Lyrics from Garden


There are questions that wait in the shadows
doubts that lurk until we shut the lights off
and try to sleep

The kind of despair that forms its own tape over our mouths when we try to pray
The Question
trembles in our chest
fights its way out of our throats and sticks in the air
vapor-like warm breath meeting cold wind
God, where are you?

Maybe I shouldn't question you.
Maybe I shouldn't doubt you, but sometimes I do
sometimes life and tragedy and grief make it
difficult to believe you
I want to
but sometimes it's hard to
so, where are you now?

When I cry, when I try, when I want to know why?
Where do I find your quiet in the midst of the noise?
How do I not mistake your silence for the thought that you don't hear my voice?

There are questions that wait in the shadows
doubts that lurk until we shut the lights off
and try to sleep


Darkness such that haunts my soul
Desperate longing for an absent God
The torture and the pain I can't explain
My heart cries

Repulsed and empty in my soul
Revolted by the blatant lack of God
The torture and the pain I can't explain
My heart cries

Oh my God, where are you?
Oh my God, where are you?
Oh my God, my God, my God

Repulsed and empty in my soul
Revolted by the blatant lack of God
The torture and the pain I can't explain
My heart cries

Oh my God, where are you?
Oh my God, where are you?
Oh my God, my God, my God



It will bother you off and on, like a rock in your shoe, 
Or it will startle you, like the first crash of thunder in a summer storm, 
Or it will lodge itself beneath your skin like a splinter, 
Or it will show up again—the uninvited guest whose heavy footsteps you’d recognize anywhere, appearing at your front door with a suitcase in hand at the worst. possible. time. 
Or it will pull you farther out to sea like rip tide, 
Or hold your head under as you drown— 

Triggered by an image, a question, something the pastor said, something that doesn’t add up, the unlikelihood of it all, the too-good-to-be-trueness of it, the way the lady in the thick perfume behind you sings “Up from the grave he arose!” with more confidence in the single line of a song than you’ve managed to muster in the past two years. 

And you’ll be sitting there in the dress you pulled out from the back of your closet, swallowing down the bread and wine, not believing a word of it. 

Not. A. Word. 

So you’ll fumble through those back pocket prayers—“help me in my unbelief!”—while everyone around you moves on to verse two, verse three, verse four without you. 

You will feel their eyes on you, and you will recognize the concern behind their cheery greetings: “We haven’t seen you here in a while! So good to have you back.” 

And you will know they are thinking exactly what you used to think about Easter Sunday Christians: 

But you won’t know how to explain that there is nothing nominal or lukewarm or indifferent about standing in this hurricane of questions every day and staring each one down until you’ve mustered all the bravery and fortitude and trust it takes to whisper just one of them out loud on the car ride home: 

“What if we made this up because we’re afraid of death?” 

And you won’t know how to explain why, in that moment when the whisper rose out of your mouth like Jesus from the grave, you felt more alive and awake and resurrected than you have in ages because at least it was out, at least it was said, at least it wasn’t buried in your chest anymore, clawing for freedom. 

And, if you’re lucky, someone in the car will recognize the bravery of the act. If you’re lucky, there will be a moment of holy silence before someone wonders out loud if such a question might put a damper on Easter brunch. 

But if you’re not—if the question gets answered too quickly or if the silence goes on too long—please know you are not alone. 

There are other people signing words to hymns they’re not sure they believe today, other people digging out dresses from the backs of their closets today, other people ruining Easter brunch today, other people just showing up today. 

And sometimes, just showing up -  burial spices in hand -  is all it takes to witness a miracle. 


We Believe

We believe in God the father, maker of the heavens and the earth

Of all that is, both seen and not
The beauty of it all his hands have wrought 

But we believe that we are all alone
The earth is ours to plunder and to own

We believe 
Help us with our unbelief 
So we believe
What we believe 

We believe in Jesus Christ
The very son of God, the light of light

He taught and died and rose again
He gave us life that we might truly live 

But we believe that jesus christ was wrong 
For we oppress the poor, reward the strong

We believe the Holy Spirit is the Lord and giver of life 

We believe in resurrection, in the Church,the very bride of Christ

We believe that we must save ourselves 
The gates of heaven never shall prevail

Let us receive our faith again, with open minds and earth stained hands
not with empty words and plans 
But hearts wide open 



You have your breath
the exhale
the inhale
this life force that gently and quietly and unassumingly surges through you
and out

Your breath enters and then leaves your body
and your body is made up of all these molecules
which make up these cells
which make up these systems
You are this odd blend of soul and spirit, dust and bone
you have hair and eyelids and toes and elbows and knees and opinions
and you make assumptions and you have expectations

You are this potluck of emotions and feelings and physicality
You are part mountain and part ocean and part

You are a fascinating endless mystery and then you move about
this world
and there is cement and taxes
and there is your insurance agent and there is the person you buy bread from
and you have people that you love and you have people who are like human sandpaper
they annoy you to no end
There are people you embrace you embrace on a regular day
and there are people that you pass by one on a street in a large city on the other side of the world and you will never be close to them again as long as you live

You live in this body with this breath that comes
and goes
and then in this body you experience this world with wind and waves and trees and rocks and deserts
and mountains

It's all part of what you call your life
and in these experiences with this breath coming and going
and in this body, with these people that you know and this set of circumstances that is called
your life
you have these experiences and some of these experiences fill you with hope
and with life

Sometimes it's a beautiful song
Sometimes it's holding the hand of your young daughter
Sometimes it's sitting by the bed as your grandfather takes his last breath
Sometimes it's a holiday meal with relatives
Sometimes it's friends from school
Sometimes it's that moment at work where you get the sense that what you're doing

We have these moments of meaning, these moments of substance
these moments when we think "yes, there is a point to this"

And then there are the other moments

The moments of despair
the moments when it doesn't go well
There are the long cold silences

There is that thing that happens when the alarm goes off in this morning and you think "another day"

There is that thing that happens when you are driving to work and you think "why? what's the point?"

There is that small habit that grew and grew until now it's like a destructive pattern
you don't know what to do with it

And so what happens ever so gradually
if we do not guard our hearts
is that we come to be gradually overtaken by this pervasive sense that there might not be a point to it

underneath it all it actually is random and pointless

And so what happens is those good, beautiful, true, moving, inspiring moments
the lump in the throat
the tear in the eye
that sense when you embrace somebody and it feels like you're holding the Universe in your hands

Those moments start to feel like they're just little detours
and escapes from how it really is
Which is cold, dark, lonely, and pointless

Resurrection is the opposite

Resurrection says oh, no, no, no, no, no. Those glimpses, those are actually the real thing
They're the thing that undergird the whole thing
Just that moment when that person said that kind word and it ignited a whole new world in your heart
That was just an aberration from how things are
That was a sign, a symbol, a glimpse, a glance of how it actually is

Resurrection says that this is our home and that our home is good
Resurrection says that not only is our home good
but everything about our home that is wrong, twisted, broken, destructive, flawed, and failed
everything about it
whether it may hurt and whether it may be something like cancer that is real
and however big the bruise is
and however much blood there is on the floor
whatever it is
however real it is
and however much it broke your heart
it is, in the end, in some really, really hard to describe way

That in fact, there is a new creation bursting forth
right here in the middle of this one
and there is a new heaven and a new earth coming together
and that this Jesus, in his resurrection insists that in the conquering of death
he has brought about something new
something you can trust
that whatever is holding you down
whatever feels like it's drowning you
whatever feels like it's a weight chained to your ankle
does not have the last word

That is resurrection

Now, a guy rising from the dead 2,000 years ago
can I prove that happened?

No, no one can
and be very suspicious of anybody who says they can prove that
and be especially suspicious of sermons where people spend 45 minutes proving to you that a man actually rose from the dead
Nobody knows

What we know is there has been a community of people for several thousand years
who insist that something happened
that a tomb is empty
and that when you trust this story something will be unleashed
and unlocked in your heart
and in your life

So yes, it's history
but it's a bigger, better, wider, more expansive understanding of history

So for those who think "What? Come on. How far fetched is that?"
Try it
Try living in this story
Try trusting that all those little glimpses and glances of hope and beauty and truth and light
That they weren't aberrations
They weren't mistakes
They weren't some blip in the system
They were actually showing you what it's really like
That this new life is as close as the breath you just took
and the breath you're about to take



Thistled ground 
Tomb of my love 
Heart torn apart 
Coming God 
Soften the soil 
Tend now the scars 

Your love breaks us open 
Resurrects a garden 
A garden 

‘Love’, you said 
Poured out like wine 
Broken like bread 
Waken us 
Enliven our minds 
Unearth the dead 

Rend this heart of stone and mend it into flesh 
Let your love bring me to life 
Yield this hardened earth until a garden spills the ground 
And brings us back to life 

Your love breaks us open 
Resurrects a garden 
A garden


Centering Prayer II

For this month's meditation portion of the liturgy, we invite you to slow down.  Find a quiet space where you will not have any interruptions, and for the next 20 minutes or so, we invite you to focus on the love of God using your breath.  Science shows us that human brains are oriented towards responding to the stress of living with fear or anger. The simple act of focusing on God's love allows us to orient our brains towards compassion, empathy, focus and concentration.

As you breath now, we invite you to imagine that you are inhaling the very love of God that creates and sustains the world. With every inhalation, imagine God's love filling your lungs, spreading into your bloodstream and nourishing your entire being with light and grace.  And then when you breathe out, imagine you breathing that love back into the world. Into your relationships. Into your work. All your activity and places of influence. Imagine you breathing in the life and love of God and breathing it back out into a world that desperately needs it.  So close your eyes. Become aware of your breath, and use it as a prayer.

During this period of quiet reflection, you may find it useful to repeat this mantra, "My God Loves Me" while touching each of your fingers in turn with your thumb. This has been shown to increase the neurological effectiveness of prayer and meditation, and it makes it easy to still wandering thoughts.

Simply alternate between periods of breathing meditation and mantra, in whatever pattern feels best to you.

Our Father, which art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name;
thy kingdom come;
thy will be done,
in earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive them that trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation;
but deliver us from evil.
[For thine is the kingdom,
the power, and the glory,
for ever and ever.]