Eventide at Home

“Eventide At Home” in a time of uncertainty

Thursday, March 19, 2020  ~  6 p.m.

Because we cannot gather at the church in person, we offer these resources for observing “Eventide At Home”. 

Find a quiet place…

            Light a candle…

                        Breathe deeply, inviting Holy Breath to fill you…

            When you feel ready, reflect on part or all of the following….


Hymn                         “In the Quiet Curve of Evening”                                   VU 278

            In the quiet curve of evening, in the sinking of the days,

            in the silky voice of darkness, you are there.

            In the lapses of my breathing, in the space between my ways,

            in the crater carved by sadness, you are there.

                        You are there, you are there, you are there.

            In the rests between the phrases, in the cracks between the stars,

            in the gaps between the meaning, you are there.

            In the melting down of endings, in the cooling of the sun,

            in the solstice of the winter, you are there.

                        You are there, you are there, you are there.

            In the mystery of my hungers, in the silence of my rooms,

            in the cloud of my unknowing, you are there.

            In the empty cave of grieving, in the desert of my dreams,

            in the tunnel of my sorrow, you are there.

                        You are there, you are there, you are there.


                        “Celebrating Church”         A reflection by Ann Weems

        I celebrate the church of Jesus Christ

            where two or three or thousands can gather together

            in the Lord’s name

            and touch this world

                        with the amazing good news that somebody cares,

                        that God joins us in community so that someday

                        this world will be loved to wholeness.

            I celebrate this community,

            where the people say Yes in the face of No,

            where they light candles in the darkest night,

            where healing and compassion leave no time for self-righteousness,

            and the life-sustaining love of Christ is evident in the life of the believers.

            I celebrate the church,

            where every child of God is hailed as unique and valuable,

            where arms are opened to the world’s outcasts,

            where the tired, beaten, disillusioned world is invited in and surprised

                        by the life-giving word

                        that Christ accepts the children,

                        all the children of the world.

            I celebrate the church of Jesus Christ,

                        whose supportive community

                        holds me when I’m tempted to give up,

                        enfolds me when I’m hurting,

                        affirms me, reaches out to me,

                        gives to me, receives from me.


A poem by Jan Richardson  (from “Circle of Grace”)

Stay

I know how your mind rushes ahead,

trying to fathom what could follow this.

What will you do?

Where will you go?

How will you live?

You will want to outrun the grief.

You will want to keep turning toward the horizon,

watching for what was lost to come back,

to return to you and never leave again.

For now, hear me when I say

all you need to do is still yourself,

is to turn toward one another,

is to stay.

Wait and see what comes to fill

the gaping hole in your chest.

Wait with your hands open

to receive what could never come

except to what is empty and hollow.

You cannot know it now,

cannot even imagine what lies ahead.

But I tell you the day is coming

when breath will fill your lungs as it never has before,

and with your own ears you will hear words coming to you new and startling.

You will dream dreams and you will see the world ablaze with blessing.

Wait for it.

Still yourself.

Stay.


A Prayer

(from Shining Waters Regional Council, The United Church of Canada)

God of steadfast love,

In this fearful and anxious time

May we find assurance in acts of compassion.

May we show up with care and prevention.

May we resist and renounce the racism that floods our media streams.

May we reach out and be present with those who are alone or afraid.

We pray for the sick, and those who minister with them.

We lift up our healthcare and front-line workers.

We are mindful of our global partners and deeply vulnerable places

at home and around the world.

As we make do with the exchange of a smile,

may we be certain in the knowledge

that any greeting in your name is not diminished.

Guided by faith, we take up our call to be the church,

and to love and serve others, in the Spirit of Jesus.  Amen.


Hymn            (text and tune by John L. Bell, Iona Community)         MV 90

         Don’t be afraid.  My love is stronger, my love is stronger than your fear.

         ….. and I have promised, promised to be always near.