Opening Prayer - Strategy Team - 15 June 2016

Mary Beth Stein shared this prayer with the team:

Holy One, for the longest time we have prayed, "Your kingdom come,"
and often we have wanted it to come in a supernatural way that did not ask too much of us. 

We have longed for your reign but imagined it elsewhere,
not recognizing that it truly is a gift you have already given
- - but a gift that calls forth all our own gifts to receive it as fully as you intend. 

Let your kingdom come into our hearts and into our hands,
and help us to activate it in our lives through the choices we make and the relationships we enter. 

May our own self-transcendence cause us to grow in freedom,
and from the place of freedom may we choose to live in compassion and love. 


(Judy Cannato: Field of Compassion: How the New Cosmology is Transforming Spiritual Life, p95.)

Did the Woman Say?

by Frances Croake Frank

Did the woman say, 
When she held him for the first time in the dark of a stable,
After the pain and the bleeding and the crying, 
‘This is my body, this is my blood’? 

Did the woman say, 
When she held him for the last time in the dark rain on a hilltop, 
After the pain and the bleeding and the dying, 
‘This is my body, this is my blood’? 

Well that she said it to him then, 
For dry old men, 
brocaded robes belying barrenness 
Ordain that she not say it for him now.

Quoted in the essay Mary, the Virgin Priest? by Professor Tina Beattie, on the website Women Priests - the Case for Ordaining Women in the Roman Catholic Church

Opening Prayer - Strategy Team meeting - 11 May 2016

Suggested by Ed Shreurs



Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the Pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds, and shall find, me unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll.
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.


A Statement of Faith

Composed by Christina Reymer for the Strategy Team meeting on 27 April 2016 

We believe in God, creating all that is.
We believe in Jesus Christ, incarnate Word,
Conceived by the power of the Spirit ,
And given birth by Mary, his mother.
He suffered injustice, was convicted unjustly
And was executed on the cross and buried.
We believe that Christ is resurrected
And lives on in the world,
Challenging us to walk humbly, love tenderly and to act justly.

We believe in the Spirit of God,
Inspiring the Church to be
a community of faith and action.
We profess our hope that as community,
We will bring reconciliation into the world.

Opening Prayer - Strategy Team Meeting - 30 March 2016

In the name of
the Creator with whom we share divinity,
the redeemer with whom we share humanity, and the Holy Spirit
who unsettles and inspires us.

God of Surprises,
   you call us
       from the narrowness of our traditions
       to new ways of being church
       from the captivities of our culture
       to creative witness for justice
       from the smallness of our horizons
       to the bigness of your vision.               

Clear the way in us, your people,
that we might call others
      to freedom and renewed faith
and that all might know the beauty and power and danger of the gospel,
     especially through the ministerial witness
     of women and men who,
     with their many gifts,
     bring healing to a suffering church and people. 
[Drawn from a prayer written by Gwen Cashmore and Joan Puls in 1992. It is based on 'Hanta Yo', a Lakota Sioux invocation meaning 'Clear the Way';Used for the Prayer Service for Women's Ordination on the 17th Annual World Day of Prayer - 25 March 2011 as created by Women's Ordination Worldwide, Liturgy Committee]