Mary, we did not know you.
Kept hidden for centuries you were despised,
A Queen not seen, under harlot’s disguise.
Mary, we did not know you.
We are here to praise and enjoy God with body and soul, mind and heart, with song and word, with hands and feet.
We are here to give because of the abundance God has given us, to share with each other, and to receive, because God has created us to depend on each other.
We are here to celebrate the differences that otherwise might divide us: differences of age, of body, of culture, of opinion, of ability, of religious conviction.
We are here to put things in perspective: to celebrate what matters, to laugh about things we take too seriously, to cry about things that truly touch our hearts.
So may it be this morning: Amen!
Presider: God be with you
People: And also with you
Presider: Open your hearts
People: We open our hearts to God
My understanding of the flow of worship is that it is a four act drama beginning with a “gathering” and ending with a “send-out”. The four acts of worship between the gathering and send-out are: 1) CONFESSION; 2) PRAISE; 3) DEDICATION; and 4) COMMITMENT.read more
The form of the blessing differ, but the essential message is the same: we give thanks to the Love that is God for the good that comes through our taxes. They are a special form of our “offerings” in worship. Many blessings flow from them, and divine guidance is needed for us to have the wisdom to see to it they are spent for the best purposes.read more
The dry bones raised by Ezekiel are a metaphor for those who died in the service of God’s justice: those who died working to restore God’s distributive justice-compassion to God’s Earth, and who themselves never saw the transformation. The army of dry bones is an army exiled from justice. Fairness demands that if Jesus was resurrected into an Earth transformed into God’s realm of justice-compassion, then all the other martyrs who died too soon should also be raised with him. “But in fact,” Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 15:20, “Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who have died.” It is the Christ – the transformed and transfigured post-Easter Jesus – who has started that general resurrection, which restores justice-compassion to a transformed Earth. The transformation has begun with Jesus, and continues with you and me – IF we sign on to the program.read more
Presider: God be with you.
People: And also with you.
Presider: Open your hearts.
People: We open our hearts to God.
Lighting the altar candles
White candle in the center:
Mother of all life, soul of our being, center of all our longing,
who shines for all and flows through all,
Be with us, guide us, now and always.
A growing number of progressive Christians, for a decade or more, have seen themselves less and less of being a theist, that is as one who believes in a ‘God out there’ who intervenes with and over rules the laws of nature. Yet many of these are still very happy to use the words Father, Son and Holy Spirit. This Trinitarian descriptor expresses the way in which Christians may encounter or interpret our ‘God’, but ‘God’ is much more. For many progressive Christians, the Trinity is an expression of different people and communities living in perfect harmony. Now that really is heaven on earth!read more
Leader: The season of Lent calls us to journey along the edge, to anticipate that final trip to Jerusalem.
Group response: Lent call us to the cutting edge, when the wheat falls to the ground and new life comes forth.
Presider: It was a dull, tasteless thing;
People: This life, before salt.
Blessing taxpayers and taxes for the sake of the common good, while asking for divine guidance as citizens in shaping and improving the way our taxes are spentread more
My book, BIRDLIKE AND BARNLESS: Meditations, Prayers, and Songs for Progressive Christians, is a “book of common prayer” for progressive Christians. These “Sundays” are described more fully in it.read more
From grains, bread connects us to soil and a three billion year old process. Photosynthesis, first begun when ocean organisms, earth’s first populations, with neither brains or bibles, learned how to create a chlorophyll molecule. Since then all biological life is able to trap, store, and convert sun’s energy into food that sustains both the plant and that specie’s place in the food chain. Like the elements connect Christians to the nourishing ways of Jesus, food unites us to our ecology and the life-sustaining ways of nature itself. Communion, it is not only a rite of Christianity, it is the evolutionary levan in the Earth story itself.read more
All are invited to the communion table were we celebrate Jesus’ understanding of life and death. He broke the bread, symbolizing that all of life comes to us in broken pieces. Some waste their lives cursing the brokenness. Jesus wanted his disciples to know that by embracing the brokenness, we find ourselves more fully alive.read more
Dear Family and Friends, let us gather around for this celebration of Baptism.
Parents and God-Parents, who are you presenting for baptism?
Parents and Godparents: We present _________________ to be baptized.
I want to share four different stories that made it clear to me why involving those who gather to celebrate the life of one who has died is so important.read more
fill us with your spirit that we may come to share in your divinity;
and that in the company of those who knew your birth among us, we may sing glory and know your peace.
This we pray in the name of Jesus of Bethlehem and Egypt, of Nazareth and Jerusalem.