24th Annual Celtic Retreat – Morning Litany #1

by Christine Sine

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Tomorrow I head up to Camano Island for our annual Celtic retreat. I am aware that many of you are too far away to attend and thought that some of you might like to enjoy us for the day with us at least in spirit, by using the same prayers and meditations that we will be using. Today I am posting the first part of our liturgy, tomorrow the second and on Saturday the afternoon prayers. You will recognize some of the prayers and photos from blog posts earlier in the year – enjoy.

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God believes in reconciliation that is our strong affirmation as we begin our retreat today. Yet we are broken people. All of us need to be transformed – our hearts, our minds, our relationships to God, to each other and to God’s good creation need to be brought to wholeness so that all that we are and all that we do is aligned with God’s vision for Shalom.

Today we seek that reconciliation, asking God to continue the work of transformation in our hearts and lives, as well as into our situations: here on this land as well as those we face at home and throughout the world. Let us start by welcoming God into this place and this process.

(Ring the singing bowl)

Welcome, Lord, welcome,

Welcome into this day,

Pregnant with new possibilities.

Welcome, Lord, welcome,

Welcome into our hearts,

Awakening to the divine presence.

Welcome Lord, welcome,

Welcome into our lives,

Creating together wholeness and shalom.

(Silence)

Most of you know that our beautiful building, on this site has been vandalized. All the windows and doors have been smashed, not once but twice. We are devastated. We have had vandalism before but usually nuisance interference. This is the first time it has been malicious and deliberately destructive. What would a gospel reconciler do? That is the question that revolves in our minds and hearts today as we gather both to celebrate and to seek the wisdom of God in our path towards reconciliation and wholeness. We ask it not just for this building but for all the places in our hearts and our lives where reconciliation is needed.

Vandalism

As we look around at the brokenness of this building and consider the brokenness of our own lives, I am reminded of Loa Tzu’s words: “New beginnings are often disguised as painful endings…” 

In the midst of painful endings,

in the midst of brokenness and heartache,

may we seek to love and not to hate,

may we seek for peace not for war,

may we see God’s new beginnings emerge

for ourselves, for this place, for God’s world.

(Ring the singing bowl)

Welcome, welcome, welcome.

Welcome to this beautiful place,

violated yet resilient.

Welcome to the fellowship of friends,

saddened yet hopeful.

Welcome to the presence of God,

faithful and compassionate.

Let us welcome everything that comes to us today.

It is for our healing.

It is for the healing of relationships,

It is for the healing of this land.

Let go,

Let go of your desire for power and control,

God’s ways are higher than ours.

Let go of your desire for retribution and punishment,

In God alone will we trust.

Let go of your desire to change what has happened,

God’s ways are faithful and true.

Let us release all that binds us.

It is for our healing,

It is for the healing of relationships,

It is for the healing of this land.

Open yourself,

Open yourself to the loving presence of God,

In us, around us, above and behind.

Open yourself to God’s action within you,

Healing, restoring, making whole.

Open yourself to God’s action in this place,

Transforming, renewing, bringing shalom.

Let us open ourselves to God.

It is for our healing,

It is for the healing of relationships,

It is for the healing of this land.

Amen.

(Ring the singing bowl)

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Instructions for preparing the Altar

Now it is time to prepare an altar for our worship. At the end of last year’s retreat, as Andy Wade and I talked about the vandalism which began with the destruction of our Celtic cross several years ago, I walked behind the altar, and there in the grass was a rusty old piece of junk that looked just like a Celtic cross. For me it was a symbol of hope – a sense that God says to us Garbage into gold. I can redeem and make new all that is created.

So as we go out to gather items to place on the altar, consider the question: What would a gospel reconciler do? Gather items that can be for all of us symbols of hope, restoration, reconciliation and shalom, for your own heart and life, for situations you face at home, or for this land.

Our altar made from gathered objects

Our altar made from gathered objects

Sending prayer

God you formed all creation to live in perfect harmony.

You wove all life into intricately connected ecosystems.

Linked, interacting, interdependent.

When that harmony was broken,

You sent your son to reconcile all things to yourself,

To transform brokenness into wholeness.

Let us see the harmony of our Creator,

And drink in the wonder of Christ’s sacrifice,

Let us eat of the fruits of the reconciling Spirit,

And work to restore God’s peace and wholeness.

Let us build together in a spirit of unity, and reconciliation.

Song

Go out to collect items to decorate the altar.

The altar prepared

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4 comments

Barb August 6, 2015 - 8:37 am

Beautiful reflection, thank you!

Reply
Christine Sine August 6, 2015 - 8:44 am

Thanks Barb

Reply
Gwen August 7, 2015 - 6:31 am

I can’t tell you how much this ministered to me this morning. Thanks for posting.

Reply
Christine Sine August 7, 2015 - 7:31 am

Gwen – so glad to hear this. Blessings

Reply

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