Tag Archives: The Lord’s Prayer

Courageous Faith: Deliver us from Evil

Today was a beautiful day filled with sunshine. We are winding down our sermon series on the Lord’s Prayer. Yesterday in St. Louis, the General Conference of the United Methodist Church began a special called session to find a way forward in our denomination. For over 40 years we have wrestled with the issues around human sexuality and at the 2016 Conference, the delegates asked the Council of Bishops to lead us in a way forward.

A commission was created and three plans were offered to the General Conference. Over the next few days a decision will be made. I am praying for grace in the midst of the tension and no matter what the decision, that we as brothers and sisters treat each other tenderly and with compassion. In fact in dealing with the scriptures offered in today’s worship, the author of 1 Peter was pretty clear about how we are treat each other.

It will come as no surprise to anyone who knows me that I support the One Church Plan. In my opinion is offers the biggest tent for the most people to live in the tension of disagreement and also to live together as brothers and sisters. Whatever happens, I will continue to choose love, to choose inclusion over exclusion and continue to be a voice for all people to be loved and welcomed into the body of Christ.

Early this morning as I walked into the sanctuary I was stunned by the window:

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The eastern portion was flooded with light and the rest still shadowed. I had never seen that glass look quite that color, so deep and rich. In my heart I believe that is what the kingdom of God looks like when God’s love and grace floods into our hearts and spirits. One of these days, all of us will be illuminated by the light of Christ and it will literally change the world.

Until then, I am praying for the United Methodist Church, praying for all of us to be delivered from any evil that might try to break us apart. I am praying for God’s kingdom on earth as it is in heaven.

You can find the whole of today’s service here. Tomorrow the sermon only will be uploaded as well. #Itstime friends. #Itstime. I am so grateful to be graced to serve.

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Courageous Faith: Lead us not into Temptation

The sun was shining and it was a wonderful gift after several days of cloudy, sleety, snowy and icy weather. It wasn’t warm per se, but oh how lovely it was to see a blue sky and a bright sun.

We have only a couple of more weeks for our sermon series “Courageous Faith.” This week I mentioned that the United Methodist Church will have a special session of the General Conference beginning on Saturday. I am not a delegate. After worship I had to share with some people I would not be in St. Louis.  There are just under 900 delegates, half lay and half clergy from all over the world. They are elected from their home annual conferences and most were elected in 2015 for the 2016 General Conference.

In a nutshell, this special called session is to deal with three plans for the organization of our denomination with a particular focus on sexuality. It has the potential to change our life together for decades to come. I am certainly praying for the delegates and for our church. You can find more information about the conference and the issues here.

Sometimes Sundays go fast or I may be too long winded. I cut off my ending and I wish I had been quicker to cut out something else. This is what I truly intend to do this week as I pray for the delegates and the conference. Here is what I had planned to say in its entirety:

As I pray the Lord’s prayer this week, I will be praying for God’s will, for God’s reign of love and peace and equality to become real on earth as it is in heaven. I will remember to ask for all people to be fed, to be forgiven as I forgive and to not be tempted by thing that are destructive to my brothers and sisters adn to our community of faith. This we my friends, let us pray this powerful prayer together, let’s pray for God’s kingdom to come, for each of us to spared from the time of great trial, let us pray that prayer for ourselves, for our community of faith, for our denomination and for our world.

You can find the entire worship here and by Monday afternoon, the sermon by itself will be posted. May your week be blessed and may you always be held in the palm of the Divine Hand.

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Courageous Faith: As We Forgive Others

Forgiveness is one of the hardest things we do as Christians, in my opinion. I am not talking about the easy things to forgive, forgetting an event, or doing something that is annoying. I am talking about the deep hurts and aches that occur within relationships and in our lives. Those hurts that takes days and weeks and often months and years to “get over” and “work through.”

Today’s scripture and the Lord’s prayer take seriously the phrase that we are forgiven to the extent we are able to forgive. Today’s worship service looked at the second part of the Lord’s Prayer phrase on forgiveness: “forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us.” For me, this may be the hardest part of following Jesus: to forgive as I have been forgiven. Today’s worship service can be found here.

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Courageous Faith: Forgive Us

As we gathered today, it was an absolutely gorgeous day in Wichita. I walked up while it was still dark, it was a bit muggy, the birds were singing and it was warm. Springlike. Now I know the temperature will dropping again this week, but it was a lovely morning.

Today we continued our sermon series on the Lord’s Prayer. The phrase for today was “forgive us our sins, trespasses, debts.” I suspect if we are all honest, we don’t want to admit that we need forgiveness and it certainly not something culturally we focus on. No wants wants to admit they have made a mistake or our wrong. The truth is, we all make mistakes and we all sin. We need forgiveness. Our altar looked like this:

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We celebrated holy communion at all our services today. We are a forgiven people loved and graced by God. You can find our entire worship service here.

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Courageous Faith: Daily Bread

This morning was beautiful. At church I took this beautiful sunrise picture.

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The open hymn at both the Heritage service and Downtown Alive was

“Praise to the Lord, the Almighty
The King of creation
O my soul, praise Him
For He is thy health and salvation
All ye who hear, now to His temple draw near
Praise Him in glad adoration”

One of my favorite hymns it really seemed to fit on this morning when the sunrise was so glorious. In week three of our sermon series our focus was on the phrase, “give us this day our daily bread.” The altar was beautifully set with a variety of breads. (Not pictured are the baskets of holy bread shared with the congregation during worship.)

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Our scriptures; Psalm 23 and Luke 12: 22-32 are verses that remind us that God is there for us in all of life. “Don’t worry,” Jesus says, and we all know how easy that is! Still, again and again we are encouraged to not be afraid, to not worry or be anxious. The Lord’s Prayer gives us a moment to ask for what we need, not just for ourselves but for the whole world You can find today’s service at this link.

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Courageous Faith: Your Kingdom Come

It was a cold, cold day, but the sun was shining and we gathered on the Martin Luther King, Jr weekend to worship and continue our sermon series. After being out of town AGAIN, it was so good to be back “home” in this beautiful sanctuary.

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After worship, there wasn’t one person left, but I stayed for a bit. Sat down and just breathed in Spirit there: thousands upon thousands of prayers have lifted in this space. Tears of happiness and sorrow have been shed, laughter has carried the joy up and out the doors and faithful hearts have again and again have prayed:  God’s kingdom come on earth as it is in heaven.

The music today was beautiful and the hymns meaningful. After attending two different meetings the last two weeks, I have become more and more convinced of the depth of the Lord’s Prayer, and the courage it takes to pray and live into it’s meaning. You can find today’s service here. I truly pray for God’s kingdom to come on earth as it is in heaven.

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Sunday Reflections

A group I belong to of “blogging” clergy women have a daily “prompt.” It is one of the ways we are encouraged to blog each day during November. So far, not one of the prompts have caused me to blog. Today is not different, well, maybe it is close.

Today the prompt was to share a verse from a favorite hymn. That’s like asking me to choose a favorite church over the years, or a favorite child or grandchild or a favorite parishioner or friend.

Music is the window into my soul. I was raised listening to music all the time. Depending on my mood and the season, my favorite hymns change. I might never be able to help plan my own funeral service, folks would be there HOURS with all the music that would “soundtrack” my life.

My youtube has some interesting music. Some of it traditional church music, some more contemporary church music. There is pop songs, songs from musical and movies and few movie clips.

The church I am privileged to serve, says or sings the Lord’s Prayer almost every Sunday. There maybe two or three a year that we do not share that prayer together. When I arrived almost nine and a half years ago, they rotated saying the tradition United Methodist version with singing a version from the Rejoice Mass. Occasionally they would sing a call and response version from the hymnal supplement The Faith We Sing.  We added a version about three years ago that sounds quite ancient, but is a modern version that sounds like a chant. Currently we have added a very new version by Mark Miller that is in the hymnal supplement Worship and Song. I love all the sung versions, again, music speaks to my soul.

At night, though, when I am alone, I listen to a version that is like nothing I had heard before. It is sung in Aramaic, the language Jesus spoke. It is hauntingly beautiful.  “Abwoon D’Bashmaya” is worth listening to more than once. This Lord’s Prayer calms my spirit, speaks to my heart and mind and helps me rest in the love and grace of God. Abwoon D’Bashmaya reminds me that the prayer Jesus taught me calls me out of myself and into community, because the word “I” is never used, only “our” and “we”.

This picture may say it all:

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It’s how I feel when listening to this Lord’s prayer. On this Sunday, I reflect on this lovely prayer for me, for Christians throughout the ages. Blessings.

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