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Call to Worship: "Reveal the Path"

God of Life, we are searching for the way.

Reveal the path.

We work hard to be good people, yet still feel like something is missing.

Reveal the path.

We know the difference between good and bad, yet find those categories incomplete. 

Reveal the path.

We want to love God but find it difficult to love our neighbor.

Reveal the path.

We get along with everyone but have a hard time finding God.

Reveal the path.

Making Sacred Spaces More Sacred

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It’s 4:19AM, and I am writing this from the reception desk of my church which has become a temporary pop-up homeless shelter. I am sleep deprived, full of coffee, and awestruck by how my last week has been. This blog mostly centers around my writing for worship, so I want to spend some time talking about the architecture of our sacred spaces. This paragraph might not seem cohesive or coherent yet, but it will. Let me refill my coffee. 
Okay.
While it is true that we can worship fully regardless of the space we are in, another argument can be for the impact our worship’s architecture has on our sense of reverence, awe, and our sense of the sacred in the midst of our worship. I have seen some incredible worship spaces, from the centuries old Abbey on the Island of Iona in Scotland, to the historic, 102 year old sanctuary of my own church, to a worship space that also serves as a coffee shop. 
Two qualities serve as the main ways I perceive a worship space: aesthetic and function. The t…

Call to Worship: Feed us Justice (Ezekiel 34:11-24)

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Great Shepherd, feed us.
Feed us joy when we despair.

Great Shepherd, feed us.
Feed us humility when we lose ourselves in pride.

Great Shepherd, feed us.
Feed us peace when we are overwhelmed with chaos.

Great Shepherd, feed us.
Feed us hope when we are lost.

Great Shepherd, feed us.
Feed us justice when we stray.

Nourish us, O God, so that we may be nourishment for the world. Feed us, O Shepherd, so that we may gain strength to resist the powers and principalities of oppression. Guide us, O Great Jehovah, so that we may be reflections of your light in a world obscured by division, hatred, and fear.  

An Affirmation of Faith

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I believe in God the divine parent: provider of sustenance, challenge, and relief; who has created all and continues to create among us even now; who is among us in ways we can know, and in ways unknowable.

I believe in Jesus Christ the beloved child, our savior: redeemer of humanity, deliverer from sin; who is the poured out love of God in creation, simultaneously human and divine; who was born of Mary, and sought safety in Egypt as a refugee; who amazed rabbis and priests as a child; who preached and performed miracles as an itinerant and homeless prophet; who was an unjustly convicted and executed criminal of the Roman Empire—his death was overturned by the will of God, and his resurrection has defeated the power of death.

I believe in the Holy Spirit the constant helper: whose presence inspires and whose movement among us reveals God in our midst; who works with the church and despite the church to bring about God’s will in creation; who works with us and despite us to spread God’…

"The Homeless" - Call to Worship Luke 9:51-62

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My congregation is journeying with a new worship series inspired by the work of the inimitable Dr. Marcia McFee, who provides excellent resources on worship at www.worshipdesignstudio.com. The worship series is called "The Outsider," and explores the many types of people on the margins that Jesus encounters (or inspires people to become) in the Gospel of Luke. I look forward to sharing further creative ideas I come across as we dream this worship series into life. This Sunday, we will journey with "the homeless" as we explore Jesus' experience of the "hospitality" of Samaria, and the persistence of the hemorrhaging woman. What follows is our call to worship that begins with the singing of "God Welcomes All," a song brought to us from South Africa by John Bell of the Iona worshiping community in Scotland.


God welcomes all, strangers and friends.
God’s love is strong and it never ends.(John Bell; South Africa)

“Foxes have holes, and birds of the…

The "Open Carry" of Moderate White Supremacy

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I was recently in Pioneer Park in Downtown Dallas.



"Dallas Pioneer Park Cemetery is the final resting place of six Dallas Mayors, three War of 1812 Veterans, nine heroes of the Texas Revolution, twenty-nine (one Union & twenty-eight Confederate) Civil War Veterans, fourteen Peters Colonists, five members of the La Reunion French Colony, four Colonels of the Confederacy, two County Judges, two District Judges, two notable historical women, one State Senator, one Lieutenant Governor & numerous other city & county officials of the earliest governments of Dallas County, including early doctors, lawyers, clergymen, merchants, fallen law enforcement officers & firemen, engineers, business leaders, mothers & children. The epitaphs & artwork of the monuments honoring loved ones long gone meant something to those left behind. The markers that have withstood the years, elements & vandals remain as a tangible link to Dallas' past.” (http://freepages.history.r…

Call to Worship: Traveling (Luke 10:1-11, 16-20)

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My congregation will soon embark on a new worship series inspired by the work of the inimitable Dr. Marcia McFee, who provides excellent resources on worship at www.worshipdesignstudio.com. The worship series is called "The Outsider," and explores the many types of people on the margins that Jesus encounters (or inspires people to become) in the Gospel of Luke. I look forward to sharing further creative ideas I come across as we dream this worship series into life. On our first Sunday, we will journey with "the traveler" as we explore Jesus' sending of the Disciples in groups of two and our churches' responsibility to be havens to all kinds of travelers.. What follows is our call to worship.

Peace to this house!
May we bring peace with us wherever we go.

When the journey has been long,
may we bring peace with us wherever we go.

When our burdens weigh us down,
may we bring peace with us wherever we go.

When the long paths we have taken leave scars,
may we bring …