Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Worship at Caring for Creation Conference and Prodigal Son Experiential Worship that incorporates the Wesleyan Model of Grace.

I lament that I haven't been blogging on my own blog during the past couple/few weeks. I have put some thought and effort into other blogs' comment sections here and other places

I've been obsessively looking at hogville.net and all the news surrounding Darren McFadden's lighting speed performance at the NFL combine: 4.33 forty time!

I've been planning worship for the "Caring for Creation Conference" at Mt. Sequoyah. I think it's going to present the opportunity to use the oft-ignored "prayer in the four directions" from the UM Book of Worship.

Here's how it will go--the scripture readings will all happen at the same time, in a cacophony of sound. It's a neat experience my Eco-group tried out at CST that I think provokes the spirit to listen for the voice of nature that is sometimes "trans-verbal." Hmm--did I just make up a word?

Call to Worship
Leader: We who have lost our sense and our senses—our touch, our smell, our vision of who we are: we who frantically force and press all things, without rest for body or spirit, hurting our earth and injuring ourselves: we call a halt.

People: We want to rest. We need to rest and allow the earth to rest. We need to reflect and to rediscover the mystery that lives in us, that is the ground of every unique expression of life, the source of the fascination that calls all things to communion.

Leader: We declare a Sabbath, a space of quiet: for simple being and letting be: for recovering the great, forgotten truths; for learning how to live again.
From the United Nations program publication for Environmental Sabbath/Earth Rest Day, June 1990.

Hymn: All Creatures of our God and King 62

Listening Closely

Scripture Readings in harmony: Leviticus 25: 2-7, Job 12: 7-10, Psalm 104: 24-28, Isaiah 11: 6-9, Isaiah 24: 4-5, Jeremiah 23: 23-24, Matthew 6:26, Romans 8: 19-23

Invitation to Focus and Silence: Nathan Mattox


Song (Maybe special music???)

Speaking Boldly

Voices from Tradition: Poetry, Prose, and Prayer

O God, enlarge within us the sense of fellowship with all living things, our brothers the animals to whom thou gavest the earth as their home in common with us. We remember with shame that in the past we have exercised the high dominion…with ruthless cruelty so that the voice of the earth, which should have gone up to thee in song, has been a groan of travail. May we realize that they live not for us alone but for themselves and for thee, and that they love the sweetness of life.
~St. Basil the Great (329-379)

What is divinity if it can come
Only in silent shadows and in dreams?
Shall she not find in comforts of the sun,
IN pungent fruit and bright, green wings, or else
In any balm or beauty of the earth,
Things to be cherished like the thought of heaven?
Divinity must live within herself:
Passions of rain, or moods in falling snow;
Grievings in loneliness, or unsubdued
Elations when the forest blooms; gusty
Emotions on wet roads on autumn nights;
All pleasures and all pains, remembering
The bough of summer and the winter branch,
These are the measures destined for her soul.
~Wallace Stevens, Sunday Morning, 1915

“Human beings are a part of the whole we call the Universe, a small region in time and space. They regard themselves, their ideas and their feelings as separate and apart from all the rest. It is something like an optical illusion in their consciousness. This illusion is a sort of prison; it restricts us to our personal aspirations and limits our affective life to a few people very close to us. Our task should be to free ourselves from this prison, opening up our circle of compassion in order to embrace all living creatures and all nature in its beauty.”
~Albert Einstein (1879-1955)

Invitation to Speak out for Creation Cory Sparks

Hymn: This is My Father’s World 144

Fed Wholly
(congregation should leave seats and form a circle)
Centering and Confession (Traditional Lakota Prayer and adapted confession by Miriam Winter, Book of Worship, 470, 488) Denny Hook

Paul Reminds us that Christ is the center of creation, of our lives, and of the world. We seek the wisdom of directions. From each direction we return to the center reminded that Christ brings healing and salvation and by God’s Spirit renews the face of the earth. Let us be silent as we face our center point.

Let us face East. From the East, the direction of the rising sun, we glean wisdom and knowledge through desert silences and humble service.
Enable us, o God to be wise in our actions and in our use of the resources of the earth, sharing them in justice, partaking of them in gratitude.
Let us face South. From the South come guidance and the beginning and end of life.
May we walk good paths, O God, living on the earth as sisters and brothers should, rejoicing in one another’s blessing, sympathizing in one another’s sorrows, and together look to you, seeking the new heaven and earth.
Let us face West. From the West come purifying waters.
We pray that water might be pure and available to all, and that we, too, may be purified so that life may be sustained and nurtured over the entire face of the earth.
Let us face North. From the North come strong winds and gentle breezes.
May the air we breathe be purified and may our lives feel that breath of the Spirit, strengthening and encouraging us.
If we walked a path in each direction, the sacred paths would form a cross.
Returning to the center, we discover Christ, who calls us and challenges us.
We confess that the circle of love is repeatedly broken because of our sin of exclusion. We create separate circles: the inner circle and the outer circle, the circle of power and the circle of despair, the circle of privilege and the circle of deprivation.
Forgive us our sins, as we forgive all who have sinned against us.
We confess that the circle of love is broken whenever there is alienation, whenever there is misunderstanding, whenever there is insensitivity and hardening of heart. R
We confess that the circle of love is broken whenever we cannot see eye to eye, whenever we cannot link hand to hand, whenever we cannot live heart to heart and affirm our differences. R
Through God’s grace we are forgiven, by the mercy of our Creator, through the love of the Christ and in the power of the Spirit. Let us Rejoice and be glad! Glory to God! Amen

Eucharist: I like the Alternative Great Thanksgiving in BOW on p. 78, I think it uses better images for our purposes, or I have a couple originalesque great thanksgivings that might serve us well….or you might have some input, Denny or Cory. What do ya’ll think?

Also, I recently remembered that I'll be in charge of the finale worship at the confirmation retreat at Camp Egan this coming weekend, so I've been making the preparations for that. We'll repeat the experiential prodigal son journey again that illustrates the Wesleyan idea of threefold grace. The kids start out in the pig stye and have activities that give them insight on prevenient grace, then they come into the worship area where their hands are washed and they make rings out of pipe cleaner and hear about justifying grace to signify the return home and embrace of the father. And then they are invited to the banquet table (which is behind them, they have to "turn around" to get there), which symbolizes prevenient grace. The thing went off really well last year, and I based it on a sermon I had previously preached. I'll try to take some better pix this year and give a better explanation of the service afterwards so you can get an idea for it.

So there you go. I've been busy, but wanted to record some of the reasons for my absence from posting. Peace!

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous8:17 PM