Confluence

  It’s the coming together sometimes in not so wonderful ways sometimes with the cleansing power of justice like an ever rolling stream. I used to watch the mighty Ohio as a young boy. At the convergence …

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Undaunted Grace

The earth turns, seasons turn,
and we turn homeward, seeking
a place we’ve never been.

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Poems of Mourning and Healing Memory

The book begins with the author’s father—and the author himself— dealing with the death of wife and mother. It continues with the author’s powerful encounter with his dying father, then proceeds with poems mourning his father’s death and its aftermath.

The second half of the book contains poems which remember and honor significant people and experiences in the author’s life. As a pastoral psychotherapist, the author finds the Bible and spirituality to be major healing resources, along with memories of some key people he writes about who have helped him grow and heal in his life. What happens in writing is a mysterious and awesome thing, and the very process of remembering and writing these poems has helped the author mourn and find some healing.

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MARKINGSMASS – A Liturgy for Peace, Justice and Reconciliation

Based on excerpts from Dag Hammarskjold’s Markings

Our work of peace must begin with the private world of each one of us. To build for man a world without fear, we must be without fear. To build a world of justice we must be just. And how can we fight for liberty if we are not free in our own minds? Dag Hammarskjold

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Communion in a Time of Dread

We seek communion in a time of dread
Yearn for a table that for all is spread
Our broken hearts are blind to creed and caste
But burn for love to reconcile at last

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A Spectral Revelation

A Creator God revealed in a multitude of ways
A Divine Presence sensed, it often does amaze

God as the reason and the essence of all there is

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The picture, speaking of itself

The picture, speaking of itself,
not shaping something else we know;
imagines mystery makes it glow
beyond all earthly sight can show.

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Changing Hearts, Changing Minds

Here is a list of rules formulated decades ago by the legendary social psychologist and game theorist Anatol Rapoport, as abridged by the philosopher, Daniel Dennett:

“How to compose a successful critical commentary”

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Arise and Walk

And to those who say God’s work can only be done
by following certain rules, the rabbi says,
What if the compassion you show to your pets,
even the care you give to your cars, were given also
to your sisters and brothers on earth?

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Turning to Poetry

Renowned essayist Tom Ehrich turns to poetry as a fresh form of expression. His work draws on daily life: a couple breaking up in a coffee shop, a grandchild sleeping, hearing a train whistle on the Kansas prairie. Ehrich looks for the central meaning of small events.

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Embracing Diversity [A Prayer]

Good and gracious God,

We come before you today
lifting up those who,
because they are far too frequently
seen as different,
are far too frequently
treated differently.

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The Peace of Wild Things

Last week, I sent my friend Alexis a poem. She sent this one back to me. I love it.

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Winter Solstice – December 21st

Getting in touch with the deeper meanings of the Winter Solstice through readings, practices, poems, and prayers.

As the Winter Solstice approaches in the north, we notice the changes: the days of light are shorter, the darkness is longer, the weather is cold, the trees are bare, and snow is often on the ground. John Matthews, who has lectured widely on Celtic and Arthurian traditions, has written this lyrical passage about Winter Solstice:

“The Solstice is a time of quietude, of firelight, and dreaming, when seeds germinate in the cold earth, and the cold notes of church bells mingle with the chimes of icicles. Rivers are stilled and the land lies waiting beneath a coverlet of snow. We watch the cold sunlight and the bright stars, maybe go for walks in the quiet land. . . . All around us the season seems to reach a standstill — a point of repose.”

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Christmas Poetry

Christmas Poetry: Churches are welcome to use these poems with attribution.

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Christmas poem, “Immanuel: God Within and Among Us”

The Christmas poem, “Immanuel: God Within and Among Us” was written for the Centennial Christmas Cantata to celebrate the centennial of First Congregational Church of Long Beach’s historic building. Below is a the video of the performance.

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A Face In The River

I stand on a bank of a running river, immersed in a flow of my own called life
Sad, happy, fearful, calm, and joyous awe-filled waves lap up all around me

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Worship Materials: Fall/Autumn/Harvest

From the Seasoned Celebration collection

Like the falling of the leaves security in life lies in the process not in the fixed points.
Without harvest there can be no seed time.
Without death there can be no new life, no new beginning.

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Worship Materials: Spring

From the Seasoned Celebration collection

1. The fragrance of Spring lies not in judgement’s intervention but in love’s nurturing of the interior goodness.
2. Spring is not so much a moment as a movement, a manifestation of the sometimes hidden but always present life-force of God.

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