It’s been a year

Photo by Valentin Salja on Unsplash

And what a year it’s been. I am grateful to be sharing with you the words and wisdom of others.

This brief essay, Hello, Gorgeous gave me a big boost today. Read the whole lovely thing, but this is the most important part:

For the past year productivity has not been the thing. Efficiency has not been the thing. Endurance, stamina, and resilience have been the things. Hope has been a thing. Doing the right thing has been a thing. Ultimately, though, this isn’t about what you did. It’s about who you are. You are still here and that is worth celebrating. You, Gorgeous, are beloved of God. You are worth celebrating.

Anne Warner

Illustrated Ministry, which has created so much good stuff especially this year, has free prayers and coloring sheets of them here.

My friend Jane Gober, an Episcopal priest, inspired by Padraig O’Tuama‘s Morning Prayer in Daily Prayer with the Corrymeela Community, crowdsourced this Litany for One Year of Pandemic:

We begin this day
Looking back over one year
Of the deafening flood of this pandemic.
Silence
We begin this day
With trust.
Feeling that we are beloved and held by your Presence.
We begin this day
With hope.
Knowing that each day can share
Love, courage, forgiveness and reconciliation.
Silence
We recall the last year heavy with loss.
For the confidence that has been stripped away.
For the shock of emptiness and anxiety and unimagined fears.
For the flickers of guilt and kindled regret of all that was left undone.
For the strangeness of struggling to understand and struggling to breathe.
For the overwhelmed-ness of households that are not okay.
For the tolling bells and enumerated candles that barely define the countless heartbreak.
One year of together apart.
May we learn, may we love, may we carry on.
God is with us.
Silence
We recall the last year offering thanks and praise
For the chance to focus on what matters to God.
For creativity to meet the challenges,
For the technology that keeps us connected,
and the science that is leading us forward.
For the companion animals who have brought us newness.
For the strength to hold onto blessings and the wisdom
to let go of what no longer gives life.
For the reminder that to be the church is not to be a club or a building,
Instead, a commitment of practice to embody Christ wherever we are.
One year of together apart.
May we learn, may we love, may we carry on.
God is with us.
Silence
May we find the wisdom we need in the days of the pandemic that are in front of us.
God is with us.
May we hear the needs of those around us.
Christ is with us.
May we love the life that we are given.
The Spirit is with us. Amen.

Traci Smith wrote a simple prayer that’s great for all ages:

God you are with us all the time. All the time you are with us.

Today we remember. We remember how things used to be. We remember how many things we have gone through. We remember things we missed and people we lost.

Today we hope. We hope for healing. We hope for vaccines. We hope for wisdom.

Today we share. We share smiles with one another. We share our joys and our sorrows. We share our dreams for the future.

God you are with us, all the time. All the time, you are with us. Be with us as we remember, hope, and share. Amen.

Traci Smith

That’s what I have for you, dear ones–prayers and a reminder that you are beloved and not alone. May that be enough right now.

Wendy Claire Barrie is the author of Faith at Home: A Handbook for Cautiously Christian Parents.

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