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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 08, 2007

The Twelve Steps and Lent: Step 6

Step 6: Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.

Steps 4 - 7 are all about something that seems to be in short supply most of the time: forgiveness.

What the discipline of following these increments amounts to can be nothing short of amazing and life transforming.

We are learning to look at ourselves, our actions (and their repercussions) and our reactions with a kindness that comes from a Higher Power.

We are motivated to be honest and vulnerable - INTENTIONALLY - for perhaps the first time in our lives without strings attached - through the strength given to us by our Higher Power.

Although we may have gone to a minister of the church to speak the truth of our failings and shortcomings, some part of us may still want to hang on to old patterns. The patterns may be faulty, flawed, gnarled with complexity - they are comfortable and predictable. Step 6 delivers us to the threshhold of our freedom from the bondage of our misguided manipulations. We have come to a believe that we need what our Higher Power can give us and are ready - despite fleeting or lingering questions - to step into a new Light and a new Life. We offer ourselves to be transformed into our truest self and reject the characature we had drawn.

Six down and six to Go. Thanks be to God!

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

The Twelve Steps and Lent: Step 5

Step 5: Admitted to God, to ourselves and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.

....and you wondered why I thought Lent was a good time to bring these things up???

I don't know what your own Lenten discipline is; one of mine is an annual confession to a priest. This is not the general "man, have I messed up and I'm sorry". This is making an appointment with a priest to sit down and lay it all out there. The response of the priest may also give you insight on how to get to the root of some of the errors and begin to turn your heart toward amends.

By making a sacramental confession we get two distinct benefits: 1) we have admitted to another person (the priest) the exact nature of our wrongs and 2) because the Reconciliation of a Penitent is a sacrament we have the benefit - then and there - to receive the forgiveness of the church and the grace to sustain us in our life of repentance and further reconciliation with ourselves and others.

If it would be too uncomfortable at this stage to go to your own priest, go to another one - in another diocese if need be - but lay your deeds and their accompanying guilt and shame on the table; speak those things you have never spoken out loud - begin to feel the freedom from the burden of them - AND receive the grace that accompanies the sacrament. What a win - win situation!

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

U-Tube presentation: The Covenant Song

Taking a short break from the 12 Step theme, but in total keeping with it, I share with you a video which was produced by Canon Cynthia Black from the Cathedral of Christ the King in Kalamazoo, Michigan. The themed music - entitled The Covenant Song - was written by a dear friend of the Farm, Ana Hernandez.

Barbara has worked with Ana on retreats and helped make some of her recordings a reality. Ana and I have sung together and spent many days interacting while she was co-manager of the Episcopal Book and Resourse Center within the Episcopal Church Headquarters at 815 Second Avenue in New York City.

The Covenant you make at baptism with God begins the conscious journey you make with the divine 3-some: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. You are not alone on this journey and may have companions of faith all along the way for either the short or the long term.

Enjoy this presentation - and, of course, feel free to tap into Ana's website for her offerings and itinerary:


(used with permission)

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