Friday, September 26, 2014

Friday Five--Fall Goodies!


It's Friday, and you know what that means... Yes, a Friday Five from the RevGals! This week, to celebrate fall, we're looking at yummy stuff...always a favourite of mine.
So here we go...
1. What's your best homemade treat? Is it worth all the effort? (It doesn't have to be something canned.)
I used to make apple butter every year. I lived in the Washington DC area at the time, and we would take a Sunday afternoon, drive out into the country for lunch somewhere, and stop at an orchard on the way home, I'd pick up a bushel or so of apples, and then I would spend a day cooking them down into apple butter--which is basically applesauce that you keep cooking until it is thick, I canned it and used it for Christmas gifts, but I kept several jars--we loved it on toast! Worth the effort--yes. Would I do it now? Sadly, I no longer have the time or equipment (dutch oven, pressure cooker) to make it.
2. At our house, applesauce and football are the harbingers of fall. What are they at your house?
Caramel and apples. Caramel apples, caramel apple pie, apple crisp (one of my faves!), apple butter, cider, apples and cheddar cheese...etc. Football used to be, but not so much these days, with the Tigers in the playoffs and all... :D
3. Someone gave me an "automatic" apple peeler from one of those home cooking product shows. (It doesn't work all that great.) What's one kitchen contraption or tool you'd gladly trade me for it?
I used to have a bread maker. Space waster is more like it. Yes, it did all the mixing and kneading and rising and punching and baking for you...but that was part of the point of making my own bread. I loved going through the whole process, being able to spend a day making bread. A friend of mine makes artisanal bread, and I love his descriptions of making the various kinds of bread. He even made the bread for his recent wedding dinner!
So yeah, I'll take your cheesy apple peeler and give you my useless bread machine any time.
4. Whose the best chef in your home? Why?
I am the one and only chef--Dylan, my feline room-mate, is best at making messes. 
5. Cider, apple juice, or hard cider? Discuss.
Cider if it is fresh--like right now, this time of year. Hard cider the rest of the year. I like it as a lighter alternative to beer--and it also goes well with cheese and crackers (my favourite late-night snack). 

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Lectionary Liturgy September 28, 2014 (NL)

Call to Worship
One: May the Holy One answer you when you are in distress; may the name of the God of Jacob protect you. 
Many: May God send you help from the sanctuary and grant you support from Zion; may God remember all your sacrifices and accept your burnt offerings.
One:  May God give you the desire of your heart and make all your plans succeed.  Many: We will shout for joy when you are victorious and will lift up our banners in the name of our God.
One: May the Holy One grant all your requests. 
Many: Now I know that God saves God’s anointed; God answers the anointed one from holy heaven with the saving power of God’s right hand. 
One: Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Holy One our God. 
Many:  They are brought to their knees and fall, but we rise up and stand firm. 

Reconciliation/Assurance of Pardon
One: Reconciliation is truth-telling—our faults and foibles, our stumbles and our falls. Let us go to God in prayer.
Many: Holy One, we are not the people we want to be. We have failed you and ourselves, through carelessness, thoughtlessness, laziness, inattention. We have claimed to be your followers, and yet we have fallen short of the standards we have set for ourselves as your people. Forgive us our shortcomings, all our weakness and foolishness. Give us your grace and wisdom that we may be encouraged to rise and try again.
One: Gracious and loving God, you from whom no secrets may be withheld, you know when we have risen above those faults, when we have recovered from our stumbles to do better. My sisters and brothers, what can separate us from the love of God? Nothing at all. In the name of Christ, we are forgiven.

Many: In the name of Christ, we are forgiven! 

Communion
One: God is with you!
Many: And also with you!
One: God the Creator has made all things good!
Many: Thanks and praise to the Creator!
One: Holy One, from a great void your creative powers formed the cosmos, from the largest stars to the smallest creatures; and you declared all of them good. Yet we humans, placed just below you, forgot this and have put all creation under our heel, declaring ourselves to be in charge of creation. You sent your prophets to point out the errors of our ways, but we did not listen. Your beloved child, Jesus the Christ, came to us to show us a new way of life, of living, of love—and we still turned away. Speak to us again in these gifts of creation, of grain from the hills, and the fruit of the vine, that we may remember your love for all creation.
On the night before Jesus gave up his life for us, he gathered with his closest friends and shared one last meal with them. At that meal, he took the bread, blessed it after the manner of his people, broke it, and shared it with his friends, saying:
Many: This is my body, opened for you.
One: When the meal was over, Jesus took the cup, and blessed it after the manner of his people, and passed it to his friends, saying:
Many: This is my love, poured out freely for you and for all nations.
One: And when we eat this bread and drink from this cup
Many: We remember Jesus’ promise and the mystery of our faith: Christ has died, Christ is risen, Christ will come again! Go and tell.
One: Spirit of the living God, pour out your grace and your presence on these gifts of grain and grape. Make them be for us whatever we need them to be, that we may be reminded of your gracious love for us, now and always. Amen.

Benediction:
God be in your head and in your understanding, God be in your eyes and in your looking; God be in your mouth and in your speaking, God be in your heart and in your thinking; God be in you end and at your departing. Amen. (Traditioal Celtic; attributed to St. Patrick)

Friday, September 19, 2014

Lectionary Liturgy--Narrative Lectionary, September 21, 2014


Liturgy for September 21, 2014, Narrative Lectionary
Focus: Joseph

Call to Worship
One: God is my strength, my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; God is my rock, in whom I take refuge.
Many:  I call to God, who is worthy of praise, and I am saved from my enemies. 
One: The cords of death entangled me; the torrents of destruction overwhelmed me.  In my distress I called to God; I cried to the Holy One for help. From his temple he heard my voice; my cry came before him, into his ears.
Many: God reached down from on high and took hold of me; he drew me out of deep waters. God rescued me from my powerful enemy, from my foes, who were too strong for me.  God brought me out into a spacious place; he rescued me because he delighted in me. 
One: You, O God, keep my lamp burning; my God turns my darkness into light
Many: The Holy One lives! Praise be to my Rock! Exalted be God my Saviour! Therefore I will praise you among the nations, O God; I will sing praises to your name.

(from Psalm 18)

Reconciliation
One: My sisters and brothers, we know we have not done what we wanted to do, and we have done what we did not want to do—we have not lived into our best selves. When we release our mistakes and resolve to do better in the future, God is with us, to give us the grace to let go of wrongs and to embrace what is right. Let us pray.
Many: Holy One, we acknowledge our failure to be your face of love and hope in the world. We welcome your forgiving arms around us and the blessings of hope and courage to do what we know is right. Beginning now, we will strive to be the best person we can be, with your grace and encouragement in our hearts.
One: By the grace of God, you are forgiven!
Many: You are forgiven!

Communion
One: God is with you!
Many: And also with you!
One: God the Creator has made all things good!
Many: Thanks and praise to the Creator!
One: Holy One, from a great void your creative powers formed the cosmos, from the largest stars to the smallest creatures; and you declared all of them good. Yet we humans, placed just below you, forgot this and have put all creation under our heel, declaring ourselves to be in charge of creation. You sent your prophets to point out the errors of our ways, but we did not listen. Your beloved child, Jesus the Christ, came to us to show us a new way of life, of living, of love—and we still turned away. Speak to us again in these gifts of creation, of grain from the hills, and the fruit of the vine, that we may remember your love for all creation.
On the night before Jesus gave up his life for us, he gathered with his closest friends and shared one last meal with them. At that meal, he took the bread, blessed it after the manner of his people, broke it, and shared it with his friends, saying:
Many: This is my body, opened for you.
One: When the meal was over, Jesus took the cup, and blessed it after the manner of his people, and passed it to his friends, saying:
Many: This is my love, poured out freely for you and for all nations.
One: And when we eat this bread and drink from this cup
Many: We remember Jesus’ promise and the mystery of our faith: Christ has died, Christ is risen, Christ will come again! Go and tell.
One: Spirit of the living God, pour out your grace and your presence on these gifts of grain and grape. Make them be for us whatever we need them to be, that we may be reminded of your gracious love for us, now and always. Amen.

Benediction
One: Go now in peace, knowing you do not go alone.
Many: Even when there is no light and I feel lost, God is with me.
One: The blessing and presence of our living God, creator, redeemer and sustainer, go with you always.
Many: Amen.

Friday Five—Discovery!


RevGals meme this week:
Only afterwards, do we realize that we have "found" something that we like--like a new way to look at something; a new (to me) author; a new song or hymn; a new food. Today share with us something that you like that seemed surprisingly "new" to you sometime in the near past. It could even be a RE-discovery.
Here is a list, but you can choose your own five items you would like to share! Please join us today in playing FF.
1. author
2. shampoo
3. food
4. activity
5. music
So here goes! Mine are a bit different than the suggested list.

1. Activity: When I was around 10 or 12, I became interested in yoga—I am not sure why, but I was interested enough to attend a couple of classes at the university in my hometown, and to receive a book on the topic for Christmas. Over time, I found other activities—volleyball, canoeing, gardening, hiking, Jazzercise—and put it aside. But more recently I have come back to it, first through some classes a year or so ago, and now with a DVD at home. It’s not only stress relief; it helps keep me limber—important for those of us with arthritis… Most recently I have had to lay it aside as I deal with some back issues (I know, if I had been more consistent with the yoga, I might not have the back issues right now…). I am looking forward to getting back into it!

2. Music:  A friend introduced me to Dead Can Dance. I was very sceptical at first, but they grew on me and are one of my favourite alternative groups now. 

3. Author: Another friend recommended Linda Fairstein’s Alex Cooper series of mystery/crime novels. Set in New York City, the central character is a prosecuting attorney specializing in sexual crimes and crimes against children. Each of the books in the series focuses on a different historical site in NYC—Poe’s home, the Central Library, the Met, Central Park, MoMA, Grand Central Station, etc.  I like them partly because of the historical focus, but also because while Alex is experienced and very good at what she does (and independently wealthy, too, so she can do things most prosecutors can’t, like escape to her house on Cape Cod), she can be scared, intimidated, angry, etc. I like that she’s not perfect. I did a binge read a few weeks ago, trying to catch up, and now I wish I had a few more to read!


4. Gift/Talent: I am being intentional about writing—something, anything--every day. It might be poetry, or a blog post (hello!), or the sermon, or some liturgy (almost a necessity now that we are using the Narrative Lectionary), or something else (more on that at another time)—but something. Until recently, my talent with words, or at least, my enjoyment of writing, was mostly put into my sermons. But there are things I want to say that don’t always fit into a sermon. Thus, other forms of literature!


5. Food: Anticipating a bit here, but planning to get back into soups for meals. It’s partly the time of year and partly the rediscovery of how good and filling soup can be—and how easy it is to make! Crockpot, here I come! And with the winter they are predicting for us here in Central Canada (not as much snow as last year, but just as cold!), I think I will appreciate soup even more!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Narrative Lectionary Liturgy for September 14, 2014 "On a Journey..."


Liturgy to go with the Narrative Lectionary readings for September 14. 

Call to Worship
One: Keep me safe, O God, for I have come to you for refuge.
Many:  I said to God, “You are my Benefactor! Every good thing I have comes from you.”
One: God, you alone are my inheritance, my cup of blessing. You guard all that is mine.
Many: I will bless the Holy One who guides me; even at night my heart instructs me.
One: I know God is always with me. I will not be shaken, for God is right beside me.
Many: No wonder my heart is glad, and I rejoice. My body rests in safety.
One:  You will show me the way of life,
Many: Granting me the joy of your presence and the pleasures of living with you forever.

(from Psalm 16)

Reconciliation/Assurance of Pardon
One: How often, Holy One, have we made promises to one another and to you and not kept them? Give us selfless and giving spirits, to share what we have—the world’s goods, our time, our skills and talents, ourselves—with our sisters and brothers, both far away and in our own homes. Forgive us our selfishness and narrow-mindedness and grant us grace to be open-hearted and open-handed. In the name of Christ, you are forgiven!
Many: In the name of Christ, you are forgiven!

Communion
One: God is with you!
Many: And also with you!
One: God the Creator has made all things good!
Many: Thanks and praise to the Creator!
One: Holy One, from a great void your creative powers formed the cosmos, from the largest stars to the smallest creatures; and you declared all of them good. Yet we humans, placed just below you, forgot this and have put all creation under our heel, declaring ourselves to be in charge of creation. You sent your prophets to point out the errors of our ways, but we did not listen. Your beloved child, Jesus the Christ, came to us to show us a new way of life, of living, of love—and we still turned away. Speak to us again in these gifts of creation, of grain from the hills, and the fruit of the vine, that we may remember your love for all creation.
On the night before Jesus gave up his life for us, he gathered with his closest friends and shared one last meal with them. At that meal, he took the bread, blessed it after the manner of his people, broke it, and shared it with his friends, saying:
Many: This is my body, opened for you.
One: When the meal was over, Jesus took the cup, and blessed it after the manner of his people, and passed it to his friends, saying:
Many: This is my love, poured out freely for you and for all nations.
One: And when we eat this bread and drink from this cup
Many: We remember Jesus’ promise and the mystery of our faith: Christ has died, Christ is risen, Christ will come again! Go and tell.
One: Spirit of the living God, pour out your grace and your presence on these gifts of grain and grape. Make them be for us whatever we need them to be, that we may be reminded of your gracious love for us, now and always. Amen.

Benediction
One: God is with us!
Many: God is with us always!
One: Go in peace and in the knowledge of God’s loving presence with you, now and always. Amen.
Many: Amen!

Friday, September 05, 2014

Friday Five--Must See!

Willistead Manor
The RevGals theme for the Friday Five this week is Must-Sees--what are the things/places/restaurants/ sights/etc. people shouldn't miss?

This one's easy--there's a lot more than five!

1. Ojibway Nature Trail and Preserve. It's home to wetlands and endangered species, as well as other wildlife. There are some great trails, too--and all on the bank of the Detroit River!

2. Restaurants: What kind of cuisine do you prefer? We probably have it in Windsor! Everything from Ethiopian to Ukrainian, Italian (lots and lots of great ones, and an entire Via Italia) to Tex-Mex, Caribbean to Middle-Eastern (also lots of good ones), Greek, sushi, Thai, Southern BBQ (excellent, by the way)... There's a huge variety of restaurants in Windsor--come explore!

3. Walkerville--the whole area! It was originally a separate town, and the location of the original Ford plant in Canada, as well as the Walker distillery. Some beautiful architecture, great  restaurants (try Twisted Apron, Lorelei's Bistro--for special occasions--Willistead, and Taloola Cafe), a gorgeous historic house, Willistead Manor (owned by the city and a popular wedding venue--I'm officiating a wedding there for the first time next week), Willistead Park (the grounds of the manor, and home to Art In the Park, a fantastic art fair held every June). There are tours of the distillery, and also Rumrunners tours, telling the story of the days of US Prohibition, when a lot of bootleg booze was smuggled across the Detroit River and Lake St. Clair.

4. Sandwich Town--the original British town, settled where the Native Americans had a village. There are also historic homes here and some restaurants, St. John's Anglican Church is nice, and Bedford United Church is built on the interesting Dayton Plan. This is where the early days of the War of 1812 took place, when, as a Canadian friend says, the Americans invaded and said, "We are here to rescue you from the British!" The Canadians replied, "We LIKE the British!" and drove the Americans out.

5. Lunch/dinner on Ouelette Ave. This is the heart of downtown Windsor, and again, there are many excellent restaurants of a wide variety. Sitting out on one of the many patios, enjoying a good meal and beverage of choice, is a wonderful way to spend the afternoon...tempting me right now, in fact! It reminds me of the time I spent in Germany, and how much I enjoyed the sidewalk cafes there--something of the same feel.

It's the Friday Five, and there's five--but I just have to add a couple more.

Riverfront Plaza, on the water, hosts a different festival every weekend from May to October--Blues, Jazz, BBQ cookoffs, the Pride Festival, Carousel of Nations (food of every variety-see #2 above).

The riverfront in general--a park runs for miles along the Detroit River, with benches, playgrounds, sculpture, and a few small bistros here and there. Another wonderful summer afternoon pleasure is sitting and watching all the boats go by--cargo ships full of ore, transport ships with cargo boxes, speed boats from the marina, sailboats, tankers, even a few canoes and kayaks.

Yes, I love living in Windsor!


Monday, September 01, 2014

Liturgy for Narrative Lectionary September 7, 2014 -- Noah and Creation


As threatened promised, here's my take on liturgy for this coming Sunday's Narrative Lectionary. I will try to post these each week for the coming Sunday. I am basing the calls to worship on the Psalms.

Call to Worship
One:  O God, your majestic name fills the earth! Your glory is higher than the heavens.
Many: You have taught children and infants to tell of your strength, silencing your enemies and all who oppose you.
One: When I look at the night sky and see the work of your fingers—the moon and the stars you set in place—what are mere mortals that you should think about them, human beings that you should care for them?
Many: Yet you made them only a little lower than God and crowned them with glory and honour.
One: You gave them charge of everything you made, putting all things under their authority—the flocks and the herds and all the wild animals, the birds in the sky, the fish in the sea, and everything that swims the ocean currents.
Many: Holy One, our God, your majestic name fills the earth!

 (based on Psalm 8)

Reconciliation/Assurance of Pardon
One: Gracious God, we have fallen short—of our own expectations of ourselves, and of your hopes for us. We have not done all we could—we have been silent when we ought to have spoken, and we have spoken when we should have kept silent. We have not acted when we could, and have acted when we should have kept still. Forgive our fears and open our hearts to your love and grace for all people.
(silent prayer)
Holy One, you who speak to us in the silence of our hearts, you have forgiven us as soon as we have asked. Remind us of your grace and presence with us. For what can keep us from your love? Nothing at all on earth or in heaven. My friends, you are forgiven!
Many: You are forgiven!

Communion
One: God is with you!
Many: And also with you!
One: God the Creator has made all things good!
Many: Thanks and praise to the Creator!
One: Holy One, from a great void your creative powers formed the cosmos, from the largest stars to the smallest creatures; and you declared all of them good. Yet we humans, placed just below you, forgot this and have put all creation under our heel, declaring ourselves to be in charge of creation. You sent your prophets to point out the errors of our ways, but we did not listen. Your beloved child, Jesus the Christ, came to us to show us a new way of life, of living, of love—and we still turned away. Speak to us again in these gifts of creation, of grain from the hills, and the fruit of the vine, that we may remember your love for all creation.
On the night before Jesus gave up his life for us, he gathered with his closest friends and shared one last meal with them. At that meal, he took the bread, blessed it after the manner of his people, broke it, and shared it with his friends, saying:
Many: This is my body, opened for you.
One: When the meal was over, Jesus took the cup, and blessed it after the manner of his people, and passed it to his friends, saying:
Many: This is my love, poured out freely for you and for all nations.
One: And when we eat this bread and drink from this cup
Many: We remember Jesus’ promise and the mystery of our faith: Christ has died, Christ is risen, Christ will come again! Go and tell.
One: Spirit of the living God, pour out your grace and your presence on these gifts of grain and grape. Make them be for us whatever we need them to be, that we may be reminded of your gracious love for us, now and always. Amen.

Benediction
One: As we go our ways, God goes with us.
Many: We are not alone.
One: God’s promises are sure and true—we will not be left alone and abandoned.
Many: We are not alone.
One: May the blessing of God, who creates, redeems and sustains, be with you now and all your days.
Many: Amen!