As the sun rises on this new season, we seek your presence in the ordinary and extraordinary. We gaze to the light growing in the east, knowing that hope is beaming in our world. We look for the warm rays of hope to thaw our frost-glazed hearts.
So we celebrate cautious optimism- Even when the chills of winter have slowed our souls, Even when the disappointments of frigidness have turned us against the hope of the Holy Winds.
Warm us to your visions, God. Kindle the spark of your dreams in our hearts. May your presence refresh our weary spirits again.
On days of bleakness, our eyes focus on the fog surrounding us instead of the warmth from your Spirit nearby. On days of aches from the chilly climate, we search for relief from the balmy Christ in our midst.
Distractions get the best of us. Whatever ails our bodies and minds and souls wins our attention.
We attempt to shake off any malaise as we turn onto a new road- A path in which our senses reach for your presence.
As we see you in the light, notice you in laughter, feel you in the mild temperatures, We turn our fields of emotions into gardens of appreciation.
In seasons of gratitude, may we express our sentiments freely. May our hearts open to share words of encouragement and thanksgiving to you, God, and to our neighbors.
Shorten our nighttimes of despair and return the bright daylight of joy to our souls.
God of the early morning inhales and the deep evening exhales-
We remember the souls who have gone to the other side of heaven- to your realm, where all souls, or saints as we often call them, bask in your light for all eternity. For your grace which welcomed them from near and far, and your mercy that gave them comfort upon their last breaths, we give you thanks.
We remember the souls who are here among us, dining with us at tables, sharing with us their extravagant love, quarreling with us, challenging us. Through Jesus the Christ, we work to forgive them. And while reconciliation may not happen on this side of heaven, we trust in the healing space of eternity to find everlasting peace.
We nod to the souls of the future who abide with and in the Divine energy. Through their time with God, may they carry wisdom and love into this world when their time comes to abide on this side of heaven. May their love radiate beyond the bounds of heaven to shower our earth with light and love.
We stop on this island in the middle of this week’s seas, reflecting on the days behind us. As we turn around to head forward, we sit, wondering where this energy is – the power to complete this week with love, grace, and enthusiasm.
For all we want to do is nap on the island in the middle of this week’s seas. Such physical and mental exhaustion wipes us. Do we have enough vigor to make it to tomorrow’s land? Will we have enough stamina to work until the tasks can be completed?
We know all strength originates with you, Divine Stamina. Through your energy, we find our energy.
As we move ahead, may your Holy Air around us carry us from task to task, taking the weight off of our hearts and heads and feet. May the warm breezes comfort us when the road seems long.
And may we see you clearly in each movement in the journey.
For the first awakened breath we take for this day, we celebrate with you. We pull ourselves out of our slumbers to see where our adventures with you will go.
But first, coffee.
We give much gratitude for the beans that you have produced to give us an elixir of awakeness.
For the smooth (or bitter) tastes that cross our taste buds, we give you gratitude. For the many ways that we can enjoy the fruit of your creation, we give you thanks. For the second and third winds these beverages bring our way, we share our appreciation with you, Holy One.
With our mugs and recycle-able paper cups, we toast our ritual of dawn with you, God of alertness and light.
This beautiful space today reminds us that we co-create with you. Each brick reminds us of our strength through you. Each window reminds us of your light that shines through us.
God of Love and Light: Bless the space today. Bless each brick, each panel of wood, each nail which has assembled this building. Bless all of the hands and hearts which have built and restored this place as we give much gratitude for their gifts. Bless all who have given their treasures in making this day possible.
Each time two or more are gathered in this space, may they see your presence surrounding them. In gatherings of joy, fill their hearts with happiness, and may this room be filled with laughter. As groups congregate for solemn occasions, surround them with your peace, and may their souls experience your comfort.
We give thanks for the saints whose gifts continue to echo in this sanctuary. May their memories continue to bless current and future generations who congregate in this place.
May this space be one which builds community, believing that your love will strengthen our ties and create your realm on this earth.
This was written for the Celebration of the Restoration of Heritage Hall at St. Paul United Church of Christ, April 2022.
As the sun breaks the bounds of the horizon, we celebrate the limitations broken by women in our world.
From work in humanities to the hours spent researching in labs, we honor the gifts of women throughout this world. May they continue to see wisdom and knowledge that comes from you.
We celebrate and bless women’s agency – especially regarding health care and careers. May they work with you to discover the best path for their own lives.
We continue to work for equal pay and health care for women. Continue to transform our hearts to see women as beams of strength and courage.
Bless the ones who are mothers and those who mother. Heal the hearts of the ones who hurt from not yet being a mom. Bless all older and younger and middle age. Bless transgender women and the ones who love women. May they live into your calling – even when that means both career and motherhood, and may we as a world honor and create roads for their sacred paths.
The possibilities of their work are endless, God of Love. Clear paths and open the souls in our world so that your light can be seen beaming from them.
Now I lay me down to rest as I have been on days on end. There are only so many movies to stream and shows to binge and Wordles to solve and naps to take.
My mind is willing. But my body is weak.
In this season of healing and boredom, may I see your presence in the spinning of ceiling fan and the pillows beneath my head. May I see your rainbow of colors in the blandness of days. May this body heal as it should, and allow me to see how my stillness rebuilds a healing body. May this season of rest nurture the soil which will hold the seeds of my creativity.
Above all, help me to see your light and love surrounding me in the comfort of my resting spaces.