Welcome to Poetry & Prayer: Day One

You might want to read the Introductory Post to this Prayer Bench series. Poetry and Prayer will be a continuing category at the Prayer Bench but the next eight days give particular presence to the meeting of the General Council of The United Church of Canada in Corner Brook, NL.

On this day, 356 delegates and volunteers arrive and begin their orientation to the gathering. The Council opens in the evening. This Council holds deep invitation and challenge.

To lead into prayer today a poem by Marilyn Chandler McEntyre, selected by Moderator, the Rt. Rev. Gary Paterson.
McEntyre, a writer and Professor of Medical Humanities,“creates connections between language, medicine, faith and the world.” (Twitter description) She is a new discovery for the Moderator who loves poetry.

Her poem begins with a quote from Walter Bruggeman and the line, “Birth keeps happening.”
The Moderator holds up the last few lines:

The call of the moment takes us by surprise.
Every assent resets our course:
Begin now. And now. Begin again.

Let us hold in prayer the opening of the General Council meeting.
Let us hold all the beginnings possible in the work that lays before the commissioners.

Read the whole poem here.  Note: Scroll down to the second last poem.