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Showing posts from July, 2015

A Pilgrimage to Iona, Part I

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“People come to Iona seeking Peace and Quiet.  People leave Iona seeking Peace and Justice.”

I had the incredible opportunity recently to spend five days on the island of Iona in western Scotland. This is a place I have only had the pleasure of knowing at a distance, a place with a religious community whose songs have been what I have cut my teeth on as I have learned to become a worship enlivener in the church. Iona is a place with a rich history that began before the printed bible, the separation of the Western and Eastern Christian Church, and only one hundred years after unanimous adoption of the Christian Canon. The Abbey in Iona can trace its origins back to St. Columba, a venerated saint who established the island as a holy place in 563 after being exiled from Ireland. Iona can be considered a bastion of Celtic Christianity in Scotland, and many of the thousands of pilgrims who are hospitably welcomed there deem it a “thin” place.




Thinness is an appropriate metaphor that refers …

The Parable of the Talents: An Ironic Call to Worship

“For to all those who have, more will be given, and they will have an abundance; but from those who have nothing, even what they have will be taken away.”

We live in a world where our wealth is often made at the cost of the less fortunate.

“For to all those who have, more will be given, and they will have an abundance; but from those who have nothing, even what they have will be taken away.”

We live in a world where our possessions, status, and privilege warps our perception and hides the anguish, need, and hurt of our neighbors.

“For to all those who have, more will be given, and they will have an abundance; but from those who have nothing, even what they have will be taken away.”

We often reap what we do not sow through the exploitation of natural resources.



Lord, have mercy!

Inspire us to share our wealth and possessions like the earliest of Christians, 
fostering a community of justice and hospitality.

Christ, have mercy!

Cleanse our perception of the world, so that we can clearly see t…

"Dominus pastor noster" A Psalm 23 adaptation (with Doxology)

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(inspired by Bobby McFerrin's arrangement/adaptation. Can be utilized as a communal call to worship)

The Lord is our shepherd,
and leads us to what we need.
The Great Pastor invites us to rest in green grasses.
and guides us to clean, still waters.

Our souls are restored, 
God rights our wrongs,
We are led on a path of good things
and our hearts are filled with music.

Even though we walk in a dark and dreary land,
there is nothing that can shake us,
the Great Shepherd will not abandon us,
we’re in God’s hand.

He sets a table before us in the presence of our foes,
She anoints our head with oil, and our cup overflows.

Surely, 
surely goodness and kindness will accompany us throughout our lives, 
and we will live in the presence of God, forever and ever.


Glory to the Holy Trinity, our God who creates, redeems, and sustains, as it was 
in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.


I invite you to listen to this exquisite take on Psalm 23 written and composed by Bobby McFerrin.  It…

"Belonging to God's adopted family" a Call to Worship for Ephesians 1:3-14

O God,
make the door of this house wide enough to receive all who need human love and fellowship, narrow enough to shut out envy, pride, and strife.
Make its threshold smooth enough
to be no stumblingblock to children, nor to straying feet, but rugged and strong enough to turn back evil’s power.
God,
make the door of this house the gateway to your eternal kingdom.
-Anonymous

O God, make this family circle wide.
Make this family circle wide enough to welcome all who come; wide enough to see everyone as part of Your huge adopted family; wide enough to love everyone as Christ has loved them.
Make this family circle strong.
Make this family circle strong enough to bear one another’s burdens; strong enough to share in each others struggles; strong enough to resist evil as a community. 
Make this family circle abundant and hospitable.
Make this family circle abundant in love, abundant in charity, and abundant in Christlike humility. Make this family circle hospitable enough to see strangers as ang…