Tag Archives: Baltimore

A Prayer for St. John’s UCC

This is one of my favorite prayers that I’ve written.  It came to me as I prepared for the Annual Meeting of the church in 2011.

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A Prayer for St. John’s UCC

God of stunning golden leaves and soft pink cherry blossoms,

God of children’s laughter and squeals of delight,

            We thank you for this place you share with us—

                                    this church that is St. John’s. 

Lord, you have filled this place with sweet songs, gurgling infants, and creaking bones—a wide and diverse gathering of your people: 

            and for this, we give you thanks. 

Holy One, you have taken a group of German immigrants building a house of faith and transformed them into a city on a hill—

            full of the joy of the gospel

            and welcoming all your children,

                        of all backgrounds, ages and races. 

            Again, for this, we give you thanks and praise. 

God who loves all the world and sent your Son to save it,

            We call on you this day and every day to strengthen your people of St. John’s to do the work of the Gospel: 

            to offer extravagant welcome to all you send through our doors;

            to share in heartfelt worship and praise;

            to serve as Jesus Christ taught us;

            and to open our hearts and minds to learning something new about you each day of our lives.

Each day, dear God, make clear for us the path which Jesus Christ showed us to follow. 

            Strengthen us by your unconditional love. 

            Fill us with your joy. 

            Guide us by your Holy Spirit. 

            Breathe in us the wisdom of being grateful for all you share with us.

We pray, this day and every day, you will shape our lives and our church into what you call us to be.

We offer this thanksgiving and praise, and we ask for this guidance in the name of the one whom we follow: Jesus Christ, our Lord.  Amen.

 

 

Grits and God-talk Finally Comes to Life!

Well, bless your heart, you’ve stumbled upon the internet home of Rev. Jennifer Sowell Glover.  Welcome!  This is the place where I ruminate a bit on God, share my thoughts on ministry, and celebrate my life and family.  And dream a dream or two, as well.

There cannot be God-talk without grits! These are spicy pepper cheese grits that accompanied VooDoo Salmon and succotash on Valentine’s Day 2014.

If you were in my actual house, like any good Southerner, I would apologize profusely for “the mess” (and unlike most Southerners, in my house there is an ACTUAL mess!), insist you sit in the most comfortable chair, and offer you something to drink or eat.  Since we are on the ‘net, I’ll just say a quick prayer of thanks that you can see my site without seeing my laundry pile!

Now, you may be asking yourself why on earth this blog is entitled “Grits and God-talk.”  It’s a good question.  It’s a title I’ve been tossing around in my head for about ten years now, and reflects where I’ve been and who I am.

Grits, as you might know, are a quintessential Southern food.  And while I’ve never been a huge fan of that “other” quintessential Southern food (sweet tea), I do love grits.  Good, fluffy, buttery grits.  One side of my Southern family loves them with sugar and butter, and that was my favorite for a long time.  The other side always preferred salt, pepper and butter– and when I met my husband and he suggested I add a little hot sauce, I was sold.  On him and the grits.

What you might not know about grits is that good ones can be hard to find.  Fluffy grits.  Often outside of the South, they are watery and overly gritty.  No good.  As much as I loved New York City, and as much as I love the area of Maryland where I currently live, both places could use some lessons in cooking grits!

Good grits are hard to find.  And so is good God-talk.  Honest God-talk.  God-talk that allows you to be yourself, have joy and great faith, wrestle with doubt and grief and hesitation.  God-talk that welcomes everyone and allows for differences.

And that is what I hope this blog will be.  A warm, welcome, and satisfying experience, like a bowl of grits made your favorite way.  A place where I can be myself, and you can be yourself.  And we can all celebrate that we are God’s beloved children, and that our differences are the thing that makes God so awesome– not the things to tear us apart!