Come, you whose lamps are blazing

index.jpgBy Kat Friesen

Gathering

Come, you whose lamps are blazing,
and come, you whose lamps are dim.
Come, salty ones, and come,
you whose lives are feeling bland.
Come worship the One who was, and is, and is to come,
our God who restores our lamps with oil,
our God who renews our saltiness,
so that together we may be a city alight with praise,
a city that makes known the Glory of the Lord!

Confessing/reconciling

God who sees the needs of the oppressed,
We confess that our piety, our prayers and our habits are empty without justice.
God who hears the cries of the workers, of the homeless, of the hungry,
We confess our fear of risk, our fear of being made vulnerable
in the face of so much need.
Assure us again of Your healing in our weakness,
of Your abundance in our sharing and in our receiving.

God, we confess…

By Katerina Friesen

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Photo by Tim Nafziger

God, we confess our human struggles before You:

our deflated dreams after years of trying so hard, our uphill battles
against despair. You see and know us, inside and out.
Our cravings for control when chaos surrounds, our burnt-out
quests for justice, our disillusionment with less-than-perfect community.
God, we need a breakthrough of Your Spirit.
We need some juice for the long-haul! Zest us with hope,
and renew us with Your Living Word today. Amen.

Bread of Heaven

indexBy Katerina Friesen

Lord of the harvest, Grain-sower, Bread-giver, Life-sustainer:

We are astounded by your bounteous love, filled to the brim

with good things. You give us enough, and then some!

Bread of Life, we love You. Though You were pounded down,

You rose up again, broken so all may be fed.

Breath of Heaven, Spirit of All-Things-New,

with You, we are carried through the fire and we rise up,

we rise up again! So we praise Your name, Holy Trinity of Love.

Choose Life

20180713_100030By Katerina Friesen

Praising/ Adoring
We are Your field, O Lord,
and we praise You as Your planting, the work of Your hands!
We praise You for Your watchful eye,
for the way You bend over us and smile
as we grow from tender stems to ripe harvest,
for giving us rain and sun in due season.
We praise You because You never give up on us,
but coax new life from barren ground again and again.
We are Your field, O Lord,
and we praise You as Your planting, the work of Your hands!

Affirming Faith
Voices 1: We will not bow down to serve other gods:
the gods of war, the gods of greed, the gods who destroy the Earth.
Voices 2: We will not bow down to the gods of racism,
to gods who make us feel either inferior or superior,
to gods who do not love us, but demand our devotion.
All: We choose life!
Voices 1: We choose to serve the God of Abraham, and Isaac,
the God of Sarah and Rebecca, of Mary and of Jesus,
Voices 2: We choose to serve the God of our ancestors in faith,
of Paul and Lydia, of Menno Simons and Margaretha Sattler,
of Vincent and Rosemarie Harding.
All: We choose life! We will hold fast to the Lord, the God of life.

Sending
God has set before us today life and death. Let us continue
to walk in God’s way, assured that our ancestors walk before us,
that Christ walks with us, and that the Spirit binds us together
and helps us to choose life.

 

A Prayer for Migrants

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Vandalized humanitarian aid supplies. Image from: http://www.thedisappearedreport.org

By Katerina Friesen. Reposted from Watershed Discipleship blog.

Christ our Resurrection and Life,
We call to your presence
los desplazados, los desconocidos.
We call to your presence those lost in the desert,
those killed in the name of border security.
Rescue the perishing, strengthen the faltering,
and guide those finding their way tonight. Continue reading

Sermon: Sacred Stones

17991880_1356210924426880_4541864573151262921_n.jpgKaterina Friesen, Rooted and Grounded Conference,Chapel Message, April 21, 2017

At one time, the confluence of two powerful rivers churned with such energy that they created smooth, spherical stones. The Lakota people named one of these rivers the “Stone-Make-For-Themselves River,” (‘Íŋyaŋwakağapi Wakpá) because of the round stones the river formed, which they call Iŋyaŋ Wakháŋagapi Othí. Sacred Stones. These stones are used in prayer and ceremony, and are seen as enspirited, part of all our relations, like the river, plants and animals. Continue reading

Sermon: Stories of Salt and Light

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Anna Jansz

By Katerina Friesen, February 5th, 2017, Fellowship of Hope Mennonite Church

Matthew 5:13-20

In recent sermons and reflections here at Fellowship of Hope, we’ve pondered how Jesus’ wisdom teachings and the way of the cross are foolishness to the world. Foolishness, to love our enemies. Foolishness, to be persecuted and blessed. Foolishness, that those who hunger and thirst are the highly favored ones. Yet this foolishness is the wisdom of God that we are given to chew on, the bread of life. Today, we draw our attention to a crucial ingredient in bread baking, the seasoning of our dough: salt. Continue reading