Gratitude

There were many feelings going around after the election results came in, almost all negative: anger, sadness, and fear. Common art took place on Wednesday morning, so it was especially fresh in everyone’s minds. As I mentioned in my last blog post, we had started working on a “gratitude tree” – a tree drawn on poster board that the whole community helped color in, and started writing things for which they feel grateful on cut-out leaves and sticking them on the tree.

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The end of the beginning?

Fifth Sunday after Pentecost (7C), June 19, 2016; The Rev. Pamela L. Werntz

1 Kings 19:1-15a What are you doing here Elijah?
Psalm 42 Deep calls to deep.
Galatians 3:23-29 There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male and female for all of you are one.
Luke 8:26-39 Return to your home and declare how much God has done for you.

O God of love, grant us the strength, the wisdom and the courage to seek always and everywhere after truth, come when it may, and cost what it will.

It has been a hard and sad week around here.  We’ve mourned the tragic deaths in Orlando and Boston has buried Raekwon Brown, 17 year old high school junior who saved the life of a 67 year old woman before he was shot during a fire drill at school.  What do we say to our children – what do we say to ourselves about God in a week like this?  I’m reminded that just a few weeks ago after a Sunday service, a little boy, nearly five years old approached me with his dad, who said that his son had a question for me.  I knelt down to hear his question.  “Where is God?” he asked.  Borrowing the words of one of my rabbinic teachers, I said, “God is in the beginning…God is in the endings, and all around us.”  He squinted at me suspiciously.  “God is inside of you and all around you.  God is in your baby sister’s tiny hands and God is in your grandfather’s eyes.  God is in the cookies fresh from the oven and in the first day of a new season.  God is in the end of the day and in the last kiss goodnight. God is always near.” [1]
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Goodbyes

In my group-therapy class, we just started to talk about dealing with the ending phase of a group, when the individuals that comprise a particular group inevitably shift or disperse.  The groups that I am part of through Emmanuel will continue on without me when I leave this internship, but that doesn’t mean that the groups will remain the same; in fact, they will have changed because my co-intern and I will be gone.  Continue reading

In Time of Need (with audio)

Twentieth Sunday after Pentecost, 23B, October 11, 2015; The Rev. Pamela L. Werntz

Job 23:1-9Today my complaint is bitter.
Hebrews 4:12-16 Let us therefore approach the throne of grace with boldness.
Mark 10:17-31 For God all things are possible.

O God of possibility, grant us the strength, the wisdom and the courage to seek always and everywhere after truth, come when it may, and cost what it will.

“Indeed, [according to Hebrews] the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing until it divides soul from spirit, joints from marrow; it is able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart. And before God no creature is hidden, but all are naked and laid bare to the eyes of the one to whom we must render an account.” Continue reading