Psalm 4 – remix

This piece was originally published on the UCC Worship Ways website. God, The Advocate - Make thy true self known! How long will your name be used to prop up those in power? As they lash out in insecure anguish, feeling their thrones cracking, crumbling, decaying, with scripture they suppress! Through these words of kings past, they hear their own pain, rebuking those who protest their rule. Individualizing struggles, fearing collective power, they encourage us to pray through our problems - alone and in silence. Too many of them say: “Oh that things might never change! May God protect the...

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Psalm 78 – remix

Psalm 78 – remix

Originally published on the UCC Worship Ways website Beloveds, remember this! Though we speak in modern language, these holy truths reach from generations past. The sacred stories we tell are made of the stuff that lasts when everything else fades away. They come from sources of wisdom tried and tested through struggle and silence. When the ones before us were pressed to their spiritual limits, bound by oppressive restraints, made weary by loss, these truths were a lifeline. It reaches to us still today. It is our medicine, our strength, our memory, our future. No matter the risks we face,...

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Weekly prayers for Lenten reflection

Weekly prayers for Lenten reflection

(Commissioned for Lenten resource in 2020 by St. Paul's UMC, Houston, TX) All prayers written by Rev. M Barclay, enfleshed #1 Spirit of God, when paths of transformation lead me into times of wilderness - periods of learning and unlearning, realities winding and unruly, may your presence be my steady companion. If I feel afraid of the unfamiliar or unknown - a stranger to where you are leading, remind me I do not go alone. All who seek your Wisdom are wandering. When I forget, remind me this is part of Love’s work. Help me to be patient with my journey, letting Love set the pace. If I feel...

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LGBTQ related

LGBTQ related

Complete Orders of Worship (commissioned by Affirm United & Affirming Connections in Canada) Order of Worship 1 Order of Worship 2 Sermon texts Jonah 1 - Jonah is afraid of the calling God has placed on his life. He does everything he can to avoid it. His attempt to choose safety actually leads to just the opposite - both for him and those around him. When he finally comes around, his message is actually received…(we can never be sure our message or our true self will be received, but sometimes it is.) Matthew 10:34-39, in particular the concept of having to lose your life to live it - a...

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Miscellaneous prayers, litanies, and blessings

Miscellaneous prayers, litanies, and blessings

The One who raises the sun each morning and lifts high the moon at night, ushers us too, through cycles of rising, falling, and rising again. Though we stumble, God lifts us. Though we doubt, God remains. Though we get weary, God revives. God is an invitation. A lure. A chance to do things differently. Always before us, God is the possibility of collective change. Though everyday ordinary patterns of living disguise evil and cover over sins of power, God makes known what is hidden, calls us to courage,makes us capable of radical solidarity. We are not left powerless. Every day there are...

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Ash Wednesday

Ash Wednesday

1 -  we come from the earth, and to the earth we will return. a place, holy and dark, where divinity knits the web of life, queering beginnings and endings and beginnings. more of a sacred integration than a divine abduction, this is a gradual evolution, moving with respect for the way a life lingers. eventually and with time, destruction is made fodder for seeds. death, a nutrient for life. decay, a slow unfolding of future's potential. it's not without its complications - this claim of eternal composting - for one thing, it smells wretched. but it is honest. and we need more of that. and...

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