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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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Thursday, March 23, 2006

....I will, with God's help.

We Episcopalians are an amazingly sacramental lot..... we find new and different ways to commemorate milestones in our life with celebrations and rituals that contain elements of the transcendent and the here and now. There is a certain amout of subdued (or exhuberant) pride we take in all things liturgical - in combining tradition and innovation, personal and corporate, moments of one-on-one intense individuality within the context of a very public event.

Just want to put in a plug to you-all to use the various services available in the Book of Common Prayer, including Thanksgiving for the Birth or Adoption of a Child (p.439), the Reconciliation of a Penitent (p.447) and Form of Commitment to Christian Service (p. 420).

About two weeks ago Barbara received a request from Janet Adkins - a GF reader and new Spirititual Director - asking what might be helpful to add to the very broad service. Here is the next of what I wrote for her to be used at the Sunday Service in her church --- you might like to modify for a need you may have in your parish. The questions and answered are patterned after the same form in the Baptismal Covenant.

To start things off......At the appropriate time, you should be invited to come forward. Clergy presiding at this commitment should say a few words, something along the lines of....

"Janet has come before us today to make an Act of Commitment before the Body of Christ. No commitment of such a public and private nature could have been contemplated without the groundwork of a great deal of soul searching, prayer and guidance. The function and art of being a spiritual director combines the talents of agreeing with another person to join their spiritual journey - as a companion and a guide. Anyone called to this unique vocation must be certain to deepen and maintain their own spiritual life in order to be able to have the compassion and wisdom to minister to anothers."

Janet, Will you endeavor to maintain a Rule of Life that will support and enrich your work as a spiritual director?
I will, with God's help.

Will you continue to surrender your life and your will to Christ and be led by his compassion and example?
I will, with God's help.

Will you practise your vocation, being and instrument of God's unconditional love and peace?
I will with God's help.

Will you maintain the privacy and dignity of each of those under your care?
I will with God's help.

Will you assist others in the process of discernment should they believe they are called to exercise the gift of spiritual direction?
I will with God's help.

Then comes your Act of Commitment. My understanding is that it is either read or, having been written and printed out, is signed and handed over to the Presider.

Then it finishes with the concluding prayers and instructions on p. 420/1 BCP.

We can do so much with God on our side, with God's help!


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