When the events of the wider world demand a preacher’s attention, we try to provide helpful resources at the Preacher Party. This time I want to start with a word of encouragement to take on the hard truth facing U.S. churches in particular.
Preachers, I am thinking about the group of people who used to meet with me on Wednesday evenings, in my upstairs study at the first church I served, seven or eight of them each week. What would they have done, what would we have done, if a stranger had appeared and asked to see me? Would we have invited him in? Of course I can’t know this for certain, but isn’t that who we want to be as Christian people? It’s who the men and women gathered at Mother Emanuel AME Church were. Many of the reports and leaked quotes may turn out not to be true, but one I heard on Friday was that Dylan Storm Roof said he almost didn’t fire his weapon, because the people were so nice to him.
As I choose my words for preaching this week, I am thinking of the nine who died on Wednesday evening:
Cynthia Hurd, Susie Jackson, Ethel Lance, DePayne Middleton, Clementa Pinckney, Tywanza Sanders, Daniel Simmons, Sharonda Coleman-Singleton, Myra Jackson.
I am also remembering the circle of people who used to sit in that little room with me, with no alternate way out, trusting in God. I will aim to speak the truth, because of their faithfulness. The disciples asked in Mark 4, “Do you not care that we are perishing?” Now the world asks the church the same question.
It may be that we need virtual hugs, snacks and coffee more than ever as we do this work. We may also need resources. We’ve been gathering them in the RevGalBlogPals Facebook group (click here to join if you are not a member), and we compiled some links from within our web ring here: Mother Emanuel ~ a special The Pastoral is Political; check the comments for additional links.
The Revised Common Lectionary discussion from Tuesday is here, and you can find the texts at Vanderbilt’s Lectionary site. This week’s host, T. Denise Anderson, also added this on the Facebook page for her blog, Soula Scriptura, for those preaching David and Goliath.
RevGal Rachael Keefe offers this prayer of lament with the RCL in mind: Wake Up!
RevGal Mindi Welton-Mitchell has written a prayer with white congregations in mind, to call us to action against racism: A Call for Justice.
Rev. Julia Seymour wrote our Friday Prayer: Hard Words.
We don’t have a summer Narrative Lectionary discussion; check out the commentary and podcast at Working Preacher.
Rev. Carolyn Winfrey Gillette offers up a new hymn text, They Met to Read the Bible. I have this with music as a Word Document; email me at revgalblogpals at gmail dot com for a copy to project or print.
Please add other helpful resources in the comments, and let us know what’s going on with you. May God work with us and through us, as we see each other through it this weekend.