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March 20, 2020: A Prayer While Sheltering In Place

God of Grace,

We are a people who are being stressed and stretched to our limits…

even if all we are doing is staying in the shelter of our own homes–our imaginations can run wild. 

We gather virtually because we long for community,

A sense of normalcy,

And a sense of your presence.

We trust you when you say that wherever two or three are gathered, even virtually, 

you are with us.

Open our hearts to be sensitive to your presence with and among us. 

Our fears and concerns are not unfounded.
Our reliance upon you allows us to face them responsibly

With a kind and generous spirit.
Remind us of that when we need it…

When we are tempted to panic

Or act out of fear.

As we live in isolation from some, we live in close quarters with others.
Remind us to be forgiving.

And don’t let us forget those who don’t have the luxury of physical companionship in our isolation.

Inspire us to reach out creatively.

Convict us of our tendency to hoard resources.
Teach us to hold with a loose grip those items we should share
And a tight embrace those who are truly precious.

You commanded us to love our neighbors.

Teach us how to best love one another.

And remind us that new every morning is your Love,

Oh great God of Light.
All day long you are working for Good in the World.
Let us not forget this.
Stir up in us a desire to serve creatively (even in this strange time)

And to devote our days to walking in the living traditions of Jesus
Who sought out the poor, the disenfranchised, the lonely…

And remembered them, and tended to their needs.

Inspire us to live faithfully in Light of the Resurrection, even in this Lenten season.
We withdraw for the sake of being able to gather Later.



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January 31, 2016–Breaking the barriers

Gracious God,

Surely you have a wry sense of humor!
50 degree weather in Chicago in January…
Talk about breaking barriers
and disrupting false notions of the boundaries we hold!

And we do hold them tightly, don’t we?
Some subconsciously;
Some quite consciously.
Often out of nostalgia.

Whether it be documented or undocumented;
Black or White;
orthodox or heretic;
rich or poor;
Ohio State or Michigan…

We love our boundaries!

But this weekend you remind us,
even in something as simple as surprisingly warm weather,
of the joy of boundaries broken.

And our prayer time functions to remind us further that boundaries are fluid–

And our act of lifting our prayers up to you
disrupts the notion of a separation of me/you… of I/Thou.

We hold these prayers up together, collectively,
as OURS–shared in a radical act of hospitality.
We shoulder each other’s joys and concerns.

[read aloud the prayer cards]

And we acknowledge that even in our most hospitable moments
some things feel too heavy a burden to share,
or too private a thought to voice aloud.
To these we trust in your unfailing ability to hear us in our silence.

[pause for silent prayer]

We trust you to hear us in our silence!

The same trust helps us see your love, renewed each morning.
We trust that you are working for good in the world.

Stir up in us a desire to serve
and to live peaceably.

Help us to devote ourselves to the traditions of Jesus–who broke barriers;
cared for those in need;
reached out to the disenfranchised;
who taught us to see each other.

Teach us how to best love one another!

Blessed Be!


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February 28, 2015– A prayer for ISIS (part 1)

Love your enemy, you say.

Pray for those who persecute you, you say.


A theological exertion of the will–
To wish change upon the Other.
A prodding of your Spirit to move ‘them’ towards the right ends.

She must be lazy: in need of a prompt or invocation.
At any rate, the Divine Will is certain;
The Direction clear.
And my intercession will get Her moving.

So I pray.

She gets up and stretches
and turns towards me.
Amused, She laughs–
Carbonated holiness.

With a yawn of boredom
She points to a new interpretation–
instead of intercession
how about empathy?

To pray as your enemy would–
on their behalf.

And Divine Judgment shifts
its gaze back to me
and mirrors

The prayer for intercession
is a prayer of confession.
This is what it means to pray for my enemies.

And now I don’t know who they are.

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November 16, 2014– Your Light

Gracious God,

It is the warmth of your Spirit-
your presence-
which draws us close.

As our days grow shorter
and our nights longer,
we rely on your Spirit’s warm glow
to life the grey skies
and illumine our souls.

Teach us to be Bearers of Divine Light
to one another.

It is to your light we lift up the prayers of this congregation:

[read aloud prayer cards]

And we acknowledge those joys
which bring such un-utterable delight
we can only ponder  them speechlessly
close at heart;
and those concerns and burdens
so great
we can’t bear to speak them aloud:
these we shoulder together as a congregation
as we lift them up to your light.

[pause for silent prayer]

Hear our silent prayers!

And remind us that new every morning
is your love, O Great God of Light.
All day  long you are working for good in the world.
Stir up in us a desire to serve
and to live peaceably with our neighbors.
And to devote each day to walking
in the living traditions of Jesus
who welcomed the disenfranchised
and cared for those in need.

Teach us to let your light shine though us!
Blessed Be.

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August 24, 2014–Sanctuary

Gracious God,

We gather in the quiet and calm
of this sanctuary
in this week
feeling war-torn and weary:
from the news
from our work
from our relationships.

We gather each week in need of safe space–
in need of refuge.
In need of time and space to sit
and to re-set.

We need your sanctuary.
We need your peace.

And coming together, we trust that as we share together
our burdens grow lighter
when many help shoulder their load.
And our joys run deeper
when they are acknowledged and celebrated by the community.

So we lift up our joys and concerns now:

[read aloud the prayer cards]

And we have learned together to listen as a community
to our silences.
Our silence betrays some of our most pressing concerns
and our most private and intimate thoughts.

Hear our silent prayers:

[pause for silent prayer]

Lord, let our desire for peace
function as a call to action,
instead of a retreat into ourselves.

Remind us that our peace is
inextricably linked to justice.

Send us as agents of your peace,
your grace,
your mercy,
and your justice.


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