Question h - Energy, Intelligence, Imagination, and Love

W.4.0404 h.—Will you pray for and seek to serve the people with energy, intelligence, imagination, and love?


Prayers and Spiritual Practice Resources

1.     Letting Go of The Week: A Sabbath as Resistance Meditation (to be used at the beginning of worship, a gathering, or meeting)

 

We pause for a few moments …

To let go of the week that has passed …

Breathing in … Breathing out … (repeat)

Like every other week, it has been a week of doing …

We each had a to-do list of what we wanted to do …

We each had great hopes for the week …

We gave care to one another, we answered to others, we hoped it was enough …

Although much remains undone, for this Sabbath moment we resist

Breathing in … Breathing out … (repeat)

Like every other week, it’s been a week of struggle …

At times it felt as if things were falling apart …

At times it seemed we went from one thing to the next without pause or rest.

Although much is still unsettled—broken even, for this Sabbath moment we resist …

Breathing in… Breathing out … (repeat)

For this sabbath moment feel your frustration, your worry, your anxiety drift to the back of your mind …

Let your struggles float away for a moment …

Breathing in … take in the fresh air of Sabbath …

Breathing out … let go of your need to fix it …

Breathing in … take in the fresh air of Sabbath …

Breathing out … let go of your worry and fear …

Breathing in … take in the fresh air of Sabbath …

Breathing out … let go of the voices that hold you back …

Breathing in … Breathing out … resist (repeat)

We let go of the week and we welcome this Sabbath time of resistance …

Let yourself rest and breathe for just a few moments and consider how this is a form of resistance.

 

2.     Head, Heart, Gut, Feet Prayers 

Create and distribute 8.5”x11” pages with an outline of a body, (or outlines of a variety of body shapes). Take twenty minutes for this guided reflection:

  • Breathe in, Breathe out. Consider all the swirling thoughts in your head. What is swirling, what is floating to the top, what is distracting you or making you curious in this moment. In and around the head of the body outline on the paper, write down anything and everything taking up space in your brain. (5 mins)
  • Breathe in, Breathe out. Consider your heart. Draw a heart in the chest of the body and consider, what are you holding in your heart? Who or what do you have feeling of tenderness, compassion, love, worry, or other feelings about right now, in this moment? Fill the area inside and around the chest of the body outline with names, places, or other things you’re holding close to your heart. (5 mins)
  • Breathe in, Breathe out. Consider your gut. This is the place where things hit us first. Worries, anxieties, compassion, knowledge of our own shortcomings, failures, and hard honest truths. Fill in the area in and around the middle of the body outline with words, stories, or images of things that you intuitively know to be true in your gut. (5 mins)
  • Breathe in, Breathe out. Consider your feet. This is where you take action. Where are your feet itching to go? Are you eager to run towards something or someone? Are you ready to run away from something? Consider the thoughts, feelings, and intuitions that you’ve already identified. Where might your feet take you as a result?

Closing Prayer: Breathe in, Breathe out. To close, take a look at the whole body. We often focus our attention to one area of our being. Was there one area that was easier to name than the others. Was there one that was harder? Remember, God doesn’t just call a part of us. God calls all of us. And God doesn’t only love one part of us. God loves all of us. Amen.

           

3.     Weaving Together Our Communal Prayers

Provide each person with as many slips of 1” x 8.5” paper as there are leaders (including yourself).

Each person writes their own name on all their slips.

Redistribute each slip so each leader has a slip with each person’s name.

After a time of sharing celebrations and heartbreak, invite your leaders reflect and to write prayers for each person in the room.

When ready, invite leaders to weave their slips together on a simple frame (old picture frames can be used with a warp made by stapling a ribbon or string one way across to begin the weaving).

Close with prayer.

 

4.     Remembering Our Baptism: Will you ______________________________________?

Fill a bowl of water or the font, if it’s available, and place it on the center of the gathering table. Read Acts 2: 37–47.

Discussion & Questions for the Leaders:

When we celebrate baptism, part of the presentation for baptism includes questions for the community, oftentimes we ask the community to commit to caring for and fostering the spiritual lives of those being baptized. Today consider how you are best cared for in community, and how we, as leaders, can best care for one another.

What do we do to foster care and compassion in our community? What do we need to work on?

What do I need in a community? And how do I know what others need?

Individual Reflection: What do I need to ask for from this particular community in order to be seen, heard, included, and engaged? Choose one thing and fill the blank line in the question below.

 

Finish this question to the community:

Will you            ______________________?

 

Each person is invited to come to the font (bowl of water) and ask their question, those gathered are invited to respond.

 

One: Will you   ______________________?

All: We will, with God’s help!

 

Close with excerpts from A Brief Statement of Faith:

In life and in death we belong to God.

Through the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ,

the love of God,

and the communion of the Holy Spirit,

we trust in the one triune God, the Holy One of Israel,

whom alone we worship and serve. (BOC, 11.1, Lines 1–6)