Welcome

I’m so glad you are here! The “Spacious Faith” title as inspired by Psalm 66:12: “You have brought us out to a spacious place.” I seek a spacious faith that surrounds all that I do and all that I am–with plenty of room to explore and grow. This blog is a bit of a spiritual discipline for me. I pray it is a welcome companion for you along your spiritual journey.

About the Blog

I post a lot of worship material and sermons–because I have to write that stuff anyway.  You can use the “Categories” tab (on the right sidebar) to see pieces by type: call to worship, offertory prayer, etc. The “Index” page allows you to look up pieces related to specific texts, seasons, or topics. Please note that I post full sermon texts as pages, not posts; so the only way to access sermons is through the index or sometimes through links on posted excerpts.

Besides worship material, I sometimes post creative prayer practices, parenting insights (aka frustrations), theological musings, art projects, and reflections on other topics of interest to me such as Mennonite Church USA, politics, and justice issues. You may find a humor piece now and then, but most of those get posted in my monthly column on Rev. Gal Blog Pals.

My comment policy is pretty simple: I approve comments before they show up on the blog. Because this is a personal blog, I feel no obligation to allow comments that are in any way hateful and/or offensive. If you do not play nice, I will reject your comments and pray for your immortal soul.

I should also say that what I write represents my views and reflects my mood on a particular day. My views are not necessarily the views of Peace Mennonite Church, Western District Conference, or Mennonite Church USA. Really. Trust me on this.

Using worship material from Spacious Faith:

You are welcome to use material from this blog in your own worship settings. Attribution is appreciated: “By Rev. Joanna Harader, from SpaciousFaith.com.” And I always love to hear from people who find this material helpful.

About me: Joanna Harader

I serve as pastor of Peace Mennonite Church in Lawrence, Kansas. I am also a wife, parent, and grandparent. I adore my two dogs (a mini Australian Cattle Dog and an Australian Shepherd/Chow Chow mix), and I am tolerated by two cats who let me live in their house. In addition to the creative work of pastoring and writing, I also enjoy creating art (mostly card-making), playing board games, reading, and napping (not necessarily in that order).

I am an ENFP and am starting to have a pretty firm suspicion that I am an Enneagram 7. So you can understand why I’m not the most consistent blogger. I go through periods of excited, frequent posting, and periods of relative silence. It’s just my way. Don’t be alarmed.

16 thoughts on “Welcome

  1. Last April I sent an email to Randall Spauding a letter of the injustice served by the leadership of MennoniteUSA regarding his expulsion from a committee he served very diligently and compassionately. I understand he has gone on to Princeton. Does anyone have his email address or contact info. I feel he deserves our continued support and respect as a Christian brother. We need to continue to reach out to people of all backgrounds and heritage, lest we dry up like a bruised branch and whither with no fruit., Dr Roy

  2. As a retired UM clergywoman, I have been invited to lead sunrise communion for a group of very traditional people. I was so delighted to find your liturgy and have used it almost without changing. (I did give you credit!) Thank you for providing help in such a concrete way. May this Holy Week give you opportunities to see God at work in your life amidst the challenges. Thank you again.

    • Betty,
      I’m delighted to hear that you will use the communion liturgy on Sunday. Blessings to you this week as we journey through the cross.

  3. Joanna, You are just too much. Loving so much getting to know you on my visits to Lawrence to see my grandsons, Benny and Pete and of course my awesome daughter, Jenny and loving son-in-law, Tom. You are a funny, filled with joy, spiritual being. I’m so glad that my daughter and her family have you in their lives. Peace and love from my little village beneath the Peak.

  4. Love the disclosure…”My views are not necessarily the views of Peace Mennonite Church, Western District Conference, or Mennonite Church USA. Really. Trust me on this.”

    Haven’t done much writing about my faith at this point on my blog. Think that’s going to change because I’m feeling it’s a bit superficial.

    Glad I happened upon your blog!

  5. I am delighted to find this site and your blog. We met when I was UM Pastor at Vinland UMC and I since the accepted an appointment way north in Axtell. I look forward to your blogs and appreciate your writing. Best wishes, Shirley

  6. Hello, Joanna. I love what you create here. Thank you. I am a former Catholic theology teacher now embracing my faith as a Mennonite in Seattle. I have just begun a mission church with a Lutheran pastor, in hopes of giving sacred, hospitable space to those who are alienated from institutional church. This post introduces us.

    https://spiritualitywithoutborders.wordpress.com/2015/02/23/welcoming-waters-spirit-of-the-great-blue-heron/

    Blessings on your excellent work here.

  7. Hi Joanna, I stumbled across your blog this year as I was fishing on the internet for new and interesting worship materials. I’m a pastor, you see, and besides coming up my own prayers and litanies, I like to see the inspiration of others. So I am looking and am borrowing from time to time. Thank you for posting your work for all to see. Very generous of you! You may have inspired me to do the same in the future . . .
    Blessings, Doug Amstutz, pastor, Rainham Mennonite Church

    • Thanks for the note, Doug. Always good to hear from other Mennonite pastors. If you do end up posting some of the material you write, be sure to link me up! I also go fishing for worship materials. Peace.

  8. Joanna,

    I am a new minister trying to grasp writing liturgy, prayers and sermons in a faithful, cohesive and impactful way and have found such inspiration from your liturgy. Thank you for sharing your faith in writing.

    Grace and peace,
    Kate

    • Kate, thank you so much for the kind note. I am so glad that my writing can be a small part of your support system as you begin your ministry. Deep peace and joy to you.

  9. Joanne,
    I was looking for an appropriate Call to Worship to go with my liturgy for Pentecost and came across your info. Imagine my delight when I saw your picture and realized whose works I was viewing.

    Peace & Blessings,
    Bonnie
    (CBTS graduate)

  10. Dear Joanna, Thank you for “Mothering, God” which I’ve just discovered when googling the phrase “mothering god” for inspiration for the reflection (sermon) I’m trying to write – the original spark of ideas seeming to have faded in the meantime… Such thougtful and honest reflection on the realities of parenting and of “celebrating earthly motherhood in worship”.

    I loved your reference to the Jim Cotter “Prayer to the Eternal Spirit”, but I’d like to share this link to an obituary, which correctly points out that the New Zealand Anglican Prayer Book altered Jim’s words, and the prayer is often used without acknowledgement of his authorship. Jim’s original Prayer begins: “Eternal Spirit, Life-Giver, Pain-Bearer, Love-Maker, Father and Mother of us all…” https://liturgy.co.nz/god-our-love-maker That’s the version we say most weeks in my faith community.

    I’m an ‘unofficial’ lay worship leader, elder in the Presbyterian Church of Aotearoa New Zealand, and blessed to be part of the progressive, inclusive faith community of St Andrew’s on The Terrace, Wellington. FYI and in case other readers are interested, I too create and publish liturgy, much of which arises from living in the Southern Hemisphere where Christmas is in the middle of summer, and those of us with settler heritage are trying to honour and explore the world of the indigenous Maori peoples whose lives, generations later, are negatively impacted by colonisation.

    I’m very glad to have found your website, and will include yours in my “links and connections” section.

    Tēnā rawa atu koe (thank you very much, in Maori language)
    Bronwyn

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