As the season turns to fall, we have the opportunity to try new worship practices and ways of being together. This Sunday, we will be returning to a more standard order of worship, after dwelling in several contemplative and quieter “Earth as Monastery” series. Come to church expecting some new rhythms, transitional music, and other variations, all with the intent of refreshing our worship and deepening our experience of the Divine.
One of the shifts will be in the rhythms of prayer we offer together. Our prayer time in worship is incredibly meaningful, and I know I am not alone in feeling it is truly a moment of being together and being in held in God’s presence. And there are many, many ways to pray, so we will be practicing a new way of praying together this fall.
We will pray in four different movements during the time of prayer.
First we will pray for the World and Creation, lifting up all the places and people who we may not know personally but for whom our spirit cries out.
Next, we will be invited to lift up prayers for ourselves and those we know and love, sharing our hearts with our church community.
Then we offer prayers of thanksgiving for all that we are grateful for — let’s sing praise for the big stuff as well as the tiny stuff, where we can sigh and notice God and say, thanks! Wow!
Finally, we will raise our voices together in prayer, saying aloud that ancient prayer that Jesus offered to his disciples, and to us.
As with all new practices, it may take some time getting used to. Thank you for coming this Sunday with an open heart — and perhaps with a few prayers ready to share! Let’s see where the Spirit of God leads us with this new practice.
Rev. Amara Oden, she/her