Wednesday 15 November 2017

New Parish Conference 2017 - a new poem and an adapted prayer

Disrupted - A Poem From the New Parish Conference 2017

The gathered
And the dispersed
Are called into
The habit of community, called
To witness to unity and unexpected beauty
To walk through our streets
As neighbourhood pilgrims
Facing chaos-crafted encounters
With listening ears, open hands
And humility

The gathered
And the dispersed
Are called into
Loving mutuality, called
To dwell deeply
With our neighbours
Becoming friends
Becoming family.
Living well with integrity
Taking the slow path
Holding hands -
Travelling light with former strangers
Disrupting cynicism with hope
Ever deepening, ever lovingly

The gathered and
The dispersed
Are called into
Weaving peace into
A noisy world,
To live alongside
The displaced, in the midst of empire
To build homes of hospitality
With deep down roots
To be open to interruption
Looking for disruption - holy intersections
As kingdom collaborators

The gathered
And the dispersed
Are called into
Being present
Watching football with
Our neighbours or
Chatting while putting the bins out, or
Finding our voice at a shared table
With each other, sewing seeds of resurrection
Amidst the noise.

The gathered
And the dispersed -
We are called.

A Prayer of Preparation (A Sending Out) - A Prayer From the New Parish Conference 2017

Lord, Creator
            Speaker of love
            Bringer of peace
            Sustainer of all things

We come before you,
Bearing our scars
Nursing old wounds
Waylaid by past failures

Forgive us,
            For the time we have wasted
            For all our foolish outbursts and lack of discipline
            For all our well-intentioned programs that give no space for the voices of our neighbours

Speak to us afresh,
            Call us from the shallows to the deep waters of the neighbourhood
Lead us by your Holy Spirit
Place your Word as a seal on our hearts

Hold and sustain us
When we falter and fall back into old damaging patterns
            When we slip into busyness
            When temptation whispers its seductions to us... “excellence”... “success”...

Transform us by the power of your Holy Spirit
            Strengthen our resolve to seek you
            Open our hearts to your mysteries
            Open our eyes to see as you see

Call us onwards
            Into our streets
Into community
            Into service

Attune us to your ways
That we might
            Live simply
            Learn obediently
            Worship extravagantly

All this we pray, in the name of
The Father
The Son
And the Holy Spirit

Prayer adapted from ‘A Prayer of Preparation’, in Tim Watson, Journey to the Inward Wild (Proost, London: 2016)