Monday, May 31, 2021

Liturgy w/communion for June 6, 2021 (Pentecost 2/Trinity 1/Proper 5/Ordinary 10 - B)

 exts:  1 Samuel 8:4-11, (12-15), 16-20, (11:14-15); Psalm 138; 2 Corinthians 4:13 – 5:1; Mark 3:20-35


Call to Worship
On this day, we gather with thanksgiving in our hearts.
For God's love is ever constant in our lives.
On this day, we would talk of all that is ours.
Grace upon grace has been poured into our lives.
On this day, we would speak of what we believe.
We will sing glad songs for all that God has done.
 
Prayer of the Day
When we are too weary
to take another step
on the road to the kingdom;
when our hearts are worn down
by the pain always rubbing
against our lives;
when we are wasting away
because of fears and worries,
you come, Soul Strengthener,
stretching out your hand
to hold us in your love.
 
When everyone else has turned
their backs on us and walked away;
when we cry out in the night
only to find the world has
turned a deaf ear to us;
when folks think we are crazy
because we believe that
good can overcome evil,
love can conquer hate,
hope can replace despair,
you do not forsake us,
but stay at our side,
Brother to all people.

When our doubts rub
a callous on our souls;
when we wonder if we
are able to see your kingdom
emerging all around us;
when others seem to want
only the worst for us,
you pull us out of harm's way,
Spirit of faith and hope.
 
Grace upon grace are the gifts
we have received from you,
God in Community, Holy in One,
and we give you our thanks
as we pray as we are taught,
(The Lord’s Prayer)

Call to Reconciliation
We know what it is like to be rejected, but we also remember turning our backs on others.  We have experienced conflict, as well as caused pain to others. Let us confess our foolish lives to the One who seeks to forgive us on this day, and every day.

Unison Prayer for Forgiveness
     Everybody else does it, Watching God, and we confess that we do as well. We listen to those whose promises are sold to the highest bidder.  We idolize celebrities as if they were teachers of ethics. We long for that one person who will make everything right, once again, once and for all.
     Is it any wonder we are a disappointed people, God of Hope? Forgive us for turning our backs on you, even as you continue to stretch out your arms to us. Forgive us for trusting in those who prove to be false, rather than having faith in your love.  Forgive us, and fill us with the spirit of faith which is given to us in Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior.

 Silence is kept

 Assurance of Pardon
Do not lose heart! God seeks to strengthen our souls, filling us with forgiveness, wonder, and joy!
Glory to you, God of mercy and grace. You want only the best for us, and so we sing praises to you.  Thanks be to God, we are forgiven! Amen.

Prayer of Dedication/Offering
We believe, and so we will speak.  We speak, and so we will live.  We will live, and so we will be generous, because we know that, by your grace, these gifts we offer will extend hope, peace, and life to more and more people.  In Jesus' name, we pray.  Amen. 

Great Prayer of Thanksgiving
May the God of steadfast love be with you!
And also with you!
Sisters and brothers of Christ, lift your hearts to God.
We open ourselves to the One who fills us with grace.
Beloved of the Lord, sing glad praises to God.
Songs of wonder are offered to our God.

Catching a glimpse of goodness and beauty,
you shattered the stillness of chaos
with your imaginative Word, your Spirit of faith
moving, transforming, shaping, creating.
What had not been seen before sprang forth:
suns and moons spinning in the galaxies,
rivers racing one another to the seas,
gentle grains whispering in the breeze.
This garden of wonders and hopes
were shared with those you created in your image,
but we wanted to do things our way
and forsook you for the temptations
offered to us by sin and death.
You would not forsake us
and sent the prophets to us
with words of hope and grace,
but we rejected their words
as having no meaning for us.
Your love was steadfast
and your faith for us did not diminish
as you sent Jesus to call us
back to your heart.

With those whose faith is strong and firm,
with those who struggle to believe,
with all of every time and place,
we sing our songs of thanksgiving to you:

Holy, holy, holy are you, God of our hearts.
All creation praises you with words of hope.
Hosanna in the highest!
 
Blessed is the One who comes to strengthen our souls.
Hosanna in the highest!
 
You are holy, God of hope and forgiveness,
and Jesus Christ is your love made human.
He could have come to divide us,
but came that we might be one with you
and with our sisters and brothers.
He could have come to judge us,
but came to pull us out of harm's way.
He could have come to defy us,
but came to reject Death and sin's claim on us,
defeating their power once and for all.
 
As we remember how we have turned our backs on him,
as we hear his invitation to this Table of grace,
we speak of that faith in which we believe:

Christ died, showing us the way of obedience;
Christ is raised, showing us the way of new life;
Christ will come, showing us your glory.
 
You surround us with your care,
stretching out your hand upon
those gathered in this place,
your Spirit transforming ordinary gifts
into sacred grace and hope.
We taste the bread and drink from the cup,
and notice what we have not seen:
the hunger of the world,
the loneliness of those around us,
the child with no hope,
and we do not lose heart,
trusting that you will use us
to serve these needs around us
so that grace upon grace
might be shared with our sisters and brothers.
 
And when you stretch out your hands to lead us home,
and we are gathered around the Feast of the Lamb
which we can only glimpse in this moment,
we will sing of your steadfast love and faithfulness
forever and ever, God in Community, Holy in One. Amen.

Sending
On this day, let us leave with thanksgiving in our hearts,
going to share God's love with everyone we meet.
On this day, let us go to speak of what Jesus has done,
pouring grace upon grace into all the lives around us.
On this day, let us go to share what we believe,
singing glad songs of the Spirit to our silenced world.

(c) Thom M. Shuman 

Alternate texts liturgy for June 6, 2021 (Pentecost 2/Trinity 3/Proper 5/Ordinary 10 - B)

 Texts:  Genesis 3:8-15; Psalm 130; 2 Corinthians 4:13 – 5:1; Mark 3:20-35

Call to Worship
On an ordinary Sunday, we come to worship God.
We come, trusting God will speak to us;
we come, hoping God will surprise us.
On this day, like every other day,
we seek to follow Jesus:
We follow, believing Jesus will be with us;
we follow, hoping Jesus will work through us.
On this day, we lift our souls to God's Spirit:
We open our hearts, that the Spirit may fill us;
we open our hands, that we might be a gift to others.


Prayer of the Day
The little child struggling with fears;
the grandfather facing failing health;
the parent who lies awake till the early morning hours;
the teenager pressured by peers;
the lonely who are prey to con artists;
all of us with ordinary aches, pains, and worries -
each is cradled as your beloved child,
Tender God.

Those who work through the night;
those who sleep in littered parks;
those who are called exceptional;
those who are differently-gifted;
those who are filled with doubts;
those who spill over with laughter;
the youngest,
the oldest,
the ordinary  -
each is called sister or brother by you,
Lord Jesus.

Joyous praisers of your name;
seekers of hope;
those walled out by prejudice and hate;
babies who cry from hunger;
the poor who share their last coin
with those in greater need;
all the ordinary people around the world
are members of your family,
Spirit of Hope.

God in Community, Holy in One,
hear us as we lift our voices
praying as Jesus has taught us, saying,
(The Lord’s Prayer)


Call to Reconciliation
We live our lives, tiptoeing around the facts that we often say words we should never have uttered, we do those things we wish we could take back.  Yet, you would reach out to take us by the hand, so we walk together in the garden of grace.  Let us offer our hearts, and our brokenness, to our God, who offers us mercy in these moments.  Join me as we use the words found below, praying,

Unison Prayer for Forgiveness

   From the basements of our lives, we lift our prayers to you, Parent of our hearts.  We are convinced we know who our sisters and brothers are, and so ignored those you long for us to embrace.  Someone told us once that we had faults, and so we try to live up to their expectations.  We are so intent on watching for all the could go wrong, we miss your hope rising just over the horizon.
   If you kept a spreadsheet of our foolishness, Creator of your family, we would be in big trouble.  But you do not let our mistakes distract you from walking with us in every moment.  And so, we hear you calling us by name, and welcoming us into your family of faith, as we seek to follow Jesus Christ, our Brother, into reaching out to all around us.
 
Silence is kept

Assurance of Pardon
Hope in God, dear friends.  For the One who listens to our prayers is the God who loves us.  The One who knows our foolish lives better than we do, is the God who forgives us.
This is indeed good news for us.  No longer do we need to wait, but can rush into God’s gracious embrace, knowing that God will walk with us even when we stumble, will continue to affirm us, when everyone else around us tears us down.  Thanks be to God, we are forgiven!  Amen.
 
Prayer of Dedication/Offering
May the gifts we offer be used, Loving God, not to feed strangers we do not know, but our sisters and brothers who hunger for companionship, as well as food; who look for a heart which will welcome them, as much as a place to sleep; who long for those who will accept them for who they are, not see them as those who have no worth.  This we pray in the name of Jesus.  Amen.

The Great Prayer of Thanksgiving
May the God who walks with us be with you.
And also with you.
People of God, lift up your hearts to the One who waits.
We offer them to God, for whom we wait in every moment.
Children of God, rejoice in the goodness of God.
We give thanks to the One who feeds us with grace and hope.

Early on that first morning,
Creative God,
you crept down quietly down
to the kitchen to begin
crafting creation from simple ingredients.
   You poured water into rivers
      and populated fields with animals;
   you hung the stars in the crystal night
      and shaped the sun to warm kittens.
You baked bread whose aroma
drifted up to tickle our souls awake
so that we could bound down the stairs
to be wrapped in your hugs,
   but we preferred to stay in our rooms,
   sulking with sin and death.
Prophets came to remind us
that we were your children,
   but we continued to walk in the shadows,
   holding tight to temptations’ hands.
You could no longer wait for our souls
to change on their own,
so you sent your Child to call us home.
 
With those we recognize easily as family
and those we are not that certain about,
we sing our praises to you this day:
 
Holy, holy, holy are you, God of early mornings.
All creation joins in praising you.
Hosanna in the highest!
 
Blessed is the One who comes bringing your hope.
Hosanna in the highest!
 
Because you are holy, God of all creation,
you could hold yourself aloof from us,
but in Jesus Christ, you came to walk with us.
On his days of infancy and as a toddler,
   we see tiny ones as those
   we are to nurture and protect.
In his days as an adolescent,
   we learn to listen to questions
   we know we might have trouble answering.
In his friendship with the Marys and Martha,
   we see that all women are our sisters,
   whose strength and compassion can transform us.
In his challenging Peter, James, and John,
   we discover that men are more insecure
   than they would ever dare admit.
In his willingness to embrace the pain
of the cross for all those who knew
as well as those he never met,
   all of your children are gathered as a family,
   for death cannot separate us from each other,
   and resurrection love welcomes all equally.
 
As we remember his refusal to be exclusive in relationships,
as we celebrate the love which is poured out for all,
we speak of that faith which can be a mystery:
 
Christ died for his family, which includes everyone;
Christ was raised, so even the outsiders would be welcome;
Christ will come and bring us home to the One who embraces
   each and every one of us.

On this day, when we gather with folks we know all too well
and those we are meeting for the first time,
we pray that you pour out your Spirit
upon the gifts of the bread and the cup
which are offered to all your family.
Fed by the bread of hope and patience,
we will wait for the opportunities
   to feed those who are hungry,
   to welcome all who are excluded,
   to share all that we have, and
run to give of ourselves to others.
Nourished by the cup of grace and joy,
we will not give up in the face
of injustice, anger, and fear,
   but continue to walk with those who are weary,
   to carry those who have no strength,
   to skip with little kids filled with delight.
 
And when all time has ended, gather us
with our sisters and brothers of every time,
especially those we ignored or hurt,
so that we might celebrate as your family
at the table of healing and grace,
rejoicing together as we give you thanks,
God in Community, Holy in One.  Amen.  
 
Sending
Now, let us go into the world as God’s children.
We will go to walk beside all who are in the shadows,
for there, we will find God journeying with them.
Now, let us go into our communities as the family of Jesus.
We will walk with our sisters who work multiple jobs;
we will walk with our brothers who raise children on their own.
Now, let us go into our neighborhoods as companions of the Spirit.
We will walk in peace with those who are so angry,
we will walk with those who have been damaged by hate.
 
© Thom M. Shuman

 

Monday, May 24, 2021

Liturgy w/communion for May 30, 2021 (Trinity - Year B)

 Texts: Isaiah 6:1-8; Psalm 29; Romans 8:12-17; John 3:1-17

Call to Worship
God, who flung the stars into the night sky,
rejoices over all creation, especially us!
Come to us, Laughing God, and gladden
our hearts with your goodness and grace.
Christ, the Word of joy and life,
fills all creation with hope, especially us!
Come to us, Brother and Savior, and reclaim
our hearts as your own.
The Spirit, who breathes life into emptiness,
gives all creation the gift of peace, especially us!
Come to us, Spirit of Gentleness, and refresh us
with the dew of delight.
 
Prayer of the Day
You bind us to yourself
this day, God of seraphim and sinners.
You reach out to draw us ever closer,
that we might feel the brush
of your grace soft upon us,
that we might feel the healing touch
of your compassion resting gently within us.

You bind us to yourself
this day, Heir of Glory and Grace.
You keep us by your side,
that we might walk with you
through the streets of the kingdom,
bringing hope to the despairing,
offering consolation to the brokenhearted,
sharing love with those tossed aside by the world.

You bind us to yourself
this day, Spirit of Justice.
You fill our hearts with living water
that they might overflow to parched people,
you teach us how to give ourselves away,
so we might take on the burdens of others.
 
We bind ourselves to you this day,
God in Community, Holy in One,
even as we pray the words Jesus has taught us,
(The Lord’s Prayer)

Call to Reconciliation
Called to be God's people, we know how often we act as spoiled and petulant children. Yet, like a mother, God looks past our mistakes to see our hearts. Like a father, God lifts us to our feet to put us back on the path to life. Let us bring our prayers to the One who listens, and then forgives us with unceasing grace.
 
Unison Prayer for Forgiveness
   In the mystery of creation, Imaginative God, you shaped beauty and goodness, yet we damage it by our selfishness and anger. In the mystery of life, Child of Hope, you became one of us, yet all too often we turn our back on you. In the mystery of peace, Breath of Life, you would gentle our natures, yet we cling tenaciously to our bitterness and hurt.
   In the mystery of grace, Holy God, you forgive us our sins, that we might embrace others. In the mystery of mercy, you touch our lips, that we might speak gently to others. In the mystery of hope, you claim us as family, sisters and brothers of the One who brought new life for all, Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior.

Silence is kept
 
Assurance of Pardon
Here, in this moment and in this place, the Spirit of gentleness moves in our midst.  Mercy, hope and joy are the gifts of God to each and every one of us.
No longer lost, we have found our way home, surrounded by God's peace, by God's grace, by God's love. Thanks be to God, we are forgiven! Amen.

Prayer of Dedication/Offering
In grace, we bind ourselves to those who have no life;
in hope, we bind ourselves to those who live in despair;
in peace, we bind ourselves to all damaged by violence and hate;
in gratitude, we offer our gifts and bind ourselves to you, O God, in the work of justice, love, and wonder as you build your community in our world.  In Jesus' name, we pray.  Amen.

Great Prayer of Thanksgiving
God the Life, God the Hope, God the Peace be with you.
And also with you.
Children of the most Holy, open your hearts
to the One who has created you.
We open ourselves to the mystery
we know as the Community of God.
Heirs of salvation and joint heirs of grace,
give thanks to the One who loves you forever.
We lift our praise to God, crying out with all creation,
'Glory! Glory! Glory!'

You shattered the silence
of chaos, Majestic God,
as you spoke creation's language
with your voice of power and patience.
Your Word sang in the morning,
sending lambs skipping across
pastures lush with life,
young colts pranced through
valleys overflowing with wonder.
Your Spirit breathed life
into those shaped in your image,
filling our souls with joy and grace.
When we wandered far from you,
you remembered the soft touch
of our hands in yours,
and sent the prophets to call us home.
When we got in over our heads
in debt to sin and death,
Jesus came, to redeem our lives.
 
Therefore we lift our voices,
with those who worship you
in every time and place,
singing your glory forever and ever:

Holy, holy, holy, God of glory and grace.
All creation dances in joy before you.
Hosanna in the highest!
 
Blessed is the One who comes to bring us life.
Hosanna in the highest!
 
You are holy, God of all life,
and blessed is Jesus Christ, Word of creation.
Filled with your glory,
he emptied himself to become one of us.
Knowing the heartache of loneliness,
he became the friend of all;
walking the streets beside us,
he became the guide we need;
recognizing the power of sin and death,
he followed them to Calvary,
leaving them behind in the empty grave,
as he was raised to new life.
 
So, here in this holy time of celebration,
here at the sacred feast prepared for us,
we would speak of that mystery we call faith:
 
We remember Christ's death;
we remember Christ's resurrection;
we remember Christ will come again in glory.
 
Here in this place of gentleness,
here at the Table of goodness and grace,
pour out your Spirit, Eternal Love,
upon the gifts of creation made holy for us,
and upon your children adopted into your heart
through the life and joy of your Child, Jesus.
In the broken bits of the bread,
may we be made whole once again,
so we might bring healing
to the deepest sufferings of our time.
In the taste of salvation's joy,
may we be renewed in our calling
to justice and righteousness,
so we might go forth to be companions
for all those who have lost their way.
 
And when, in the mystery of your heart,
it will come to pass that we are gathered,
with our sisters and brothers of every time and place,
around the feast prepared for us in eternity,
we will join our hands and hearts,
crying with one voice, 'holy, holy, holy!'
to you forever, God in Community, Holy in One. Amen.

Sending
God our Life sends us out in these moments.
We will go to bind ourselves to those who hunger,
to those who search for a home.
God our Hope sends us out in these moments.
We will go to bind ourselves to those who live in the shadows,
to those who long for companionship.
God our Peace sends us out in these moments.
We will go to bind ourselves to those who are forgotten,
to embrace those who are pushed aside by hate and anger.

(c) Thom M. Shuman

Tuesday, May 18, 2021

Liturgy for Pentecost during a pandemic (May 23, 2021)

Call to Worship

No great flowing fabrics of red
hanging from sanctuary ceilings,
yet this is still the day we celebrate
Grace’s breath shattering the shutters of our hearts.
On this day, clad in our pajamas, sitting at home
may we continue to let the Spirit
of new life breathe upon us!
From near empty sanctuaries, through video worship,
we gather with our sisters and brothers,
proclaiming that we are God’s Pentecost.
On this day, we would touch (virtually) all
who remain sheltered in place, safe in God’s grace.
There will be no birthday cakes, no balloons released,
no butterflies emerging from cocoons,
yet in the days to come, we will continue to speak
of God’s love and the Spirit’s peace for all.
So that even apart, people know they are not alone,
so that when that day comes, and we know it will,
people will find a community awaiting them,
even for hiding in fear behind closed doors.  

Prayer of the Day
A spark.
that is all we need
on this day, Imaginative God,
to light our quarantined aloneness
so that we can burst into bonfires
which signal to all those around us
you are bringing to life and grace
to us, and to the whole world.

A word.
just one, little word
on this day, Poet of Pentecost,
so that we can be the voice
of all those forgotten by the world,
so that we can be the warmth
to melt all the hearts frozen by greed,
so that we might speak in that still, small voice,
and be the ones that live out,
your good news to everyone we meet.

A breeze.
a soft, gentle breeze
that stirs the curtains
on this day, Shattering Spirit.
a breeze that will stay quiet,
and peaceful, and still
until the day comes (and it will)
for us to become that storm
of hopes to clear the despair
from all our neighborhoods and lands.

Give us yourself this day,
God in Community, Holy in One,
even as we pray as we are taught,
(The Lord’s Prayer)

Call to Reconciliation
Yes, we remain isolated.  Yes, our hopes are shuttered. Yes, our souls are filled with fear.  Yet, on this day, we remember that God comes to such people.  On this day, we celebrate that the Spirit breathes new life.  On this day, we affirm that Jesus restores us to hew hope.  Behind closed doors, hiding from our fears let us speak of our lives as we pray together, saying,

Unison Prayer for Forgiveness
   O Pentecost’s Spirit – if only we could tell of your wonders in our lives, yet social media and other ways we communicate is filled with anger, bitterness, and political arguments.  If only we could share how you have transformed our lives, but we are stuck in our living spaces, hiding from what is seeking to do us harm.  If only we could pour you out on all those who are lonely, and afraid, and worried about tomorrow, but we are fearful of stepping outside our doors.  
   Even in the closed rooms of our hearts, even with our shuttered souls, you continue to move, to live, to breathe upon us with your mercy and your grace, God of this day.  Now, in this moment, breathe your peace, upon us and a fearful world, so that we might be the balm for all the anger around us.  Now, on this day, breathe your hope upon us, and a desperate world, so that we might drop it off on the porches of all huddling in their homes.  Now, in the moments and days to come, continue to breathe your love upon us, and an uncaring world, so that we might transform grudges into generosity, foolishness into common sense, and rejection into being as welcoming as Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior.     

Silence is kept

Assurance of Pardon
Listen!  It is not an old story, but ours.  It may not happen with a might wind, but with a soft whisper.  But this is our Pentecost.  This is our reminder that God forgives us and fills us with all things new.
Thanks be to God!  God gives us new hope in endless days of despair, new joy in never-ending moments of grief, and new life when we seem to have lost even the simple ability to breathe – this day and in all the days to come.  Amen.  Amen.

Prayer of Dedication/Offering
Blow the dust off our fears, Generous Spirit, so we might be more giving people.  Blow the dust off our material gifts we think are so paltry, so we might realize how they can bring hope and life to others.  Blow the dust off our mistaken views of others, so we might see them as our sisters and brothers, ready to grace us, even as we may bless them with these offerings.  In Jesus’ name, we pray.  Amen.

Great Prayer of Thanksgiving
May the Spirit of Pentecost touch you this day.
And touch you, as well.
May the soft, gentle breeze of love fill your hearts.
We open them to the Spirit who would overflow from our hearts.
May the words of Pentecost offer you new songs.
We will sing praise and thanksgiving to our God.

Wow!  What you do,
God of imagination and wonder!
You breathe your Spirit into chaos
even the confusion in which we are living,
to shatter the emptiness of our hearts
to reshape them into beauty.
you whispered your Word into the silence,
and rivers raced to the oceans
and bugs creepy-crawled across meadows;
   whisper your Word now
   into the silence of our isolation,
      so we might see the butterflies drifting in the air,
      and see the dolphins leaping from the waves.
Like any loving parent, you fed creation with hope,
as you long for us to care for others,
   but we run off with tellers of lies,
   we lock ourselves in death’s quarantine.
Yet these moments of fear and worry are not new,
and so you keep sending those we call prophets.
to tell of what you are doing and will do,
   yet we continue to huddle in with sellers of fear
   to shutter our hears from such words.
So you sent Jesus to us,
to breathe your peace upon us
and to bring us back to you.

With those who continue to live in isolation
yet long to share the Spirit with others,
we will sing your praise forever and ever:

Holy, holy, holy are you, Shattering Spirit.
All creation will sing until it has no more breath.
Hosanna in the highest!

Blessed is the One who stands in our midst speaking peace.
Hosanna in the highest!

Like your glory, may your holiness be eternal,
God of wind and flames,
and may your Child, Jesus, bless us
with words of wonder and joy.
Though we would sit in our loneliness,
   he comes to be with us in love
though we would keep our souls shuttered,
   he comes to throw them wide open
   with grace and hope.
though we would remain hidden away
in death’s cold upper room,
   he enters to take its power
   over us away, so the bright flames
   of the resurrection might dance
   over our lives bringing us hope.

As we would open our hearts to the Spirit,
as we would welcome the peace and power,
we tell of that faith grounded in Pentecost’s mystery:

Drawing his last breath, Christ died for us;
with the sudden breath of the resurrection,
   Christ was raised;
Christ will return, to breathe the Spirit into us forever.

Here in this moment, with people gathered
wherever they are, alone or with others
may you pour the Spirit of Pentecost
upon the simple gifts of the bread and the cup.
with the brokenness of the bread,
we pray hope might dance upon our souls
   so we will might become a mighty wind
   to bring healing to our shattered world.
Drinking from the cup of grace,
we pray it flow through us
   so we might become a fountain
   of unending generosity
      to parched people
      thirsting for life.

And when that day comes
when we no longer need
to shelter in place or isolate from others,
you will gather us around the Table
with our sisters and brothers
of every time, of every place,
breathing the Spirit upon us,
telling us the Word of grace and hope,
as we sing our thanks forever and ever,
God in Community, Holy in One.  Amen.

Sending
The shutters of our hearts have been flung open
by the fresh breath of God!
We will go to offer God’s love to everyone around us
even if only from our living room or porch.
Our souls have been set on fire
by the justice of the Brother of the poor.
We will go to share visions of hope,
to listen to the dreams of the oppressed,
even if only through social media,
a text, or a phone conversation.
Our loneliness and fears will be set aside
by the Spirit of inclusion creating community.
We will speak words of peace to all we meet
even while maintaining a safe distance,
we will open ourselves to the gifts of others
even as we cocoon in place because we love them.

© Thom M. Shuman