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Pondering: Dave's Top 10 Touchpoints for Launching with the Rev. Dr. David Long-Higgins
Walking Holy Week’s Road, A Prayer by the Rev. Dr. David Long-HigginsLoving God, Lead me step by step On this Holy Week road And form Your will and way In answer to the weariness And worry of the world So easily residing in my soul. Let the same sustaining spirit You poured into Christ Jesus Be poured ever anew into me Answering every resistance Begging me to distraction From Your gracious gift Of a life fully alive Despite twists and turns Formed by the world And also by me. Yes, Love, Walk me into this week In reverent, holy wonder Revealing Your mysteries Easily overlooked or ignored In rush to lesser things Urging a numbness Of heart and mind and soul.Moment by moment Hour by hour Day by day Etch Your Holy story Anew in my heart and mind Answering every sorrow And anguish of the world With just enough light To lead me on Your path Toward a rising unimaginable Except by You who forms The impossible into the probable.Let this motion of You Renew not only me But Your whole creation Whom You love into life That Your wholeness and fullness May emerge ever anew In the least likely of places In the most difficult circumstances Using people often overlooked By the powers and principalities Of a world practiced in resistance To Your Holy motion Of resurrection renewal. O Love, Walk me into this week Transforming every cross Of the world’s making From death into Life Giving rise to something Holy Beautiful, loving and good That Your joy may finally Find its way into the heart Of your very human family. Yes, Love, Sustain me on this walk Down Your Holy Week road Forming my little love With Your large Love Into some sacred cross Of Your Holy intersection.-April 2023, DMLH
Oh Snap! A Prayer of Confession, by the Rev. Dr. David Long-HigginsLoving God, O snap! Said too much.O snap! Said too little.O snap! Got distractedO snap! Ate too much.O snap! Too little sleep.O snap! Unexpected turn.O snap! Cut off.O snap! Worry day.O snap! Plans changed.O snap! Tired of waiting.O snap! Weary of winterO snap! Lost my voice.O snap! Came undone. O Love, Restring my life For some new song Tuned with grace by You. (And if you can, Make it just a little bit Snappy! ) Thanks for listening. Amen.Prayer by the Rev. Dr. David Long-HigginsIntro and Outro Music by the Rev. Dr. David Long-HigginsMusic with prayer, Forever and a Day by ltebloomr
Transcript:Everyday Thanksgivings, A Prayer by the Rev. Dr. David Long-HigginsLoving God, For the gift of a new dayI give You thanks For breath of bodyI give You thanks For silence of soulI give You thanks For work that mattersI give You thanks For blessed memoriesI give You thanks For little delightsI give You thanks For a family of loveI give You thanks For the gift of differenceI give You thanks For a body to inhabit I give You thanks For Your present presenceI give You thanks For the tear that tugsI give You thanks For the radiant smileI give you thanks For questions of youthI give you thanks For wisdom's weightI give You thanks For your Eternal embraceI give You thanks O Love, May nothing of this day Pass before me Without thanks And praise of You.-November 2022, DMLH
Prayer: Beginning Again with the Rev. Dr. David Long-Higgins
Beginning AgainAn Advent PrayerLoving God, Thank-you for the gift Of beginning again When all seems lost Or weariness wears down The last inch of hope.Yes, turn the page Of over-rehearsed despair Or dread of dullness Formed by too much Of just about everything. Form instead Your promise When night’s weight Seems too heavy for Dawn’s readiness to rise In surprises unlikely To be noticed by the world Yet formed by You As the beginning place Of Your grand renewal, Starting as one small baby Still in formation Not yet ready to be born But quickening the senses With miraculous movement. Yes, form this advent Of Your grand reversal In me as I wait in wonder At what You will readily reveal In this long season Of late dawn and early dusk.Let me savor the beauty Of what I do not know Urging me to wait When all around me The world rushes In frenzy of the overfull, The too much and the too soon.Still me into the gift You so yearn to give, Of silence rising From deep within Touching everything With Your cosmic creation Daring to form a new world Unknown by the old one Satisfied with a hypnosis Of over-rehearsed hopelessness.Yes, grant me An Advent awakening Muting every resistance And releasing a new song Of thanks for Your grand gift Of beginning again… Here…now…yes…thank-you.-November 2022, DMLH
The Rev. Dr. Jack Sullivan, Jr., Installation Service Preacher: The Reverend Dr. Jack Sullivan, Jr., is an ordained minister in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) US and Canada. He serves as executive director of the Columbus-based Ohio Council of Churches. A native of Cleveland, Ohio, Dr. Sullivan is an internationally-known leader, ecumenist, preacher, justice advocate, and death penalty abolitionist. In recognition of his work to stop executions, Dr. Sullivan was given the 2020 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Social Justice Award by Governor Mike DeWine and the Ohio Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday Commission and the 2019 Humanitarian Award from the Black Heritage Library and Multicultural Center of Findlay, OH. In 2018 he received the African American Liberation Award from the National Convocation of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). He holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Ohio University; a Master of Divinity degree from Lexington Theological Seminary; a Doctor of Ministry from United Theological Seminary (Dayton); and an honorary doctorate from Bethany College, Bethany, West Virginia.Dr. Sullivan is board president of Journey of Hope… From Violence to Healing and co-president of the Disciples Justice Action Network. He is an advisory board member of Catholic Mobilizing Network, Trinity Lutheran Seminary, Columbus, OH, Death Penalty Action, Restorative Justice International, and the US Global Leadership Council. Dr. Sullivan is immediate past board chair of Ohioans to Stop Executions, and a former steering committee member of the World Coalition Against the Death Penalty. He holds life memberships in the NAACP and Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., and is a member of the Faith and Order Commission of the National Council of Churches, the Society of Professional Journalists and the Academy of Homiletics.
During the 2022 Heartland Conference (UCC) Annual Gathering, we had the joy of hearing from Rev. Joanna D'Agostino in an Opening Worship Sermon. The Rev. Joanna D’Agostino has been the Senior Pastor of Lakewood Congregational Church since June 2018. Joanna has a passion for Restorative Justice, which she learned as a Restorative Justice facilitator in Wisconsin state correctional institutions. Now, she strives to weave Restorative Practices into all areas of leadership, community organizing, and relationship development. Rev. D’Agostino also prioritizes advocacy for and with the LGBTQ+ community, the destigmatization of mental healthcare, support for the UCC’s Council for Health and Human Services Ministries (CHHSM), and involvement in criminal justice reform initiatives of Greater Cleveland Congregations. She received her Master of Divinity from Eden Theological Seminary in St. Louis, and a B.A. in creative writing and French language from Baldwin-Wallace University in Berea, Ohio. She was ordained by the Living Water Association of the UCC in 2012. Joanna now serves on the LWA Council and the Strategy Team of Greater Cleveland Congregations. Joanna and her husband have three children, Evelyn, Amos, and Suzette, plus the steady presence of neighborhood children and friends. They also have a pit bull mutt, three cats, and a bearded dragon. Outside of ministry, Joanna’s interests include art, animals, home renovation, and chatting on the porch.
Pondering: 2022 Annual Gathering Next Week!
This brand new episode features an introduction from Communications Director, Cassidy Hall, who shares a brief overview of Annual Gathering dates and deadlines. She reminds us this year's Annual Gathering is September 22-23 at Westerville UCC and the deadline to register is Monday, September 19th at 5:00 EST! Then we hear a message from others who will be in attendance including the Rev. Dr. Jack Sullivan, Jr., Disaster Ministries Coordinator Kevin Gehres, and Rev. Beth Gedert, the Chair of this year's Annual Gathering Planning Team!
Prayer: Spirit Fruit with the Rev. Dr. David Long-Higgins
Prayer: Spirit Fruit with the Rev. Dr. David Long-HigginsLoving God, ripen me…Grant me grace to loveThat Your pulse may enliven me.Grant me your joining joy,Answering the fear of the worldWith your radiant Spirit.Grant me Your peace to shareIn a world aching to restFrom fractious fighting.Grant me Your patienceGrounding my soul in graceThat I may offer the same to others.Grant me Your kindnessFor every rough edge revealedIn myself and all your beloved.Grant me a generous SpiritTrusting Your resource is enoughFor the gift of this day You give.Grant me a flood of faithfulnessFilling my heart with resolveTo trust Your power in all things.Grant me Your gentlenessFor every hard thingDaring to evoke anger or fear.Grant me self-controlFreeing me from the prisonI so easily constructWith perpetual distractionsCovering over the giftsYou yearn to give.Yes, Love,Grant me grace to growIn this sustaining SpiritThat is You in all thingsSeen and unseen.And let it beMore than enoughFor today.
Prayer: Rising Up with the Rev. Dr. David Long-Higgins
Welcome to the first episode of Prayers & Ponderings, a Heartland Conference Podcast. Wherever you are on your spiritual journey or your journey in listening to podcasts, you're welcome here! The Heartland Conference is a part of the United Church of Christ and works with churches in Northern Kentucky, Ohio, and West Virginia. We are overjoyed to share with you our first prayer: Rising Up, written and spoken by Conference Minister, the Rev. Dr. David Long-Higgins. You can find the transcript to this prayer below. Rising UpLoving God, Let all my work Arise from You Let all my noticing Arise from You Let all my hope Arise from You Let all my wonder Arise from You Let all my delight Arise from You Let all my gratefulnessArise from You Let all my words Arise from You Let all my passion Arise from You Let all my peaceArise from You Let all my joy Arise from You Let all my desire Arise from You Let all my love Arise from You.For no good thing, No worthwhile dream Can ever flourish Apart from rising up In, from, and through You, O Love of Life.-DMLH, August 2022©More about the Rev. Dr. David Long-Higgins: The Rev. David Long-Higgins is the Conference Minister for the Heartland Conference. Dave’s passion is to see individuals and churches grow in their sense of the alive presence of God and all that this calls forth to be signs of good news in the world, so that all may flourish. Dave has served in a wide variety of capacities throughout the United Church of Christ. He is a graduate of Heidelberg University with a Bachelor of Arts in psychology and music (violin performance). His Master of Divinity was earned at United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities in New Brighton, Minnesota. He is also a graduate of the Wellstreams Spiritual Direction Program of the Spirituality Network of Columbus (Ohio). Prior to beginning his role with the Conference, Dave was a parish pastor for over 30 years. Dave and his wife Beth, who is also an ordained UCC clergyperson have two adult children, Andrew and Hannah. When not on the ministry trail Dave enjoys movies, playing violin and guitar, bicycling, travel, writing poetry/prayers, and photography.