Rest and Bread [2009-07-15]
Laura Ruth emailed me this afternoon asking me if I would "be willing to lead the confession and assurance of pardon in the service today." Of course I agreed. I decided to actually write something up rather than just winging it as I usually do -- because I tend to simply state what/how we're going to do next, whereas FCS extemp includes more talk about "why," which I really like. So this is what I wrote (heavily influenced by the Calls to Confession I have heard before, surely including here):
Having lifted up our petitions and our thanksgivings, we now offer up our prayers of confession – reflecting on those things we wish we had done or those things we wish we had not done.The bulletin says:
We offer them to God, safe in the knowledge that God already knows [all] these things and that God is always inviting us to repent – to turn towards God.
Please join me in the responsive prayer aloud, and then we will share together a time of silent prayer and reflection.
Confession of the Community
One: O God, We have wounded your love.
All: O God, heal us.
One: We stumble in the darkness.
All: Light of the world, transfigure us.
One: We forget that we are your home.
All: Spirit of God, dwell in us.
[Please keep a period of silence for our individual confessions.]
Assurance of Grace
Jesus said, Come to me, all of you who are tired from carrying heavy loads. And I will give you rest. Take my yoke and put it on you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in spirit, and you will find rest; for the yoke I will give you is easy and the load I will put on you is light. We are a forgiven people. Amen.
During the Passing of the Peace afterward, Laura Ruth said, "That was beautiful; I think we're going to use that from now on." I was touched.
I'd seen her smiling at me as I read it, but I took it as general support and happiness. I looked up more while I was reading the Assurance of Grace, and I was really struck by the looks on people's faces, how meaningful and moving it was for them (and I do love this Assurance of Grace).
Sacred Text: The Words of Institution from Mark
In his Reflection, Keith talked some about how a radically open and welcoming table was a theme throughout Jesus' ministry, and he mentioned how Judas (who would betray Jesus) and Peter (who would deny Jesus) were both at this Last Supper.
We Affirmed Keith's lay ministry in an additional liturgy insert during the service. I think this means he has magic jesus hands for serving communion now.
Gianna brought cookies and dried apple slices and cheese and crackers and drinks. I felt bad leaving -- esp. since James was there -- but I hadn't been drawn into any deep interactions, and I enjoy my Intellectual Property class (and I know that I'm not great about watching the lectures online later) and I will miss this twice-weekly chat-and-cuddle with Cate once August hits, so after I'd fed myself sufficiently I left (Gianna assured me that I was released :) ).