Prayers for Pastors, Reflectionary

After a Sunday off (a prayer for pastors)

Dear Holy,

After a Sunday off,
I find it hard to come back.
I am grateful for the rest,
but still managing re-entry.

It’s probably true that
I haven’t forgotten how
to write a sermon, to craft
a prayer, to offer a blessing,

after a Sunday offbut somewhere in the middle
between“I got this!”
and “what was I thinking?”
is the post-vacation muddle,

not so much “not ready”
as “not fully present”
not so much “unwilling”
as “not sure I’m able.”

Ground me, dear Holy,
in this time and space,
with the people I serve,
and a true word from You.

Amen.

#amwriting, Books, Ministry, RevGalBlogPals

There’s a Woman in the Pulpit

RevGals book coverI’m excited to announce the publication in April of There’s a Woman in the Pulpit: Christian Clergywomen Share Their Hard Days, Holy Moments & the Healing Power of Humor (SkyLight Paths Publishing)

Available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

It was a joy to edit this collection of stories and prayers written by me and over 50 of my colleagues who are members of RevGalBlogPals. We represent 14 denominations, 5 countries, and more than a dozen seminaries. Our stories will bring both laughter and tears as well as a unique perspective on the number and kind of plates clergywomen keep spinning in amazing fashion.

“In ministry, we constantly balance the sacred and the ordinary, juggling the two as expertly as we manage a chalice and a [baby] bottle. Even as we do things as simple as light the candles, set the table, break the bread and pour the wine, we invite people into a holy moment…. The women [in this book] not only have a wellspring of deep wisdom, but they also have the ability to dish out their knowledge with side-aching humor…. I am thrilled that their great wisdom and intelligence will be bound into the pages that I can turn to, lend and appreciate for years to come.”

—from the Foreword by Rev. Carol Howard Merritt

Intended for laypeople, women hearing a call to ministry and clergy of all denominations, these stories and prayers will resonate with, challenge, encourage and amuse anyone who has a passion for their work and faith. A group reading guide will be available on the SkyLight Paths Publishing website – consider choosing it for your book group!

Prayers for Pastors

Our fragile bodies, and other prayers of intercession (a prayer for pastors)

For joints worn out
by inflammatory processes,
for immune systems that over-react,
or fail to protect us,

Lord, in your mercy,
hear our prayers.

For viruses that invade,
and infections that persist,
for sudden collapses
and heart-breaking prognoses,

Lord, in your mercy…

Some work miracles. Others, not so much.
Some work miracles. Others, not so much.

For cells dividing
in ways we wish they wouldn’t,
for drugs that heal
but also make us sicker,

Lord, in your mercy…

For lives well-lived
by faithful saints,
with ends that came
before we were ready,

Lord, in your mercy…

For our fragile bodies
in a world that claims
by dint of our effort
we could find eternal youth,

Lord, in your mercy…

For our own families,
our parents and children,
our partners and relations,
who will not, cannot, live forever,

Lord, in your mercy…

For hearts broken
and souls suffering,
for all those wondering
how to offer comfort,

Lord, in your mercy…

For all who minister
and deny our own fragility,
and believe you prize our activity –
O! Lord! –
for our own mortal selves,

Lord in your mercy,
hear our prayers.