What Wondrous Love

What love you have for us, O Merciful One:
the sparrow chirrups faithfully and
the daffodil sprouts through snow,
joy greets us daily with the sunrise
and grace finds us every night.

What love you have for us, O Forgiving One:
that new visions reveal your relentless hope
though the world is overwrought with war,
that your foolishness surprises our hearts
when cynicism has corrupted our wonder.

What love you have for us, O Beautiful One:
trouble has yielded to delight and
miracles have greeted us in peace,
gladness has overflowed our hearts
and redemption knows our names.

What love you have for us, O Merciful One!

cross-posted at RevGalBlogPals

Waiting for Peace

You are the beginning of all life, O God,
and the foundation of all hope.
You are the joy from which springs peace
and the peace from which blooms love.
We turn our hearts toward you:

Be kind to these weary bones, we pray.
This life withers like grass and
our spirits faint in search of your salvation,
yet we seek your glory rather than our own
because your promises do not fail or fade.

Merciful God, hear those who are crying out
for rough paths to be made smooth,
for treacherous climbs to be made low.
Speak comfort to your people, O God Most High.
Assure the oppressed that their relief is long overdue.

Hasten the day when justice is realized,
when children are safe from predators
and creation is safe from selfish consumption.
Turn aside our leaders from greed and vanity,
so the most vulnerable might be unburdened.

We wait for you, Mighty and Magnificent God,
more than the sun waits to crest the horizon,
more than the river waits to carve its path,
more than the stars wait to dissolve into fire.
Our beginning, our end: we await your coming.

 

Upcoming Events

In the coming weeks and months, catch up with me at the following events:

VBS FOR CHURCH LEADERS 2015: June 15-18
As part of the Center for Progressive Renewal’s weeklong webinar series for church leaders, I’ll be hosting an hour-long webinar on Tuesday, June 16, entitled “Free to Believe, You and Me: Out-of-the-box children’s faith formation.” Join me for ideas to empower and enliven children’s spirituality in your congregation — and maybe teach a thing or two to grown-ups, too.

THERE’S A WOMAN IN THE PULPIT BOOK SIGNING: June 28
Attendees of the UCC’s General Synod in Cleveland at the end of June can find me and six other fabulous RevGals on Sunday morning in the convention center exhibit hall signing copies of the RevGalBlogPals’ newest book, There’s A Woman in the Pulpit: Christian Clergywomen Share Their Hard Days, Holy Moments & the Healing Power of Humor.

REVive 2015 – FINDING FAITH WHERE YOU LIVE: October 11-14
Where you are impacts how you are, according to a multitude of surveys on the best places to live, the healthiest states, the happiest small cities, the best companies to work for, and more. Where you are correlates to how you are. So friends, where are you? And how is your faith doing where you are? Develop practices for finding faith where you live at REVive 2015, a continuing education event of RevGalBlogPals. (20 Contact Hours – 2 CEUs)

Rachael HeckenbergInterested in having me speak at an event or facilitate a retreat? Drop me an email to brainstorm a speaking engagement — and in the meantime, I hope to see you online or in person at these events!

 

Monday Muse: There’s a Woman in the Pulpit

There are books about ministry that are theoretical.

There are books about ministry that are practical.

There are books about ministry that are methodological.

RevGals coverThis is a book about ministry that is personal.

Deeply and beautifully personal.

Personal as in: persons bearing Christ in the particularities of life & ministry. Personal as in: intimate insights, both hilarious and heartbreaking, shared authentically by clergywomen. Personal as in: these women are friends and colleagues of mine, both IRL (in real life) and online. Personal as in: this is how ministry is and should be — in person, not in theory.

There’s a Woman in the Pulpit: Christian Clergywomen Share Their Hard Days, Holy Moments & the Healing Power of Humor is a book about the doing but most of all about the being of ministry, told through the particular experiences and lenses of clergywomen. I read this book — crying, laughing, sighing, reaching for another tissue — and I think with gratitude, “These are my people.”

And they are.

I first connected with RevGalBlogPals in 2009 when I began turning to their 11th Hour Preacher Party on Saturdays for preaching encouragement, and soon I joined their blogging ring. It is a blessing to be a part of the RevGalBlogPals network, a community founded in the days of pseudonymous blogging when several women in ministry connected with one another online and decided that they needed a name and a tshirt. Ten years later, the organization offers daily prayers, lectionary insights, blogging prompts, book reviews, continuing education opportunities, ministry wisdom, and more.

I’m proud of the books I’ve written and those I’ve contributed to, but There’s a Woman in the Pulpit is especially dear to me, because these pages bear witness to the community of RevGalBlogPals: a “gal”ship (as opposed to a “fellow”ship) that spans 4 continents, 20 denominations, 300 blogs, and more than 2500 Facebook group members — gals and pals who have given life to one another, held out faith for one another, and collectively emboldened women who answer God’s call to ordained ministry.

While my review of There’s a Woman in the Pulpit is hardly unbiased — I’ve written several pieces for the book — I gladly commend the book to you on the basis of the writing & stories shared by my colleagues. This is a book for every clergyperson (women and men), for every person who is exploring a call to ordained ministry, for every church that has called or that resists calling a female pastor, and for everyone who is committed to loving & supporting clergywomen.