Saturday, October 13, 2007

More on Hospitality

I'm continuing to think about hospitality. My husband and I were treated with extravagant hospitality by the folks at Northwest Navigation on our small ship cruise in the San Juan Islands last weekend. Our Chef, Christine prepared gluten-free breads three times a day, a luxury, since we confine ourselves to rice cakes and store bought rice bread bricks.

Captain Jeffrey asked what we wanted to see. "Orcas" was our answer and he delivered, with extreme cooperation by the whales who leaped out of the water, seemingly just for the fun of it. A lesson to me that in the midst of all our seriousness to survive and make a living, carve out a life, and more, that we are created for joy. More leaping needed all around.

The good people at Northwest, just three of them, have lovingly restored their boat, the David B, a classic from 1929 from dilapidation to new life as a passenger vessel. I can't recommend them or the experience more highly.

And more on the hospitality vein--a week from today my church is holding our annual meeting at a retreat center and will spend a day dreaming together after our business, Communion and lunch. We're calling it a retreat, but it's too full a day for that to be accurate. I've decided it's a Convergence. A coming together in a common vision and purpose.

In that spirit, I offer this pray for all who will be present, and for those of you preparing to lead and/or attend your annual church meetings.

Welcome us O gracious Host
as we come into your presence.
We have answered your invitation
to gather in celebration and striving
to be a people and a church
whose actions and desires
will bring us closer
into relationship with you,
with each other and our larger

May we rest comfortably this day
in this time set apart from the
everyday routines of our lives.
Renew us through your presence
and through the presence
of one another.
Guide our words and thoughts
as we speak to you
and to each other.

Feed us all that we need
to strengthen our bodies and spirits
to nourish our gifts and talents
to encourage our dreams and visions.

Let us share our lives
with you and with this family
gathered today, knowing
that you have created
each of us uniquely.
May we celebrate the diversity
among us, and the unity of purpose
that working in ways
to bring your love and Good News
into this world can inspire.

Transform us this day
as we pray, plan and feast,
as we listen, speak and ponder.

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