The Great Ache

•June 8, 2017 • Leave a Comment

Joan Didion, in The Year of Magical Thinking, captures it: 

“Grief is different. Grief has no distance. Grief comes in waves, paroxysms, sudden apprehensions that weaken the knees and blind the eyes and obliterate the dailiness of life.” 

(Pamela Cytrynbaum) @pamcyinjustice 

The Great Ache


For we have this hope

•March 1, 2017 • Leave a Comment

As an anchor for our soul
You are with us
We will never be alone

Into every life a little rain must fall

•February 27, 2017 • Leave a Comment

Into every life a little rain must fall
And losing one you love is like a storm
But storms are passing

Silencing the voice of mortal tragedy
Listening to whispers of the soul
All is peaceful

(Wayne Kirkpatrick and Michael W. Smith)

“Why are the nations so angry? Why do they waste their time with futile plans? The kings of the earth prepare for battle; the rulers plot together against the LORD and against his anointed one. “Let us break their chains,” they cry, “and free ourselves from slavery to God.” But the one who rules in heaven laughs. The Lord scoffs at them. Then in anger he rebukes them, terrifying them with his fierce fury. For the Lord declares, “I have placed my chosen king on the throne in Jerusalem, on my holy mountain.” The king proclaims the LORD’s decree: “The LORD said to me, ‘You are my son. Today I have become your Father. Only ask, and I will give you the nations as your inheritance, the whole earth as your possession. You will break them with an iron rod and smash them like clay pots.’” Now then, you kings, act wisely! Be warned, you rulers of the earth! Serve the LORD with reverent fear, and rejoice with trembling. Submit to God’s royal son, or he will become angry, and you will be destroyed in the midst of all your activities— for his anger flares up in an instant. But what joy for all who take refuge in him!”

•January 1, 2017 • Leave a Comment

Psalms 2:1-12 NLT

“Speechless” album by Steven Curtis Chapman on Apple Music

•August 14, 2016 • Leave a Comment

Listening to “I Do Believe” by #StevenCurtisChapman on @AppleMusic. @stevencurtis:-> @StevenCurtisChapman #instagram

A Lament in the wake of the Bastille Day terror attack in Nice.

•July 16, 2016 • Leave a Comment

We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed…. 

2 Corinthians 4 

God, whose presence we yearn toward in the stillness after our shaken, broken voices and the fires of violence fall silent: we have no words left.

The words others have said: “horrific” “worst” “unspeakable” “impossible”

have been spoken so many times that we can no longer hear them.

Our hearts have broken so often, we cannot feel.

Our hope has been tried, and, we confess in sorrow,

has been found wanting.

There has been too much terror, and not enough answers

too many lost lives with too little time to grieve them all

too much violation of the ordinary and not enough glimpse of the holy to hold us fast.

But You, oh God: beyond our words, beneath our hope:

be the creative breath that orders our chaos

the mercy and justice that compels us to action

the Love that is stronger than death.

We ask you again, for we have nowhere else to turn—

Hold us fast, when we cannot hold on any longer.

Walk with us through the valley of the shadow

Turn us away from despair, that we may not grow weary in well-doing

Triune God, grant us liberté, égalité, fraternité:

    …the liberty of your love that conquers fear and evil

…the mind of your Son, who did not consider equality with You a thing to be exploited, but emptied himself

…the fraternity of your Spirit, beyond our divisions, to bind us together as one family in your kindom of mercy and peace. Amen. 

The Rev. Dr. Laurie A Kraus 

Presbyterian Disaster Assistance

Evening Prayer Service after Epiphany

•January 21, 2015 • Leave a Comment


O God, make speed to save us.
O Lord, make haste to help us.

From the rising of the sun to its setting
your glory is proclaimed in all the world.
Come, Now is the Time to Worship

                     Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing

One or more of the following is said or sung:

this or another prayer of thanksgiving

Blessed are you, Sovereign God,
our light and our salvation,
to you be glory and praise for ever.
You gave your Christ as a light to the nations,
and through the anointing of the Spirit
you established us as a royal priesthood.
As you call us into your marvelous light,
may our lives bear witness to your truth
and our lips never cease to proclaim your praise.
Blessed be God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
Blessed be God for ever.            

O worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness!
Bow down before him, his glory proclaim;
with gold of obedience, and incense of lowliness,
kneel and adore him, the Lord is his name!

Low at his feet lay thy burden of carefulness,
high on his heart he will bear it for thee,
comfort thy sorrows, and answer thy prayerfulness,
guiding thy steps as may best for thee be.

Fear not to enter his courts in the slenderness
of the poor wealth thou wouldst reckon as thine:
truth in its beauty, and love in its tenderness,
these are the offerings to lay on his shrine.

These though we bring them in trembling and fearfulness,
he will accept for the name that is dear;
mornings of joy give for evenings of tearfulness,
trust for our trembling and hope for our fear.

O worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness!
Bow down before him, his glory proclaim;
with gold of obedience, and incense of lowliness,
kneel and adore him, the Lord is his name!        
J S B Monsell

This opening prayer may be said

That this evening may be holy, good and peaceful,
let us pray with one heart and mind.

Silence is kept.

As our evening prayer rises before you, O God,
so may your mercy come down upon us
to cleanse our hearts

and set us free to sing your praise
now and for ever.
O Lord, To You

Refrain:    You created all things, O God,

and are worthy of our praise for ever.


You are worthy, our Lord and God,
to receive glory and honour and power.


For you have created all things,
and by your will they have their being.


You are worthy, O Lamb, for you were slain,
and by your blood you ransomed for God
saints from every tribe and language and nation.


You have made them to be a kingdom and priests
serving our God,
and they will reign with you on earth.

Revelation 4.11; 5.9b, 10

To the One who sits on the throne and to the Lamb
be blessing and honour and glory and might,

for ever and ever. Amen.


You created all things, O God,
and are worthy of our praise for ever.

To Him Who Sits On The Throne



These scriptural verses are to be used throughout the time

after Epiphany (from the Baptism of the Lord through the

Transfiguration of the Lord) as a repeating, seasonal “envelope”

around the Prayer of Confession for the day.

Though darkness covers the earth,             Isa. 60:2

and thick darkness the peoples;

the Lord will arise; God’s glory will appear.


That this evening may be holy, good and peaceful:
we pray to you, O Lord.


That your holy angels may lead us in the paths of peace

and goodwill:
we pray to you, O Lord.


That we may be pardoned and forgiven for our sins and offences:
we pray to you, O Lord.


That there may be peace in your Church and for the whole world:
we pray to you, O Lord.


That we may be bound together by your Holy Spirit,
in communion with all your saints,
entrusting one another and all our life to Christ:
we pray to you, O Lord.


Arise, shine; for your light has come!             Isa. 60:1

The glory of the Lord has risen upon you.




Almighty and ever-living God, ruler of all things in heaven and earth,

hear our prayers for this congregation and community.

Strengthen the faithful,

arouse the careless, and restore the penitent.

Grant us all things necessary for our common life,

and bring us all to be of one heart and mind

within your holy church;

through Jesus Christ our Lord.


The Response here may be sung after each of the following petitions:

“O Lord, Hear My Prayer… when I call, answer me… Come and listen to me.”


In peace, let us pray to Jesus our Lord,
who ever lives to make intercession for us.


Savior of the world,
be present in all places of suffering, violence and pain,
and bring hope even in the darkest night.

Inspire us to continue your work of reconciliation today. R


Lord of the Church,
empower by your Spirit all Christian people,
and the work of your Church in every land.
Give us grace to proclaim the gospel joyfully in word and deed. R


Shepherd and Guardian of our souls,
guide and enable all who lead and serve this community
and those on whom we depend for our daily needs.
Grant that we may seek the peace and welfare of this place. R


Great Physician,
stretch out your hand to bring comfort, wholeness and peace
to all who suffer in body, mind, or spirit.
Fill us with compassion, that we may be channels of
your healing love. R


Conqueror of death,
remember for good those whom we love but see no longer.
Help us to live this day in the sure and certain hope of
your eternal victory. R


Let us commend ourselves, and all for whom we pray,
to the mercy and protection of God.


Open prayer may be offered and silence is kept.

The Collect and Lord’s Prayer follow.



Lighten our darkness,
Lord, we pray,
and in your great mercy
defend us from all perils and dangers of this night,
for the love of your only Son,
our Saviour Jesus Christ.