A moment of contemplation for yourself or on behalf of others on everything from the life-altering to the mundane.

Prayer: A conversation with The Higher Other who lives within each of us. An invitation to vent, to re-think, to ask, and to rest.

Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Prayers of the People: In the Beginning ~ 1st Sunday in the Season of Creation '19

For Sunday, October 13, 2019 ~ Readings: From Meditations with Julian of Norwich*, Psalm 100, James Weldon Johnson**, Luke 17:11-19

Welcome to the Season of Creation!

        The Season of Creation originated in the Anglican Church of South Africa in 2008 and is designed for us to explore our faith from a Creation perspective. We are to realize our place in the order of God’s creating and to see and act upon the need to care for our entire life-support system - the air we breathe, the water we drink, the soil in which we grow our crops - not merely humanity, but our total environment, as it pertains to ALL life. 
         From the early days of the Season of Creation at The Episcopal Church of Sts. Andrew and Matthew in Wilmington, Delaware [www.SsAM.org], we established that “the primary aim of the events of the season is to enable adults and youth to celebrate and experience the inextricable link which binds together the destinies of all of God’s creatures.” It is a moment of pause to remind ourselves that God calls us to see “what great dangers we are in by our unhappy divisions” and for us to renew our commitment to making real the biblical vision of the earth at unity with itself. It is a vision of human beings of all races, backgrounds and walks of life in local communities and among the nations of the earth, living together in love and peace with justice for all. "As disciples of Christ, we are called through our Baptismal Covenant, to be instruments for the healing of our broken world," and with a renewed commitment to personal and communal prayer and action.

         We will use Biblical and other readings that pertain to the specific theme of each of the 7 weeks. The alternate readings used will follow the prayers on this page.  

     We begin this Season at the BeginningProfessor Wangari Maathai, 
[1940-2011], a Kenyan environmental and political activist, Member of Parliament as Assistant Minister for Environment and Natural Resources, was educated in the United States and in Kenya. In 2004, she was the first African woman to win the Nobel Peace Prize. She was honored for "her contribution to sustainable development, democracy and peace".  Professor Maathai described the Book of Genesis as "the book for environmentalists." "If we had been created on Tuesday," she said, "There would have been nowhere for us to stand! God, with infinite wisdom, waited until the last day!"

Week I's Theme is: In the Beginning


Leader:  ~ Creator and Eternal God, shine again in the darkness that covers us when we distance ourselves from You. As we inhale Your eternal Breath, we know the comfort and strength You wrap us in, enclosing You in us, never to leave.
                                                        Good Lord, Steadfast and Faithful                                        
RESPONSE:                   We return to You with thanks and praise                

~ Creator and Eternal God, encourage goodness in all who hold political authority across the vast expanse of Your Creation. Guide them to see You in themselves, in every human face, in every tiny hazelnut, and to govern justly, mercifully, and with humility. We pray especially for: add your own petitions

                                                       Good Lord, Steadfast and Faithful
                                                       We return to You in thanks and praise

~ Creator and Eternal God, grant healing to the spirits of those laid low by illness or life circumstance, and resilience for all who give care. We now join our voices to pray aloud for those in need… add your own petitions

                                                       Good Lord, Steadfast and Faithful
                                                       We return to You in thanks and praise
~ Creator and Eternal God, may echoes of sweet memory quell the pain of earth-bound grief, as the souls of those who’ve left this life now soar in the peace and glory of new life in Christ. We pray especially for… add your own petitions

                                                       Good Lord, Steadfast and Faithful
                                                       We return to You in thanks and praise

~ Creator and Eternal God, we pause in this moment to offer You our other heartfelt thanksgivings, intercessions, petitions, and memorials, aloud or silently… add your own petitions

                                                       Good Lord, Steadfast and Faithful
                                                       We return to You in thanks and praise
~ Creator and Eternal God, we give thanksgiving for Your loyal and anointed servants who re-awaken our wonder and teach us the way to our true place with You. We pray especially for: add your own petitions

                                                       Good Lord, Steadfast and Faithful
                                                       We return to You in thanks and praise

The Celebrant adds:   Holy God, Divine Architect, release us from all selfish diversion and turn us to never-ending thanksgiving and praise as grateful sheep of Your eternal pasture. Remind us of our role in faithful action to care for the land, the sea, the air, all of humanity, and every living creature granted us by Your enduring love. We ask through Jesus, our Merciful Healer; and the Holy Spirit, the sacred Breath within us, who together with You are our One Almighty God now and forever. Amen.

*Reading #1: From Meditations with Julian of Norwich

I saw that God was everything that is good and encouraging.
God is our clothing that wraps, clasps, and encloses us so as never to leave us.
God showed me in my palm a little thing round as a ball about the size of a hazelnut.
I looked at it with the eye of my understanding and asked myself: “What is this thing?”

And I was answered: “It is everything that is created.”
I wondered how it could survive since it seemed so little it could suddenly disintegrate into nothing.

The answer came: “It endures and ever will endure, because God loves it.”
And so everything has being because of God’s love.

** Reading #2  The Creation by James Weldon Johnson

And God stepped out on space,
And he looked around and said:
I’m lonely—
I’ll make me a world.

And far as the eye of God could see
Darkness covered everything,
Blacker than a hundred midnights
Down in a cypress swamp.

Then God smiled,
And the light broke,
And the darkness rolled up on one side,
And the light stood shining on the other,
And God said: That’s good!

Then God reached out and took the light in his hands,
And God rolled the light around in his hands
Until he made the sun;
And he set that sun a-blazing in the heavens.
And the light that was left from making the sun
God gathered it up in a shining ball
And flung it against the darkness,
Spangling the night with the moon and stars.
Then down between
The darkness and the light
He hurled the world;
And God said: That’s good!

Then God himself stepped down—
And the sun was on his right hand,
And the moon was on his left;
The stars were clustered about his head,
And the earth was under his feet.
And God walked, and where he trod
His footsteps hollowed the valleys out
And bulged the mountains up.

Then he stopped and looked and saw
That the earth was hot and barren.
So God stepped over to the edge of the world
And he spat out the seven seas—
He batted his eyes, and the lightnings flashed—
He clapped his hands, and the thunders rolled—
And the waters above the earth came down,
The cooling waters came down.

Then the green grass sprouted,
And the little red flowers blossomed,
The pine tree pointed his finger to the sky,
And the oak spread out his arms,
The lakes cuddled down in the hollows of the ground,
And the rivers ran down to the sea;
And God smiled again,
And the rainbow appeared,
And curled itself around his shoulder.

Then God raised his arm and he waved his hand
Over the sea and over the land,
And he said: Bring forth! Bring forth!
And quicker than God could drop his hand,
Fishes and fowls
And beasts and birds
Swam the rivers and the seas,
Roamed the forests and the woods,
And split the air with their wings.
And God said: That’s good!

Then God walked around,
And God looked around
On all that he had made.
He looked at his sun,
And he looked at his moon,
And he looked at his little stars;
He looked on his world
With all its living things,
And God said: I’m lonely still.

Then God sat down—
On the side of a hill where he could think;
By a deep, wide river he sat down;
With his head in his hands,
God thought and thought,
Till he thought: I’ll make me a man!

Up from the bed of the river
God scooped the clay;
And by the bank of the river
He kneeled him down;
And there the great God Almighty
Who lit the sun and fixed it in the sky,
Who flung the stars to the most far corner of the night,
Who rounded the earth in the middle of his hand;
This great God,
Like a mammy bending over her baby,
Kneeled down in the dust
Toiling over a lump of clay
Till he shaped it in is his own image;

Then into it he blew the breath of life,

And man became a living soul.  Amen.    Amen.

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