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  • Writer's pictureDavid Carlson

Sunday, September 10: Let's celebrate together today!

Sunday, September 10th: Let's celebrate together today!




Joyful Welcoming starts at 3:45. But lots of people arrive at 3:30 -- either in person or on ZOOM. Our liturgy begins about 4:00 pm. We follow the liturgy with a wonderful potluck. All are welcome!

In Person: We meet at

Knox Presbyterian & Thanksgiving Lutheran Churches

1650 W. Third St.

Santa Rosa, CA 95401

Join Zoom Meeting with this link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/5193158573 Passcode: 1234

Or join with the Meeting ID: 519 315 8573 Passcode: 1234


Or by phone:

One tap mobile +16699006833,,5193158573# US (San Jose)


Emmaus Liturgy for September 10, 2023


I have heard so much about division, the possibility of Civil War and seen the suffering of Morocco, the storms impacting Florida, fires in Hawaii and wars in Ukraine and in Africa. Never ending misery – is this the lot of our nation and our world? We can’t escape the facts or the 24 hour news cycle. But just as we joined together 2 weeks ago to delve deep, let’s take this time together to take a breath and think about the abundant blessings we have received. I’ve been listening to a book called Braiding Sweetgrass and I was struck by the prayer of Thanksgiving shared by the First Peoples of the Seneca Tribe and which found its way into the villages of many tribes in North America.


Let’s put aside our papers, our cares, take a breath and listen (feel free to close your eyes)


Seneca Thanksgiving Prayer

And now we are gathered together to remember the Divine Spirit’s first instruction to us: to love one another always, we who move about on this earth.


And the Divine Spirit said that when even just two people meet, they should first greet each other by saying “thank you for being alive in the here and now and not adding to the confusion of the world. So the first thing we will do is give thanks for our lives.


And the Divine Spirit gave us the Earth on which to live and roam. We refer to her as “Our Mother, Who Supports Our Feet.” And our mother gives us everything we need in order to live and be happy. She teaches us to be generous and nurturing, yet strong.

We give thanks for Our Mother Who Supports Our Feet.


And the Divine Spirit decided to have Plants growing on the earth. They are available in abundance as Medicines to heal us and Food to sustain us.

And we have Berries which come back every year when the winds turn warm again. In giving thanks for them, we give thanks for the warm winds that usher in the season of abundance.

We give thanks for Plants and Berries.



And the Divine Spirit gave us the life’s blood of our mother to sustain us. When the new day dawns, the first thing we use is Water and it’s the last thing we use at night. It comes from the springs, brooks, ponds, lakes and rivers. It is found not only on the earth, but even falls from the heavens in the form of blessed rain. We give thanks for Sacred Water.


And the Divine Spirit decided to put Forests on the earth. The trees of the forest provide warmth, fuel and protection. We call them our Tall Standing Brothers and they live their lives drinking in the sun. When they die and give themselves for the fire, they represent the Sun here on earth. We give thanks for Our Tall Standing Brothers, the Trees.



And the Animals are a great gift – they are our friends and relatives upon the earth. The four leggeds test us and amuse us; they’re our teachers and companions. And they provide food and clothing for us. And there are Birds with outstretched wings who dance upon the air and sing a beautiful song that ushers in the warm spring. And they also provide us with food.

We give thanks for the Animals and Birds.


The Wind strengthens the people as they move about on the earth. It strengthens our breath, clears the air as well as our minds and carries the voice of the ancient ones all over the earth so that, even in the desert, the smallest whisper reminds us we are never alone.

We give thanks for the Wind.


And the Divine Spirit fashioned a sky above us and put a helper in the sky who moves about across the earth, yet lives in the sky. This helper always comes from the east and travels to the west. His heart is so big and strong, and his love for his relations so great, that he lights the entire sky when he passes by. This light is our Elder Brother, The Sun.

We give thanks for our Elder Brother, the Sun.


But there is also a time when the earth is in shadow so the Divine Spirit gave us another helper for this time: the Night Circle Of Light, our Grandmother, the Moon. Our grandmother is a measure for us up to this present time. She changes her form daily: she regulates the tides on our mother the earth and also in the bodies of women. She also taught us how to measure through the cycle of the seasons.

We give thanks for the Night Circle of Light, Grandmother Moon.


And the Divine Spirit also put the Stars in the sky while it is dark. They are indicators and we can find our way by them. Each one has a name, and there is one for every human on the earth, those living now and those who have passed on.

We give thanks for Stars.


The Four Winds, the directions, are our protectors. Wherever we go, wherever we stand, we are at the center of the four winds, and we want to speak good words to them so that they may bless us with their protection.


And the Divine Spirit, told us this: “I shall continue to dwell above the sky, and that is where those on the earth will end their thanksgiving. I shall always be listening carefully to what the people are saying and shall always be watching carefully what they do. They will begin on the earth, giving thanks for all that they see. They will carry that gratitude upward, ending where I dwell.”



Finally we give thanks for our brother Jesus who broke all the rules, cured so many, grew through his experience with women and outsiders and all those who had faith in his vision. May we learn to be fearless as he was fearless, joyful as he was joyful, accepting of everyone as he was accepting, forgiving as he was forgiving.


Let us be of one mind. It is spoken, it is beautiful.


Second Reading is a letter from Paul to the community in Rome:


Sisters and Brothers:

Owe nothing to anyone, except to love one another;

for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law.

The commandments, "You shall not commit adultery;

you shall not kill; you shall not steal; you shall not covet, "

and whatever other commandment there may be,

are summed up in this saying, namely,

"You shall love your neighbor as yourself."

Love does no evil to the neighbor;

hence, love is the fulfillment of the law.


Community Homily: For what are we thankful?


Eucharistic Prayer: (portions of this Eucharistic prayer from poem: Eucharista by J.Richardson)

Presider ( ):

We give great thanks for the gifts we have received as people and as a community.

We give thanks for being together, for sharing this simple meal of bread and wine coaxed from the abundant earth around us.


We are thankful for our companions on this road, people who have sustained us, given us friendship and joy, lifted us up in our grief, and who are willing to see us home.


Presider ( ):

We give great thanks for the loving welcomes we give each other, the healing of breath, as well as the moments we share in quiet. We are thankful for spirited potlucks and for a warm patio.


Presider ( ):

We give great thanks for each of us who listen deeply to each other and encourage conversations not heard anywhere else. We celebrate the good news in our thoughts and actions for peace and justice.


Presider ( ):

And so with thanks giving and celebration we remember that Passover meal Jesus celebrated with his disciples. He knew what lay ahead for him and yet he gave thanks – understanding that love is the fulfillment of the law


Divine Spirit we now call upon you to pour out your Spirit upon all these gifts and all of us, that we may become the Body and Blood of the Christ. Breathe your Spirit over the whole earth and make us your new creation.


We remember you dear Brother Jesus For on the night before you died, You were at table with your friends. You took bread, Gave thanks, Broke the bread and shared it with your friends saying


All: This is my body broken for you.


As supper was ending, Jesus took the cup of wine, and poured it out for each person – for each one of us saying:


All: All: This is the cup of my love, poured out for all of you so you may know the Spirit. Do this in memory of me.


& All: (sung)

We Remember

We remember how you loved us all your life. And still we celebrate for you are with us here.

And we believe that we will see you When you come, when you come again! We remember! We celebrate! We Believe!

Presider ( ):

Now we remember thos who have gone before us.

You whose names have been lost to the winds, whose stories have been turned to scraps, Whose voices Echo through the ages And beckon us to listen, We give thanks for you our ancestors, our friends, our wise companions we have lost. We still grieve our loss as we remember you and hold you in our hearts.


Mention Names:


Presider ( ):

In the fullness of time bring us with all your saints from every tribe and language,

from every people and nation to feast at this banquet prepared from the foundation of the world.



Now together, as one community, we offer to you O God, our prayer, in the name of your beloved son and our brother, Jesus:

All: Our Father, Mother, who are in this world and surpass the world, Blessed be your presence, in us, in animals and flowers, in still air and wind. May justice and peace dwell among us, as You come to us. Your will be our will;

You will that we be sisters and brothers, as bread is bread, water is itself, For our hunger, for quenching of thirst. Forgive us. We walk crookedly in the world, are perverse, and fail of our promise. But we would be human, if only You consent to stir up our hearts. Amen. —Daniel Berrigan, SJ


Offering Our Gift of Peace:


Let us offer to one another a sign of our peace and love.


Invitation to Communion:

Everyone is welcome at our table of. The Spirit, whom the Universe cannot contain is present to us in this bread. She who redeems us and calls us by name now meets us in this cup. So, come, take this bread, Drink this wine, In them, the Spirit comes to us, So that we may become one with the Spirit.


Final Blessing



The Peace of Wild Things, Wendell Berry

When despair for the world grows in me and I wake in the night at the least sound in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be, I go and lie down where the wood drake rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds. I come into the peace of wild things who do not tax their lives with forethought of grief. I come into the presence of still water. And I feel above me the day-blind stars

waiting with their light. For a time I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.




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