" H e y   A l l "
           Notes from the Vicar of Grace
              inclusion · service · discovery · gratitude
The Rev. Bill Harper

Hey All.


One more time.  This week the kids came back for another Tuesday afternoon and we said some more prayers.  It wasn't like last week Tuesday.  It was a new week, and a new experience.  And more kids came.  They are my new best friends, and to sit with them, and call them by name, and hear them tell me stories-can you imagine?  This is a blessing.  Lindsay brought me one perfect pink camellia blossom, and together we put it in the center of the altar.  I could see in her eyes that this was a true offering. Then all of us--all 38 of us, plus (thank God!) Debbie Rimkus--sat in a circle together in front of candles, string and beads.  We sat in quiet, we did "ohm" and listen, and we let our thoughts and feelings float to the outside of our bodies so God could scoop them up.  Then we tried the new thing: using words to say our prayers. 


"Teach us to pray," the disciples said to Jesus.  When you pray, said Jesus, be simple.  Not big words, just your words.  "Our father in heaven . . ."


And so we tried using words.  And our hands.  We tied seven beads on our strings, each one for a prayer:


  1. "Quiet" bead.  Sit.  Being bead.  Rest.
  2. "Thank you" bead.  Just that.  Every day.  Say it out loud, to the sky and to your heart.
  3. "Good" bead.  As in name something good about today.  Feel the good stuff.
  4. "Sorry" bead.  Can't go a day without "sorry."  Not one.
  5. "World" bead.  Tell God about the World.  God knows, of course, but welcomes your ideas and hopes.
  6. "Family" bead.  For your family.  Each member.
  7. "2nd Quiet" bead.  Sit and be, again.


Do we need more than those 7 words?  On Tuesday it was just enough.  And today too.  I have 7 beads on a string in my pocket to remind me.

                                       Bill's Signature

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