july 12th, 2020 – the examen

Let us pray together:
Loving God,
     you have given us life
   with all its possibilities for growth.
You made us in your own image –
   responsible and creative,
     open to great visions,
  and capable of great imagination.
In Jesus Christ you have shown us,
     what we might be.
When you raised him to life
     you showed us that death is not the end
   for those who put their trust in you.
Thank you for this new life in Christ
     and for the hope of its future fullness.
This day
     we thank you especially for this community –
   we thank you for all that it means to us.
We especially remember with gratitude
     the ways that you have taught us
   and shaped us through this church.
We thank you for a community of faith in you
     and all that we see of you through these people.


O gracious and holy Father,
      give us wisdom to perceive you,
   diligence to seek you,
     patience to wait for you,
  eyes to behold you,
      a heart to meditate upon you,
    and a life to proclaim you,
  through the power of the Spirit
    of Jesus Christ Our Lord.
Baptist Union of Great Britain
All creatures of our God and King
     lift up your voice and with us sing
   O praise him, alleluia
Thou burning sun with golden beam
     thou silver moon with softer gleam
O praise Him, o praise Him
     alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Thou rushing wind that art so strong
     ye clouds that sail in heav’n along
   O praise him, alleluia
Thou rising moon in praise rejoice
     ye lights of evening find a voice
O praise Him, o praise Him
     alleluia, alleluia, alleluia
Let all things their Creator bless
     and worship Him in humbleness
   O praise him, alleluia
Praise, praise the Father, praise the Son
     and praise the Spirit three in one
O praise Him, o praise Him
     alleluia, alleluia, alleluia
Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia, alleluia
Lasst Uns Erfreuen
St. Francis
David Crowder and Brent Milligan

Hello to everyone~
Has anyone seen the panda?  I have! 
I actually saw the panda walk right up to somebody’s front door and hand them a treat bag. 
Keep your eyes peeled. 
There is so much fun to be had in the summer!
One thing I love about summer is water. 
I love water.
I love to be in the water.  I have been in backyard pools,
in chilly Saskatchewan lakes, and a few times I’ve even had the fun of bobbing up and down in the warm ocean! 
A long time ago my big brother Colin and his family lived in Texas.  When I was visiting there once,
his friend lent him a huge boat for us to use for a whole day.  
We packed a lunch, and got in the boat. The sun was very hot. And there was not a cloud in the sky.
Colin drove the boat for a long time, until we were in the centre of this gigantic lake.  We couldn’t see land at all.  Just water all around us.  Then he turned off the engine.  We jumped into the water . It was so refreshing and fun! 
I hollered YAHOO and YIPPEE and we laughed and laughed.  We splashed each other and floated around the boat and swam til we were very tired.  
I remember this prairie girl (that’s me) thanking God for the fantastic experience as we got back into the boat to eat our lunch.  I chomped on my sandwich and was smiling ear to ear. 
We didn’t even speak.   I listened to the water lap the side of the boat. My skin felt warm.  The water sparkled like diamonds. I closed my eyes.   I felt the gentle rhythm of the waves and was lulled into a peaceful sleep. 
When my brother woke me up, I couldn’t believe what was happening.  
The wind was loud.  It was fierce, and it had blown our swim towels into the water. The waves were strong and were getting bigger.  The clouds were dark grey, almost black, and hung so heavy in the sky you felt like you could touch them.  The rain pelted against my skin and it stung but I had to endure it.  The water was filling the boat and we had to keep scooping it out to stay afloat.  
I was scared.  My big brother was scared.  We prayed and asked God to keep us safe.  We were so far from land. 
Finally the weather calmed down, and the sun peeked through the clouds.   We made our way to shore.  But there was no more laughing.  No more hollering with happiness. 
That night, holding a mug of tea, I thought a lot about the events of the day.  It had all started out so simply – everything seemed easy…but then seemingly out of nowhere came such trouble and hardship. 
I thought about how that day is like my life.  Your life.  Everybody’s life.   
We are having a grand time, thanking God for the blessings around us, then BOOM. 
Suddenly, we are in the middle of a terrible storm begging God to keep us safe. 
In the Bible we read in Hebrews 13: 5 that God has said ‘I will never leave you or abandon you.’ 
Another translation puts it this way.  ‘For you always have God’s presence.  For hasn’t He promised you, “I will never leave you alone, and I will never loosen my grip on your life.”
We are never alone.
Let’s pray. 
Thank You God.  Thanks for this reminder that You are always with me.  No matter where I am.  Thanks that You are with me when things are easy and going great, and thank You that You are with me when I’m tired and scared and the storms of life are raging around me.
In Jesus powerful and precious name I pray,
Remember God will never loosen His grip on your life.  He will never leave you alone. 
Have a good week everybody. 

Hey everyone, it’s good to be with through the technology of waves and wires.  I hope this weekend is giving you some opportunity to take a break from the business of the week and to enjoy some of the beautiful summertime weather we have been having.
Beverly mentioned looking for a Panda.  If you have no idea what that means, it’s ok.  The Panda is one of the special visitors that comes and helps with our Emmanuel kids camps.  This past week and next week are the times we traditionally have our summer kids camps.  However this year, due to Covid, we are unable to offer the camps.  So we have teamed up with the Panda to deliver a little piece of Kids Camp to the doors of all the kids who have attended or were hoping to attend Kids Camp this summer.  We are delivering about two hundred twenty bags to one hundred and sixty homes.  We are about two thirds of the way done and will finish up next week.  There is a whole crazy video that goes along with this and if you would like to see it, there is a link to it below the link to this liturgy.


Also, our first Driveway Drop-By went really well.  It was fun to see people and have a chance to have real live conversations.  We are planning to do a couple more this summer.  Next week we will begin organizing our second Driveway Drive-By.
At the start of our connection gatherings, I often say that we are a community of people who are in conversation about what it means to emulate the life and teachings of Jesus.  The work of following after Jesus obviously takes a lifetime.  But in this conversation, in this pursuit, I have been reminded that prayer is a one way we make room for this to happen.  Prayer is not about filling space with words but rather opening ourselves up, letting go, being honest, taking inventory, listening, and following the lead of God’s calling.  Prayer centers us and grounds us, and reminds us that God is always with us. As the psalmist writes, prayer is deep calling out to deep—our deep calling out to God’s deep.  And as we pray we are reminded that God is near.  It’s not that his presence is dependent on our crying out to him.  He is always near.  Sometimes we forget this truth and sometimes we struggle to believe.  Either way, God does not change.


One way to approach prayer is by using an ancient practice called the Daily Examen.  The Examen is a practice of prayerful mindfulness proposed by St. Ignatius Loyola, who was the founder of the Jesuit order.  The Examen is made up of five movements.  It is a way of prayerfully focusing on the events of the day in a way that allows us to detect God’s presence in our lives and helps us to take inventory of how we are living.  St Ignatius encouraged people to talk to Jesus like a friend, so the idea of the Examen is to have a conversation with Jesus about your life, your actions, and your experiences in the world.


In the liturgy today, we will use the Examen to guide us.  Again, I have designed the liturgy so that it can be used as part of a spiritual practice playlist—that can be used in some regular fashion throughout the week.  It was designed as an evening prayer, but it can (and has) been adapted to fit anytime of the day. You may wish to listen the liturgy while you’re driving or as you are sitting on your deck, or taking a walk.
As we begin, prepare yourself by getting into a position that is comfortable but allows you to stay alert.
Become aware of your body, focusing on the rhythm of your breath.
As much as you can, relax yourself.
Allow your lungs to expand with agreement to the Holy Spirit.  Ask yourself to become willing to open up. 
The way this will work is for each movement I will lead a prayer and then following the guided prayer, there will be opportunity for you to pray on your own.
Here we go…

Movement One—Divine Company
Holy Spirit, help me to be aware of your presence.
   I choose to welcome you.
I am willing and wanting to be a conduit of your divine love.
I welcome the Holy Spirit to review this day with me.
   to look upon what I have understood and what I have misunderstood.
God, help me to gain clarity, to see with curiosity before judgement,
   and to learn and grow.
I know you are always near, closer than my own breath.
As you look back on the events of the day in the company of the Holy Spirit, the day may seem confusing to you—a blur, a jumble, a muddle. Ask God to bring clarity and understanding.
Come, Lord Jesus, come
Benton Brown
Glenn Robertson

Movement Two—Gratitude
God, help me to see the gifts of today.
   Help me see the blessing of a day’s work.
  Help me review exchanges with those I interacted with.
Show me where I was benevolent and kind.
   Show me where I received benevolence and kindness.
Help me fully receive that which was given to me.
   Love in a meal prepared for me,
  the seasonal colours on display,
 words of encouragement,
  things big and small.
Thank you, God, for being in the details.
Thank you, God, for taking care of the day’s needs.
Gratitude is the foundation of our relationship with God. As you walk through your day in the presence of God, note its joys and delights.  Focus on the day’s gifts. Look at the work you did, the people you interacted with. What did you receive from these people? What did you give them? Pay attention to small things—the food you ate, the sights you saw, and other seemingly small pleasures. God is in the details.
Give us new eyes to see
     give us new hearts to feel
Give us new lungs to breath
     the wonder underneath
Dare to breathe it in
     dare to breathe it in
Born and born again

                                                            Aaron Niequist

Movement Three—Emotional Awareness
God, stir my emotions.
Help me recall the ups and downs of today.


The times I felt fully alive, at peace, joyful,
   happy, comforted, whole, connected—
  my best self.
Help me to see where I felt your ever-present embrace.
God, show me what gave me life today.
But also help me to recognize people, places,
   and things that drained me of energy.
That made me frustrated, irritated, angry, sad,
   sorrowful, alone, isolated, unaccepted, fragmented—
  less than my best self.
Help me to see what was life-stealing.

Where I lost conscious contact with you.

And help me be willing to see anything I need to deal with
   that I might have missed.


Reflect on the feelings you experienced during the day. What is God saying through these feelings?  Are there any ways that you have fallen short?  Does a feeling of frustration perhaps mean that God wants you consider a new direction in some area of your life? Are there people you need to reach out to in some way?
Breathe into us, awaken our souls
     breathe in us, awaken our souls
Come, come like the rain
Joel Davis
Brady Toops

Movement Four—Acceptance
God, looking with honesty at life-stealing experiences in my life
   is uncomfortable and distressing.
In fact, I often choose to disassociate from my pain using tools
   like denial or distraction.
I have a hard time accepting what is.
But God, you are always close,
   so with you, and courage, I am willing to face
  my fear and pain,
     and accept how things truly are.
God help me with acceptance,
   hold together my willing heart
  as I let it fall open to you…
Holy Spirit, take on this hard situation with me.
   This one thing I am really struggling with.
Help me look at it,
   stay present to it,
  breathe through it.
Give me courage to ask for help with acceptance and healing.
To make amends.
Let your love and life flow through my heart.


Ask the Holy Spirit to direct you to something during the day that was particularly important. It may involve a feeling—positive or negative. It may be a significant encounter with another person or a vivid moment of pleasure or peace. Look at it. Pray about it. Allow the prayer to arise spontaneously from your heart—whether intercession, praise, repentance, or gratitude.
Though I stumble, though I falter
     through my weakness  You are strong
Your love remains, Your love remains
Oh my, my soul it cries
     oh my, my soul it cries out
Soul it cries out, soul it cries, it cries out
John Arndt
David Gungor
Movement Five—Hope for Tomorrow
God, I look with hope for the newness of tomorrow.
Shine your light upon tomorrow’s challenges.
May I truly feel the possibilities of the day ahead,
   and seek connection to you throughout.
In my doubts and fears, my uncertainty;
   in my celebrations and accomplishments,
  in my anticipation, and my delight.


I give you my heart as my prayer
   so that you might feel all that I feel.
Lead me through the day, God.
Jesus, walk with me,
   gift me wisdom and understanding, and hope.
I cannot thank you enough,
   I accept my life as a gift.
Ask God to give you light for tomorrow’s challenges. Pay attention to the feelings that surface as you survey what’s coming up. Allow these feelings to turn into prayer. Seek God’s guidance. Ask him for help and understanding. Pray for hope.


The sun will rise, the sun will rise
     bringing life to the earth as it springs from the ground
The sun will rise, the sun will rise
     won’t you dry all your tears, lay your burden down
Won’t you dry all your tears lay your burden down
John Arndt
David Gungor

God, thank you for this sacred time.
   thank you for sacred space and
  ground to be with you and to remember .
Thank you for loving us as we are,
   and for never ceasing to offer
  opportunity to grow in your love.
And so Lord our God,
   as we have sinned,
      whether in word, or deed, or thought,
   forgive us all,
      for Thou art good and lovest humankind.
Grant us a peaceful and undisturbed sleep,
   and deliver us from all influence
      and temptation of the evil one.
Raise us up again in proper time,
   that we may glorify Thee
      as we learn to live alive in the hope, victory,
   and power of the resurrection.
Thou art the eternal Father,
   the Only begotten Son,
      and the all holy, and good,
   and life giving Spirit.
Now and ever, and unto the ages of ages.
based on and Eastern Orthodox praye


Abide with me fast falls the eventide
     the darkness deepens Lord with me abide
When other helpers fail and comforts flee
     help of the helpless abide with me
Henry Francis Lyte
Justin Smith

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