Canterbury Downtown

Inaugural Night Prayers Reflection, September 4, 2013

Night Prayers card image

A new semester begins, an ancient story is retold, God with us, from before we came into being – knit together in our mother’s womb, God with us, the still small voice calling us to peace amidst the rush and busy-ness it is easy to wrap ourselves in.  God with us, grace upon grace, calling us to be present to God and one another.  The following reflection is an adaptation of a poem written by a previous bishop of Nevada, called the dream.  It is a vision of church, a vision of community, a vision of becoming the Body of Christ together.  As we enter this school year, let us be, let us become, let us become the Body of Christ, together.


Let us dream of a church

in which all members know surely and simply God’s great love,

and each is certain that in the divine heart we are all known by name.

In which Jesus is very Word, our window into the Father’s heart;

the sign of God’s hope and his design for all humankind.

In which the Spirit is not a brand, but wind and fire in everyone;

gracing the church with a kaleidoscope of gifts and constant renewal for all.

A church in which

worship is lively and fun as well as reverent and holy;

and we might be moved to dance and laugh;

to be solemn, cry or beat the breast.

People know how to pray and enjoy it – frequently and regularly,

privately and corporately, in silence and in word and song.

With service flowing from worship, and everyone understanding why a worship is

called a service.

Let us imagine a church

without the answers, but asking the right questions;

holding law and grace, freedom and authority, faith and works together in tension,

and by the Holy Spirit, pointing to the glorious mystery of who is God.

Let us dream of a church

affirming life over death as much as life after death,

unafraid of change, able to recognize God’s hand in the revolutions,

affirming the beauty of diversity,

abhorring the imprisonment of uniformity,

as concerned about love in all relationships as it is about chastity,

and affirming the personal in all expressions of sexuality;

denying the separation between secular and sacred, world and church,

since it is the world Christ came to and died for.

Let us dream of a church.

Let us become the body of Christ.

Called by name, marked by water, alight with fire, passionate, prayerful, connected.

 In Jesus name.  Amen.

Adaptations made by Chaplain Mary Cat Young for Night Prayers with Canterbury Downtown

Click here for full text of The Dream by Bishop Wesley Frensdorff

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