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What Is

From A Place Where Secret Shadows Shine

If you can
tell me where
I’m going
after I leave here,
I won’t be
going there.

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Memorial Service

P: We have gathered here today to give thanks for and honor Name’s life. You have come because you are family – close family or extended family; or because you are friends – old, long-trusted friends or newer friends; or because you knew Name through other connections in his life. We have gathered to mourn his death and to grieve for our loss.

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Funeral Service for an Inclusive Community

Written by Rob Stoner, August 2009

I recently conducted the funeral for my father, who died after a long episode of declining health. It was a joy and a privilege to work with my family in preparing this service. But many of our family are not avowedly Christian so I wanted to respect their spiritual traditions as well as be faithful to my own. I also wanted the theology to reflect my own liberal/progressive Christian understanding.

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Four Yogas in the Life of Church

Sometimes issues need to be reframed, and it can often be helpful to look outside one’s own tradition for a framework. So for those who may be struggling with similar misunderstandings in their congregations, I offer the Four Yogas as a lens through which to see things differently.

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A Funeral Service (At the Crematorium)

Each birth causes us to wonder
where the spark of life comes from.
Every death makes us wonder
what of that life survives.

What we have done, and who we have been,
remains part of the wider universe long after we are gone.

None of us knows the whole truth about what lies beyond death.
Christians believe that as we journey between life and death,
we are safe in the hands of an infinitely gracious God.

What we do know and believe is that every human life,
with a mind to think and a heart to love,
is an expression of the creative spirit of God.

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Who Is Our Neighbor?

Who is our neighbor? That’s the question:
Who is this person we’re to love?
The one across the street? Or next door?
Or in the apartment up above?

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Street Psalm

Written 12/89

For the freedom of the air
that absorbs the smoke of hand-rolled cigs

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Be careful what you pray for

When we pray
come, Lord Jesus
Do we mean to say
come, you malnourished stranger

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Softly Shout for Joy

When beauty casts its glow,
When children play in snow
I softly shout for joy!

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Prayer for Stillness

Especially when I feel stressed, may stillness help me to become calm, so that I can wait for silent consolation.

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