Blessing of the Ps – by Felicity Volk

The following blessing for Canberra Baptist Church was prepared by Felicity Volk from blessings shared by participants in the reflection phase of the review of Canberra Baptist Church.

THE BLESSING OF THE Ps

As our days turn towards warmth and light
As we prepare for the season of growth
We bless our people, place and purpose
We bless our past, present and potential
We bless our people –

We bless the beautiful diversity of those who gather here,
the different stories that come to our table,
and the way new understandings unfold within these walls, making us soft with compassion.
We bless what we understand in each other and what baffles,
and the space that holds both common and different safe.
We bless those we have chosen to lead us, their wisdom and faith,
and the space they offer for all of us to question and test what we really believe.
We bless our youth and the flourishing of their faith.
We bless the arrival of new people, the departing of old,
those who represent generations of faithfulness here and those who are here briefly;
however long or short our time together, we bless it.

As our days turn towards warmth and light
As we prepare for the season of growth,
We bless our place –

We bless the bricks and glass, the light and colour, the shelter of our place.
We bless those who cared for this land before us,
those whose labours and sacrifice built this church,
and those who care for it now.
We bless our garden; the bringing together of people around growth, around a plump tomato, the richness of compost, the honesty of soil.
We bless our hall; the dance, exercise and cooking that takes place there to stretch and grow and nourish bodies and spirits.
We bless the way our place puts up shoots around our city:
as people share food and films, books and bible studies, caring for others,
and telling the stories of their lives.
We bless the malleability of this space, that those who come after us will not find it rigid,
but will enter it with gladness and shape it as their own.

As our days turn towards warmth and light
As we prepare for the season of growth
We bless our purpose ––

We bless our efforts to be a graceful presence in Kingston, in Canberra,
in our country and in the world, serving our neighbours at their point of need.
We bless our saltiness in the earth and the light we shed in dark places.
We bless our loud voice to our leaders and our gentle voice to each other.
We bless our anger at wrong and our compassion for the wronged.
We bless our vision and our confusion.
We bless our crawling into our Creator’s arms for comfort, nourishment and wisdom;
we bless our being sent back out to be godly in our world.

As our days turn towards warmth and light
As we prepare for the season of growth
We bless our past ––

Remembering that we can’t return to the past,
we bless the foundation it has given us for the future.
We bless our history, the stories that have been told.
We bless those who worshipped within these walls, whose work we continue.
We bless the things we would have done differently,
for the way this gives us clarity and commitment for change.
We bless what we hold on to,
for the stability and certainty it gives us as we explore the new.

As our days turn towards warmth and light
As we prepare for the season of growth
We bless our present ––

 We bless what we are now.
We bless our church and its heart for justice.
We bless our convictions and our integrity.
We bless our serving of each other in the day to day,
and the stories about God’s story we are telling.
We bless the daily restoration that renews us as we face the future.

 As our days turn towards warmth and light
As we prepare for the season of growth
We bless our potential ––

We bless our imagination and creativity for the future,
our openness to change,
our willingness to take risks,
our forgiveness of failure,
our confidence to start again.
We bless the stories we are preparing to write, that they will be filled with love and tolerance, with fairness and compassion, with warmth and humour.
We bless those stories knowing they flow from our Creator God,
The author of the story to which we all belong.

As our days turn towards warmth and light
As we prepare for the season of growth
We bless our people, place and purpose
We bless our past, present and potential.

Amen.

 

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