Mary Icon Series Sample
“Doubt is a pain too lonely to know that faith is its twin brother.” Kahlil Gibran
“We have all known the long loneliness, and we have found that the answer is community.” Dorothy Day
From Our Lady of Sorrows, depicted as "Mater Dolorosa" (Mother of Sorrows) has been the subject of some key works of Roman Catholic Marian art. Mater Dolorosa is one of the three common artistic representations of a sorrowful Virgin Mary, the other two being Stabat Mater and Pietà.
In this image, Mary is seen with tears and in anguish over the death of her son. Option here would be to invite participants to meditate on the icon and/or share their responses to it. If time does not allow, perhaps have a chosen member prepare a few minutes to explain their own response to the icon and what the imagery brings up for them.
Scripture: Luke 23:1-49: Sentencing and Death of Jesus
Children’s time: Feeling of Sadness and Grief, what makes you sad? How do you cope? Writing letters to shut ins, or drawing pictures to cheer them up.
Poem: Hope is the thing with feathers by Emily Dickinson
Song: Imagine by John Lennon
Sermon themes: The power of hope in light of grief. This worship series culminates in Mary standing at the bottom of the cross. What was she thinking? What was she feeling? The Pieta gives little clue to her anguish. Jesus faced injustice and was killed. How do we understand the world when we are faced with injustice? We do what Mary did: we show up. What does showing up mean in your life? Does it mean tossing aside grief, ignoring pain, tolerating abuse, or it to show up to justice, connection, empathy and honesty?
We Are Spiritual Seekers: Lessons Through The Sound of Music Sample
Week 2: Seeking Forgiveness
artwork: Find Rest in This Place by Emily Jeffords
Summary from Wikipedia: While the Captain is away in Vienna, Maria makes play clothes for the children and takes them around Salzburg and the surrounding mountains, and teaches them how to sing. When the Captain returns to the villa with Baroness Elsa Schraeder, a wealthy socialite, and their mutual friend, Max Detweiler, they are greeted by Maria and the children returning from a boat ride on the lake that concludes when their boat overturns. Displeased by his children's clothes and activities, and Maria's impassioned appeal that he get closer to his children, the Captain orders her to return to the abbey. Just then he hears singing coming from inside the house and is astonished to see his children singing for the Baroness. Filled with emotion, the Captain joins his children, singing for the first time in years. Afterwards, he apologizes to Maria and asks her to stay.
Scripture: Matthew 7:1-6, John 8:7
Song: “The Sound of Music”
Children’s time: What is your favorite song? What makes your heart sing? Bring musical instruments and allow them to test them out and ask them what their favorites are and why.
Member Moment: 5 minutes or less when a member shares about how forgiveness has changed them.
Poem: Forgiveness is the Cash by Hafiz
Sermon Themes: Jesus speaking about forgiveness often in gospels; the definition of forgiveness (Brene Brown) and how it is not contingent on whether the person deserves it or not. Forgiveness and the unburdening of the soul. Integrity and awareness of when we have to seek forgiveness of others like the Captain. When we forgive and lighten our load, we are more able to hear the Sound of Music, the sounds of God speaking to us, the ability for us to follow The Way.
Cosmic Christ Sample
artwork by Pacoshabe: Black Hole
“Our job is to love others without stopping to inquire whether or not they are worthy” Thomas Merton
Impossible to observe, black holes are the result of immense gravity coalescing into one spot, which in effect "bends" spacetime into a "hole."
Scripture: 1John 1:1 Formless now has a form, Colossians 1:15-20 Eternal Christ
Reading: The day of my spiritual awakening
was the day I saw and knew I saw
all things in God and God in all things.
—Mechtild of Magdeburg (c. 1212—c. 1282)
Poem: William Stafford’s A Valley Like This
Children’s Time: Read book: Care and Feeding of a Pet Black Hole by Michelle Cuevas; discuss when we feel loss what do we do?
Special music: Cellist, Mozart sonata or similar
Sermon Themes: Black holes are created when a star dies. When ideas die and our hearts are wounded or we grieve losses, where does that energy go? How do we cope with that loss? The idea that Christ is cosmic is right in the bible (Cite Matthew Fox and Richard Rohr’s teachings in the Cosmic Christ). Discussion on how we humans always had a vague sense of God, but when God became present in Christ, it was clear for us to see. Black holes are only detectible by their gravity. God detectible now by how Christlike we can be.