Summer Sabbath Series | First Released in 2020
Four Devotions for Your Staycation, Back Deck or When your Church Takes a Summer Sabbath.
- A resource to deepen prayer and spirituality.
- Is your church taking a Summer Sabbath? Here is a resource to use over four Sundays.
- Sending out Faith Formation emails? You can share this one by email.
- Planning a summer worship series, here is the basis of a theme.
This series is titled The Inventions of Summer
The poet, Mary Oliver gazes on the splendour of roses and decides there is no end to the “inventions of summer.” This phrase, from her poem, “The Roses” in her book, Devotions, The Selected Poems of Mary Oliver, prompted me to reflect on the “inventions of summer” that inspire me.
I thought of many:
- I love sunflowers and seeing them turn their face to the sky. They preach praise and pronounce a blessing.
- I can’t wait for the first taste of garden-fresh string beans. They teach willingness and ask me to name my prayers of thanksgiving and ponder how I return blessing to Earth.
- I remember catching fireflies in a mason jar. Do you? Fireflies speak a language of love. This prompts us to pray for others.
- Then there are mosquitoes. “Mosquitoes? You say!” Yes, these mosquitoes teach us to pray in hard times.
Join me in reflecting on these “inventions of summer.”
The pattern is simple. I begin with offering a scripture for you to read and pull out a short focussing verse. I share a reflection for you to ponder. There is a breath prayer, a short phrase you can learn by heart and use throughout the day/week. The spiritual practice explores a different form of prayer: Praise, Thanksgiving, Praying for Others, Praying in Hard Times.
Deepen your spirituality with Summer Sabbath. Use the spaces between the words for drawing, doodling, writing a poem or a prayer or journalling your thoughts about the Inventions of Summer that delight (or pester) you.
Here is the Outline:
Theme 1. SUNFLOWERS: Pronouncing a Blessing
Theme 2. STRING BEANS: Taking up the Offerings
Theme 3: MOSQUITOES: Praying Through Hard Times
Theme 4: FIREFLIES: Praying for Others
Print this small booklet to nurture and enrich your summer-time space. Take it with you on your stay-cation or to the back deck to deepen your Summer Sabbath. Read one devotion and practice for seven days before reading the next one.
Perhaps you belong to a community of faith that takes a Sabbath break over the summer and closes for a few weeks. This small booklet offers devotions to use on four Sundays. Know you are joined in prayer and community with many others.
Here’s what is included:
1. An easily downloaded and ready to print PDF file with four devotions and prayer practices (8 double-sided pages)
2. An easily downloaded and ready to personalize WORD file. Make it personal to share with friends, members of your group or community of faith. There is space for you to offer a welcome or greeting on on page 3.
3. Permission to print copies to share with your friends or make available for use in worship. Photocopy as is or use your printer settings to make a booklet.
4. Permission is given to use as the basis of a Summer Worship Series with attribution to the Prayer Bench.
5. Permission to print in newsletters or use on private Facebook group page. Only copyright limitation: Please do not share on public social media posts or websites. And if you can think of other uses, just ask.
Here is a little video you can share. The Inventions of Summer
*Upon payment you receive a confirmation email with a WORD and PDF file of this resource. Please email me if you have any issues.