Greetings fellow companions on the way, to you who have been travelling with us awhile now and welcome to those of you who have joined our caravan of hope in more recent times. It has been a while since I have written an e-newsletter because of the very practical matter of my email service limiting the number of emails I can send per month! Therefore I am going to use the blog conduit to start writing once a month again especially as we are coming to the church year’s end and have the demands and hope of Advent near at hand!
So salutations and blessings to all who are fellow travellers on the way of Jesus. And what a hard way it may seem for the whole world at this time with wars and violence, earthquakes and natural disasters, and the spiralling impact of climate change. In times such as these we have important choices to make – to make a choice for love, for life and for hope in whatever ways we can individually and collectively. In times such as these our spiritual and our political lives invite deepening engagement and old neat divides between sacred and secular are challenged and collapse. Last week we listened again to the words of Jesus as he proclaimed the two great commandments and we were reminded of the imperative to love God with all our being and our neighbour as ourselves. And with these words ringing in our hearts and minds we turn to the evening news. Such a task shall make us mad or one in love.
This coming Sunday many of us will celebrate All Saints and I include a litany I have written to remember all who have died of whatever faith or no faith, in whatever circumstance and whether known to us or only to God. Please feel free to use if of value to you and your community. Please acknowledge authorship if you use it in its entirety.
In the next hours you will also receive my reflections on All Saints as per the usual timing. (Tuesday evening or Wednesday morning depending where in the world you are!) And you will receive the overview page for the Advent Year B course. The theme of Advent is to awaken and prepare for the in-breaking of God’s kingdom in this world and what could be more appropriate at this point in time! There is also the Gift of Incarnation course that is suitable for Advent. Both these courses will be available in the Worship Resources section of the website.
These resources are free of charge and for your encouragement and provocation, for your use and for you to share with anyone you think might benefit. I ask you to consider making a voluntary payment if you find them of value and have the means to do so through the BuyMeACoffee button however there is no compulsion and I appreciate that we all have competing demands. I am very grateful to those of you have “bought me a coffee” this year. These “coffees” have covered the costs of hosting the website and indeed I have enjoyed a few literal coffees with friends and neighbours – a blessing and encouragement for which I am most grateful. Next year I will need to upgrade my aging technology and any support with those costs will be most appreciated.
Here in my corner of the world (the south west of Western Australia) winter is becoming spring and the light wakes us earlier every day, we are busy preparing our property for the fire season, and my husband and I tend to our various creative pursuits - his the rebirthing of old metal into objects of curious beauty and mine this website. I've just finished at one rural parish that I was tending one Sunday a month (they have their own new priest starting!) and will now serve another. The distances are demanding but the opportunity to enter into small resilient communities is a privilege. You are welcome to come along for the drive and see some of these places, as well as my home community, that feature on my instagram account @companyontheway
All of us who seek to live out lives of purpose and love in this troubled and troubling yet glorious world are prophets of hope. May God our source and destination remain as close as our own breath and may we know ourselves loved every step of the way. May Jesus our teacher and redeemer companion us on the way of compassion and wisdom. And may the spirit of the living God infuse our very being with the same love that brought all into being.
All Saints Litany
You breathed life into the first son and daughter of earth
and have ever since loved us with an everlasting love,
always welcoming us home to you.
We gather on this day to give you thanks
and to commend into your loving care
all who have gone before us.
We give you thanks for the saints of the church
who have inspired and challenged us
to live lives of faith and loving service.
We give you thanks for our forebears of faith in this church
and every fellowship that has encouraged us on our journey.
We give you thanks for those most dear to us
with whom we have shared the joys of this life
And we pray for any who we were not at peace with
at the time of their passing.
Where there has been love let there now be gratitude
and where there has been any injury Lord
let there now be forgiveness and healing.
We pray that they are all in your eternal embrace
and have been made whole by your love, peace and joy.
Living God, in your mercy
Hear our prayer.
We pray for all who have died in distress,
in fear or loneliness, in pain or confusion;
for those who have suffered violence or abandonment;
for those who went missing against their will
and those who did not wish to be found;
for those mourned and remembered
and for those who have no one but you to keep their memory.
Lord of all hope and redeeming love,
who knew the tomb as your own, so that we might not fear death,
we pray for those souls most in need of rest
and trust them to your tender and just mercies.
Living God, in your mercy
Hear our prayer.
Spirit of the living God,
May your sustaining spirit infuse all life with your holiness.
We commend into your care all who are near to death
and those who tend them.
We pray for the sick and despairing, the hungry and the lost,
the confused and those in denial.
We pray for strength, wisdom and compassion
for all who seek to tend to your little ones:
Remembering first responders and care workers,
in our community and far away places of need;
Remembering family and friends and neighbours
who keep watch and tend to the needs of those they love.
We remember that as our last day draws nearer
we are invited to open our hearts to you
in anticipation of your welcoming love.
We pray for courage and trust, comfort and hope,
and that we shall see you face to face when our time comes.
Hear our prayer.
These things, and those we do not have words for,
we pray in the name of Creator, Redeemer and Sanctifier of all life.