prayers and blessings of remembrance for this day

I have spent some time this morning meditating on prayers that have been written over the years with regard to 9/11.  I am so grateful to have found one website in particular that memorialized the 10th anniversary with a page of prayers and blessings from many faith and secular traditions.

I am including a few here that in particular touched my spirit.  My own personal prayer expressed hope and tenderness and longing and forgiveness.  May you too find your own words to remember the impact this day has made on the lives and spirits of many.

A Jewish Prayer by Rabbi David Wolpe

Dear God, how do we pray for what was lost? We cannot pray for deliverance or a miracle, for the tragedy has already burned itself into our souls. Children have grown fatherless. Families are long since bereaved. We know there is no prayer to change the past. So we pray to live with memory, with constant love, with the promise both to combat evil and to cherish goodness. Do not let our pain cloud our hopes or crush our hearts. Help us grow through this tragedy, keep faith with its victims, and sustain our trust in You.

A Christian Prayer by Rev. Dr. Jacqueline Lewis

Loving God of Peace: On this anniversary of unbelievable sorrow, comfort those who mourn, and guide our hearts toward healing and hope. Remind us of the love of Christ, love which leapt over cultural and ethnic boundaries to feed the hungry, seek the lost and care for the least. Make of Your children, no matter how we name You, one human family, bound together in the work of justice and peacemaking. Make us one with the Light that shines in the darkness and illumines a path toward understanding and reconciliation. Let love be our genuine call. Amen.

A Buddhist Reflection by Sharon Salzberg

Willa, my godchild, was three, and lived 2 blocks away from the WTC on Sept 11, 2001. She was 7 years old at the time of the London metro bombing. On being told about the London terrorism, her eyes filled with tears and she said, “Mom, we should say a prayer.” Willa begin with, “May the bad people remember the love in their hearts.” I think of Willa and her prayer — when I have been hurt or harmed, when I myself make a mistake, when I feel the need to try to start over, however difficult that may feel. Whatever has happened or is happening in our lives, may we all remember the love in our hearts. Lovingkindness meditation You can sit comfortably, or lie down if that seems preferable. Close your eyes, or leave them slightly open. This practice is done through the silent repetition of certain phrases. You need not try to force an emotion or a certain sentiment. The power of the practice comes from gathering all our attention around one phrase at a time. If your attention slips, gently let go of the distraction, and simply begin again repeating the phrases. Remember to repeat them with enough space and enough silence that the rhythm is pleasing to you. This is the song of your heart. We begin with directing the phrases towards ourselves, as though offering ourselves a gift. You can experiment with the wording, but it can be as simple as, “May I remember, and abide in the love in my heart.” After a few minutes think of someone who has helped you — a benefactor or a friend. You can repeat the same phrase as an offering to them, “May you remember, and abide in the love in your heart.” When you feel ready, move on to someone you hardly know, a near stranger. Perhaps the checkout person at the grocery store you shop at, or a friend of a friend of a friend. “May you remember, and abide in the love in your heart.” Then someone you are annoyed at, or have some difficulty with. “May you remember, and abide in the love in your heart.” And finally, an immense expanse of lovingkindness. “May all beings remember, and abide in the love in our hearts.” When you are ready, you can end the meditation, and see if you can bring some of this consciousness into your day.

A Sikh Prayer by Dr. Satpal Singh

The One Universal Creator of all, our Divine Mother and Father In Your blessings we find true and lasting comfort and peace Grant healing and solace to our wounded hearts Grant us strength to bear the loss of loved ones and to live in Your Will Grant us resilience in the face of hate, and the courage to face it with dignity May we all unite and share one another’s pain and tears May the hatred in the world melt away in Your boundless and everlasting love And living in Your Will, may all find peace, harmony and serenity.

A Pagan Blessing by Grove Harris

By the Earth that is Her body By the Air that is Her breath By the Fire of Her bright spirit By the Waters of her living womb Let the Peace of the Goddess grow in our hearts. Peace as we honor our dead with undying memory. Peace as the tears of grief are shed. Peace as we remember the world sharing our pain. Peace as the flood waters are receding. Peace as we understand that we are all mostly water. Literally. Let the waters of compassion flow. Let the healing continue. We are whole. Blessed be.

 

 

lessons learned: ripples on a pond

This past week, I had the honor of accompanying our youth group on their Carolina Cross Connection mission trip.  It was a week that exceeded any expectations I had for their growth and mine.  I continue to be in awe of how God awakens us to this world when we are willing to put our faith into action.

Every morning before leaving camp, we engaged in Morning Watch, a time to be alone in nature and with our Creator.  Typically, during this opportunity, I spent time praying and journaling in preparation for the day ahead.  This week, I thought I would share some thoughts on the CCC experience.  ~cameron

 

July 7, 2014CCC.pond

As I sit here by the pond during Morning Watch, I am blessed by a simple but stunning view of the reflection up on the water. During my time of meditation, I notice bugs, fish and tadpoles creating ripples in the surface. The circles begin with one small movement and yet widen as they grow in size

My prayer this week for my Christian Mission Group (CMG) and the Skyland Youth is that they will appreciate the God-given opportunities offered to them during this mission trip—learning skills that challenge us all—humility, patience, and openmindedness. More than anything, I pray that their lives are touched by the people they serve—that they come to appreciate that we are all wounded or hurting or seeking God’s light, that we all want to be touched by the hand of God in some way.

I sit and watch the ripples on the water and think of my kids and the people we will serve today. We are not so unalike in the eyes of our Maker, for through Jesus, God showed us that we all have light to share within this world.

Before I depart, I look across the water’s surface and notice something. The circles beside each other grow wider and end up intersecting to create a common ground—a place where the ripples connect and combine to become one entity.

I close my prayer by asking God to allow each of us to share and receive this kind of connection with those we serve so that we create a common ground within our communities—a common ground founded in the love and light of God’s grace, a common ground that will awaken us to becoming the servants God has called us to be.

CCC Week 4, Day 1, Camp McCall

tips for your next trip to the farmer’s market

So you’ve found your local market, and you’re ready to head out–what’s next?

Seattle Farmers’ Market, Spring 2009

  • Give yourself plenty of time!  There’s so much to see and explore.  The market is not like the grocery store–it’s not about getting in and out with the necessities.  Take the time to get to know both the food and the folks.
  • Take a bag or two.  They may have some plastic bags from the grocery store or brown paper lunch bags, but it will be much easier if you take a “green” cloth bag that can hold several different items.
  • Take cash and preferably, in small bills, and keep it easily accessible.  It will make for easier shopping.
  • If your market is not covered, prepare for the weather.  Sunscreen and a hat might be in order on those warm summer days.
  • Be aware that farmers have different personalities and salesmanship.  Some will invite you to inspect the food; others will clearly give you the stink eye if you start digging through their peach basket.  Also, I never initiate bargaining with a farmer–I just don’t feel right about taking money out of their pockets.  If they offer to lower the price (like at the end of the day), I’ll graciously accept.
  • And speaking of the end of the day–want to go when there are fewer people and possible deals?  Hit the market at the very end of the day.  Want to  get the freshest choices and have first pick?  Head out in the early morning.
  • Remember that there’s not necessarily a traffic flow at the market like you’d find in a grocery store.  Be respectful of those around you and aware of how people are moving to see the food and make purchases.
  • Appreciate the farmer’s time–he or she may be the only person working the booth or stall which means he or she

    WNC Farmers’ Market from http://www.activerain.com

    will be answering questions, bagging food, making sales, etc.  Asking for special samples or asking a lot of questions may cause the farmer (and those around you) a bit of stress.

And what I consider the most important tip–thank the farmer who has grown this amazing food for you.  These folks are offering you the opportunity not only to live a healthy lifestyle but also connect with the community.   It’s a wonderful outing, and you’ll find it so much more enjoyable than rolling a cart up and down aisles of an indoor store.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got to run make my list–Saturday’s just around the corner!

the value of keeping quiet

Sometimes, simple poetry becomes my prayer for the day.  Here is one of my favorites~

Keeping Quiet by Pablo Neruda

Now we will count to twelve
and we will all keep still
for once on the face of the earth,
let’s not speak in any language;
let’s stop for a second,
and not move our arms so much.sitting in creek

It would be an exotic moment
without rush, without engines;
we would all be together
in a sudden strangeness.

Fishermen in the cold sea
would not harm whales
and the man gathering salt
would not look at his hurt hands.

Those who prepare green wars,
wars with gas, wars with fire,
victories with no survivors,
would put on clean clothes
and walk about with their brothers
in the shade, doing nothing.

What I want should not be confused
with total inactivity.

Life is what it is about…

If we were not so single-minded
about keeping our lives moving,
and for once could do nothing,
perhaps a huge silence
might interrupt this sadness
of never understanding ourselves
and of threatening ourselves with
death.

Now I’ll count up to twelve
and you keep quiet and I will go.