As we enter autumn, we may find the challenges of the days ahead daunting. We may even dread some of the changes being asked of us as we move back into our “regular” life responsibilities after what may have been a less demanding summer schedule. How might God be inviting us to release our fear, apprehension, or anxiety, and see the days ahead as exciting, invigorating, and life giving?
You are here
God of Ephesus and Antioch, of Tarsus and Istanbul,
God of the Hagia Sophia and the Blue Mosque,
Our hearts break as we hear news from the holy land of Turkey.
How long, O Lord? How long will violence hold the field at day's end? How long will tears well up?
Shall we be the ones to see the dawning of Your promised peace?
Or will our children have to take our places keeping vigil?
God of music and light, of strobe and disco ball,
God of the pipe organ and the 303 bass machine,
God of Latin chant and Latin rhythm,
God who smiles over night club dance floors, we remember how You were hated for the wide stretch of Your love.
We remember how the hate of the small minded cost You Your life.
God, since You know how it feels to be hated simply for being Your own fabulous self, please draw close to the people of Orlando.
Please be sheltering, shimmering wings upon every blessed person touched by this tragedy.
Delivered by Senior Minister Rev. Nancy Taylor at an interfaith service mourning the victims of the Orlando mass shooting, held at Emmanuel Church in Boston on June 15, 2016.
It was 45 years ago this week that the intoxicating folk-rock musical Godspell opened in New York City. So much more than a production, Godspell was an experience and a revelation. Godspell swept into the dust of the past the staid, institutional church with its severe creeds and yawn-inducing hymns. It invited the followers of Jesus to dance together into a youthful, brightly clad, sundrenched, ethnically assorted future.
Dear Old South Church in Boston,
On Sunday, Mother's Day, we will celebrate one of our mothers: Phillis Wheatley. Though she lived only to her 31st year, she changed the course of history, earning the title the Mother of African American literature.
I could be wrong, but I don’t think the phrase ‘The Sabbath as Resurrection’ is one that readily comes to mind for most Christians in this season of Eastertide. This year, however, the phrase has confronted me with both a strange attraction and a challenge.
As we work our way through the Lenten Season, Holy Week looms. During Holy Week, probably the most sacred week in the Church year, we will sing one of my favorite hymns: Were You There? It has been sung in homes and in churches for decades. It is a Spiritual but, unlike most Spirituals, it does not end on a note of praise. This one ends as a ‘sorrow song’, even with the ‘Resurrection’ verse that is included in The New Century Hymnal. Many hymnals, including the Pilgrim Hymnal, do not contain that verse.
On March 3, 2016, Associate Minister Rev. John Edgerton testified on behalf of the Massachusetts Coalition for the Homeless, on their legislative lobby day, at the Massachusetts State House. Rev. Edgerton spoke in support of declaring a homelessness state of emergency, calling on lawmakers to take immediate actions to help stop the crisis and save lives.
While T.S. Eliot writes, “April is the cruelest month”, some of us would argue that February vies for that distinction. The freezing, wintry blasts that have us gripping our coats, scarves, and hats close to our shivering bodies, the never-ending gray days calling for us to add more lights to our growing lamp collections in every room of the house, the bone-chilling wet snow that finds its way into our “water-proof” boots, the stinging crystals of ice forming around our noses: Ah, February, why is it that although you are the shortest month, your days seem to stretch on forever?
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