2018 Sanctuary Everywhere

Season of Lent: A Liturgy for the Time of Uncertainty


CALL TO WORSHIP:

Leader:   Wait upon the Lord God!
Hold fast to your longing for rescue.
People:   We will sing a song of silence,
For our desire of hope.

Leader:   God is waiting!
Begin to lift prayers of anticipation.
People:   We will sing a song of expectation,
to the One who attends our silence.

Leader:   We are not abandoned!
So fill your heart with courage.
People:   Now we sing our Lenten song
to the One who graces us with peace

Leader:   God, come with us today,
we listen, we sing, we pray.
People:   Send us with your Spirit
giving light in our dark places

Leader:   Wanderer, Holy One,
We wait upon the Day.
People:   Savior, Holy One,
We wait upon the Day.

People:   Amen.

PROCESSIONAL HYMN:

“I Ask for Nothing”

I ask for nothing.
In return I give All.
There is no earning my Love.
No work needed, no effort
Save to listen to what is already heard,
To see what is already seen.
To know what is already known.
Do I seem to ask too little?
Would you give although I ask not?
Then this you can give me and I will accept.
I will take your heart.
You will find it waiting for you
When you return. (1)

PRAYER:

“Time of Real Sacrifice”

“She taught me all about real sacrifice. That it should be done from love…

That it should be done from necessity, not without exhausting all other options. That it should be done for people who need your strength because they don’t have enough of their own.” (2)

An Older READING:

“The first question which the priest and the Levite asked was:

‘If I stop to help this man, what will happen to me?’ But…the good Samaritan reversed the question:

‘If I do not stop to help this man, what will happen to him?’” (3)

 

 

A Newer READING:

“Mighted by the Power of God”

“I will love you like God,
because of God,
mighted by the power of God.
I will stop expecting your love,
demanding your love,
trading for your love,
gaming for your love.
I will simply love.
I am giving myself to you,
and tomorrow I will do it again.

I suppose the clock itself will wear thin its time before I am ended at
this altar of dying and dying again.
God risked Himself on me.
I will risk myself on you.
And together, we will learn to love,
and perhaps then,
and only then,
Understand this gravity
that drew Him, unto us.” (4)

HOMILY:

Alex Schachter was one of the 17 victims that were killed by a gunman on February 14th at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.

During CNN’s town hall on February 21st, his father, Max, recited a free verse poem the 14-year-old wrote two weeks prior to his death. (5)

“He decided to write about roller coasters, because Alex loved roller coasters,” Max said. “He wasn’t writing about his life and had no idea his poem would become his future.”

“Life Is Like a Roller Coaster” by Alex Schachter

Alex SchachterLife is like a roller coaster
it has some ups and downs
Sometimes you can take it slow or very fast
It maybe hard to breath at times
but you have to push yourself and keep going
Your bar is your safety
it’s like your family and friends
You hold on tight and you don’t let go
But sometimes you might throw your hands up
Because your friends and family will always be with you
Just like that bar keeping you safe at all times
It maybe too much for you at times — the twists, the turns, the upside downs
But you get back up
you keep chugging along
eventually it comes to a stop
you won’t know when or how
but you will know that’ll be time to get off and start anew
Life is like a roller coaster (6)

EUCHARIST:

“The Light the Night Vigil”

Eucharistic Prayer

“If we build this world from love, then God will build this world from love.”

She talked about the teachers and students whose love led to them saving and protecting one another.

“These teachers and students held our children,”she said. “We need to hold our children. We need to fight for our children.” (7a)

Fred Guttenberg, photo by Michael Laughlin/ South Florida Sun-SentinalFred Guttenberg addressed the crowd. His daughter, Jaime, was killed in the shooting.

“I don’t know what I do next,” he said, his voice breaking up. “Don’t tell me there’s no such thing as gun violence. It happened in Parkland.” (7c)

The Blood/ The Wine

The names of the 17 people who lost their lives in the shooting at Stoneman Douglas High School on Feb. 14, 2018, are read during a candlelight vigil held for the victims. (8)

The Epiclesis (9)

Vigil organizer and Newtown High School (CT) junior student Tommy Murray told Channel 3 that they are not alone in their pain and that they stand in solidarity with their efforts.

“I want them to know that we are with them and they are not alone in this issue. And we want to support them as much as we can,” said Murray.

The Newtown High School students told Channel 3 that this is only the beginning. They vow to continue organizing vigils and measures of support, including going to Washington D.C. for the upcoming “March for our Lives” national protest. (10)

The Anaphora (11)

The Laura Shadle, president of the Centre County Young Democrats, said she expected the vigil to be a solid community event.

“We wanted to publicly show solidarity, especially with the teenagers in Parkland who have really stepped up and changed the national dialogue about the NRA,” Shadle said. “But, we also want to do start to look at our own community — how likely it is for something to happen here with the lax gun laws.” (11)

RECESSIONAL HYMN:

“17”

It was
17 mornings like any other
17 snoozes and then another
17 breakfasts on the go
17 “byes” promising “hello”
17 bodies in sleepy motion
17 minds embracing commotion

But then
17 bullets destroyed sweet dreams
17 bullets fueled our screams
17 bullets detonated young lives
17 bullets stabbed hearts like knives
17 bullets swelled our tears
17 bullets rippled our fears

So now
17 families are stunned tonight
17 moms can’t hold them tight
17 “byes” will sting the air
17 homes with an empty chair
17 bullets battled the God we trust
17 hearts returned to dust (13)

BENEDICTION:

There are four things you need to know about war:

  1. Every action requires careful tactics.
  2. Never lose hope and fight only for what is right.
  3. Be brave but you don’t have to be fearless.
  4. Be willing to sacrifice. (14)

End Notes:

(1) Flow Down Like Silver: Hypatia of Alexandria / 2009 by Ki Longfellow

(2) Allegiant by Veronica Roth (HarperCollins, 2013)

(3) Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

(4) Blue Like Jazz: Nonreligious Thoughts on Christian Spirituality by Donald Miller (2003)

(5) https://www.cnn.com/2018/02/21/us/alex-schachter-poem-florida-shooting-victim-trnd/index.html

(6) Alex Schachter participated in the school marching band and orchestra.

(7a) Rabbi Marci Bloch, of Temple Beth Orr, shared a Hebrew proverb: Ki amarti olam chesed yibaneh.

(7b) Silvina Cimetta / mother

(7c) Fred Guttenberg / father

(8) Candlelight vigil at the Centre of Tallahassee on February 19, 2018.

(9) Ancient Greek: ἐπίκλησις “invocation” or “calling down from on high”

(10) Newtown, Connecticut: Students, families, and friends gathered at the Newtown high school track to honor those lost in Parkland, Florida.

(11) The Anaphora (The Greeks called this prayer Anaphora – offering)

(12) The event was co-organized by Standing at The Gates for Justice, Centre County Young Democrats, and the Penn State College Democrats.

(13) One Parent’s Powerful Poem About the Florida High School Shooting:

     It was a normal day in the bleachers as our girls played softball. Normal, until

I heard, “Oh no. It’s 17 now.”

We continued “normal” while my mind raced: 17 parents sitting in bleachers,

in pews, tables; 17 parents holding newborns, guiding steps, coloring dreams;

-17 parents saying “byes” at preschool, middle school, high school.

Seventeen parents whose “normal” was devastated, whose hearts shattered

to dust on Valentine’s Ash Wednesday.

My mind raced to poetry. Poetry paints humanity, and humanity must be

the collective focus from our respective bleachers. I know we all agree –

this isn’t normal. We can’t let this be normal. We must be one team focused

on our kids’ safety.

(14) Wings of the Wicked (Angelfire) by Courtney Allison Moulton (2012).