Bishop John Shelby Spong ~ June 16, 1931 – September 12, 2021
Bishop Spong provided a much needed place for those of us who did not connect with traditional theology. We love you Bishop Spong. You will be missed! Funeral services will be held at St. Peter’s, Morristown, NJ and at St. Paul’s, Richmond, VA. Dates and times will be announced as soon as they are available

Restoration of Spirit

 
Click below for Video of Sermon
 

 
Prelude

Singing Bell and Call to Worship:

L: Our lives feel all disjointed as though they were a valley of dry bones.
P: But the Spirit of God will bring connection and continuity to our lives.
L: The Spirit of God breathes hope into each one of us.
P: The Spirit of God challenges us to be people of faith.
L: Open our hearts, God, and bring us to your light.
P: Open our lives, God, and break us free from doubt and fear.

Song:
Spirit of the living God, fall afresh on me;
Spirit of the living GOd, fall afresh on me.
Metl me, mold me, fill me, use me.
Spirit of the living GOd, fall afresh on me.

Poem: In Praise of Air by John O’Donohue

Hymn: Be Now My Vision

Be now my vision O God of my heart
Nothing surpasses the love you impart
You are my best thought, by day or by night
Waking or sleeping, your presence my light

Be now my wisdom, and be my ture word
Ever within me, my soul is assured
Mother and Father, you are both to me
Now and forever your child I will be

Riches I need not, nor life’s empty praise,
You, my inheritance, now and always;
You and you only are first in my heart,
Great God, my treasure, may we never part.

Sovereign of heaven, my victory won,
May I reach heaven’s joys, O bright heaven’s Sun!
Heart of my own heart, whatever befall
Still be my vision, O Ruler of all.

Scripture Ezekiel 37:1-14

37:1 The hand of the LORD came upon me, and he brought me out by the spirit of the LORD and set me down in the middle of a valley; it was full of bones.

37:2 He led me all around them; there were very many lying in the valley, and they were very dry.

37:3 He said to me, “Mortal, can these bones live?” I answered, “O Lord GOD, you know.”

37:4 Then he said to me, “Prophesy to these bones, and say to them: O dry bones, hear the word of the LORD.

37:5 Thus says the Lord GOD to these bones: I will cause breath to enter you, and you shall live.

37:6 I will lay sinews on you, and will cause flesh to come upon you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and you shall live; and you shall know that I am the LORD.”

37:7 So I prophesied as I had been commanded; and as I prophesied, suddenly there was a noise, a rattling, and the bones came together, bone to its bone.

37:8 I looked, and there were sinews on them, and flesh had come upon them, and skin had covered them; but there was no breath in them.

37:9 Then he said to me, “Prophesy to the breath, prophesy, mortal, and say to the breath: Thus says the Lord GOD: Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe upon these slain, that they may live.”

37:10 I prophesied as he commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they lived, and stood on their feet, a vast multitude.

37:11 Then he said to me, “Mortal, these bones are the whole house of Israel. They say, ‘Our bones are dried up, and our hope is lost; we are cut off completely.’

37:12 Therefore prophesy, and say to them, Thus says the Lord GOD: I am going to open your graves, and bring you up from your graves, O my people; and I will bring you back to the land of Israel.

37:13 And you shall know that I am the LORD, when I open your graves, and bring you up from your graves, O my people.

37:14 I will put my spirit within you, and you shall live, and I will place you on your own soil; then you shall know that I, the LORD, have spoken and will act,” says the LORD.

Sermon: Restoration of Spirit

Prayers Song:

O Great Spirit,
Earth, sun, sky and sea,
You are within and all around me
O Great Spirit,
Dawn before the day
Stir us within to hear you as we pray

Prayers of the People: Nadia Bolz-Weber

For the layers of comfort and convenience that surrounded our lives and that we never considered a blessing but always just took for granted, forgive us.
For we who must grieve in isolation and not in community, comfort us.
For we who care for the sick, protect us.
For the ability to turn off the fear-mongering and unhelpful commentary and worst-case scenario click bait, strengthen us.
[prayer song]
For the times when we are all out of creative ideas for how to get through this with cooped up kids, inspire us.
For we who are now cutting our own bangs at home, guide us.
For the grace to allow ourselves and others to just be less productive, shower us.
For the generosity needed from those of us who have more resources, empower us.
From our own selfish inclinations, deliver us.
[prayer song]
For these prayers of the Waverly community….
For just being your children, none of whom have done a global pandemic before, love us.
For the days ahead, accompany us.
God unbound by time, help us to know that you are already present in the future we are fearing.
[song]

Lord’s Prayer, From New Zealand Prayer Book

Eternal Spirit, Earth-maker, Pain-bearer, Life-giver,
Source of all that is and that shall be,
Father and Mother of us all,
Loving God, in whom is heaven…

The hallowing of your name echo through the universe!
The way of your justice be followed by the peoples of the world!
Your heavenly will be done by all created beings!
Your commonwealth of peace and freedom sustain our hope and come on earth.

With the bread we need for today, feed us.
In the hurts we absorb from one another, forgive us.
In times of temptation and testing, strengthen us.

From trials too great to endure, spare us.
From the grip of all that is evil, free us.

For you reign in the glory of the power that is love, now and for ever. Amen.

Prelude

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