Category Archives: Family




Stop responding with an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth

For soon this nation will be blind and unable to eat.

Quit assessing strangers solely as danger

Instead of future friends.

Stop judging men with dark skin exclusively as threats

Instead of God’s beloved.

Resist inhaling fear and exhaling anger

Instead of marveling with reverence at creation.

Avoid the notion that people are terrorists

Simply because their religious beliefs and practices

Are different from yours.

Relinquish the opinion that anyone ever deserves a bullet

Because they do not fit your theology, philosophy

Or what is known and comfortable to you.

Cease making loaded weapons accessible

To children and hotheads

For tragedy often follows.

Stop allowing individuals with violent track records

Or mental instability

Possession of Uzis, glocks and the like

For tragedy often follows.

Release the perception that a gun under pillow

Equals safety

Ignoring the multitude of family members

Who have accidentally been shot by a loved one.

Do not encourage weapons as play

Then be surprised when someone’s game of life is over.


Must our citizens don some shade of orange wherever they go

Wearing the established message of hunters,

“I’m here. Don’t shoot me”?

Will we continue to wring our hands,

Fall on our knees in prayer

With each new story of death by gun?

Or will we acknowledge the death toll far too massive,

Resolving to vote, converse, march, write,

Preach, advocate, educate and

Participate in any peaceful measure to

Stop gun violence?


©February 23, 2016  Rev. Cynthia Langston Kirk,

Gun Violence Survivor

To use this or any writing by Cynthia Langston Kirk, please include the copyright and Rev. Cynthia Langston Kirk’s full name in your bulletin and/or screen. If you want to use the writing in any other way than one-time worship or one-time retreat/small group, please contact Cynthia at

Come Closer

Come Closer


Do you smell the delicious fragrance of forgiveness

Emanating from my pores?


A thousand moons or more ago I awakened to the stench of bitterness,

No longer willing for another person’s actions

To imprison my soul.

I departed from that place called Poison

Where I feasted on anger, plotted revenge.

I prayed for the brokenness … both yours and mine.

I prayed for release and reconciliation.


Come closer – where nothing can stand between us.

Come closer – taste my tears of joy.

Discover Freedom.


©August 11, 2014 Cynthia Langston Kirk

Based, in part, on Genesis 45:1 -15


To use this or any liturgy written by Cynthia Langston Kirk please include the copyright in your bulletin and/or on your screen. If you want to use the writing in any other way than one time worship use, please contact Cynthia at:

Teach Us to Pray

Teach Us to Pray


Sometimes people believe they must teach children about all manners of the Holy –

Names for God, when to dance divine praise, how to pray and the likes.

Yes, there are concepts to teach and opportunities in which to invite,

But there is much to learn about spiritual matters from the young,

Even those we do not completely understand.


His language not completely his own invention

Hatful of words are as clear as a pane untouched by his adventurous hands:

Mama, Daddy, no, yah – verbal skills in process.

We wait … and listen,

Eager to understand this mono dimple-cheeked boy.

Phrases repeated oft in chant-like fashion

Sounding like a foreign, incomprehensible tongue,

But he knows, yet remains somehow unperturbed by us

And our slow-to-understand ears.

Vocabulary sprouts daily

Words linked for phrases, expanded to stories.

His joys are simple:

Strawberries, being chased, filling every room with laughter, his sister,

Family gathered ‘round the table to eat,

Loved ones holding hands before table grace,

Praying…. and praying …. and praying again.

Before-the-meal prayer offered by an older person,

But when the Spirit moves him

He cues diners to clasp hands again.

His face morphs to instant serene; his non-stop body holds still;

Only his lips move with hardly an audible sound projected.

He prays and those gathered are caught up, taught, inspired.

He prays for God-only-knows what –

Berries? World peace? People who love him? The child who bit him?

When he is finished – for the moment –

He concludes with his version of Amen and a delighted-with-the-world smile.

He prays and with less than two years on his life calendar

Does what many with theological degrees long to do

He leads people to God.


©Father’s Day (June 14) 2014 Cynthia Langston Kirk



I Know Two Little Girls

I know two little girls. Sisters.Twins.They are chatty, energetic, 21-month olds whose parents are smitten by them. Their parents are intentional about all aspects of parenting: reading, networking, always seeking to nurture and provide for the girls in the most meaningful ways. This includes everything from good nutrition to being examples of involved citizens who care deeply for the world and people around them.

I had the great, good privilege of helping care for the girls one day a week much of the first year of their lives. And, if you knew me, you’d know that after I have held a baby that much, I could not love them more. If ever there was an emergency in the middle of the night and grandparents could not be reached, their girls’ parents know that I’d get to their house as quickly as I could.

Not many families have twins, but in many ways this family has similar concerns and interests as any young couple. Both parents work outside the home.  Play, dinner, reading, baths and abundant laughter comprise much of the weeknight rituals and weekends are filled with parks, grocery shopping, zoo, friends, much more laughter and such. Like many of us, they know the stress of investing in a home; the grief of mourning a beloved dog and the joy of celebrating a brother and sister-in-law’s wedding and new daughter.

But unlike me and many of you, their marriage – their loving commitment to each other – is not recognized in every state, including our state of Arizona. Both of these mothers and these two darling girls deserve to all be legally connected to each as they continue being a beautiful family together.  Imagine for a moment what it would be like- all the ramifications- if you were not legally connected to your child.

As a Christian pastor, I believe in the sacred worth of each person. I believe Jesus’ ministry was one of blessing, tearing down walls and turning those considered by some as “outcasts” into friends. And I believe that when two adults want to pledge themselves to each other in a loving, committed marriage, they should be allowed.

May love prevail.

©March 14, 2014   Cynthia Langston Kirk

Baby Blessing Song

This blessing song was written for two sets of twins born to friends of ours within a month of each other. You can change the plurals to singular, if singing to just one baby or child. 🙂

Babies’ Blessing Song

Can be sung to tune of “Braham’s Lullaby”


 You are love, you are joy

You are grace overflowing

 Full of goodness, full of charm

Precious miracles you are

 Drink in love, drink in joy

Grow in wisdom and grace

 Drink in love, drink in joy

Grow in wisdom and grace

   ©March 2012 Cynthia Langston Kirk

Liturgy ~ Abraham and Family ~ Genesis


Leader: God calls us away from that which is familiar and comfortable

People: To unmarked paths and unstable terrain.

Leader: We are showered with gifts

People: Yet, we often embrace the struggles more than the blessings.

Leader: God’s time is God’s time

People: Yet, we sometimes connive or cheat to get what we want, when we want it.

Leader: Come, let us learn from our ancestors who were often self-centered, scheming,

competitive folk

People: Whom God loved, repeatedly forgave and transformed.



Loving One, teach us that family goes beyond the bond of blood and is more numerous than the inhabitants of any home.  Thank you for seeing potential in human frailty and remaining faithful to us even in the face of our betrayal. Show us that our ancient ancestors, not so different from any of us, can inspire and inform our journey today. Forgive our hurtful choices and show us how to accept fully your forgiveness.  We praise you, O God, knowing you yearn for wholeness and healing of your creation and offer us the compass of your wisdom and hope. In Christ and through Christ we pray. Amen.


©January 2012 Cynthia Langston Kirk