Listen to the Service

Today's Program

Creating Space for God’s Spirit

The room has two long tables in the back or far side, where Leslie will set up the prayer exercise – room for 100 or so pieces of paper. NOT BRIGHTLY LIT. In OTHER areas of the room, spotlights shine on things – including chairs and people – and then other than that there's darkness or low-light. A contrast.

  • “Lights” by Journey – yes, the band! – plays
  • A Journeyer child steps up to light the lamp and another rings the bell

Worshiping with Our Children

  • A Journeyer leads our children in talking about light.

Have you ever been inside and then walked outside and it was very bright? What did that feel like? [They answer.] If you look into this flashlight, do you think it will bother your eyes? Let’s try. [Shine the light from the flashlight into their eyes but not too long, so they won't be blinded.] Give your eyes a second or two and you'll be able to see just fine again. And a flashlight can help you see in the dark. Last Sunday we said that sometimes people feel scared to talk or share about how they fee, but God made who you are and you have a gift to give the world. Today, think of God’s love as being like light. We may be scared in the dark, but God’s light is there to help us; we may feel that it will be too bright, but we’ll get used to it and it will give us help. Let’s pray.

Gathering Our Spirit with God's Spirit

  • Announcements – how Journey is God’s Hands in the world
  • Beth W. sets the tone for the service, talking about light and what it means
  • Rick welcomes us
  • Say hello to someone near you
  • Take a breath...

Exploring God’s Spirit and Our Spirit

  • Beth P. reads from the book The Great Divorce by 20th century British author C. S. Lewis

“We were all a bit ghostly when we first arrived, you know. That’ll wear off. Just come out and try. An hour hence and you will not care. A day hence and you will laugh at it. Don’t you remember on earth – there were things too hot to touch with your finger but you could drink them all right? Shame is like that. If you will accept it – if you will drink the cup to the bottom – you will find it very nourishing: but try to do anything else with it and it scalds.”

  • Catherine K. leads us in singing “Morning Has Broken”
  • Stephanie S. talks about photography and light
  • Leslie leads a prayer exercise exploring the power of light

Find an object on the tables (or from outside, or that you have with you) that represents something that you are afraid to bring into the light. This is anonymous; it’s just between you and God. Place the object on one of the special pieces of paper on the table and walk away.

Giving -- To Help God Do God's Work in This World

  • Alan S. reads from the Jesus story called The Gospel According to Matthew, chapter 11

Jesus said to them, “Come to me, everyone who is exhausted, tired from carrying heavy loads. I will give you rest. Become my student, and learn from me. I am gentle, I can show you rest and healing for your soul. Serving me is easy, and the load I have for you is light.”

  • Alan says an offering prayer
  • Catherine K. sings “Come into the Light” by Alice Peacock as the ushers pass the baskets

Telling The Story and Our Story

  • Rick talks
  • Nick S. reads from The Gifts of Imperfection by Brené Brown

“We cultivate love when we allow our most vulnerable and powerful selves to be deeply seen and known, and when we honor the spiritual connection that grows from that offering with trust, respect, kindness and affection.”

Go Out to Serve in Darkness and Light

  • Leslie leads us in a responsive prayer adapted from an Anglican litany prayed in Canterbury Cathedral, April 1986, called “For the Darkness”

Leader: For the darkness of waiting
of not knowing what is to come
of staying ready and quiet and attentive,
we praise you, O God.

Journeyers: For the darkness and the light
are both alike to you.

For the darkness of staying silent
for the terror of having nothing to say
and for the greater terror
of needing to say nothing,
we praise you, O God.

For the darkness and the light
are both alike to you.

For the darkness of loving
in which it is safe to surrender
to let go of our self-protection
and to stop holding back our desire,
we praise you, O God.

For the darkness and the light
are both alike to you.

  • Leslie invites us to see the beauty created by light in our exercise earlier and dismisses us
  • “Lights” plays again as folks clean up the room