Loving The Wilderness

For forty days and forty nights
you wander in the wilderness
and face temptation
of body, heart, mind and spirit.

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Thank You for the Body that Loves Me

Both my sexuality and my spirituality conspired to persuade me that embodiment is good, a sacred trust, a holy way of being.

My sexuality impelled me to love another intimately, physically, even worshipfully at its better moments. My spirituality, being incarnational, inspired me to love others personally and politically, wishing them shalom: health, well-being, justice, equality, peace.

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My Thank You to Mary Oliver.

Mary Oliver was a great North American mystic. She called herself a ” praise poet,” but she did not come to her sense of praise easily for she had been sexually abused by her father as a child. The day she graduated from high school she left home and never returned. She says it took her years to get her life back. “For years and years I struggled just to love my life.”

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Timely New Verses for “Joy to the World”

These timely new verses seek to update the spirit and language of the carol to today’s earth, “torn with strife,” while reflecting the Old Testament insight that nature sings joyously in honor of the creator.

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The Shape of Christmas

My mind is a maze with the turns of the journey

The wise men wandered while aimed at the star

Their ears had the form of the wings of the angels

Attuned to the music they sang from afar

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Before the Morning Star

For Mary Ellen Kilsby
Before the morning star, I bore the Word from the womb

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Advent

What is coming we yearn to know
As fallen leaves herald winter snow
Will what comes be worth the wait ?
Will past hungers our future sate?

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Gratitude in a Time of Grief

A sparrow was in her tree singing to the dawn. But before the song was complete, a spark somewhere flashed and a tree somewhere ignited. Because the forest was dry, the fire spread from tree to tree faster than though. The whole forest seemed to explode in flame.

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Maybe Jesus was as the Gospel says, “out of his mind.”

The gospel reading prescribed for this Sunday (Mark 3:20-35) paints a daunting picture of the perceptions of the people of Jesus’ hometown. The folks who knew Jesus, including his family worried that he might just be “out of his mind.” This is indeed a contrast to the ways in which Jesus is typically portrayed. This is a dangerous Jesus who ran the risk of being perceived as deranged. In his book “The Underground Church: Reclaiming the Subversive Way of Jesus” Robin Meyers captures some of this danger when he points to Mary Oliver’s poem “Maybe” in which Jesus’ “melancholy madness” is seen by his fellows as more dangerous than a storm. Safely ensconced in our imaginations, Jesus is rarely allowed to threaten the status quo to which we cling for dear life. Are we prepared for the stormy waters that would be stirred up should we take Jesus at his word? Maybe…

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What Shall We Bring to Community?

What shall we bring to community?
A loaf, a fish, a voice for singing,
hands for baking, a heart for teaching,
wisdom for guiding our children and youth?

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“Speak To Us…Let Us Listen”

*Centering Our Soul “Speak To Us…Let Us Listen”

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Standing in gratitude, living in joy

Standing in gratitude, living in joy,
we reach beyond old wounds and pain.

The waters have parted,
and we have crossed over to new life,
leaving our fears on the distant shore.

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O God, When Trust is Shattered

This new hymn is in response to the latest news of abuse by clergy; it was written with input from survivors and counselors. The hymn also references Pope Francis’ August 20th letter, using in particular: “If one member suffers, all suffer together with it” (1 Corinthians 12:26). Please share the hymn with priests, pastors, church musicians, counselors, friends and others who might find it helpful. Permission is given for its free use. Prayers, including sung ones, and actions are needed to “Bring healing, love and mercy; Bring justice, God of truth.”

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Post 9-11 Sewing Circle

As a peace activist opposed to war, and later as a bagpiper serving with the Vietnam Vets honor guard in Florida and Texas, I played at many military funerals. None is a happy occasion. The saddest moment, for me, was the flag folding ceremony. This reflection is drawn from those rituals. Sam Gould’s poem, Don’t Stand to be Recognized, comes to mind.

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Earth’s Plea: A Poem

This powerful spoken word poem, performed by youth advocate Jaiia Cerff, is a perfect reminder of the simple things that make our world a better place.

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Beauty Beckons

Beauty beckons us to seek her face
To find in her both awe and grace

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Time And A Created Universe

I am speculating that few people would argue with the concept that all life forms exist as developing entities that are superimposed on an intangible flow we call time. As self-conscious humans, we seem to have an innate awareness of the advance of “something” where change can be perceived as rather sudden and dramatic or almost imperceptible. Our lives are lived with this backdrop of measured, forward advance in units ranging from nanoseconds to eons. We are all familiar with our time-reckoning devices such as clocks and calendars as everyday aids to help govern our daily behaviors through the passage of our lives.

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None the Matter Where it Goes

Maybe it is that I am casting old eyes aside
cautiously lingering after my two old friends that served
Maybe this is the time of slow wandering to ponder lost moments
Careful to seek a place where stern voices cannot find me
Willing to go anywhere at this unfamiliar pace to open new eyes

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