Dear Friends,

 We pray you are safe and well.

 In the spirit of our philosophy of co-creating community and our awareness that the Spirit speaks through each of us, we invite you to share your meditations with us as well. We truly believe that in God’s economy of abundance, when we share our blessings, our thoughts, our feelings, we are all made richer.

Today's Meditation comes to us from Rev. Austin Fleming, A Concord Pastor. It is his morning prayer for today and his night prayer from last night with the theme: The World Needs More Smiles. We hope it lifts your day.

 

We invite you to join us as we commit ourselves to working tirelessly to end systemic and structural racism in our society, in healthcare, in the workplace, in the Church--wherever it shows up so that everyone may come to have more abundant life. May this meditation nourish our contemplative-active hearts and sustain all of us in action.

 

We hope and pray that you and your loved ones experience genuine peace of mind and heart, and remain in good health during this challenging time.

 

In this "Season of Ordinary Time" in the Church Year, may this be a time of peace, of healing and hope, of the infusion of joy in your life!

 

With our love and care,

 

Ron & Jean

 

MEDITATION 148: The World needs More Smiles (Rev. Austin Fleming)

 

Monday Morning Offering: 9/14

Posted: 13 Sep 2020 10:35 PM PDT

 

Morning Coffee by George Mendoza

Good morning, good God!

Seems in my part of the world, Lord,

you’re easing us into autumn

with warm sunny days wrapped

in cool mornings and evenings...

The balance, just now, is near perfect

but soon a chill will spill into afternoon hours

and slowly pick the leaves from trees

until they’re bared of beauty,

summer’s glory fading fast...

Something in me longs to stall the seasons changing,

to stay the summer and hold back the dying

that comes 'round this time each year

as sunlight plays its game of hide-and-seek...

This is fall's time, Lord:

time for a brisk nip in the air quickening my step and pace,

for branches scratching prayers across a harvest moon,

and for such such rare, spare beauty -

I offer you my praise and thanks…

Inside and out, Lord,

my body and soul stand between the seasons:

no change in nature’s phases fails

to change in turn the seasons of my heart…

The rhythms of creation,

of suns and planets, moons and tides

all echo in my heart and my soul knows

how all that lives will die

and all that dies will rise again

when comes the spring that has no end…

 

Walk me from summer into fall, Lord,

without losing an hour's sunlight

or a day's warmth

or a moment's memory of sand and shore...

 

Walk me from summer into fall, Lord:

show yourself in all your leafy autumn beauty,

dropping down to lay a colored carpet,

a path beneath my steps...

 

Help me let go what I hold too tightly,

what cannot last the whole year through,

and let my empty arms embrace what comes

with trust that even in the falling, in the dying,

you are with me, faithfully present

and abiding in all the seasons of my life...

 

Be my bridge, Lord, from summertime to fall

and ready me for all that lies ahead:

the winter and the cold, the springtime and its promise

and summer once again...

 

Receive my prayer today, Lord,

my Monday morning offering,

and keep me through the week

and through the season's change ahead....

 

Amen.

 

 

 

 

NIGHT PRAYER: Sunday 9/13

Posted: 13 Sep 2020 02:10 PM PDT

 

 

If you're open to suggestions, Lord,

(and I guess that's what prayer is really all about)

I have a modest proposal to make:

this world of ours needs more smiles!

 

And I don't mean more smiley faces

or assorted emojis!

 

I mean genuine ear-to-ear grins:

- the kind that start deep in your heart

but rise up quickly, seeking the surface

like a diver coming up for air;

- the kind of smile that lights up a face

and the faces of all who behold it

'til the whole room is bright

with a smiling glow

- I mean smiles to calm a troubled heart

smiles to comfort a worried soul,

smiles to strengthen a weakened spirit

smiles to promise that all shall be well,

that all manner of things shall be well...

 

I mean smiles that help us believe, Lord,

and smiles that keep us afloat in the storm;

smiles that make a hard day worth living,

and smiles that speak more than words ever say;

smiles that give us a reason to trust

and smiles that help us feel we're at home;

smiles that give us hope for tomorrow

and smiles that help keep the past in the past...

 

I mean smiles that come from good news

(we could use some!)

and smiles that come from deep faith

(hey, I'm trying!)

and smiles that come from you

(they're the best!)

 

Painting by R.S. RiddickWe've had it, Lord, with frowns and pouts,

grimacing scowls, eye rolls, smirks and sneers!

It's smiles we need and plenty of them

- and plenty of reasons to smile!

 

This world of ours needs more smiles, Lord:

smiles that help us know we are loved,

smiles that help us laugh at ourselves

and smiles that help us believe in you...

 

So, that's my suggestion, my modest proposal,

my simple prayer:

more smiles all around, Lord,

beginning with yours:

that'll put a smile on everyone's face!

 

Smile on us, Lord, at the end of this day

and smile on us after we all fall asleep

that awake, we might keep watch with you

and asleep, smile in our dreams...

 

Amen.

 

I Smile by Kirk Franklin

 

 

 

(I dedicate this song

to recession, depression and unemployment.

This song's for you.)

 

Today's a new day,

but there is no sunshine.

Nothing but clouds, and it's dark in my heart

and it feels like a cold night.

 

Today's a new day,

where are my blue skies,

where is the love and the joy that you promised

you tell me it's alright.

 

I almost gave up,

but a power that I can't explain,

fell from heaven like a shower now.

(When I think how much better I'm gonna be when this is over)

 

I smile, even though I hurt, see, I smile,

I know God is working so I smile,

Even though I've been here for a while

I smile, smile..

it's so hard to look up when you've been down.

Sure would hate to see you give up now

You look so much better when you smile, so smile.