Having celebrated with 2 amazing experiences of Who’s Line Live and Wimbledon, I’m trying to widen the focus of my 40 ways and taking the plunge beyond amazing experiences to start exploring my challenges, journeys and creations.
My first Creation was a logical and safe step of crafting and creating this blog/site to enable me to write, reflect and share the journey of 40 ways to celebrate being 40.
My second creation was inspired by a weekend gathering that I was co leading/hosting as part of a team at Luther King House in Manchester last weekend. I wrote this prayer/liturgy/reflection to help frame and launch into the weekend where we were exploring the themes of Climate Change and Global Poverty. The weekend was the beginning of a year long programme/community that we are piloting at work with a number of other organisations. The idea of the pilot programme is to experiment with new ways and forms of engaging with people on issues of poverty and injustice. The tension of hope and lament, scale of the issues and playing a part in bringing hope are very real. This prayer was written to hopefully inspire hope, fresh perspective and openness whilst not denying the lament, huge challenges and often overwhelming nature of thinking, praying, inspiring and acting to play a part in being the change we want to see in the world.
I feel that this prayer is just a small baby step/dipping my toe in the ocean, both as a piece of work and what the work represents in relation to the themes and issues it is trying to explore. It felt good to give it a try. I’ve not intentionally done this for a long while (The last time being inspired by an amazing worship on creating a response to exploring and reflecting on Walter Brueggemann’s Prophetic Imagnination). We moved from the prayer into a reflection on a Bible Passage and then used this Gungor Song to give us space to reflect and respond.
I took this and the other photos during the weekend and this image is a token attempt to link to the prayer/liturgy exploring the tensions of beauty, hope and light with a long path ahead, and not being able to see an obvious end point.
Here is the Prayer/Liturgy
Loving Father God, Loving Creator
We give you thanks for this day
Help us now to worship you
We thank you for the opportunity of this day
Grant to us a spirit of openness and enquiry
A willingness to learn and be taught
A willingness to be open to new ideas and challenges
We thank you that we are wonderfully made
That you know us and you love us
Form us and create in us a spirit of being refreshed
Help us to know that your Love endures forever.
We pray for the world, the world that you God, created and love, but a world which is fragile, broken, hurting and at times hopeless.
(Take a moment to pray in silence)
We lament at the pain, brokenness and tragedy that we see today in the world.
(Take a moment to reflect and lament)
We ask for your forgiveness Father God for the times we have not cared, or not acted in the way that we would have liked. We are truly sorry and we repent of our apathy, negligence and complicity
(Take a moment to pause and reflect)
We thank you that in the midst of the brokenness, there is hope, there is beauty and that you are renewing your beloved creation.
(Take a moment to give thanks and think about signs of hope)
You are renewing us, restoring us and also renewing and restoring the whole of your creation.
Renew and restore us this weekend and equip us to keep walking on our journey
We give you thanks and praise