Posts Tagged With: women

The Pastoral Is Political: We Shine Brighter Together

A dozen candles of various shapes, sizes, amd colors

©2017 Cindi Knox. Used by permission.

I serve a tiny church. It was once a center of activity for a German immigrant community. Later, it was a neighborhood center.

Now it is a small band of committed people.

There is diversity in these people. We have people whose ancestors come from Africa, Europe, East Asia, and also the Caribbean and Central America – which have a diversity all their own.  We have mostly older members, but some young as well. We have gay and straight members, cisgender and transgender members. We have members with economic security, and members who are homeless.

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Monday Prayer

crocuses

crocuses in the manse garden. JRen17

O Precious Holy
how marvellous is your world
the land lays dormant; brown fields, bare trees
and yet, somewhere the season is advancing; somewhere
autumn is creeping,
How magnificent – that in every hour of every day, new life begins
old life wanes
the weary sleep
the dormant rise…

Holy One
may we take a moment today
to marvel at your creation
to be thankful for this world
to remember, other voices, other lands,
all yours, all known and loved by you

May we pause
Take breath
and wonder
Holy, holy, holy,
amen


Julie Rennick is a Church of Scotland minister, serving a rural community in the village of Earlston in the Scottish Borders. She blogs at A Country Girl, writes for Spill the Beans and contributed to the RevGals book, There’s a Woman in the Pulpit


RevGalBlogPals encourages you to share our blog posts via email or social media. We do not grant permission to cut-and-paste prayers and articles without a link back. For permission to use material in paper publications, please email revgalblogpals at gmail dot com.

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Thursday Prayer

When it all gets to be too much,

When the worries large and small wash over us,

When the last straw happens and keeps happening,

When we don’t have a chance to catch our breath,

Be our deep breath.

Be our persistence.

Be our burden-shoulder-er.

Be our holder-upper.

Thank you.

Amen.img_0187

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Monica Thompson Smith is a Presbyterian Church (USA) minister, serving as stated supply pastor of First Presbyterian Church, Luling, TX. She is a contributor to There’s a Woman in the Pulpit.


RevGalBlogPals encourages you to share our blog posts via email or social media. We do not grant permission to cut-and-paste prayers and articles without a link back. For permission to use material in paper publications, please email revgalblogpals at gmail dot com

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Wednesday Prayer

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I believe
in spite of all that is laying around everywhere in the world,
the “can’t make this up” stuff,
the angry shouts and accusations and confusion and LOUD CACOPHONY
that threatens the peace of everything,

that You are weathering this with us.
You wrap us up in your Heart.
and then You nudge us off
to do the work,
to go many extra miles in these extra ordinary times,
to persist, resist,
to heal, to listen
to give, to offer,
to welcome,
to FACE whatever,
knowing we wear Your face…
and when we are tired,

You wrap us up in your Heart
and hold us,
and we weather this together.

Amen.

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Rev. Karla Miller is the Minister for Community Life at Old North Church UCC in Marblehead, MA, on the North Shore of Boston.

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RevGalBlogPals encourages you to share our blog posts via email or social media. We do not grant permission to cut-and-paste prayers and articles without a link back. For permission to use material in paper publications, please email revgalblogpals at gmail dot com.

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Monday Prayer

Holy One
Thank you for the gift of persistence
now more than ever,
today, and always…
Amen

persistent

 

 


Julie Rennick is a Church of Scotland minister, serving a rural community in the village of Earlston in the Scottish Borders. She blogs at A Country Girl, writes for Spill the Beans and contributed to the RevGals book, There’s a Woman in the Pulpit


RevGalBlogPals encourages you to share our blog posts via email or social media. We do not grant permission to cut-and-paste prayers and articles without a link back. For permission to use material in paper publications, please email revgalblogpals at gmail dot com.

 

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11th Hour Preacher Party: Choosing Edition

An inconsequential party game to start off:

  • Would you rather eat Valentine’s conversation hearts or marshmallows? 
  • Would you rather take a 30 minute nap in the morning or just go to bed 30 minutes earlier that night?
  • Would you rather vacuum or dust?
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These are the Valentine conversation hearts referred to in the question. 

As you may surmise, I’m pondering the Deuteronomy passage from the Revised Common Lectionary, wherein the Israelites are asked to “choose life!” The other RCL lectionary texts include a third week in the Sermon on the Mount and 1 Corinthians 3. A discussion of those text can be found at the RGBP Tuesday post. Or if you’re a Narrative Lectionary preacher, you are working on John’s question to Jesus: are you the one? Conversation about that is at this post.

What are your choices as you ponder your sermon? What do you need help with? What help can you offer? That’s what the 11th Hour Preacher Party is here for, so let’s share our ideas and resources.


Monica Thompson Smith is a Presbyterian Church (USA) minister, serving as stated supply pastor of First Presbyterian Church, Luling, TX. She is a contributor to There’s a Woman in the Pulpit.


RevGalBlogPals encourages you to share our blog posts via email or social media. We do not grant permission to cut-and-paste prayers and articles without a link back. For permission to use material in paper publications, please email revgalblogpals at gmail dot com

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RCL:You have Heard

I apologize to all of you faithful RevGalPals for being so late getting this together. My family has been down qith the stomach bug that is hitting the south in epidemic proportions.

This weeks RCL readings can be found here.oldyoungwoman

There is a picture we studied in one of my psychology classes that has always intrigued me. It was a picture of a woman. The thing about it was it depended on your state of mind which woman you saw. It took me a while, but eventually I was able to switch back and forth between the young and old woman.

The scriptures from the revised common lectionary this week invite us to look at things from a new perspective.

Jesus’ words from Matthew challenge preconceived notions of the way things should be. Over and Over again Jesus says “You have heard it said, but I say.” These words are an invitation to see the world in a different light. These words offer the opportunity to view the world with eyes of love instead of vengeance; with hope instead of fear, with joy not loss. These words offer the opportunity to engage with the world through a completely different paradigm, one of abundance instead of scarcity.

I watched a video in seminary of Walter Wink and his approach to this passage which has changed the way I read this part of Matthew’s Gospel. You can find a youtube video of it here. (It is long, but good)

But Jesus’ words are not all easy to hear. His words of divorce may ring strangely in our modern ears. We must remember that marriage in Jesus’ day was not the same as marriage in most of our societies. Perhaps this was Jesus protecting women in a way that had never been considered?

What things will you be preaching dear pals?

What questions do these scriptures bring to your heart?

Please share your journey through the word with us.


Cardelia Howell-Diamond pastors a small Cumberland Presbyterian Church in northern Alabama. She is the mother of three children, all of which have had the stomach bug back to back since Friday. She blogs at randomrevhd.blogspot.com.


RevGalBlogPals encourages you to share our blog posts via email or social media. We do not grant permission to cut-and-paste prayers and articles without a link back. For permission to use material in paper publications, please email revgalblogpals at gmail dot com.

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Friday Festival: Storytelling

The annual RevGalBlogPals’ Big Event (BE 10) has just concluded, with this year’s program on storytelling led by Casey FitzGerald.

Sidebar: If you’re a member of RevGalBlogPals and you’ve not yet attended a BE, make a note somewhere on your Summer 2017 calendar with this reminder to yourself: “Register for BE 11!” and plan to attend the 2018 Big Event.

go-and-tell-by-marci

photo/meme by Marci Glass

To continue BE 10’s storytelling theme, here are stories currently being told across our RevGalBlogPals’ blogging network:

+ Kathy of God of the Sparrow wonders if it’s time to learn to be a risk-taker, as she reflects on growing up “under my skittish grandmother’s care … she gave us each only one skate, fearing that to skate on two would land us face down on the pavement.”

+ Aileen of Aileen Goes On is sharing her stories of depression, beginning in the early years: “The first memory I have of profound sadness…begins on one unforgettably horrible night in 1971.”

+ Derek of Tales from the Great Adventure tells the story of a recent moment in an adult Sunday School class: “A couple introduced themselves this way: ‘We’ve been church members since around 2006,’ they said; ‘disciples for the past year.’”

+ Cindy of The LaJoy Family shares a beautiful appreciation that she received from her sons, and she reflects: “We don’t often think of people as sanctuaries, and yet we have all had them. … I can’t help but wonder if what we really need is not a ‘safe place’, but for each of us to step up and be Sanctuary People for others.”

+ Kimberly at Consider the Lilies gives thanks for the voice of a good book “that calls to the reader, perhaps makes the mind move in ways it almost but not quite moves on its own, or proposes something totally other, adding depth, perspective, new swaths of horizon, to the ways in which a reader things, creates, acts.” Which prompts the question: What books’ voices are accompanying your life these days?

Have a personal story you’ve blogged recently? Add a link in the comments. Provoked by one of these stories and inspired to share your own? Tell your story in the comments and offer your appreciation on the blogs linked above.

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Wednesday Prayer: Grounded

 

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Kerr County, Texas, 2010. Photo by Monica Smith.

God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear.  Psalm 46:1-2a

Eternal God,

Keep us grounded, rooted, stuck

Firmly in you.

Cradle our faith in you when we have trouble holding it there  ourselves.

Be our refuge. Be our strength. Be present. Be our help. We need you.

Amen.


Monica Thompson Smith is a Presbyterian Church (USA) minister, serving as stated supply pastor of First Presbyterian Church, Luling, TX. She is a contributor to There’s a Woman in the Pulpit.


RevGalBlogPals encourages you to share our blog posts via email or social media. We do not grant permission to cut-and-paste prayers and articles without a link back. For permission to use material in paper publications, please email revgalblogpals at gmail dot com

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Narrative Lectionary: Beyond miracles

dscn6879It’s easy to see, in the stories presented in our texts this week, the miraculous nature of Jesus and not go any further. But I believe our text invites, indeed demands that we look beyond the miracles to see the message – a message of faith, a message of reconciliation, a message of restoration, a message of hope.

Already, Luke is beginning to present the notion of the gospel going beyond the Jewish nation to the rest of the world. The centurion, part of the occupying forces, is noted for his faith in the ability of Jesus to make a difference. The man raised to life is restored to his widowed mother and she, in turn finds a place in a culture that oppresses those of her status.

So, it’s not so much about the miraculous life giving transformations, as the justice of God enacted in every day life – for those in power and for the lowly.

It’s not so much about what Jesus does as about how he calls us to live – in faith, inclusively, caring for the least of these.

How will you relate these stories to the chaos in our world today? Where will you find faith, reconciliation, restoration and hope. What images will you hold up to encourage others to see beyond the story?

  • Pictures and stories of protest against corrupt administration
  • Signs and actions welcoming the marginalised and those discriminated against
  • Exhausted aid workers in their tireless compassion
  • Religions standing and working together through terrorism and loss

How will you preach, how will you live out faith that knows no bounds where you are this week? Please share, in the comments, your thoughts and reflections and the direction you are heading with the text this week.

Working Preacher commentary is here.

Liz Crumlish is a Church of Scotland Minister currently working on a National Renewal Project in Scotland.  A Board Member of RevGalBlogPals, instigator of Spill the Beans and contributor to There’s a Woman in the Pulpit, Liz blogs at journalling

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RevGalBlogPals encourages you to share our blog posts via email or social media. We do not grant permission to cut-and-paste prayers and articles without a link back. For permission to use material in paper publications, please email revgalblogpals at gmail dot com.

 

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