“When Worry Breaks Our Troubled Hearts”

“When Worry Breaks Our Troubled Hearts”
by Stephen Fearing

1. When worry breaks our troubled hearts
and hands that tremble fill with fear,
Creator, come and fix in us
the faith that knows your grace is near.

2. When gone seem days that once were fair
and eyes that cry seek peace above,
Redeemer, come and free in us
the fullness of your steadfast love.

3. When dread, despair, and death oppress
and feet but stumble, trip, and fall,
Sustainer, come and seal our hearts
with courage, peace, and love for all.

4. “I will be who I’ll be,” says God
to us who serve the Three in One.
We strive together ’til the day
when God, at last, sees all things done.

LM (8.8.8.8.)
Suggested tunes: Prospect, Bourbon, Duke’s Street, Erhalt Uns Herr, and Hamburg.

With many thanks to Michael Morgan at Columbia Theological Seminary for his editorial and theological support!

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“Death Has Died, No Longer Holds Us”

Well, here it is: my first ever attempt at hymnody. The following text that I have composed is structured as 8.7.8.7. D. Suggested tunes are ABBOT’S LEIGH, BEECHER, HOLY MANNA, HYFRYDOL, HYMN TO JOY, and NETTLETON.

Death has died, no longer holds us;
God’s embrace and love endure.
Never ceasing, always blessing,
grace has found us, made us sure.
God the Alpha and Omega
gives us life anew each day.
Christ has died and Christ is Risen;
all our fears have passed away.

Text by Stephen Fearing.

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Prayer of Confession | Fourth Sunday in Easter (Year C)

From the United Church of Christ.

We seek and find you in Creation, O God,
in the world you have made and the people you have called.
Your vulnerable, powerful Lamb is our shepherd and guide,
leading us to share the shelter of your abundant life.
Let us recognize you here in the beauty of this morning and in its challenge; may the Risen One, your Shepherd-Lamb,
lead us to act for your justice and peace:
so that all may drink from your springs of the waters of life,
and find their tears of sorrow and pain wiped away.
In the name of the Risen One we pray: Amen.

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Prayer for Wholeness | Fourth Sunday in Easter (Year C)

A prayer for wholeness for Easter 4 (Psalm 23, John 10), combined with the day of prayer for Colombia.
Submitted by Rev. Teri Peterson, Ridgefield-Crystal Lake Presbyterian Church

One: Lord, we pray that we may have clarity of vision,
even when what we see is uncomfortable.
All: We pray that we may have clarity of hearing
as you call us to join your mission.

One: We pray that our hearts remain open to
seeing you in the others you call, from other places,
that there may be one flock, one shepherd.
All: We pray that our voices may sing,
proclaim truth and only speak words of love.

One: We pray that our feet always remain
“eager to bring the gospel of peace.”
All: Help us, O God, to step forward in confidence,
breaking down barriers and welcoming all people
into your life of shalom, of peace and healing. Amen.

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Holy and Unpredictable

Wild and Precious Life

“I don’t know exactly what a prayer is.
I do know how to pay attention…”
This declaration comes from Mary Oliver’s poem entitled “The Summer Day.”  Such a bold confession comes amidst her curiosity ignited by a grasshopper who is eating sugar from her hand as the poet sits idly in a field.  I was introduced to Mary Oliver by my preaching professor and her words have implanted themselves in my mind ever since.  I, like so many others, struggle with prayer.  How does one go about the curious and unpredictable journey that is speaking with God?  How do we continue the dialogue begun by the Great Conversationalist who spoke amidst the chaos and brought forth goodness and grace?  Where to begin?
Sure, I’ve prayed the Lord’s Prayer a thousand times in worship with my fellow Sisters and Brothers in Christ.  Of course, as I have begun sermons I have…

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Liturgical Art | Second Sunday in Easter (Year C)

Art from the Revised Common Lectionary resources through the Vanderbilt Library. The first is called “Alpha and Omega” from the Church of San Isidro. The second is called “Jesus Appears to Thomas.”

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