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More or Less Church

Joanna Depue "DJ/Deacon J" writes original songs and liturgies, does daily Farm office work and records Barbara's eMos on The Geranium Farm. A singer and dog trainer she utilizes healing touch in her private massage practice. PLEASE share YOUR original ideas for worship, special liturgies, prayers, songs, sermons and noteworthy blogs right here.
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Saturday, January 16, 2010

Recalling the Words of a Modern Day Prophet

"If you want to be important - wonderful. If you want to be recognized - wonderful. If you want to be great - wonderful.

But recognize that he who is greatest among you shall be your servant. That's a new definition of greatness. And this morning, the thing that I like about it: by giving that definition of greatness, it means that everybody can be great, because everybody can serve. You don't have to have a college degree to serve. You don't have to make your subject and your verb agree to serve. You don't have to know about Plato and Aristotle to serve. You don't have to know Einstein's theory of relativity to serve. You don't have to know the second theory of thermodynamics in physics to serve. You only need a heart full of grace, a soul generated by love. And you can be that servant."

Excerpt from a sermon by Rev Martin Luther King; Ebenezer Baptist Church, Atlanta, Georgia, February 4, 1968

In this universe, in this world, in any nation, in our nation, in your state, in your county/parish, in your town, in your church, in your community, in your subdivision, in your immediate neighborhood, in home, in your family, in your relationships - you can serve. There is need aplenty, there are experts in love without GEDs. Heed the Prophets, heed Christ: go forth and serve!!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Litany and Prayer in Response to the Earthquake in Haiti

These two pieces were adapted from the BCP and originally developed by the Rev. William "Chip" Stokes of Delray Beach, FL in response to Hurricane Katrina. He has now adapted them for use in the wake of the earthquake in Haiti. They can be seen below or on Chip's blog: Thank you, Chip, for this liturgical resource!

Litany in Response to a Natural Disaster

Holy God, Creator of heaven and earth,
Have mercy upon us.
Holy and Mighty, redeemer of the world,
Have mercy upon us.
Holy Immortal One, Sanctifier of the faithful,
Have mercy upon us.
Holy, blessed and glorious Trinity, One God,
Have mercy upon us.

Remember not, Lord Christ our offenses, neither reward us according to our sins. Spare us, good Lord, spare your people, whom you have redeemed by your cross and passion, and by your mercy preserve us forever.
Spare us, good Lord.

From all natural disasters, from hurricanes, fires, tornados earthquakes, blizzards and floods, Good Lord, deliver us.

From all disease and sickness, from famine and violence,
Good Lord, deliver us.

In all times of sorrow, in all times of joy; in the hour of death and at the day of judgment,
Good Lord, deliver us.

Hear our prayers, O Christ our God,
O Christ, hear us.

For the repose of the souls of those who have died in this disaster that your holy angels may welcome them into Paradise.
O Christ, hear us.

Console all who grieve: those whose loved ones have died, whose families are torn; whose homes have been destroyed, whose possessions have been ruined, who are now unemployed.
O Christ, hear us.

Heal those who suffer from injury and illness, emotional and spiritual distress. Give them hope and encouragement to meet the days ahead.
O Christ, hear us.

Give food to the hungry and drink to the thirsty.
O Christ, hear us.

Give rest to weary and peace to the restless.
O Christ, hear us.

Give strength to the government of Haiti, to the World Community and all others in authority and leadership; grant them wisdom and power to act in accordance with your will.
O Christ, hear us.

Bless the bishops, clergy and people of the Haiti who strive to do your service in the midst of their own grief and pain. Give them fortitude to serve as you would serve.
O Christ, hear us.

Grant your people grace to witness to your word, to open their hearts in love, and to give generously from their abundance, that they may bring forth the fruits of your Spirit.
O Christ, hear us.

Forgive us Lord, for all negligence and hardheartedness, for inequities and injustice that have resulted in bitterness and strife, in injury and death.
O Christ, hear us.

In the midst of incomprehensible loss, grant us eyes that see, ears that hear and hands that work so that we may discern how you would have us respond.
O Christ, hear us.

We give you thanks, Lord God for all agencies and individuals who assist in relief efforts; continue in them the good work you have begun, through them your presence is made known. We thank you O, Lord.

V. You are our refuge and strength
R. Our very present help in trouble
V. In you Lord is our Hope
R. And we shall never hope in vain

Glory to God whose power, working in us, can do infinitely more than we can ask or imagine.Glory to him from generation to generation in the Church, and in Christ Jesus for ever. Amen

A Prayer for the Victims of the Earthquake in Haiti

Holy God, source of life, lover of souls, out of the depths we call to you; in the face of incomprehensible anguish and sorrow, we lift the cries of our distress and implore you to show mercy upon those who are suffering from the destruction of the earthquake in Haiti. We pray for those who have died and for their loved ones who grieve. asking you to hold them in the arms of your love; we pray for those who have been injured in body, mind or spirit and ask you to heal them; we pray for those who are homeless and wandering, for families torn asunder and ask you to shelter them. Strengthen the hands and hearts of those who assist in relief efforts and grant us all firm resolve to stand with our neighbors who are in need, to love them and to offer our generous support of them in this their time of trouble; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, now and forever. Amen

Thursday, January 14, 2010

With Haiti in mind, heart, soul ....

Pour les services sociaux

Dieu tout-puissant toi dont le Fils n’est pas venu pour être servi, mais pour servir: Bénis tous ceux qui, à sa suite se dévouent au service des autres; qu’avec sagesse, patience et courage, ils assistent en son nom les malheureux et les indigents. Nous te le demandons pour l’amour de celui qui a donné sa vie pour nous, ton Fils Jésus Christ notre Sauveur. Lui qui vit et règne avec toi et le Saint-Esprit, un seul Dieu dans les siècles des siècles. Amen.

For Social Service

Heavenly Father, whose blessed Son came not to be served but to serve: Bless all who following in his steps give themselves to the service of others; that with wisdom patience, and courage they may minister in his Name to the suffering, the friendless, and the needy; for the love of him who laid down his life for us, your Son our Savior Jesus Christ who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, on God, for ever and ever. Amen.

There are many reputable charities through which you may make donations. We at The Geranium Farm encourage Episcopal Relief and Development. Go to their website and use the box marked specifically for Haitian Relief: As an alternative, you may contact ER-D by phone at: 1-800-334-7626 ext 5219.

The State Department Operations Center has set up the following number for Americans seeking information about family members in Haiti: 1-888-407-4747

The Rev. Lauren R. Stanley is the Appointed Missionary to the Diocese of Haiti. She is updating us all with what has come her way through her website:

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Yes, It's Still Christmas ...

... by some counts, Christmas lasts through Epiphany to the Presentation in the Temple on February 2 (Candlemas) a stretch of 40 days. That does kinda fit into our 40 day count for Noah on the Arc, Christs Temptation in the Wilderness (our Lent), Easter.

I couldn't resist sharing Charlie Brown with you on Christmas Eve ... and now this gem telling the Christmas story 'from the mouths of babes' by some of the children attending Hilltop Preschool and Kindergarten at the Portland Christian Center in Portland, OR.

p.s. I just love the girl that is obsessed with fairies!

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