Month: May 2021

Lament #5

Lament #5

Submitted by Steve Pomeroy

O God of the disconnected, how easy it is to withdraw, to restrict our safe space, to limit our vision, to decide not to see.  Why do we do that, God?  Why do I do that, God?  Why have you created us in the greatness of freedom and allowed us to become chained with the need to be safe?  Why have you endowed us with the spirit of adventure that calls us to new journeys, but let us be fearful of risking so many first steps?

Embolden us, God – embolden me, God – to escape the entanglements of the safety nets we have created.  Help us to reach for your heavens and make them the stuff of our earth.  Amen.

How to Write a Lament

Pentecost Guided Meditation

Pentecost Guided Meditation

by Ashley Whitham

Please sit comfortably, with your eyes closed.

You’re sitting on the floor. You’ve been sitting here for… days? Has it been a week yet? Time doesn’t really matter here. You’re with friends, but it’s hardly a party. Everyone is just sitting, staring at the floor. You’re all just exhausted from the emotional roller coaster. Your teacher was killed, and then his body went missing. And then about a week ago, he showed up here, giving instructions before disappearing again. And now, you just feel lonely, empty, lost.

Your teacher. Friend, comforter, confidante, mentor, father, brother, guide. The reason you got up in the morning. You followed him all over the country. Life with him was unexpected. Sometimes, you still wake up so excited for what your teacher will be doing that day… before you remember that he’s not here anymore. And then you just sit here, on the floor.

Suddenly a strong wind blows through the window. You feel it across the back of your neck. You instantly sit up straight; your eyes open wider. “What is this?” you wonder. Your head raises and your eyes meet with others across the room. Your heartbeat quickens. Your leg starts to bounce. There’s a buzz, an energy in the room that wasn’t there before. One loud, collective thought echoes silently through everyone. “What is this?”

You’re not sure who moves first, but everyone starts scrambling towards the windows. You try looking out, but too many people made it there before you. You and some others start running up to the roof. When you reach the roof, your heart is pounding out of your chest. You inhale deeply, and it feels like the first breath of fresh air you’ve had in your life! You look over the edge of the roof at the crowds of people in the street… and you feel the wind again.

As the wind blows against the back of your neck, your mind starts to race through memories: the first time you met your teacher, the first time he taught you, the first time you saw him heal someone. These memories that you hadn’t wanted to look at for so many months because of the pain and emptiness you felt, now played like the sweetest of movies. Now there was wholeness and joy in the remembering, and you smile – a real, whole-hearted, authentic smile that you haven’t felt in so long. You see the crowds below looking up at you with curiosity, but you are not embarrassed or bothered. You are just happy.

And then you feel the wind blow again across the back of your neck, and the memories begin falling from your lips. “Hey, did you know my teacher? I have seen the most amazing things in the world because of him!” And you aren’t really sure who’s listening, but you also don’t care.

As you’re speaking, someone from below yells something. You didn’t really understand what he says, but you see your friend downstairs step outside and talk to the crowd. So you turn to the others who came up to the roof, and you notice that you’re all smiling and excited. You wrap your arms around one another with the aching of long lost friends, and head back downstairs to rejoin the others.

As you feel comfortable, you can open your eyes.

Lament #4

Lament #4

Submitted by Susan Gregory

Creator of All,

I am SO concerned and horrified by the events happening in Gaza and Israel. So many innocent lives are being shattered. So many are dying. God, this cannot be your will. How long will you just be an observer?

My prayerful request is that your Holy Spirit touch the decision makers in such a powerful way that they cannot resist. That they will stop the hostilities and take steps to permanent peace.

Lord, you have intervened before with warring nations. You empowered the women of Liberia to bring peace. Please don’t wait so long this time to touch hearts and transform the warriors into literal peacemakers.

How to Write a Lament

Lament #3

Lament #3

Submitted by Barbara Wilson

Infinite Spaciousness,

Within You all is possible – and is already happening.
At all times I am being acted upon by Your Will – by Your Divine Plan.

I hear the frustration, even more, the defeat and emptiness in the voices of Your children who appear to be beyond hope.
Yet they reach out to me for help – scarce believing.

Help me help them. Show me the way.  I know that You prepared the way even before they called.

Help me lay aside my past conditionings so that I can fully respond to Your Will now.
That Your Will be done.  That Your Will be accomplished in their lives.

I now release all into Your care and keeping, knowing that You Hear, You Know, You Care, You are at Work.  Thank you, it is done.

How to Write a Lament

Lament #2

Lament #2

Submitted by Ashley Whitham

Mama God,

the One who holds me in Her arms when life is too much;
the One who wipes away the tears from my face and kisses my forehead;
the One who knows my pain before I speak it aloud;
the One who is my companion when I am lonely;

We are loose, lost, disconnected.

So many of Your children have been without the fellowship of each other for so long.
We are social creatures, as You made us to be, longing for community.

Be so obviously present for those waiting to rejoin community.
Please send Your Holy Spirit to guide our pastors and leaders as we rediscovery felloship.

Mama God, You are the eternal demonstration of community. I rely on Your example as we move forward.

How to Write a Lament

Prayer of Lament

Prayer of Lament

Submitted by Ron Harmon

O great disruptor of the status quo,

Why do the voices of those who preach division and fear seem to drown out the voices of inclusion and hope?

Why does justice seem to illude those places in our world where your people call out for release?

Why are those of us who claim to follow you often so slow to respond?

God break into our complacency,

Disrupt our isolation with the voices of those who yearn for a different tomorrow.

Help us to see what we have not been able to see,

To hear what we have not been able to hear.

Grant us courage to encounter the suffering,

Speak disruptive truth,

Envision your alternative future,

And live your alternative future into being.

We trust that your purposes continue to unfold.

We are grateful you continue to nudge us into the future.


How to Write a Lament

Transforming to a Circular Economy | June Climate Webinar

Transforming to a Circular Economy | June Climate Webinar

In this session we start examining the pervasive structural issues that shape our world–in this case the basic economic model.  (Note:  consumerism will be a separate session).  Our current practice is a Create-Use-Discard economy that results in ravaged mountains, toxic tailing ponds, abusive child labour, abandoned oil wells, and mountains of trash.  The old model generally considers resources to be endless, waste to be of no consequence, and the implications for Nature to be negligible.  

Lugano will share an alternative model:  the Circular Economy.  From the ground up, once new resources enter this modular system, the model tracks resources and keeps re-using and replacing them as long as possible. In addition, Lugano will briefly share his insights from working on 100,000-person “city within a city,” where flexibility and change can occur more nimbly.

Lugano Kapembwa is co-founder and CEO of Loopcycle, a circular technology platform embedding lasting traceability that redefines how customers manage, recover and resell their used products. Prior to this role, Lugano worked on a $5 billion project, delivering sustainability and resource efficiency programs as Energy and Environment Lead for Canary Wharf Management, the landlord arm of Canary Wharf Group—owners of the 128 acre estate and mini-city district in London, UK.  Lugano holds a M.Sc. in Law and Environmental Science and a B.Sc. in Environmental Science.

Come join us in the Climate Webinar on June 13, with Lugano Kapembwa.  Invite your friends to join as well.  All sessions are free.  Participation in previous webinars and conversations is not necessary to join in this opportunity.

What:  Climate Webinar – ”Through Crises Toward Transformation: 
Systemic Solutions —Transforming to a Circular Economy”

Webinar – Sunday, June 13, 2021, 2:00 pm-3:30 pm PDT (3 pm MT, 4 pm CT, 5 pm ET)

Follow-up Conversations –
Thursday, June 24, 2021, 6:00 pm – 7:30 pm PDT (7 pm MT, 8 pm CT, 9 pm ET)
and Sunday, June 27, 2021, 2:00 pm – 3:30 pm PDT (3 pm MT, 4 pm CT, 5 pm ET)

Where: Online Ministry

To connect to “Systemic Solutions:  Transforming to a Circular Economy,” please register at

If you registered for a past webinar or conversation, you do not need to register again. Once registered, you will be sent a Zoom link a few days before each webinar, panel and conversation.

This is an online ministry sponsored by the Greater Pacific Northwest USA Mission Center for Community of Christ.  The North American Climate Justice Team are the planners, with members from GPNWMC, Canada East, Canada West, IWMC, SPMC, and SPIMC. 

Climate Resources for Online Reunions

Climate Resources for Online Reunions

Submitted by Susan Oxley, North American Climate Justice Team

The North American Climate Justice Team of Community of Christ has created two engagement sessions for online reunions to offer participants in the Sacredness of Creation and concerns over Climate Change.  Each is designed to be a stand-alone hour-long session.  Here are summaries of the content, and contact information is provided at the end of each summary.  

Spiritual Formation/Worship/Discussion session:  “Creation is Sacred”

The North American Climate Justice Team of Community of Christ has created a spiritual formation session utilizing prayer and lectio divina to explore the Sacredness of Creation and God’s call for a prophetic community to emerge to bring peace on and for the earth. 

This session is flexible and can be adapted to a variety of purposes.  It can be used as an alternative to a prayer and testimony service, or a teen/adult class.  If you add some music, it functions as a worship service.  It includes a breakout session for sharing.  The plan can be implemented easily by a local member of the reunion staff, or you can request the assistance of the North American Climate Justice Team in leading it.  It’s designed to last 60-70 minutes. If you are interested in receiving the instructions and outline for this session, please contact: Joan Thompson, or Rod Downing,  

Class Session on Climate Change 

In Community of Christ history, we honor the Zionic ideal of community over isolated individualism. The hour-long reunion class created by the North American Climate Justice Team of the Community of Christ challenges participants to embrace a community-oriented perspective in responding to climate change.  The class includes a TED talk that explores how all of us tend to deny and avoid climate issues, and ties denial to the Christian story of the Apostle Peter.  The transformation from denial through fear to Christian community and perseverance provides a template for facing the multiple crises threatening our world today. 

This class can be used as part of a morning class, an enrichment experience for afternoon chats, an option for evening discussion, or an exploration in a post-reunion setting.  The stand-alone class outline and instructions can be implemented by a local member of the reunion staff, or you can request the assistance of the North American Climate Justice Team in leading it.  It’s designed for 60 minutes, and includes 1-2 breakout sessions. If you are interested in receiving the instructions and outline for this session, please contact: Dean and Susi Wight, and



Submitted by Steve Pomeroy, Committee Chairperson

On behalf of the GPNW Mission Center, the Bold Moves Grants Committee is pleased to announce the awarding of two new grants in the Spring cycle of 2021.  Congratulations go to Eugene Congregation  and Bridges To Peace, a non-profit organization being shepherded through Garden Grove Congregation, as they embark on fresh expressions of mission aided by the receiving of these grants.

Eugene’s “Gateways Grab and Go” program will provide an array of healthy breakfast items available to students at Gateways High School and GED Program.  The program will be similar to the highly successful effort previously supported by the congregation at the area’s Springfield High School, which not only provided health benefits to students in need, but helped to improve on-time attendance and academic success.  The same goals are in place for this effort, directed by Jody Barnhart.

Bridges To Peace is a non-profit corporation, organized and operated exclusively for educational purposes.  This corporation’s primary purpose is to promote an environment for children, families and communities, to learn and explore peace through interactive exploration.  Its curriculum meshes nicely with the curriculum currently utilized at Garden Grove Congregation for Young Peacemakers Clubs at church, at Minnehaha Elementary School, and next fall at Truman Elementary School.  Christie Ostendorp will serve as program director.

Both grants are provisional as structural elements of the programs continue to be worked out by the supporting groups.  Prayerful good wishes are extended to both congregations as they work to abolish poverty and end suffering and pursue peace in their communities.

Writing a Lament

Writing a Lament

Submitted by Larry McGuire

Reflective Practice Writing or Creating a Lament

“Our only hope is to march ourselves to the throne of God and in loud lament cry out the pain that lives in our souls.” Ann Weems

Take some time and reflect on how the last week (or a time frame of your choice) has been for you. Make note of the emotions you have been feeling during this time. Reflect on a particular situation in your community or in our world that has been causing you concern, pain or anxiety. As you identify the situation, take time to move through the elements of creating a lament that addresses the situation on your heart.

An alternative to inspire you is to take the passage from Isaiah 58 (The Message) and write or create your response to how the Spirit is inviting you to make your community livable again?

With a piece of paper, a pen, markers (you choose), invite God’s presence and follow the steps outlined below. You can create your lament as an individual or as a community:

  1. Address God: What are words or images that capture how you call out to God?
    Sometimes it’s in familiar words like loving presence or eternal One. Sometimes it’s
    simply God.
  2. A Complaint or Protest: Tell God what is wrong. Does God seem distant or
    detached? What is your observation of God in the situation?
  3. A Petition: Tell God what you want God to do about it. How do you want God to
    respond? How are you feeling led to respond?
  4. A Resolution and Expression of Trust: Recall truths about God’s character and
    God’s actions in the past.

Note: If you feel like you would rather draw your lament or inspiration from scripture, then
use your creativity to give expression through images. This is a practice to allow you to
express your rage, your desire, and your trust in God’s presence within you, around you,
and ahead of you.

As you practice writing or creating a lament to God, you might reflect on:

  1. What was it like writing or creating a prayer of Lament? Was it difficult to lament or
    cry out to God? Why do you think this was?
  2. What were you feeling as you were engaging in this practice?

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