Preparing for Worship

by | May 14, 2021 | Preparing For Worship

Preparing for Worship – Mary Kay Jackman, Wilshire member. 

On this seventh Sunday of Easter, we the church will be saying goodbye to Leanna Coyle-Carr. We have been blessed by her and her family for four years — two when her husband Aaron came into the pastoral residency program and these last two when she herself served as a pastoral resident. Today we are prepared to send her on her way with a Litany of Blessing.

When I read the litany in preparing for Sunday’s worship, the poetic repetition of a variety of “seeds” brought Jesus’s parable of the sower to mind (Mark 4:3-9, 26-27). Remember, in the parable, all we need to think about is sowing the seeds, tossing them wherever they might fall, and leaving the rest to God. What we can see is that depending on where they land, the seeds may not take root at all, may be choked with weeds, may rush to sprout and wither quickly or may thrive. We can’t see or know for sure what happens in the dark earth covering the seeds night and day, but God knows; and the seeds landing on good soil grow and develop, flourishing, becoming fully realized and providing a glorious harvest.

Leanna has sown seeds of faith, seeds of hope, and seeds of joy in our church, and she will continue sowing seeds of peace and love wherever her journey with God takes her. The first stop will be Morehead, Kentucky, where Aaron will serve as senior pastor at First Baptist Church; and Leanna will serve the church with her strong faith, her love of song and nature and her gift of being fully present wherever she is.

Leanna, Aaron and all the other pastoral residents through the years are seeds sown by Wilshire. The church has scattered them to places near and far. After having been blessed by their presence in our church family, we send them out to sow seeds of their own in the soil God has called them to tend.

So, let’s send these two, both sowers and seeds, off to Kentucky with a full-hearted, full-throated Litany of Blessing, clapping our hands, shouting, singing and praising God (Psalm 47) for allowing them to stay with us for a while.