The materials listed below are made available for use and adaptation in congregations by readers of Saving Paradise.
Closing Worship (Created for the Baptist Peace Fellowship of North America, 2009)
Liturgical Materials for Lent, 2009 (Created at St. Luke’s Presbyterian Church, January 23, 2009; Theme: Reweaving our Covenant as Creation)
Reflections on the Lectionary Texts for Lent, 2009 (Created at Santa Fe Theologians, Ghost Ranch, Santa Fe, NM, February 24, 2009)
Litany of Blessed Waters (Developed for use at St. Mark’s Presbyterian Church, Tucson, AZ)
SEEK FIRST THE JUSTICE OF GOD
Baptist Peace Fellowship of North America, Closing Worship, July 25, 2009, Ogden, Utah
Created in workshop by many people.
Leader: Love and Truth meet in the street;
Justice and peace emrace and kiss.
Truth sprouts green from the ground;
Right living pours down from the skies.
People: Yes! God gives good ness and beauty;
Our land responds with bounty and blessing.
Music “Seek ye First the Justice of God and God’s Paradise”
Scripture: Song of Songs 4:13-15
Litany of Living Waters
Leader 1: O Spirit in Creation, life force and power binding all that lives and moves and has being, we know the living waters of paradise. Through their constant refreshment, we seek your justice and the peace it brings.
People: We give thanks, O God, that you have blessed us with an earthly home, moistened always and everywhere with the life-giving waters of paradise.
Leader 2: You have made the weeping gray skies that drench the hard, thirsty dirt of despair.
People: We give thanks for the living waters that quench our thirst for you and sustain us as we seek your healing.
Leader 3: You have made the churning, impatient rivers that rush to the welcoming oceans of life.
People: We give thanks for the living waters that quench our thirst for you and sustain us as we seek to embrace each other in love.
Leader 1: You have made the waiting, ruffled seas that receive the everflowing streams of righteousness.
People: We give thanks for the living waters that quench our thirst for you and sustain us as we seek your vast openness.
Leader 2: You have made the dark muddy ponds that shelter the smooth white stones of hope.
People: We give thanks for the living waters that quench our thirst for you and sustain us as we seek to cherish sustaining visions.
Leader 3: You have made the fierce hot steam that spews from the bowels of earth’s passionate core.
People: We give thanks for the living waters that quench our thirst for you and sustain us as we seek justice passionately.
Leader 1: You have made the mighty shoreline waters that feel the tug of the moon and its time.
People: We give thanks for the living waters that quench our thirst for you and sustain us as we seek your everlasting peace.
Leader 2: You have made the hidden, subterranean lakes that rise through dry sands into the waiting skies of heaven.
People: We give thanks for the living waters that quench our thirst for you and sustain us as we seek to share your ever present love.
Leader 3: You have made the soft moist earth that offers drink to the greening greedy gardens of our souls.
People: We give thanks for the living waters that quench our thirst for you and sustain us as we seek to help all life thrive.
Leader 1: You have made the sweat of our labors, the tears of our lamentation and of joy, and the blood of our courage coursing through us as the body of Christ.
ALL: We give thanks for the living waters that quench our thirst for you and sustain us our whole lives long.
Help us, O Spirit, to honor this gift of life, so that the garden of delight may flourish and earth’s creatures may be blessed. AMEN.
Scripture: Jeremiah 8:22-23
Ritual of Healing
Prayers for our Brokenness
Have everyone look at the clothing labels of those around them for where the clothes were made and say the countries out loud.
“Threaded through all our lives, in more ways than we can even imagine, are the people of the world. Let us pray for justice, a decent life, and a peaceful world for us all.
Prayers for When We Have Fallen Short
Identify names or deeds that are ways we have fallen short, people we should apologize to. Say the names and offer a prayer of absolution.
Laying on of Hands and Anointing of Oil
Processional of Bringing Together Food for the Eucharist
Scripture: John 4:10-15
Ritual of Thanksgiving
Prayer of Gratitude: Gallican Rite Prayer Read By All
Eternal God, You gave wonderful forms to the amazed elements:
the tender world blushed at the fires of the sun,
and the sleeping seas wondered at the tug of the moon.
and the sun’s orb shine on emptiness,
you made from clay two more excellent likenesses,
which a holy fire quickened within,
and a lively spirit brought to life throughout their idle parts.
We may not look, O God, fully into the inner mysteries.
To you alone is known the full majesty of your work.
What there is in us you made:
the blood held in the veins that washes the flexing limbs;
the loose bodies that are held together by tightening nerves,
and the straight bones that gain strength from the organs within.
Whence comes so great a bounty to humble humanity,
that we should be formed in the likeness of you and your Child,
that an earthly thing should be eternal?
Yet, we have often abandoned the care of your blessed majesty in creation
and mourn the ways we have betrayed your beautiful world.
But your manifold goodness and inestimable majesty sent the saving Wisdom from heaven,
so that Word should be made flesh by taking a human body,
that your Savior should care for that which we might have lost,
and that your Spirit healed our ancient wounds.
Therefore all the angels,
with the manifold multitude of the saints praise you.
They proclaim your magnificence,
made in the starry realms and descended to earth.
We lift our voices in praise to welcome what was revealed to us by a gift,
not only to be known but also to be imitated
and, in living its truth, to be made whole again. Amen.
Words of Remembrance for the One Who Opened Paradise (words of institution)
Many years ago, Jesus invited his friends to gather at his table.
They shared their feast and Jesus said, “Do this in remembrance of me.”
Today, we gather to partake of these precious gifts of shared sustenance on this table,
a table that is open to all, where no one is left out.
Through eating of this feast Christ teaches us to restore our humanity’s dignity in paradise and
to recognize that all humankind is created in the image of God.
This is the mystery: Christ’s body is newly mingled with our bodies.
His voice is in our ears; His brightness in our eyes.
In his compassion, the whole of him has been mingled in with the whole of us.
Eat so that all may know joy.
Come to the table! Taste and see how good God IS.
Prayer of Thanksgiving for Abundant Life
Scripture: Isaiah 55:1-3a
Feast in Paradise with Music
Scripture: Rev. 22:1-5
Ritual of Parting
Salt for the Journey to Steady Us with Wisdom
With the taste of salt lingering on your tongues, go and be the salt of the earth that brings out the God-flavors in our world.
With the light you have found in each others’ eyes, go and shine brightly so that the God-colors of the world can be seen by all.
With the sound of the waters of baptism in your ears, go, citizens of Paradise, and create justice, for Peace is coming even now.
Amen, and amen.