Hello! My apologies for neglecting this blog for several weeks. I have been posting prayers and humor over at Rev. Gals, but haven’t been here for awhile. I’ve spent some time cleaning up the site this morning and have posted the Colored Pencil Prayers, Fruit of the Spirit retreat, and Holy Spaces retreat materials on the Other Writings page.
Here are a few highlights of my summer. We took a family vacation to Branson:
I got to see friends at conventions and other places:
We welcomed Michela, our exchange student from Italy, for the year:
And we adopted Toni:
Here are several worship pieces I’ve written over the last few months. And remember that you can always check the index for pieces based on scripture, season, and/or theme.
Call to Worship (Song of Solomon 8:6-7 and Matthew 22:37-40)
Which commandment is the greatest?
Love your God.
And the second?
Love your neighbor as yourself.
with all your heart.
with all your soul.
with all your mind.
with all your strength.
For love is as strong as death.
Passion as fierce as the grave.
Many waters cannot quench love,
Neither can floods drown it.
So let our worship be an expression of our love—
Love for ourselves, for others, for this world.
Let our worship remind us that we are loved—
By God and by each other.
Let our worship be like our love:
Strong, fierce, and overflowing.
Call to Worship (from Psalm 24 and Ephesians 3)
We stand in this holy place.
We seek the face of God.
We bow our hearts before our Maker and bask in the riches of God’s glory.
Through this time of worship, may we be strengthened in our inner beings
With power through the Holy Spirit;
And may Christ dwell in our hearts through faith.
Let us be rooted and grounded in love—
The love of Christ that is so broad,
That it surpasses knowledge.
We come to worship this morning
That we might be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.
Prayer of Confession (inspired by Philippians 2:3-11)
For the times we act out of selfish ambition or conceit,
When we care more for our own interests than for the interests of others,
When we insist on labeling others—on creating categories of “us” and “them,”
When our mind is far, far away from the mind of Christ,
When we only see the forms people take and not their inherent belovedness,
When our obedience to you ends where the difficulties and discomfort begins,
We want our lives to look more like Jesus’ life.
We want our feet to follow Jesus’ path more faithfully.
We want to live more fully out of our belovedness.
We want to see more deeply the belovedness of others.
Forgive our sins.
Guide our steps.
Hear our prayer, O God.
Offertory Prayer (Based on the Peace Prayer of St. Francis)
May our offerings of money, time, and energy be instruments of your peace.
Where there is hatred
Let our offerings sow love;
Where there is injury, pardon.
Where there is doubt, faith.
Where there is despair, hope.
Where there is dimness, illumination.
Where there is sadness, joy.
For it is in giving that we receive.
Benediction (Romans 12:1-2)
As you go into the world, do not be conformed to the world. Be transformed by the renewing of your mind—by the power of the Holy Spirit. Live into the new life God offers. Live out the peace Jesus proclaims. As you go into the world, may you discern and delight in the good and perfect will of God. Amen.
Blessing (based on Psalm 138)
Go with confidence into the days ahead,
trusting in God’s unfailing love and faithfulness.
God will not abandon you,
for you are the work of God’s hands—a divine creation—
and God’s love endures forever.
So go in joy to love and serve!
Blessing (from Psalm 19)
As you live this week with the Word of God echoing in your mind and the Presence of God warming your heart, may your soul be revived; may your heart rejoice; may your eyes be enlightened. And may the peace of Christ be with you.