Sunday Service:
The Winds of Disturbance
By Sharon Grussendorff
Introduction to the mornign retreat
Reflection: The Winds of Disturbance

Below is the poem that was read during the introduction. Spend some time reading this for yourself. As you read and reflect, you could listen to this piece of music as background:

First LightLisa Lynne
00:00 / 06:42

The Sacrament of Letting Go, by Macrina Wiederkehr

Slowly she celebrated the sacrament of letting go.

First she surrendered her green,

then the orange, yellow, and red.

finally she let go of her own brown.

Shedding her last leaf

she stood empty and silent, stripped bare.

Leaning against the winter sky,

she began her vigil of trust.

Shedding her last leaf,

she watched it journey to the ground.

She stood in silence

wearing the colors of emptiness,

her branches wondering,

How do you give shade with so much gone?

And then,

the sacrament of waiting began.

The sunrise and the sunset watched with tenderness.

Clothing her with silhouettes

that kept her hope alive.

They helped her to understand that

her vulnerability,

her dependence and need,

her emptiness, her readiness to receive,

were giving her a new kind of Beauty.

Every morning and every evening they stood in silence,

and celebrated together

the sacrament of waiting.

Spend some time now in quiet prayer (you can choose between a 10 minute timer and a 20 minute timer below, which each have a gong at the beginning and three gongs at the end). 

Ten minute silence timerSilence
00:00 / 10:25
Twenty minute meditationSilence
00:00 / 20:28

The following track is a Taize chant that you could listen to, or sing along with:

Within our darkest nightTaize
00:00 / 04:33

Song lyrics:

 

Within our darkest night

You kindle a fire that never dies away, never dies away;

Within our darkest night

You kindle a fire that never dies away, never dies away.

This next track is a guided practice for praying in times of disturbance using the Welcoming Prayer:

The Welcoming PrayerGuided practice
00:00 / 04:44

The Welcoming Prayer / Practice:

 

Gently become aware of your body and your interior state. {expand}

Welcome, welcome, welcome.

I welcome everything that comes to me in this moment

Because I know it is for my healing.

I welcome all thoughts, feelings, emotions, persons, situations and conditions.

I let go of my desire for security.

I let go of my desire for approval.

I let go of my desire for control.

I let go of my desire to change any situation, condition, person, or myself.

I open to the love and presence of God and God’s healing action and grace within.

"Your troubles

              may turn to treasures rich -

How sad that you yourself veil

              the treasure that is yours!"

~ Rumi

Now listen to this beautiful song by Carrie Newcomer, called "It's always love":

Ending prayer (Psalm 68):

As an ending prayer, I encourage you to spend some time reading these extracts from Nan Merrill's paraphrase of Psalm 68, allowing them to become a prayer for you:

  

   

Fill us with Your love, O Comforter, 

let our fears be transformed; 

let all that keeps us separated  

and confused flee! 

As smoke is blown away, 

so let our fears rise up before You; 

as wax melts before fire, 

let our fears be melted by Love. 

Then we will be released from bondage; 

we will exult before the Beloved; 

we will be jubilant with joy.  

 

O Beloved, reach into the hearts of your people,

Enter into the darkness of their fears.

A new dawn is rising; great will be the understanding

of those who know love;

The darkness of ignorance will be overcome!

The nations will be united in their diversity,

Living in harmony and with integrity-—

Like the two wings of a dove.

Then will fear be no more,

Love will reign in every heart.

Call your people home, out of the rubble of this dark age. 

The Comforter leads us to wholeness, 

The Beloved calls us to new life. 

Yes, the Beloved will empower us

with love,

as we face the fears within.

Love even whispers,

"I will break down the walls of illusion,

I will shatter the fears that bind,

That you may walk in a new dawn,

that you may dance with light hearts

and spread peace throughout the earth."

Blessed be the Beloved.

Amen.

 

From Psalms for Praying by Nan C. Merrill

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