Posted by Guest Contributor on July 19, 2020

We recently heard from Nell Wulff in St. Louis, Missouri, and Moe Nieman in Cincinnati, Ohio, who together wrote a blessing for face masks. They agreed to share it and invited us to do so. You may want to keep a copy next to your masks, as a reminder of the good that they do.

The Blessing of the Masks
by Moe Nieman and Nell Wulff

May our Good and Loving Creator bless these masks . . .

Posted by Micah Bucey on June 5, 2020

Micah Bucey is one of S&P's film reviewers. A United Church of Christ-ordained minister, he currently serves Judson Memorial Church of New York City, a congregation committed to curiously seeking the intersections between spirituality, justice, and creativity. We have been posting his short prayers that touch upon the concerns of populations affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Since the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, he has focused on black lives taken and the protests springing up around the world. We will continue to add to his prayers for those killed, for protestors, and more.

Here are the prayers . . .

Posted by Micah Bucey on March 30, 2020

Micah Bucey is one of S&P's film reviewers. A United Church of Christ-ordained minister, he currently serves Judson Memorial Church of New York City, a congregation committed to curiously seeking the intersections between spirituality, justice, and creativity. He has been posting short prayers on his Facebook page that touch upon the concerns of populations affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. He kindly agreed to let us share his posts, to bring you fresh energy and inspiration.

We are also following Micah's tiny prayers on global protests in the wake of George Floyd's death at the hands of Minneapolis police.

Here are the prayers for those affected by COVID-19 . . .

Posted by Patricia Campbell Carlson on March 20, 2020

In times that strain our resources, our energy, and our resilience, we need refreshment of spirit more than ever. The following prayer by Christine Valters Paintner — an American poet and writer living in Galway, Ireland, who founded the Abbey of the Arts — helps refill our wells by recalling all for which we can be grateful during this pandemic and by blessing all who find themselves in need. Our thanks to Christine for her permission to share this work-in-progress with you.

Praise Song for the Pandemic

Praise be the nurses and doctors, every medical staff bent over flesh to offer care, for lives saved and lives lost, for showing up either way,

Praise for the farmers ...

Posted by Mary Ann Brussat on January 29, 2020

March 3, 2020: The chief of the World Health Organization (WHO) warns that "we are in uncharted territory" with more than 90,000 cases (and counting ...) of Covid19 worldwide. As of this writing, 73 countries and territories have documented cases.

January 29, 2020. The Associated Press reports that there are more than 5,000 confirmed cases of the coronavirus and 132 deaths in China. Other countries have begun evacuating their citizens from Wuhan, the center of the outbreak since it first appeared in December. The symptoms include cough, fever, and pneumonia. As of this writing, cases have been reported in the United States, Australia, Cambodia, Canada, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, Macau, Malaysia, Nepal, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, the United Arab Emirates, and Vietnam. The outbreak has affected international sporting events and travel, including travel within China for the Chinese New Year.

And so we pray this news . . .

Posted by Patricia Campbell Carlson on January 2, 2020

Ecologists at the University of Australia in Sydney estimate that nearly 480 million mammals, birds, and reptiles have been killed by the bush fires sweeping the state of New South Wales, according to The Huffington Post. Pictures appearing in the news and on social media are heartwrenching and terrifying — and that's nothing compared to the actual experience of the people and animals facing the smoke and fires for weeks on end.

Prayer does not come easily . . .

Posted by Patricia Campbell Carlson on September 5, 2019

Photo courtesy of pixundfertig at Pixabay.com

The Amazon's tropical rainforests — often described as "the Earth's lungs" because they generally draw in carbon dioxide and breathe out oxygen — have seen a record number of more than 74,000 fires in 2019. "We're all looking at what we can do about it," says Lynne Twist, who describes herself as "a proactivist, driven by a vision." She co-founded The Pachamama Alliance and founded The Soul of Money Institute, dedicated to alleviating poverty and hunger and to advocating for indigenous rights and the rights of nature.

In a video remix of her responses to the Brazilian fires, she describes Amazonia as "a treasure ...

Posted by Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat on August 29, 2019

Photo Credit: Barbary Ape by Alexas_Fotos, courtesy of Pixabay

In The Week, August 30, 2019, we learn that according to the United Nations up to one million species face extinction. The Trump Administration has created new rules for enforcing the Endangered Species Act: These changes will "gut the landmark law which protects1,663 imperiled animal and plant species." Seven major environmental groups, including the Sierra Club, have sued the administration over these rules.

And so we pray this news . . .

Posted by Mary Ann Brussat on June 10, 2019

Crop fires have become a weapon of war in Iraq and Syria. An article on Morning Ag Clips reports that farmers were looking forward to the best harvest since war began across the region, but now once golden fields of wheat and barley have been destroyed by fires presumed to have been deliberately set by fighters of the Islamic State and perhaps others. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said more than 74,000 acres (30,000 hectares) of farmland in Hassakeh, Raqqa and all the way to Aleppo province to the west, have been burned.

And so we pray this news . . .

Posted by Patricia Campbell Carlson on May 6, 2019

"One million species face extinction, U.N. report says. And humans will suffer as a result," observed The Washington Post on May 6, 2019. We surely have not yet run out of sit-up-and-take-notice warnings about human impact on the climate and therefore on all of life.

When I was in sixth grade, some teachers at Cayuga Heights Elementary School took it upon themselves to help us understand "one million." They printed one million x's on computer paper and posted the sheets along the ceiling of the long hallway that extended from the gym to the library. It took five minutes to walk that hallway, and gazing up at those tiny gray marks was a mind-boggling experience.

We are not talking about one million living creatures. We are talking about one million species . . .

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About This Blog

The daily news summons us to prayer. The people, situations, and events of our times call out for our compassion and God's healing presence. In this blog we will pray in a variety of forms as we lift up the needs of the world. We hope that by praying the news in this way we will also expand both our spirituality and our practice. More

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