How is it with your soul?
I continue to find my soul needs more and more tending the more and more stress, change, anxiety, fear, chaos, and questions I experience. I find in order to do this tending, I need more and more prayer, discernment, and intentional Sabbath. We are in a liminal season. Where we know what has happened but we do not yet know what is coming. This is true in terms of the pandemic, in terms of political divide, in terms of a multitude of things before us. Please give time to care for your soul. It will make a difference as you care for the souls and lives of others.
Clergy, I am so thankful for your unending faithfulness, your witness, and your leadership. I have seen your sleepless nights, powerful ministry of prayer, your continual pivoting and adjusting, and living out your call in mighty ways.
In preparation for the upcoming Orders and Fellowship meeting, I had already started reading Rev. Dr. Leah Schade's book, "Preaching in the Purple Zone." When I picked it up again last week, words seemed to pop off of the page. At such a time as this, I wondered what my role was as a pastor, as a priest, as a prophet. Maybe some of you did too.
She writes these words:
"At a time when our collective wisdom for problem-solving is so necessary, our discourse devolves into cynicism, polarization, and apathy."
"The church can make a vital contribution toward the restoration of public deliberation about important community issues by hosting, participating in and training their leaders and congregants in the skills of deliberative dialogue."
As we prepare for a weekend in which our Bishop has invited us to lead in services of healing and hope I hold you in prayer. I pray that our collective wisdom can be put into action. I pray that you will make the time you need to prepare and lean into God's wisdom and guidance. As we prepare as a conference for Orders and Fellowship where we will engage "Preaching in the Purple Zone" and ministering with people in the midst of deep divides, may we seek God at work among us.
Today, I offer this prayer for you.
Prayer of Healing (Adapted from A Liturgy for Night Prayer with Prayers for Healing in the Upper Room Worshipbook)
Help us to see your holy work in our life and in the world. Ease the pain of each one here, heal our memories, we pray for recovery from our wounds. May the light of Christ guide us. Reconcile, renew, and restore us by your grace. There are wounds within us. Set us free from our brokenness. O God, the giver of health and salvation, we give you thanks for the gift of healing balm. As your holy apostles anointed many who were sick and healed them, so anoint us. Pour out your Holy Spirit on us, that we may be healed and strengthened in mind, body, and spirit, that we may be made whole, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Grace and Peace,
Rev. Shelly Petz
Clergy Faith & Wellness