A Prayer for Times of Loneliness

call out to your savior in silence
let him hear your faithful waiting
here in this dark place
where only the candle burns to remind us that
the Lord always comes for his own

written by Joel Mason

Good Things

God of
and yellow leaves in the air,
you have given us enough.
There is enough
for everyone, even for those
who die from too little,
because you have made
even death
You bring us,
if we would go,
from a pure heart,
to a growing heart,
to a pure heart.

God who
has hands all marked with work,
you have enough time.

You are a deep sea, deep enough
for peace under any wind.

I stretch like the leaves;
I follow your sustenance.
You are vitamins, you are molten core,
you are flint and secret ocean floor.
You are language, you’re the kiss,
you’re the one who walks in dreams.

I add my off-pitch notes
with the monks in their hoods,
cold cheeks and warmth in their chests,
to the morning mass woman,
old and regular, aching knees,
tongue stretched out for the host.
To the tree black crows in a yellow tree,
your harsh prophets.
To the maple leaf high in a grey sky,
before it goes to rest.
God, you are enough.

written by Katie Gorrie

Creating Community

If you care about community, discount excuses like this:

We’re too busy
I don’t want to be intrusive
Others might want to spend time with me
There’s nobody around who cares about what I care about
My virtual community is enough
(If your circumstances really don’t allow for the development of community in your life, ask hard questions about priorities)

Be attracted especially to three kinds of people:

a) people who embody (or show signs of) the kind of whole life and wisdom that you would like to see more of in your life
b) People who are in need and open to relational helping
c) others, like yourself, who are wanting more community in their life

Create patterns and structures that involve common life (regular time together with others – don’t count on spontaneity)

Create patterns of interdependence (like tool-sharing or even car-sharing)

Practice hospitality (without questions of balance or reciprocity) & celebrate with others

Communicate vulnerability (ask for help)

Create or get involved in projects where you need to work alongside others

Ask for others to join you when making changes to live more justly with others and with the environment (or at least for their support, even if they don’t agree with how radical your steps are)

Takes risks of pushing past “normal socializing” – conventional won’t lead to unconventional results

Confront conflict in ways that show you care about the relationship and are confident the relationship will survive the conflict. Guard against letting relationships slip away because some conflict made it uncomfortable.

Find ways to increase geographical proximity – be willing to commit to relationships with people

Ask questions that initiate creative responses from your friends, especially about how to follow God in today’s world

Create community in more than one direction (example – one community focused on common Christian values, one community focused on your geographic community or local need)

written by Walter Thiessen

On Incarnation, Literature, and Justice

A good reading of narrative and image (dominant aspects of literature) leads to vulnerability and openness in the classroom, an openness to the challenge of living who you are and living who you are meant to be. It cultivates respect for the practice and art of being creative: and being creative means living and learning in a spirit of openness to God, to self (the deepest unknown internal territory), and to others.

– Margaret Anne Smith

Christmas Thoughts

In the birth of the small and vulnerable Jesus, we already celebrate by extension the crucified and resurrected Jesus, and this means something concrete regarding materialism and the luminosity of the Gospel. As his imitators, we are called to simplicity just as Jesus was. We are called to identification with those whose financial status disqualifies them from participating in the mad rush of holiday shopping, just as Jesus is. We are called, not to family-centrism, but to open our doors to those who may be crushed by loneliness, just as Jesus did.


What I mean is that until we find ourselves looking like Jesus at Christmas: poor, humble, and extremely open, then we have nothing to say to the culture. But have good cheer! I am convinced that we have been given a wonderful party with incredible joy waiting for us in the humility of the pennyless babe!

– Joel Mason