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Praying while Frayed

“even when we are at the end of our rope…” -Rev. Elizabeth Grasham

Let’s pray together:

We try to have a good attitude about it, God,
but sometimes we just run out of juice for that.

We’ve got no more energy to pivot,
to try things a new way,
to have patience.
It all boils out.

Sometimes we stop talking, and sometimes we talk too much.
Sometimes we yell, and sometimes we cry.

Sometimes we dread the future,
and sometimes we find ourselves nostalgic about the past.

But we give thanks, God,
that we can show up to you on Sunday mornings
even when we are at the end of our rope

It turns out that when we show up, you give us more.
It turns out you’re the one we hold onto.

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Unexpected Gifts

This past June I had the pleasure of attending the Presbyterian Church (USA) General Assembly meeting. It was a fantastic experience. From the moment I arrived in San Jose I felt a sense of deep connection to the people around me. These unknown individuals and I not only share a common faith, we share something more a connection based on the way in which we experience and express that faith. It was wonderful.

On that first Sunday I sat in a sports arena at San Jose State University and looked around at the diverse collection of Presbyterians gathered for worship. The songs we sung were familiar and comforting. The liturgy spoke to my soul. And I was thrilled to be in this enormous gathering of Presbyterians, to experience church. I left the service feeling incredibly blessed to have been present for something so special.

Shortly after we left a few friends began discussing the problems they had with the service. As seminarians they had fascinating critiques, most of which I thought were right on target. While the worship was good, maybe it hadn’t been great. It was quite possible that the music was a bit excessive, and well, the liturgy had some low points. So why had it spoken so clearly to me, to my place? Read more