Showing posts from August, 2015

"Let us be doers, not merely hearers..." A James 1:17-27 Call to Worship

God has birthed in us life, truth, hope, faith and love.

Let us be doers of God’s word, and not merely hearers.

God has led us into light, made rugged places plain, blessed us with the Holy Spirit and enabled us to be God’s children.

Let us be doers of God’s word, and not merely hearers.

God is love, and God loves us beyond our ability to understand. In God’s love, God became us, experienced our pain, healed us, taught us, and even was obedient to our unjust sentence of death by crucifixion. God, in love, forgives us daily.

Let us be doers of God’s word, and not merely hearers.

God reveals to us purpose in our life. God desires us to be participants in God’s mission in the world.

Let us be doers of God’s word, and not merely hearers.

A Prayer for Public Education

Lord, we pray for public education in our country,
and we lift up those who serve and are served by public education.

We pray for the continuing education of our society,
and we lift up teachers, teachers’ assistants, those learning to teach, and those who support teachers as substitutes—all who make learning possible for students.

We pray for the continuity of public education in our country,
and we lift up those who maintain excellence in education in places we often do not notice: the landscapers, construction workers, janitors, handymen and administrative assistants who all have vital roles in the continuity of public education.

We pray for the strong leadership and innovation of public education in our country,
and we lift up administrators, principals, superintendents, board members, trustees, civic leaders, and national government figures who all make decisions that pave the way for excellence in learning in our country.

We pray for people who do not have vital access to public edu…

A Pilgrimage to Iona, Part 3

“A time on Iona often changes people…” -Iona Abbey Worship Book

Iona begs for multiple visits. Not only because of the abundant beauty, hospitality, and life there; but also because Iona has lessons to teach us that can’t all be provided in a single, five day visit.

Iona, and in a broader but less pointed sense, Europe, demonstrates a kind of relationship humanity can have with its environment that is foreign to us Americans. The best way to describe this is in the dichotomy between a culture that integrates versus a culture that excavates. This dichotomy has implications in architecture, food systems, and how humans treat each other. There is something about the land, and the abundance of life on Iona that makes it easy for me to understand why people find Iona to be thin. It makes me feel spoiled and somewhat awkward when I think of the kinds of contrived abundances we have in the U.S. A manufactured abundance that exploits more than it stewards leads to silly things like "farm-t…

A Pilgrimage to Iona, Part 2

"...for we have been at worship all day long."
Worship transcends when each individual word is chosen and spoken and/or sung with intention in a gathered community. In Iona, amongst centuries of history, a community meets up to three times a day to share in the signs and words that orients the gathered to the work of God in the world and leads them to worship. Every morning (except for Sunday) worship begins with responses that acknowledge God’s divine possession of creation, celebrate the beauty and goodness of creation, the unity of Christian practices with the work of justice in the world, the power of the witness of Christ in the world, and finally a call for God’s grace to “Open our lips, O God, and our mouths shall proclaim your praise.” As a Methodist, I especially appreciated the final response that began worship, because that response is the same one that we also proclaim in our own observance of morning prayer in the United Methodist Hymnal, and is shared ecumenical…