From My Kitchen

Ministry has allowed me to cook up lots of wonderful things. Here you’ll find some of the ideas and resources of which I’m particularly proud and eager to offer to support and nurture yourself, your family and your church community.

Resources for Pandemic Worship

This Year: An Easter Pageant for a Pandemic Year

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This is story of resurrection and hope as it feels right now. We are still in a pandemic and we are still waiting for what the future will hold. There is hope and new life but it is not the full brass that was once familiar. 

It is a story based in the Gospel of Mark intended for asynchronous online worship with entry points for all ages that includes both of the endings in this gospel with space to wonder about our future after the pandemic. It is a story that focuses on the liminal space between Good Friday and Easter Sunday and imagines arguments, expectant preparation and the need for joy in all that is unknown.

It is told in seven scenes intended to be filmed in seven different households with suggestions for props, locations and costumes to best set the scene. There are five suggested short video clips to help tell the story in a way that is meaningful within the life of your faith community and two or more narrators that help weave the story together. 

I was honored to write this pageant with one of my former youth who is now a student in seminary. Their talent shines through in this wonderful invitation to tell the good news in a meaningful way this year.

Easter Watch: A Service to Share in the Hope of the Resurrection

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Adapted from the Easter Watch service from the United Church of Christ’s Book of Worship, this service in the hope of the resurrection has some familiar notes from the Easter Vigil but this one is really focused around quiet contemplation around a bonfire as the sun begins to rise.

It’s a service to welcome the possibility without knowing really what will come next but there are things to wonder and ways to keep our hands busy as we wait for creation to reveal the promise of hope.

This is intended to be a socially-distanced gathering with masks for early on Easter morning. The service concludes just after sunrise when the possibility of the day awaits.

Resources for Personal Prayer

Twinkly Lights in Blue Days: An Advent Devotional for the Grieving and Brokenhearted
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These daily devotions through the blue days of Advent don’t leap into Christmas hope but wander through the aching and longing echoed through sacred scripture. Written from my own experience of loss, these words invite the grieving and brokenhearted to notice that God is here.These tender and honest words aren’t for those that believe that this is the most wonderful time of year, but are instead written with love for those for whom this time of year is very, very hard.

This version has been updated follows the calendar from December 1st to December 24th. It also includes a new resource to continue your grief journey.

Prayer Partners 
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Most of us don’t know how to begin to pray — and far too many are looking for the perfect practice or method. But, there no such thing. Prayer Partners is a friend who will join you on the journey – who will encourage you and nudge you when you’re not doing the things you said you needed. It’s someone that will laugh and cry with you in prayer. It’s someone to talk to about what it means to be a Christian in a changing world. It’s not a method but a relationship.

This resource seeks to guide individuals, pastors and others looking to partner in prayer through the the journey of partnering in prayer.

Resources for Small Groups

Twinkly Lights in Blue Days Group Discussion Guide
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Perhaps there have been years where you were ready to deck the halls. You relished in the twinkly lights lit up all over town, but this year is different. Grief has come. Your heart has broken and so you can’t approach Christmas as you did before.

This year, you need more space to tend to your sorrow and loss. You don’t want to push these emotions away but feel that rawness echoed in sacred scripture and you want to find a trusted circle to share in naming every lamentation of 2020.

Through selections from scripture and conversation prompts, this discussion guide seeks to lead a group of brave souls to name the losses of this year. Following the four weeks of Advent, the group members are invited into individual exploration with a brief reflection and prayerful questions before the group meets. When the group meets, presumably via internet connection, a template for the conversation is provided so that this small group might practice in naming what hurts most and hopefully finding again that God is here.

Toward Transformation: A Lenten Discovery
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Move toward transformation by choosing one thing — just one thing — in your life that you want to change. In this six-week study, following the readings from the Book of Psalms in Year A of the Revised Common Lectionary, you’ll move through the wide array of human emotion in the Psalms as you realize the power of Resurrection in your very own body.

Do You Have An Idea for a Small Group Ministry?
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This is a wonderful opportunity for a group within or outside of a congregation to find greater connection with their own bodies, each other and God during the Season of Lent.

In eight simple steps, this generic outline provides a simple how to for any lay person to begin to imagine and lead their own small group ministry. Starting with an idea, it lays the groundwork toward realizing growth and renewal for a new group within the life of any congregation.