Saturday, September 24, 2011

season of creation Year A: eucharistic prayer

The Lord be with you.
And also with you.
Lift up your hearts.
We lift them to the Lord.
Let us give thanks to God.
It is joy to offer thanks and praise!
Holy God, Mighty Lord, Breather of Life, all creation reveals your glory and magnifies your love! When your Word created the heavens and the earth, you provided everything needful for health and happiness, and called creation into covenant with yourself. You divided night from day, waters from dry land. You planted a garden and trees; a river flowed out of Eden to water the garden. With bread from heaven and water from the rock you sustained the wanderers in the exodus desert. In the land of exile you charged your people to plant gardens and cultivate crops. You sent Jesus of Nazareth, born of Mary, to live as your presence among us.

And so with the saints and angels of heaven and with all creation in every time and every place we sing:

Holy are you, God of mercy, glory and love, and blessed is Jesus your son, who lived among us in a body made from stuff of the earth.
Jesus died for the redemption of all creation,
and was raised from death for the life of the world.
He ascended to reign in justice and righteousness over everything his Word created.

bread and cupWith the Church in every time and every place we proclaim the mystery of faith:
Dying you destroyed our death;
Rising you restored our life;
Lord Jesus, come in glory!
On the night of betrayal and desertion, our Lord Jesus took bread; when he had given thanks, he broke it and said,
"This is my body, broken for you. Do this in remembrance of me."
In the same way after supper, he also took the cup, saying,
"This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me."
As often as we eat this bread and drink this cup, we proclaim the Lord's death until he comes again in glory.
Come, Spirit of Holiness; come upon all creation everywhere and upon this assembly of saints;
Come, Holy Spirit; sanctify these gifts of grain and grape uniting us with all creation in every time and every place;
Come, Spirit of Life and bless our feasting at this table of reconciliation and renewal,
That baptized into the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ,
in the power of the Spirit we may daily live in covenant with all creation as the gracious presence of the crucified and risen Jesus Christ.

Glory and thanks
wisdom, acclaim
dominion and righteousness be to God,
Father, Son and Holy Spirit,
endlessly throughout eternity,

© leah chang

Friday, September 23, 2011

5 about finishing projects (etc.)

Today Sally hosts a projects, completions, endings, beginnings...5

Major congrats to Sally for finishing her master's thesis!!! She suggests we consider "as you look back over the last few years..." last few years:

1. I completed a 9-month long certificate in graphic design. School was 5 mornings a week for 9 months; my class graduated 13 October 2006. No special celebration, but the school had a party for us, everyone brought food and we loved receiving the last of 3 incremental certificates and a completion diploma. A big, big "thank you" to the state of California and a sigh of sorrow that the quality and quantity of public education is going way downhill too too fast.

2. In terms of actual projects, I'd love to have the $$$ to renovate my kitchen. A while back I painted the existing cabinets a nice warm yellow that looks just fine for now, but realistically, what am I waiting to begin? I need to give myself quite a few high-5's for the many pieces of furniture I've painted/re-painted and the 2 pieces I refinished during the last 6 months, but painting the kitchen/dining area is something that would be a noticeable improvement and even financially feasible. That paint's been on the walls for 10+ years.

3. I haven't kept putting off any particular project, but the ongoing weeding out, donating, recycling and free-cycling books and other "stuff" remains slow and labourious. However, over the past year (recent!) I've donated 9 big 13-gallon bags of clothes to the local thrift store and even parted with a a couple dozen books.

4. I can imagine so many dream project/jobs, but for something simple and feasible I'd love to be artist in residence for an inner city congregation. The monetary pay probably would be only a token stipend and maybe attendance at a workshop or conference or two, but I imagined designing posters, banners, bulletin covers (for Advent, Christmas, Easter, Pentecost, anniversaries...), teaching neighborhood youth and adults and related. A good fit? A great one, and I did that to a minor extent when I served on pastoral staff in city of history, though it wasn't part of my job description and I'd love to do lots more.

Ideal? I also want to, need to help plan worship, I want and need to preach and teach some, write prayers and liturgies that will be used but it seems to be the art/design aspect is more feasible since no one is likely to think I'm invaded *their* delineated territory and in most cases it would enhance their existing ministry, mission and outreach.

5. "Be creative, you are going to publish a book/ song/poem, what is its title?" during mid-2004, all of 11 years ago, my book title was Justice, Freedom and Redemption: Divine Image and Creation's Glory and I'd still go with some related to ecology and the environment with my own cover design, maybe a few of my own illustrations.

Most typically I blog in a variety of growing, thriving ordinary time green or a readable, hopeful dark blue, but today I'm going for red, the liturgical colour for feasts of the Spirit such as Pentecost and Reformation (as well as the colour of martyrs, those saints whose deaths bore witness, martyria and testimony to the presence of the Spirit in their lives.

Thanks and congrats again, Sally!!!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

collect for Creation 4A, river sunday

season of creation 4, River Sunday

God of all creation, at the dawn of time rivers flowed over mountains and through valleys; we ask that in the Spirit of life we may live faithfully to our baptism with water and the word, that the rivers of the new creation would flow freely and provide healing to all the nations. In the name of Jesus the Christ, Amen!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

collect for Creation 3A, outback/wilderness sunday

season of creation 3, outback/wilderness

God of the covenanted faith-filled journey homeward, in the exodus desert you formed a people after your own heart as you led them toward the land of promise. We ask that you would lead us to trust you in our moment by moment wanderings, that we might freely serve as your gracious presence in the world. In Jesus' name, Amen!

Friday, September 16, 2011

seeking friday 5 title doesn't mean I'm looking for a Friday 5; it means this is a 5 about what I'm looking for. Today Jan hosts a seeking Friday 5, and explains her inspiration:
I was struck in our weekly Lectio Divina group by a few verses from Psalm 105:3-4:
...let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice.
Seek the Lord and his strength;
seek his presence continually.
Seeking is rejoicing. Rejoicing comes from the seeking, NOT the end of glory, heaven, enlightenment, or whatever. Seeking is the journey—RIGHT NOW!
So for this Friday Five, list what you are seeking, whether it is trivial, profound, or ordinary—whatever you would like to share! List 5 and add a bonus if you feel like it!
1. I am seeking the basic human need of community.

2. I am seeking the dignity of again contributing to church and world to a degree somewhat related to my abilities.

3. I am seeking no longer to be constantly in scratch for life mode. Oh, I so realize everyone gets that way now and then, but it has been too too long. It will be wonderful, a relief, a gift, when the time arrives that I routinely experience more than 1 good hour each week.

4. I am seeking to perform some (lots, actually!) on the piano in public and thinking about connecting with retirement homes and even posting a notice on Craig's list.

5. God's Presence is a given that we don't need to seek, but at times we sure to need to remember and rejoice.

bonus. How can I help some of this happen? Communicating better, actually talking about myself... intentionally attending events where I can meet new people and at the same time 1) being sensitive not to overwhelm people with my background, etc. and 2) realizing people will have no clue if I don't tell them a few things. Also, without trying to be "in control," admitting a huge amount of my difficulties connecting with people and opps has been the nature of the institutional church.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Sept synchroblog: devils, demons, et al.

I'm posting a couple days late but loved having a writing prompt...and sprung for it!
This blog post is part of a monthly synchroblog event when multiple bloggers reflect on a single topic. Here's the synchroblog home blog, and the skinny on the blog post setup:
what are some weird, wacky or just plain different things you’ve heard taught about Satan as you’ve been a member of this tribe called Christian? ... This month is wide open for being fun or being serious...because this subject could run in many different directions depending on the tradition you come from.
What, me, serious? Devil, satan, fallen angel, demon? That could take forever scripturally to tease out and define, whether we're talking about the serpentine tempter as the "other than me" (in the Garden of Eden, for example, getting blamed for human frailty), satan as the prosecuting attorney (in Job, for example), or the demonic as the opposite of the divine, so I'll write some from my own perspective and experience.

In the protestant mainline we don't often obsess or talk much about The Devil, although in his Small Catechism explanation of baptism Martin Luther tells us baptism " forgiveness of sins, delivers from death and the devil." In the ELCA's most recent worship resource, Evangelical Lutheran Worship (ELW), baptismal candidates are asked, "Do you renounce the devil and all the forces that defy God?" The order for Affirmation of Baptism (historically called confirmation) asks candidates the exact same question. Luther himself sort of had a thing about demons and the devil. In fact, Luther left so much devil-related material that a local guy wrote his DMin thesis on "Luther and Demons" and presented an extract of the content at a presbytery meeting.

"Demons and the demonic" is a common theological catch phrase—what examples of those are in the average person's life? Addictions of all kinds, overeating, self-injury, possibly clinical depression, suicidal ideation. Sometimes we refer to an impulse being ego-syntonic or ego-dystonic, with syntonic feeling as if our mind and bodies have at least a modicum of control, a little agency over the behavior because it feels as if it originates within ourselves. The dystonic feels as if the impulse enters our beings unbidden from outside ourselves, anything but a product of our own mind, body, spirit, will and emotions.

Saul/Paul of Tarsus obsesses and distresses over the countless times (just like all of us) he finds himself unwittingly behaving in ways he never intended, many of those times feeling as if something or someone external to his intent (ego-dystonic) is performing in him or somehow forcing him to do what he doesn't intend. He describes it as not him, but sin dwelling, literally living within him. I didn't include a dictionary definition of demon, demonic or devil, but one catechism defines sin as any transgression of or lack of conformity unto the law of God.

Demons and the demonic – temptations and prosecutions – his temptations by the devil in the wilderness is the first recorded event after Jesus' baptism by John; he refuted each of the tempter's claims with scripture.

This is the 9th hour and the stone has been rolled away: this is the time of salvation. This is Pentecost, the reign of the Spirit of Life. Jesus was baptized into John's baptism, but we're baptized into Jesus' death and resurrection: death (sin and the devil) has no more dominion.

other september participants:

• Jeremy Myers at Till He Comes: The Devil Made Me Go To Church

• K.W. Leslie at More Christ: Devilish Misinformation

• Marta Layton at Fidesquarens: The Christian Jihad

• Sonnie Swenston-Forbes at A Piece Of My Mind: The Devil Made Me Do It

• Bill Sahlman at Creative Reflections: The [one who will go unnamed] Made Me Do It

• Kathy Escobar at kathy escobar: the stranger (who’s a little too familiar) & the shepherd

• Liz Dyer at Grace Rules: Have You Inhaled Demon Spirits?

Friday, September 09, 2011

space style 5

revkjarla hosts today's work space 5 on the RevGals site and asks, "Describe five things in/on your workspace that are special to you!"

Special to me? I'll just list what's there according to 5 general types, but given that it's all essential equipment, you might call all of it "special."

first, by the puter:

(1) short stack of client design project specs to my left;

(2) handful of pens and pencils to the right of the stack.

then, on the living room table:

(3) bible, a couple of magazines and a couple of books I might read some day;

(4) a sketchbook and a notebook with wide lined paper;

(5) pens, pencils, markers, rulers, french curves, erasers.

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

collect for Creation 2A, land sunday

season of creation 2, land

Holy God, you chose to live among us in a body formed from the soil of the earth and you promised to lead your people into an inalienable land you would show them; in your Spirit may we live faithfully to your call to steward the land, that it would become safe living space and produce life-sustaining food for all creation. In the name of Jesus the Christ, your son and our brother, Amen!

Saturday, September 03, 2011

collect for Creation 1A, forest sunday

season of creation 1, forest

God of all creation, God of all seasons, you made rivers and streams and planted a garden; trees grew out of the ground and the earth breathed. May we receive and retain your life-giving Spirit that we would faithfully care for the rivers, the gardens and the forests, so that everything in creation would continue to breathe in wholeness and health, to the glory of your name, amen!