Wednesday
Jan232013

YES!

It's true: sometimes we get discouraged over here at SALT because it seems as if God's church is in decline.  When that happens, we take some time to listen to Israel Houghton's, "Trading My Sorrows" and it makes us feel so much better!

Tell us, where do you find your inspiration?

Friday
Dec212012

gentle god

God is breathing gently,
God never hurries,
Is never anxious or pressing,
God just waits,
Breathing gently upon us
With great tenderness
Until we look to God -
And, knowingly,
Nod.

+ Edwina Gateley

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Thanks to Edwina Gateley - poet, theologian, artist, writer, lay minister, modern-day mystic, prophet, and single mom - for her soft and beautiful words.  Also, thanks to Kent Clark for capturing these gentle and tender boys in the countryside of Zimbabwe.

Wednesday
Dec192012

sighs too deep for words

Thanks be to God, God's sweet Spirit is being poured out on clergy and religious leaders across the country in this time of trial to "help us in our weakness: for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but that very Spirit intercedes with sighs too deep for words." + Romans 8:26

And a special SALT thank you to Rev. Richard L. Spleth, Regional Minister for the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Indiana, for this beautiful prayer. 

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Eternal God, we turn to you in pain and anguish in the death of so many of your children in Connecticut this week.  Hear our prayer of sorrow for the loss of innocent lives and the loss of innocence for so many others who witnessed this horrific event.  We pray for the families of these victims and all the families of the Newtown community as they attempt to care and comfort one another.

Even as we make our way through Advent preparing for the birth of the Christ child we remember that story also includes a tragic episode.  Another deranged individual, a king with power, avenges Christ's birth by ordering the deaths of young children.  The pain of that loss echoes through the centuries in the words of the scripture:

"A voice was heard in Ramah, wailing and loud lamentation, Rachel weeping for her children; she refused to be consoled because they are no more."

New voices have been heard to that wail this week, and we add our own lamentation, not only for the lives lost in Connecticut but for all the ways in which your children, your beloved and holy creation, are hurt and injured.

So help us protect one another O God so that all live with a sense of safety.  Help us care for one another in a time of loss.  Help us find ways to assist those whose lives are filled with despair so that they are not of danger to themselves or others.  Help us live with hope again when dreams are dashed and the future seems insecure.  In those times in particular, O God, we need you ever near.  Let your Spirit bring healing salve for broken hearts this day.  Sustain us with your power, we pray in Jesus' name.  Amen.

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Thanks also to Hamed Masoumi for this gorgeous photo that can be found in his collection entitled, "Feelings of a Stoned Face."

Thursday
Dec132012

come thou long expected jesus

If you're looking for a multi-media way to walk your congregation through the stories of old until the birth of God wrapped up in flesh - look no further!  

This beautiful worship short is available over at Worship House Media but, if it were up to us over here at SALT, we might play this film silently and pipe in Mumford and Sons, "I Will Wait" (just for a little, banjo-picking fun!).

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Thanks to The Skit Guys Studio for creating such beauty!

Tuesday
Nov272012

a week of hope

The mysterious season of Advent is almost here.  It is a season of waiting, longing, and calling out for God to be more present in this broken yet beautiful world.  At SALT, we want to make the most of the four weeks leading up to Christmas by lighting candles, reading scripture, praying, and meditating - wanna join us?  

All you have to do is visit us often throughout the next few weeks for ideas, practices, poetry, photography, and fun ideas to get ready for Christmas.  

So, without further adieu, here’s a little service you can do alone, with your spouse, or with your family this Sunday to start the season off right! 

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Read:

Psalm 25:1-10

Light:

One Candle 

Speak Out Loud:

“O my God, in you I trust; do not let me be put to shame…do not let those who wait for you be put to shame…”

Meditation:

Advent is a time of waiting, watching, and praying for God to be made more present in the world.  As Christians, we believe that love is stronger than hate, peace more enduring than war, and that God’s hope will extinguish forever the shadows of shame cast by war, sickness, violence, and absence of tenderness.

God buries hope in the tiniest moments – a smile offered to a stranger, a plate of cookies for a lonely neighbor, a prayer lifted up for the people of Rwanda – and the world is never the same!

Pray:

Loving God, during this season of dark, blue shadows, illuminate every heart so that the shadows of shame might take flight, and the light of your hope might take root in our lives.  Amen.

Practice Hope:

Word AIDS Day, Saturday, December 1 – pray without ceasing that the stigma and shame of HIV/AIDS might be lifted and that medicine might be available for everyone.

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Thanks to Anders Ruff Custom Designs for these sweeter than sweet Advent Calendar Printable Mittens.  We heart them!