If you’re sad about Rachel Held Evans (and other un-answered prayers).

If you haven’t heard, or if you need confirming that it wasn’t all a terrible dream, Rachel Held Evans—beloved author, truth-teller, and icon for a generous Christianity—passed away yesterday morning, after a brief and unexpected storm of health complications. She was only 37—two years younger than me.

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Out of Egypt: Remembering Rachel

Rachel Held Evans came of age in the Bible Belt.   A budding journalist and blogger, her writing began to reflect her doubts about the version of Christianity in which she was raised. 

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What does one do with the private memories that others do not share? What happens with all those memories?

When I officiate at funerals, I ask mourners to think about the characteristics of the deceased that they will miss most. After they have thought of those traits, I implore them to live those qualities into the world as a tribute.

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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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“In Memorium”

THERE’S AN OLD ED MCCURDY, PET SEEGER SONG THAT GOES; …“LAST NIGHT I HAD THE STRANGEST DREAM I NEVER HAD BEFORE …I DREAMED THAT ALL THE WORLD AGREED TO PUT AN END TO WAR. …AND WHEN THE PAPERS ALL WERE SIGNED AND A MILLION COPIES MADE …THEY ALL JOINED HANDS AND BOWED THEIR HEADS …AND TO THEIR GOD THEY PRAYED. THE PEOPLE IN THE STREETS BELOW WERE DANCING ROUND AND ROUND AND GUNS AND SWORDS AND UNIFORMS WERE SCATTERED ON ..THE GROUND.”

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How to Survive the Loss of Someone We Can’t Live Without.

By Via Lynn Shattuck

Realize that each of us is stumbling across our own bridge. That this world is not for the faint-hearted, and it might not be the one we’d choose, but it is the world we are in. Say I love you. Say I’m sorry. Say I survived.

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Bishop Eddie Long’s cautionary tale about homophobia

When news hit the airwaves that Bishop Eddie Long died from an unnamed aggressive cancer resulting in dramatic weight lost, many now throughout the Black Church community wonder if his death was due to HIV/AIDS, and he was too embarrassed to admit it or seek medical care until it was too late.

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Remembering Together With Love

Together we remember, we commemorate,
the lives that were taken,
the souls that were taken.
They did not evaporate into air.
They are with us
still in the choice we make to remember,
to hold up with love and honor
those who died in two great glass towers,
who represented the world and its connections,
those who died at the Pentagon,
those who died on Flight 93
in sacrifice that others might live.

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Orlando United – Pulse- performed by Beautiful Chorus

“Pulse” was performed for the very first time at The Venue by Alexandra Love Sarton, Divinci Glen Valencia Jr.and members of Beautiful Chorus as Chakra Khan at the Lady Elevate // The Chakra Khan CD Release PARTY just hours before Sunday’s massive heart attack began. An anthem for Orlando and love everywhere.

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A Prayer For Orlando

Fifty.
Today, a number of tragedy
symbol of guns drawn, shots fired, sheer horror.
I prayed that it was not religious extremism.
But it was.
Again.
Once more, lives lost senselessly invoking the name of God.
And so I grieve.
I let myself feel the grief and the tears.

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Worship Materials: Funeral Resources

From the Celebrating Mystery collection

We have come in the midst of life to grieve for the death of ____, to give thanks for his/her life and to bid him/her farewell. Death and life are one in the purposes of love. Jesus said ‘if you grieve with all your heart, you shall find healing’.

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Prayer at a memorial for an infant child

O Dear One, we are overwhelmed with frustration with the impossibility of fully accepting this unacceptable death.

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Blessed Are Those Who Mourn

We come before you today in abject pain and anguish
There are no words to describe the distress of losing someone
You love very deeply
ALL: Jesus said “Blessed are those who mourn for they shall be comforted”

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What the World Needs Now is Love!

1Corinthians 13:1-13

91 year-old, Johnny Barnes is a Bermuda native who embodies the LOVE that dwells in him. How might we embody the LOVE that dwells in us? What does, would, could, will the embodiment of LOVE look like in you?

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Worship Materials: Death and Grieving

From the Celebrating Mystery collection

1. Every tear is a womb which can birth new life.
2. Grief is the narrow passage through which we pass from death to life.

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Remembrance/Peace Sunday

From the Festive Worship collection

THEME Peace with the past – peace with the present

THOUGHTS FOR REFLECTION

If we are unwilling to learn from history, we commit ourselves to reliving the mistakes of our ancestors.

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Worship Materials: Remembrance of the Dead

From the Celebrating Mystery collection

THOUGHTS FOR REFLECTION
1. To forget the dead is to be alienated from part of oneself.
2. When we liberate our ancestors from the myths that surround them we liberate ourselves.
3. Remembering our ancestors gives life to ourselves and also to them, for we are our ancestors and they are us.

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Remembering Tom Thresher

Today was a sad day. My wife and I just returned from the memorial service of Tom Thresher. If you are surprised you should be. One moment he was a vital 66 year old man and four weeks later he died from acute pancreatic cancer.

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