Welcome to the Pilgrimage of Prayer ~
Day 11 of a 40-day journey of prayer leading us to General Council 42.
As the commissioners to GC42 prepare to make a physical pilgrimage to Corner Brook, Newfoundland, we invite the entire United Church of Canada into a prayer pilgrimage.
This is the eleventh day of 40 days we will pray together. The following prayers have been prayed, written, and shared with us as a daily prayer practice. As you pray each day, please hold in your heart our whole United Church. Think of the power of all of us praying together. So “May it be so.” Amen.
You are invited to say the following prayer out loud each day in the 40 days of the Prayer Pilgrimage leading up to General Council 42, along with the specific prayer for the day. We also invite you to pray this prayer during each day of General Council.
May I love this day and all that it brings
The dust, stones or mud beneath my feet
The air I breathe, food I eat, water I drink
May I open my heart to mysteries along the way
Greet fellow pilgrims with welcome and grace
Move lightly and simply through the day
May I give thanks for the Earth, our fragile home
For all my relations who have gone before me
And for all who will follow… I am not alone
May the spirit and blessing of the One who is love
– Holy One among us, all around us, and within us –
Be with me today, and surround me with love
Allison Rennie and Diane Ransom, Naramata, B.C. Created in 2010 by Allison Rennie and Diane Ransom and said aloud each day while walking the Camino de Santiago.
Prayer for Day 11 – Thursday, July 9
We stumbled upon you.
In the middle of all my planning,
and listing where to be,
there you were.
Your presence: unassuming.
Your voice: captivating.
Your message: earth shattering.
From the first strum of your guitar,
and hauntingly beautiful note from your mouth,
I knew that this was it.
This was the moment that would define the experience.
So, I offer a prayer of deep gratitude.
For the reminder that you don’t have to be a songwriter to write stuff down;
and that the world is never the same when a good poem is written;
for the fact that we can’t do it from the confines of our own walls;
so we must feel the push to go places and feel things – places where stuff happens!
And not to worry about the stuff that doesn’t make it,
because in the end “love wins big!”
I thank you for honesty.
And for the warning not to add to the noise.
Mostly, I thank you, God,
for the fearless souls who remind us what it means to be true,
to be brave,
to be inspired,
And I thank you, God, for breaking open my hardened little heart.
May you continue to break us open,
through the songs of unassuming poets and prophets.
Their songs are your songs.
And so, we let ourselves.
We feel the pieces break away.
And we wonder:
Are the risks greater than the beauty that could emerge?
Lauren Hodgson, St. Matthew’s United Church, Toronto, Ont.
Photo: moMents-fiXats, Flickr (CC BY 2.0)