Category Archives: Hospitality

Riots of Care

Riots of Care

Incite a riot of care

A holy war of compassion

Acts of the heart with no destruction,

Only solidarity, mending and generosity.

Stand with indigenous people

In the freezing cold

Washing dishes, bearing witness.

Wear a safety pin, if you choose

A simple gesture of welcome

To transgender, lesbian, gay

Filled with fear for just reason.

Wear it for our dark-skinned brothers and sisters

Reflecting the belief that “Black Lives Matter”.

Wear it for immigrants who fear the lady’s lamp

Is not lit for them.

Wear it for people of other religions

Or no religion

Standing with people and the belief

That this country was founded on religious freedom.

Wear it for gun violence prevention and for the earth

That the killing and damage cease.

Whether or not you attach a pin to your chest

Pray for civility, for some purpling of the nation

Through the sharing of our stories.

Find support, be support.

Become educated on facts, increase your knowledge.

Become involved, increase involvement in protecting others,

In caring for the outcast, the stranger, the planet.

Be loving. Be bold.

For ultimately relationship and reverence overcome bigotry,

Kindness defeats fear,

And loves conquers hatred.

©November 3, 2016 Cynthia Langston Kirk

One row of beads strung from my safety pin:

Deep, iridescent purple – one on top and bottom

Blue and red coming together enough for people to be safe and

welcome

Iridescent green – Earth

Deep orange – Gun Violence prevention

Two brown beads, different shades – people of color, Black Lives Matter

Iridescent pale green – Immigrants

Red, yellow, green, Blue, purple – L,G,B

Pink, white, blue – Transgender people

Gold – people of different faith beliefs

Deep iridescent purple

Cynthia Langston Kirk, calkirk@aol.com

 

 

 

 

Miraculous Engagement

Miraculous Engagement

 

Open your heart to miracles.

Not rabbits in hats,

Scarves up a practiced sleeve,

Or a quarter from your ear,

But God’s transforming touch,

Amazing grace that surprises lives

Connecting people because of who they are

And in spite of who they are.

Spirit whose breath stirs us

Into beauty and compassion.

Open your heart to miracles

That manifest in 100,000 ways:

A memory-filled, fractured relationship – mended,

Unexpected smiling face at an open door,

Sharing that offers food enough for everyone.

No competition this.

No my miracle is better than yours

Or my encounter of the Holy outshines yours.

It is in the sharing of our daily lives

And the sharing of our experiences with the Divine

That love is multiplied,

Our lives enriched beyond price.

Take care, remembering that extravagant, often sacrificial sharing

Is nothing shy of miraculous.

 

©July 29, 2014 Cynthia Langston Kirk

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: cynthia@piecingstories.com

Liturgy for the New Appointment Year

 

Liturgy for the New Year

First Sunday of Appointments/Reappointments in the Desert Southwest Conference of the United Methodist Church 2014

(Note from author: Words in red are for communication only. I have listed samples of clergy, especially if you have a multi-pastoral staff. Please carefully use the title, names, ministry expression etc.  of the pastor(s) in your congregation and use only the pronoun(s) and the singular/plural forms that need to be in your bulletin or on your screens.

 

Lay Leader: This IS a day of new beginnings on which we pause to commit and recommit ourselves to the work of

bringing dreams to life

alleviating suffering

exuding joy

elevating human dignity

repairing creation

nurturing people in our Christian stories

impacting the whole world by our care-full presence

as we partner together in God’s love.

 

Lay Leader or SPRC Chair: We stand on the threshold of a new year and we are filled with hope and curiosity, enthusiasm and a desire to make a difference. We pray for Spirit to guide and energize us, to enlarge our hearts and our understanding of hospitality.

 

Laity: We are thankful for the minister(s) appointed by Bishop Bob to our congregation.

 

            Rev. ________________, ordained elder/deacon in the ___________ Church

Pastor __________________, licensed local pastor in the United Methodist Church.

(Title, name, ministry expression [i.e. ordained/commissioned elder/deacon, licensed local pastor, student local pastor, etc. and their place in the process])

 and we commit ourselves to serving God and neighbor in partnership with this/these pastor(s).

           

Laity: We are thankful for the minister(s) appointed by Bishop Bob to extension ministries who have chosen our congregation as their charge (church home)

 

            Rev. _________________, ordained deacon in the United Methodist Church appointed to serve as chaplain at TMC Hospice.

            Rev. _________________, commissioned elder in the United Methodist Church appointed to ________________________________.

 

            (Title, name, ministry expression and place in the process, extension appointment)

 and commit to not only serving God and neighbor in partnership with these pastors, but also praying for her/his/their extension ministry(ies).

 

Laity: We are thankful for lay persons we have hired to serve in a pastoral role:

             Pastor ____________________,

 and commit ourselves to serving God and neighbor in partnership with this pastor.

 

 Pastors: We are thankful for those affiliated with this congregation and commit ourselves to serving God and all our neighbors near and far with these persons. We commit ourselves to nurture and pray for the people of our appointment and charge, those yet to come and to lead them into the work of transforming the world through God’s love.

PRAYER (ALL): God of New Life and New Possibilities, awaken our hearts and minds to the potential within each of us, including ourselves. Rouse us from any complacency or desire to cling to the past. Give us vision and compassion to witness the needs of the world and the energy and inspiration to connect Christ’s hope and healing to those needs. We pray amazed by your grace and love for each and every person. Amen.

 

 ©July 1, 2014 Cynthia Langston Kirk

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: cynthia@piecingstories.com.

 

For the Door Through Which You Leave Your House

For the Door Through Which You Leave Your House ….. or a Worship Benediction

 

Go into the world in peace.

Be of bold courage.

Hold fast to hope.

Honor all creation.

Pray without ceasing

Return no one evil for evil or pain for pain.

Strengthen the weak, care for the sick

and set the oppressed free.

Speak the truth in love, even to yourself.

Listen deeply; live compassionately and joyfully.

Exude generosity and a welcoming heart.

Love and serve God, rejoicing in the movement of the Spirit.

©September 10, 2013 Cynthia Langston Kirk

 

 

A Welcoming Heart

 

A Welcoming Heart

 

Can you see arms outstretched

To a prodigal child?

Can you envision opening the door

To a zealot like Saul?

Do you know how scandalous,

How full of God’s grace it was

For Jesus to break bread with outcasts?

Be bathed in oil by a woman?

Reach across human-constructed barriers,

Welcoming everyone to the table,

Into worship, into forgiveness,

Into community, into gratitude,

Into healing … even on the Sabbath?

Can you imagine?

 

Your mother tongue is not the crux

Of such matters.

It is your heart that learns how to speak welcome

With joy and delight,

In reverence for the sacred worth of each soul,

Without regard to skin color or politics,

Nationality or sexual orientation,

Theological views or education accrued,

Material wealth or poverty.

 

From the rising of the sun

To the setting of the moon,

Embrace the opportunities that surprise us,

Coloring lives with blessing

As we emulate the hospitality of Christ.

Allow your courage, compassion and faith

To birth a hundred thousand welcomes

That will transform the world.

 

©August 22, 2013 Cynthia Langston Kirk

For Rev. Matt Mardis-Lecroy’s stole

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: cynthia@piecingstories.com

 

Singing The Great Thanksgiving

Singing Communion

 

Pastor: The Lord be with you       Congregation: And also with you

Pastor: People lift your hearts, lift them to God

Congregation: We will all praise our loving Creator

All: Praise with our singing, praise with our lives

 

Pastor: It is a joy to offer our praises

Congregation: Joining the song our ancestors sang

Pastor: Heaven and earth both sing of your goodness

Congregation: Blessed are you the Wellspring of Life

 

Pastor: Jesus the teacher, Jesus the healer

Congregation: Welcoming all to table and home

Pastor: Let us proclaim the myst’ry of our faith

Congregation: Christ in his mercy, conquered all death

 

Pastor: Pour out your Spirit on wheat and chalice

Pastor: Bless those who hunger for you today

Congregation: Feed us and free us for faithful service

Congregation: Form us with courage, fill us with love

     

Pastor: Glory and honor are yours forever

Congregation: Wisdom, Compassion, Light of the World

All: Amen, amen, amen, amen, amen

All: Bound by the Spirit, may it be so

 

 ©September 15, 2012 Cynthia Langston Kirk

Can be sung to Traditional Gaelic Melody, Bunessan 55.54D

(You may recognize the tune as Morning Has Broken

If you print this in bulletins or on a screen for one time worshipping use,  please add  ©September 15, 2012 Cynthia Langston Kirk.

Call to Worship and Prayer: Radical Hospitality

Radical Hospitality

CALL TO WORSHIP

Leader: Welcome to a time of wonder

People: And music that calls us home

Leader: Welcome to hear God’s words that inspire and challenge

People: And to reminders that we are offered holy hospitality –

Leader:  Hospitality that teaches us how to open our lives to others

People:  Leading us to fully live open minds, open hearts, open doors.

 

PRAYER

God of the Widow at Zarephath, God of Joseph the Forgiver, we stand in awe of people who showed hospitality in the midst of sacrifice and betrayal. Take us deep into the heart of hospitality. Help us to understand that the generosity the world needs often demands sacrifice on our part. Be with those who have never known a table blessed by laughter and welcome, who have seldom heard affirmations and who do not know your abiding love.  Remind us, O God, that we are to set many tables, to speak blessings often and to be your love in the world. In the name of Christ we pray. Amen.

 ©2011 Cynthia Langston Kirk