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Service of Cleansing and Healing

Font with recycled glass bowl that held the water
Font with recycled glass bowl that held the water

At noon on Thursday January 20, 2011, a Service of Cleansing and Healing took place in front of Safeway at Ina and Oracle in Tucson, Arizona. This is the site of the January 8th shooting that took the lives of Christina Taylor Green, Federal Judge John Roll, Gabe Zimmerman, Dorothy Morris, Phyllis Schneck and Dorwin Stoddard and wounded 12 more, including Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, Pam Simon and Ron Barber.

A Service of Cleansing and Healing

Reverencing the Space and Blessing the Community

 La Toscana Center

Noon, January 20, 201

CENTERING MUSIC                          Native Flute                                   Larry Redhouse

 WORDS OF GATHERING

 As we select fruit and vegetables for dinner, meet a friend for lunch, purchase flowers for our aunt’s birthday, buy a house, or pick up a prescription for our child, we live out our spiritual journey. It is in the everydayness of our lives – in striving to be an informed citizen or a mentoring friend, in living out our passion to help others and in seeking to learn – that we know more of the Holy One. And more of that Light is witnessed through us.

 Sacred cannot be divided into Sunday or Friday/Saturday and the rest of the week. It cannot be divided strictly by space – sanctuary or shopping center. God is, was and will be in this place. God was and is with us as we grieve. And God is with us today to help us reclaim this space for the good of all.

 We gather today to ask the gracious winds of the Spirit to blow in this place anew. We gather to remember servant hearts and acts of courage and tenderness. May each of us who have been shaken to the core carry with us the deep reminder of how precious and fragile life is. In the midst of these dark days, may we reaffirm our faith in a God of love who knows our grief and comforts our shattered hearts.

 Let us join our hearts, minds and voices to praise God for the beauty that surrounds and sustains us.

 SONG                                                                                  For the Beauty of the Earth              

 1. For the beauty of the earth, for the glory of the skies

    For the love which from our birth over and around us lies

     God of All, to thee we raise, this our hymn of grateful praise.

 2. For the beauty of each hour, of the day and of the night

    Hill and vale, and tree and flower, sun and moon, and stars of light

    God of All, to thee we raise, this our hymn of grateful praise.

 3. For the joy of human love, brother, sister, parent, child

    Friends on earth and friends above, for all gentle thoughts and mild

    God of All, to thee we raise, this our hymn of grateful praise

 7. For the strength to live our call, in the face of threat and death

    For the courage to risk all, putting others before self

    God of All, to thee we raise, this our hymn of grateful praise

                                                                      Verse 7             ©2011 Rev. Cynthia Langston Kirk

 PRAYER                           

 PSALM                               Psalm 107: 1-9           

 WORD ABOUT PRAYER FLAGS

 PRAYER      

 Merciful God, we lay our brothers and sisters who died and those who are wounded before you. We lay those who are isolated by grief and overwhelmed by thoughtless inquiries before you.

 Today we lay La Toscana Center, especially Safeway – the land, the buildings, the people – before you. Pour out your healing on people and place.

 Grace-filled One, we are hungry for each person to think and live reverently. We are thirsty for compassion. Fill us with reverence. Fill us with compassion.

 Help us understand the plight of mental illness in a deeper way and commit our time and resources toward systemic help for those who suffer and their families.

 Holy Healer, in moments when we despair, remind us of your unwavering faithfulness. Remind us that you are our rock and refuge.

 Receive our rawness and our frantic searching to make sense of the senseless. Take our outrage, our pain, our wordless grief and heal us individually and as a community.

 Loving Breath of the Spirit, help us remember the passion for people and the generosity exuded in the lives of the people who were injured or killed on January 8th. May their lives continue to inspire our words and actions.

 Consecrate our tears, our tokens and our expressions of service. Guide us to be beacons of hope from the corner of Ina and Oracle to the four corners of the world. Amen.

 SONG                        “Live in Charity”  (Ubi Caritas)

 Live in charity and steadfast love,

Live in charity; God will dwell with you.

A TIME OF REFLECTION

                              Most Rev. Gerald F. Kicanas  Bishop Minerva G. Carcaño 

A TIME OF SILENCE

BLESSING OVER THE WATER

SPRINKLING THE SPACE

LITURGY OF RECLAMATION AND BLESSING

May the healing waters cleanse and reclaim;

May they renew and bring hope

From the North and the South, from the East and the West,

From all places in this center to every corner of our city

Pour out your mercy

For every store owner and employee

Pour out your mercy

For each neighbor and every visitor

Pour out your mercy

For those who bring food and merchandise to this center

Pour out your mercy

For those who cleaned this space

Pour out your mercy

For those who are consumed by grief or fear

Pour out your mercy

For those around the world who continue to pray for us

Pour out your mercy

For those who seek to live reverently and compassionately, knowing we are all connected

Pour out your mercy

SONG                                                                               Peace is Flowing Like a River

Peace is flowing like a river, flowing out through you and me

Flowing out into the desert, setting all the captives free.

Hope is flowing like a river, flowing out through you and me

Flowing out into the desert, setting all the captives free.

Love is flowing like a river, flowing out through you and me

Flowing out into the desert, setting all the captives free.

BENEDICTION

May the gracious winds of the Spirit blow in this place anew. May peace, hope and love flow from person to person to person. And may the world continue to be transformed by acts of kindness and courage.

SONG                                                                                                Peace is Flowing Like a River

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia, alleluia,

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

PASSING THE PEACE

 

Liturgy and verse 7 of “For the Beauty of the Earth” ©2011 Rev. Cynthia Langston Kirk

 

 

 

Worship Liturgy for August 1, 2010 ~ Lectionary Readings: Hosea 11:1-11; Psalm 107:1-9,43; Colossians 3:1-11; Luke 12:13-21

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Ordinary 18, Pentecost + 10, Year C

 

CALL TO WORSHIP

Leader: What has captured my heart?

People: Who can teach me a love song?

Leader: Wherein do my loyalties lie?

People: In what do I invest my time and energy?

Leader: How do I use my resources?

People: How do I share my gifts and wisdom?

Leader: All these matters are of critical importance

People: And God listens for the answer.

 

OPENING PRAYER

Holy God, open our hearts to understand the way of Love. Open or hearts to try the way of Peace. Open our hearts to live the way of Generosity. We pray in the name of Christ, Lover of us All, Prince of Peace, Generosity Incarnate. Amen.

 

PRAYER OF RECONCILIATION

God of Love, when we are fearful or greedy, when we are more focused on tomorrow than today, draw us back to your purpose. When material wealth becomes more important than relationships, awaken us to that which matters most. Forgive us, O God, when we allow things of this world to pit brother against brother, friend against friend, neighbor against neighbor. Forgive us when we choose foolishly and free us to follow Christ in whose name we pray. Amen.

 ©July 2010   Cynthia Langston Kirk

To use this or any writings 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 Worship ~ Pentecost Sunday ~ May 23, 2010 ~ Lectionary Readings: Acts 2:1-21; Psalm 104: 24-34,35b; Romans 8:14-17; John 14:8-17

Pentecost Sunday   Year C

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Leader:  Though we speak different languages and embrace diverse customs

People: The Spirit crosses every barrier and leads us to understanding

Leader: In moments when we feel abandoned

People: We can rest assured that God has claimed us as daughter or son

Leader: When we stand against rules that harm and demean humanity

People: Christ lights the way, unloosing the chains of every mode of bondage

Leader: And when our hearts are saturated with grief

People: The Comforter wraps us in tenderness

Leader: We long for someone to love and free us, someone to comfort and claim us

People: We pray in confidence and thanksgiving, Come, Spirit, Come.

©May 2010  Cynthia Langston Kirk

PRAYER OF RECONCILIATION

Come, Holy Spirit, mentor us with your wisdom. Give us hearts to see and know the beauty and possibility in this world. Interpret the ways of those we view as “other” so we may stand on common ground amazed by our similar stories and shared values.  Remind us, O God, how tiny and fleeting each life here is. And remind us how powerful and purpose-filled each life can be. Because of your grace we can make a difference for the good of the universe. Fill us with trust to drink in and share your power whose method and way is Love. Forgive us when we believe that power can only be exerted by domination, violence and competition; forgive the times we have chosen those paths. Transform our hearts and minds by the renewing energy, peace and power of Christ in whose name we pray. Amen.

©May 2010  Cynthia Langston Kirk

To use this or any writings 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

Prayer for a Mother with Alzheimer’s

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Prayer for a Mother with Alzheimer’s

Tender God, thank you for journeying with my mother, for forming her into your brave and loving witness.  Thank you for continuing to journey with her in this dark and frightening time.

Give me patience, O God, like the patience she had with me when I was a child.  Give me the patience that softly and firmly and repeatedly taught me I was and am a person of worth and I am called into a legacy of love because of Christ Jesus.  Give me the patience that she modeled of teaching me, of staying to the task, of loving others without limitations.  And give me the heart of praise, as she has always has, to give you the honor and my trust even in the midst of trying situations.

Help me remember, even when she cannot, the great bond of love between my mother and me.   Give me eyes to see past her actions and connect with her soul.   Allow the touch points of my faith journey to leap into my consciousness.   Give me ears to remember her words of love for you and me, her encouragement, her song, her wisdom, and yes, Lord, her laughter.

Inspire me to creative thinking about her care and ways to bring dignity to this precious woman.   Help me bring peace in the midst of her inner turbulence.  Give me strength for the days ahead.  When my days are crammed with difficult decisions, with the pettiness of life, with stances you call me to take, with my beautiful family and how to be fully present to them, give me energy to be present to the needs of my mother.  Unite our family in your loving care that we might do what is best for this precious saint and what is honoring to you.   Assist us in finding the valuable resources we need.

Again, this moment, this hour, I put my trust in you.  Again, I place my mother in your care as she has always been.  And I give you praise, Great God of Love, for showering me and the world with the life and love of this grace-filled woman I call mother.

In the name of Christ Jesus who bears our every burden and enables us to know deep joy, I pray.  Amen.

© Cynthia Langston Kirk     June 14, 2006

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 Worship ~ Easter 6 ~ May 9, 2010 ~ Lectionary Readings: Acts 16:9-15; Psalm 67; Revelation 21:10, 22-22:5; John 14:23-29

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Easter 6    Year C

CALL TO WORSHIP

Leader: For every person who has nurtured us

People: We thank God for their patience, insight, generosity and love

Leader: For every person who has stayed by our sides in our worst moments

People: We thank God for their faithfulness, tenderness and perseverance

Leader: For every person who has lit a candle in our darkness

People: We thank God for their reminder that the Light has come into the world and the darkness cannot overcome it

Leader: For every person who has encouraged our dreams, discerned our gifts and listened, fully listened

People: We thank God for their helping us come more fully alive

Leader: For every person who has shared their story of faith in word and deed with us

People: We thank God for their willingness to invite us into the most life-giving Story

© May 2010   Cynthia Langston Kirk

OPENING PRAYER

Tender God, this is a day of celebration, a day of longing, a day we are grateful to rest in you. Keep us ever mindful that you are the audience in worship as we bring our praise and offerings to you. Meet us where we are and help us, like Lydia, to open our hearts to you. May we be so transformed in this experience that we will be propelled to show and tell others of new life in Christ. Amen.

© May 2010   Cynthia Langston Kirk

PRAYER OF RECONCILIATION

God who spreads your love and care around us as a mother hen cares for her chicks, help us protect the most vulnerable people and creatures in the world. Stir our hearts with your compassion and remind us that one person can change the world. We lay before you the grief of the world. Forgive the many ways we have perpetuated brokenness and the many times our actions have been paralyzed by fear and disinterest.  Help us move past sadness to hope, past disdain to nurturing community, past silence to action. We pray in the name of Christ who brings life. Amen.

© May 2010   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 Worship ~ May 2, 2010 ~ Lectionary Readings: Acts 11:1-18; Psalms 148; Revelation 21:1-6; John 13:31-35

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Easter 5   Year C

CALL TO WORSHIP

Leader: Holy Mystery is greater than all our collective comprehension

People: Who are we to hinder God?

Leader: The Creator is the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end

People: Who are we to hinder God?

Leader: God speaks from burning bushes, whirlwinds, in community and in the silence, leading us to new paths and new ways

People: Who are we to hinder God?

Leader: God is the giver of life, the bearer of untamed grace and the lover of each soul

People: Who are we to define neighbor, set limits on love and diminish the worth of another human being?

Leader: Let us open ourselves to God who is greater than any belief

People: And who is able to heal the deepest wounds and make a way out of no way

OPENING PRAYER

Creator God, we thank you for beauty and the opportunities to be formed and refreshed by it. Let us be open to your creative power and generous spirit. We praise you, O God, for the gift of this day and this time to listen to you. Amen.

PRAYER OF RECONCILIATION

Loving God, we are so hesitant to fail that we often avoid the difficult task. We are so eager to be right that we do not examine our views and their ramifications. We are so reticent to change that we close ourselves off from the movement of the Spirit. Forgive our cowardly, staid ways and free us for joyful service. Free us to share hope in bleak places. Free us to bring laughter in the midst of despair. Free us to reach out, across and beyond all human-conceived barriers.  Free us and empower us to love and break bread with everyone, even our enemies. In the name of Christ who demolished every obstacle with love. Amen.

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 Worship Easter 4 ~ April 25 ~ Lectionary Readings: Acts 9:36-43; Psalm 23; Revelation 7:9-17; John 10:22-30

Easter 4    Year C

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CALL TO WORSHIP

Leader: May we be brought to life

People: By the circle of community

Leader: May we be brought to life

People: By the faith of friends

Leader: May we be brought to life

People: By telling and hearing the stories of each person’s gifts

Leader: May we be brought to life by Christ’s resurrecting love

People: That all may see the wonder of Easter in us


©April 2010  Cynthia Langston Kirk

PSALM                                                                       Psalm 23  (adapted)

Words in bold are a musical response using Peace is Flowing Like a River (words and tune anonymous) that can be found in the Upper Room Worshipbook, through GIA Publications or online.

The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. God makes me lie down in green pastures.  God leads me beside still waters.

Peace is flowing like a river, flowing out through you and me

Flowing out into the desert, setting all the captives free

God restores my soul and leads me in right paths for the sake of Love. Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I fear no evil for God is with me and comforts me.

Faith is flowing like a river, flowing out through you and me

Flowing out into the desert, setting all the captives free

God prepares a table before me in the presence of my enemies. God anoints my head with oil; my cup overflows.

Love is flowing like a river, flowing out through you and me

Flowing out into the desert, setting all the captives free

Surely goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of my life and I will dwell in the house of the Lord my whole life long.

Joy is flowing like a river, flowing out through you and me

Flowing out into the desert, setting all the captives free

PRAYER OF RECONCILIATION

God of every good and gracious gift, so often we share stories of people’s kindness and courage only after they die. Help us take every opportunity to affirm one another’s gifts and tell the stories far and wide. Keep us mindful that some people believe they possess no gifts. May we be watchful, wise discerners and ardent encouragers of the gifts within each precious person. We pray for this competitive, divided world that desperately needs everyone’s gifts for healing and wholeness. Inspire us, O God, that we may live life fully and abundantly, always grateful for your grace and willing to follow your lead. We pray this in the name of Christ who overturned tables, rolled back a stone and continues to bring new life. Amen.

©April 2010  Cynthia Langston Kirk

ALTERNATIVE PRAYER OF RECONCILIATION

It is hard work, O God, to bring life instead of death, hope instead of fear; yet you empower us just as you empowered the apostles of the early church. Give us the courage to look hatred and racism in the eye and speak the truth in love. Give us the persistence to roll back the boulders of oppression that seek to diminish life in any manner. You have gifted us to teach, preach, write, pray, work, create, and give that all may know life abundant. Stretch our minds that we might comprehend Christ’s extravagant hospitality and stretch our hearts that we might offer that gift to others no matter their age, skin color, culture or any factor that can be used to separate, exclude or oppress. May those who walk through the dark valley of death, of hostility, of trepidation know that you are with them to uphold and guide them. And this day when racism and fear seek to drown the alleluias of Easter let us see the empty tomb and know that all things are possible through Christ in whose name we pray. Amen.

©April 2010  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