychology, sociology, biology, economics, and the whole field of human learning is properly part of our moral reasoning.
So that makes the question of sin something to ponder carefully. It takes a lot of thought and a lot of humility. I have come to the opposite conclusion from the man who wrote the letter about homosexuality. But I deeply respect many people who disagree with me. I just pray that those of us who disagree will study, think, pray, feel, and talk with each other patiently and in good faith. We may have much to learn from each other. That’s how you can tell a community of faith from an enclave of the like-minded doomed by their homogeneity to become small minded.
Monday, May 18, 2009
Sunday, May 17, 2009
Saturday, May 16, 2009
Thursday, May 14, 2009
Wednesday, May 13, 2009
In Praise of the Great Bull Walrus
by Alden Nowlan
I wouldn't like to be one
of the walrus people
for the rest of my life
but I wish I could spend
one sunny afternoon
lying on the rocks with them.
I suspect it would be similar
to drinking beer in a tavern
that caters to longshoremen
and won't admit women.
We'd exchange no
cosmic secrets. I'd merely say,
"How yuh doin' you big old walrus?"
and the nearest of
the walrus people
"Me? I'm doin' great.
How yuh doin' yourself,
you big old human being, you?"
How good it is to share
the earth with such creatures
and how unthinkable it would have been
to have missed all this
by not being born:
a happy thought, that,
for not being born is
the only tragedy
that we can imagine
but never fear.
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
Recently I was asked to write an op-ed piece about my conviction that the Hetch Hetchy Valley in Yosemite National Park should be restored (the artwork here is a rendering of what the valley would look like if San Francisco's dam was removed). It is a cause I have been long associated with, and I was happy to share a few words (I wrote this while waiting for recent flight at Dulles). This short piece ran in the San Francisco Examiner Sunday May 10, and I share it with you:
Why the religious community should care about Hetch Hetchy
By: The Rev. James Richardson Special to The Examiner | 5/8/09 4:14 PM
With the dire threat of climate change and with one-third of the planet’s population lacking safe drinking water, it’s a reasonable question to ask: Why care about a relatively small mountain valley in California?
For those of us in the religious community, it’s especially fair to ask that question given our seemingly stretched resources and the priority extended to alleviating the suffering of the poor. Would we not be better served to spend our resources elsewhere and on some other cause than the effort to restore Hetch Hetchy Valley?
Let me suggest looking at this differently, and I am speaking primarily to my brothers and sisters in the Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist and other religious communities. It’s a central tenet of faith common to all of our religions that God provides. And God does not provide meagerly, but provides abundantly. God gives us all that we need to heal the sick, bind the wounds of the injured and to care for this planet, our island home.
Restoring Hetch Hetchy would be a spectacular declaration that we believe in God’s abundance, that we take seriously our calling to be faithful stewards of all God gives us. If we have just enough faith to restore one wounded valley, we can move other mountains — we can reverse global warming, we can clean the watersheds and bring safe water and food to every corner of the Earth. God provides everything we need to fully heal our planet. Do we really believe that?
As pressing as large-scale issues like global warming are, we ignore at our peril the smaller-scale issues of environmental restoration. It would be doubly tragic to fail in our efforts at the large issues while also failing to restore the jewels of our planet, like Hetch Hetchy. I believe God calls us to do both.
Restoring Hetch Hetchy also is about how human beings touch the sacred. We are not the first generation to experience God in the wilderness. The ancient Celts called the mountains and river valleys “thin places,” and Yosemite is certainly one of those amazing thin places.
John Muir’s Celtic spiritual roots were on full display when he fought San Francisco’s proposal to dam Hetch Hetchy Valley. For the great naturalist, damming the valley was not only an attack on nature, but an attack on God.
“These temple destroyers, devotees of ravaging commercialism, seem to have a perfect contempt for Nature, and, instead of lifting their eyes to the God of the mountains, lift them to the Almighty Dollar,” Muir wrote in 1912. “As well dam for water-tanks the people’s cathedrals and churches, for no holier temple has ever been consecrated by the heart of man.”
The Rev. James Richardson is an Episcopal priest and the former Chaplain of the California state Senate.
Monday, May 11, 2009
Sunday, May 10, 2009
by Alison Luterman
Because no one could ever praise me enough,
because I don't mean these poems only
but the unseen
unbelievable effort it takes to live
the life that goes on between them,
I think all the time about invisible work.
About the young mother on Welfare
I interviewed years ago,
who said, "It's hard.
You bring him to the park,
run rings around yourself keeping him safe,
cut hot dogs into bite-sized pieces for dinner,
and there's no one
to say what a good job you're doing,
how you were patient and loving
for the thousandth time even though you had a headache."
And I, who am used to feeling sorry for myself
because I am lonely,
when all the while,
as the Chippewa poem says, I am being carried
by great winds across the sky,
thought of the invisible work that stitches up the world day and night,
the slow, unglamorous work of healing,
the way worms in the garden
tunnel ceaselessly so the earth can breathe
and bees ransack this world into being,
while owls and poets stalk shadows,
our loneliest labors under the moon.
There are mothers
for everything, and the sea
is a mother too,
whispering and whispering to us
long after we have stopped listening.
I stopped and let myself lean
a moment, against the blue
shoulder of the air. The work
of my heart
is the work of the world's heart.
There is no other art.
Saturday, May 9, 2009
Mothers' Day Proclamation: Julia Ward Howe, Boston, 1870
Arise, then, women of this day! Arise all women who have hearts, whether our baptism be that of water or of fears!
Say firmly: "We will not have great questions decided by irrelevant agencies. Our husbands shall not come to us, reeking with carnage, for caresses and applause. Our sons shall not be taken from us to unlearn all that we have been able to teach them of charity, mercy and patience.
We women of one country will be too tender of those of another country to allow our sons to be trained to injure theirs. From the bosom of the devastated earth a voice goes up with our own. It says "Disarm, Disarm! The sword of murder is not the balance of justice."
Blood does not wipe our dishonor nor violence indicate possession. As men have often forsaken the plow and the anvil at the summons of war, let women now leave all that may be left of home for a great and earnest day of counsel. Let them meet first, as women, to bewail and commemorate the dead.
Let them then solemnly take counsel with each other as to the means whereby the great human family can live in peace, each bearing after their own time the sacred impress, not of Caesar, but of God.
In the name of womanhood and of humanity, I earnestly ask that a general congress of women without limit of nationality may be appointed and held at some place deemed most convenient and at the earliest period consistent with its objects, to promote the alliance of the different nationalities, the amicable settlement of international questions, the great and general interests of peace.
* * *
Mother's Day for Peace
by Ruth Rosen
Honor Mother with Rallies in the Streets.The holiday began in activism; it needs rescuing from commercialism and platitudes.
Every year, people snipe at the shallow commercialism of Mother's Day. But to ignore your mother on this holy holiday is unthinkable. And if you are a mother, you'll be devastated if your ingrates fail to honor you at least one day of the year. Mother's Day wasn't always like this. The women who conceived Mother's Day would be bewildered by the ubiquitous ads that hound us to find that “perfect gift for Mom.” They would expect women to be marching in the streets, not eating with their families in restaurants.This is because Mother's Day began as a holiday that commemorated women's public activism, not as a celebration of a mother's devotion to her family.
The story begins in 1858 when a community activist named Anna Reeves Jarvis organized Mothers' Works Days in West Virginia. Her immediate goal was to improve sanitation in Appalachian communities. During the Civil War, Jarvis pried women from their families to care for the wounded on both sides. Afterward she convened meetings to persuale men to lay aside their hostilities.
In 1872, Julia Ward Howe, author of the “Battle Hymn of the Republic,” proposed an annual Mother's Day for Peace. Committed to abolishing war, Howe wrote: “Our husbands shall not come to us reeking with carnage... Our sons shall not be taken from us to unlearn all that we have been able to teach them of charity, mercy and patience. We women of one country will be too tender of those of another country to allow our sons to be trained to injure theirs.”
For the next 30 years, Americans celebrated Mothers' Day for Peace on June 2.
Many middle-class women in the 19th century believed that they bore a special responsibility as actual or potential mothers to care for the casualties of society and to turn America into a more civilized nation. They played a leading role in the abolitionist movement to end slavery. In the following decades, they launched successful campaigns against lynching and consumer fraud and battled for improved working conditions for women and protection for children, public health services and social welfare assistance to the poor. To the activists, the connection between motherhood and the fight for social and economic justice seemed self-evident.
In 1913, Congress declared the second Sunday in May to be Mother's Day. By then, the growing consumer culture had successfully redefined women as consumers for their families. Politicians and businessmen eagerly enbraced the idea of celebrating the private sacrifices made by individual mothers. As the Florists’ Review, the industry's trade jounal, bluntly put it, “This was a holiday that could be exploited.”
The new advertising industry quickly taught Americans how to honor their mothers - by buying flowers. Outraged by florists who were seling carnations for the exorbitant price of $1 a piece, Anna Jarvis’ duaghter undertook a campaging against those who “would undermine Mother's Day with their greed.” But she fought a losing battle. Within a few years, the Florists’ Review triumphantly announced that it was “Miss Jarvis who was completely squelched.”
Since then, Mother’s Day has ballooned into a billion-dollar industry. Americans may revere the idea of motherhood and love their own mothers, but not all mothers. Poor, unemployed rmothers may enjoy flowers, but they also need child care, job training, health care, a higher minimum wage and paid parental leave. Working mothers may enjoy breakfast in bed, but they also need the kind of governmental assistance provided by every other industrialized society. With a little imagination, we could restore Mother’s Day as a holiday that celebrates women’s political engagement in society. During the 1980's, some peace groups gathered at nuclear test sites on Mother's Day to protest the arms race. Today, our greatest threat is not from missilies but from our indifference toward human welfare and the health of our planet. Imagine, if you can, an annual Million Mother March in them nation's capital. Imagine a Mother's Day filled with voices demanding social and economic justice and a sustainable future, rather than speeches studded with syrupy platitudes.
Some will think it insulting to alter our current way of celebrating Mother's Day. But public activism does not preclude private expressions of love and gratitude. Nor does it prevent people from expressing their appreciation all year round.) Nineteenth century women dared to dream of a day that honored women's civil activism. We can do no less. We should honor their vision with civic activism.
Ruth Rosen is a professor of history at UC Davis.
Friday, May 8, 2009
Windsor Dialogue Listening GroupSt. Paul’s Memorial ChurchReport to the ParishMay 5, 2009
Group Members: Peter Dennison, Simeon Fitch, Margaret Mohrmann, Mildred Robinson
The “Windsor Dialogue Listening Process” is part of a 2008 report from the “R-5 Commission” (appointed by Bishop Lee in 2007). The full report, including the details of the Listening Process format, is available on the Diocese of Virginia website at: HERE.
As part of the pilot program for the Listening Process, twelve parishes throughout the diocese were paired; St. Paul’s was matched with St. John the Baptist, Ivy. Our rector, the Rev. Jim Richardson, and St. John’s vicar, the Rev. Kathleen Sturges, each named four parishioners to the Listening Group. The Group met six times in two-hour sessions from March 8 to May 3, using the Windsor Dialogue Commission designated format, under the guidance of a diocese-trained facilitator.
At the initial session we agreed to “ground rules” for the group that included boundaries, confidentiality, and a commitment to listen carefully and make “I statements.” It is important to note that the stated objective of the Listening Process is neither persuasion nor argumentation, but open and honest communication with the goal of mutual understanding. The process is about listening and sharing, not debate; understanding without requiring agreement. In our experience, the sharing was indeed honest and open, at times intense, and all participants consistently manifested respect and quietly focused attention. As a result, the process was more a series of monologues—with such responses as there were mostly signaling understanding, empathy, and appreciation—than it was a conversational dialogue. Nevertheless, we believe the objective of mutual understanding was indeed accomplished.
According to the R-5 Commission report, the overarching goal of the Listening Process is “discernment of a possible ‘emerging consensus’ with regard to the permitting of ‘local option’ for the blessing of same-gender unions” in the diocese. In no session, however, was this topic among those provided in the format; in none of our meetings was it a subject of discussion. Likewise, there was no provision in any session for direct discussion of scriptural passages variously said to forbid, permit, or support committed same-gender partnerships, nor did that discussion happen. It became clear instead that the Listening Process itself is not directly about those questions, but about all that we each bring to the table when we consider (or debate) the full sacramental inclusion of those among us who are gay or lesbian, not only in baptism and Eucharist, but in matrimony, ordination, and consecration.
Each two-hour session followed a similar format: After an opening prayer, participants responded to an opening statement or question (an “ice breaker” so called, although in most sessions it was considerably more substantive—and difficult—than “ice breakers” generally are). We then spent the majority of the two hours in the “sharing time” segment, in which we responded to specific topics or questions in some depth, with the facilitator ensuring the “ground rules” were followed. The session concluded with a reflective Bible study, in which we read the designated passage through three times, with silence between the readings, and then spoke of connections we saw between the text and what we had been talking about during the session.
In the initial session, we explored what could be called our “spiritual autobiographies,” telling each other our background in and current relation to our faith and to the church; the Bible passage that ended that session was Luke 19.1-7, in which Jesus invites himself to the house of Zaccheus the tax collector. We took this discussion further in the second session, which focused on our experience in our own parish in some detail, including what draws us and keeps us there and whether and why we might consider leaving. For this session, our Bible study centered on Psalm 84, “How lovely is thy dwelling place.” After an hour’s break for supper (scheduling was definitely one of our biggest problems; this was a two-session marathon day), we continued with the third session, in which the focus broadened beyond church to our memories, from childhood on, of experiences in which we felt particularly included or excluded. The biblical text for that evening was Acts 10.1-20, the story in which Peter dreams that God challenges and corrects him about definitions of “clean” and “unclean,” after which he is then called upon to baptize the non-Jewish Cornelius and his family.
The fourth session was the crux of the process, and certainly the most difficult time of “sharing.” The subject was sexuality but, in keeping with the tenor of the process, it was not what we think about sexuality and its possible expressions, but rather our own experience of coming to awareness about sexuality and how our understanding has changed over time. This session is the only one of the six in which we were asked to speak directly about sexuality; the subject certainly arose in other sessions, but only because we knew it was the subtext of the entire process. The concluding Bible study was reflection on Genesis 1.26-31, the first of the two stories about the creation of human beings—the story of male and female created as two facets of androgynous humanity, not the later Genesis 2 story in which woman is fashioned from man’s rib to be a helper to him.
At our fifth meeting, we first talked about what had stayed with us from the previous session, and about whether and how what we heard had affected our views of the current controversy in the church. We then spoke of our hopes for the future of the church, what we think it should look like, and finished with reflection on Matthew 15. 29-37, the feeding of the 4000—in which, as was noted by the group, Jesus creates abundance and Jesus’ disciples are charged with distributing it. The final session was largely evaluative; we spoke of what we had experienced and learned over the previous sessions, and in doing so crafted the report our facilitator would forward to the Bishop. The concluding Bible study was of Acts 2.1-13, the story of Pentecost, when the observers responded to the power of the Holy Spirit in a variety of ways, including bafflement, curiosity, and derision.
The report generated in that session, we learned late in the process, is for the Bishop only and is not to be shared with our own parishes. Together with reports from the other five groups, all of which have now completed their meetings, our responses comprise the results of this pilot study. We have no information, and little basis on which to speculate, about what will now happen in this process or what the Bishop or the R-5 Commission expected or hoped for from it.
When asked, in the final session, what we had learned from the process, our answers were all over the board. In many ways, it was truthful to say we had learned nothing that showed a clear path forward. On the other hand, we learned a great deal about ourselves and about each other. We learned the sweetness of true, heartfelt communication, when trust is present and honesty valued. We saw how a sense of community is born out of that trust, openness, and safety. We learned both how different “Episcopalians” are, and how alike. We learned that, no matter where we stand on issues or what our experiences have been, talking about sex in “I statements” is far from simple; it is both difficult and complex. The complexity of what we all bring to our discussions about sexuality and the church is a very good thing to have learned, casting doubt on simplistic and reductive polarizations, the usual fodder of debates on questions of scriptural interpretation and definitions of justice.
The Listening Process did not, and perhaps is not really designed to, engender or uncover consensus on the issues about sexuality currently troubling the church. However, it seems to us to have rich potential for fostering respect, trust, and love among the members of our diverse diocese, even when we are not of one mind on matters of sexuality. Through this groundwork comes the hope for us at St. Paul’s for a progressive future where all of God’s children are affirmed in their right to the full sacramental blessings of the Church. It is clear that the Holy Spirit is at work in our diocese—we surely covered sacred ground in our courageous sharing and heart-felt listening—yet the work at hand is just beginning. As a group we appreciate the trust and support St. Paul’s gave us as we experienced this process; we now ask you to pray that the Bishop continues this process and to support the work required to make whole our part in the Body of Christ.
Thursday, May 7, 2009
25,000 Pennies from Heaven
We Social Security recipients have been notified that later this month each of us will receive an extra check for $250 as a gift from the Economic Recovery Act.
Some of us need this money for expenses of living. For others, Joy and I included, this gratuity represents 25,000 Pennies from Heaven. Each of us intends to pass the $250 on to St. Paul's as a gift over and above our annual pledge.
We make this intention public in the hope that a number of our fellow pensioners may wish to join us. You might note on your check to St. Paul's "Pennies from Heaven."
Charles and Joy Perry
Wednesday, May 6, 2009
The documents are clear. Only the "Bishop" of the Diocese of San Joaquin has the right to the incumbency of the corporation originally entitled "The Protestant Episcopal Bishop of San Joaquin, a Corporation Sole" and given the number C0066488 by the Secretary of State. Moreover, the Episcopal Church has spoken as to who holds the position of Bishop of the Diocese of San Joaquin — Reverend Lamb. Defendants challenge Lamb's election as Bishop on procedural grounds such as notice and quorum, but this court has no power to rule on the validity of the Episcopal Church's election of its Bishops.
Both the United States Supreme Court and California courts have held that in the case of hierarchical religious entities the civil courts must accept as binding and defer to decisions by religious tribunals with respect to religious doctrine, practice, faith, ecclesiastical rule, discipline, custom, law, membership, polity, clergy credentials and discipline, as well as religious entity governance and administration....
Accordingly since the Episcopal Church has seen fit to recognize Lamb as the new Bishop of the Diocese of San Joaquin, we must do so as well.
Tuesday, May 5, 2009
Prayers of the People by St. Paul’s Youth
The prayers of the people this morning come from those prayers we experienced when we visited other religious communities in Charlottesville and a Lakota prayer from the communities we will visit in June.
Lotus Prayer from the community at Yogaville
O Lord, the Light of Lights, Kindly lead us to that Light of Wisdom and enlighten our hearts. Help us experience that Light within and without. Help us see the same Light, the same Spirit dwelling everywhere in everything.
Lord, in your mercy, hear our Prayer.
Help us recognize the central unity. Help us realize we are Your image, Your children, no matter what the differences are. Let us behold Your Spirit running through all. Give us the strength and courage and capacity to experience that Peace and Joy and share that experience with everyone.
Lord, in your mercy, hear our Prayer.
Help us to get away from these selfish temptations with which we are creating all the differences, all the fights, and all the wars. We have suffered enough due to our ignorance. Please guide us to know our brothers and sisters and to know we are all parts of your family.
Lord, in your mercy, hear our Prayer.
Buddhist Prayer from Tashi Choeling Buddhist Center
May all beings have happiness and the causes of happiness;
May all be free from sorrow and the causes of sorrow;
May all live in equanimity, without too much attachment and too much aversion,
And live believing in the equality of all that lives.
Lord, in your mercy, hear our Prayer.
Muslim Prayer: by Aminah Sharif Goling
In the name of God, the Beneficent and the Merciful, We pray to You peace. Peace that comes from within our hearts, which is authentic. Peace that radiates through out the whole of humanity that brings harmony. Peace that is rooted in understanding one another and sustained through times. Peace that recognizes not only the similarities but also the differences between and among people. Peace, in your Name.
Lord, in your mercy, hear our Prayer.
Christian Prayer from Mother Teresa
Make us worthy, Lord, to serve our brothers and sisters throughout the world who live and die in poverty and hunger. Give them through our hands this day their daily bread, and by our understanding love, give peace and joy.
Lord in your mercy, hear our Prayer.
Lakota Prayer from Black Elk, Oglala Lakota
Great Spirit, you are everywhere. You hear whatever is in our minds and hearts, and it is not necessary to speak to you in a loud voice. You lived first and are older than the prayers that are sent to you. All things belong to you. Thus we now send up a voice on behalf of everything you have made.
Lord in your mercy, hear our prayer
Monday, May 4, 2009
1. A Comfy Mattress Is Our God
2. Joyful, Joyful, We Kinda Like Thee
3. Above Average is Thy Faithfulness
4. Lord, Keep Us Loosely Connected to Your Word
5. All Hail the Influence of Jesus’ Name
6. My Hope is Built on Nothing Much
7. Amazing Grace, How Interesting the Sound
8. My Faith Looks Around for Thee
9. Be Thou My Hobby
10. O God, Our Enabler in Ages Past
11. Blest Be the Tie That Doesn’t Cramp My Style
12. Oh, for a Couple of Tongues to Sing
13. He’s Quite a Bit to Me
14. Oh, How I Like Jesus
15. I Lay My Inappropriate Behaviors on Jesus
16. Pillow of Ages, Fluffed for Me
17. I Surrender Some
18. Praise God from Whom All Affirmations Flow
19. I’m Fairly Certain That My Redeemer Lives
20. Self-Esteem to the World! The Lord is Come
21. Sit Up, Sit Up for Jesus
22. Special, Special, Special
23. Spirit of the Living God, Fall Somewhere Near Me
24. Stick Nearby, It’s Getting Dark Outside
25. Take My Life and Let Me Be
26. There is Scattered Cloudiness in My Soul Today
27. There Shall be Sprinkles of Blessings
28. What an Acquaintance We Have in Jesus
29. When Peace, Like a Trickle. . .
30. When the Saints Go Sneaking In
31. Where He Leads Me, I Will Consider Following
32. God of Taste, and God of Stories
33. Lift Every Voice and Intellectualize
Sunday, May 3, 2009
Saturday, May 2, 2009
Friday, May 1, 2009
1- If you or anyone in your family is feeling ill or has immune system issues, please stay home and consult your doctor.
2- If you are well, please come to church to pray for the sick and those who are anxious about becoming sick.
3- Please wash your hands frequently, and wash your hands before coming to church. Please cover your mouth if you need to cough or sneeze, and then wash your hands.
4- You do not need to shake hands during the passing of the peace. A wave of the hand or a nod is perfectly fine.
5- All of the clergy will be using hand sanitizer before distributing communion bread.
6- You do not have to receive wine from the common cup. You can always dip your bread in the cup, or cross your arms when the cup comes by and the chalice bearer will say a prayer (you don't have to shake your head).
Please keep those who are sick in your prayers, and do come to worship as you are able.