Open Hearts & Minds

Litany of Confession, Grace, & Journey to the Star-Child (Advent 1)

Open your hearts.
We confess that we allow greed or hurt or fears to
prevent our hearts from being the home of divine love and hope.

Open your minds.
We confess we allow our minds to fixate on
doctrine, dogma, & our own desires.

 We fail to love and learn from those
who think and worship differently than we. 

We fail to listen to what our Baptist, Muslim, Buddhist, and
our atheist kindred can teach us about you.

Trust in the Holy One to guide you to the Star-Child.
Though we’ve failed before, we begin the journey again.

Trust the Spirit journeys with you, always in life, in death, and beyond death.
We begin the journey again to the sacred birth
of the child of grace and hope.

We commit to grow and learn from the stories of the one
who takes God’s wholeness inside himself,
and breathes out love in our hurting and fearful world.

Open your hearts, minds, & spirit. God’s grace and love is for all.
We begin the journey to the Star-Child who guides the way. Amen.

Sing Star-Child found in Sing! Prayer & Praise as the first Advent candle is lit.


Tim strives to share God’s extravagant love for all–no matter what & without strings. Seeking to follow the lure of the Spirit, Tim writes about what it means to be a follower of Jesus in an era where Christianity has come to be associated with hatred and political wedge issues. “Heinous things have been said & done (& still are) in the name of the One who breathed in the Divine,” notes Tim, “but Jesus shows us that God loves extravagantly.” Following the teachings and life of Jesus is about inclusion not exclusion. It is about compassion, grace, and admitting no one has all the answers. It is about responding lovingly to the best of our human ability. It is about people not institutions. It is about social justice. It is about caring for creation. It is about being who we were each created to be. Tim is a former early childhood educator, a runner, a hiker, a devoted husband, father of two adult children and their spouses, and a grandfather of four perfect grandchildren. Tim serves as Senior Pastor of the First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Albany, Oregon. He writes from home, from the coffee shop, and wherever the trail leads him.

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Posted in Advent, Call to Worship, Confession of Sin & Assurance, Seasons of the Church

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Creative Commons License BY-NC-ND 3.0

All materials by Tim Graves unless otherwise noted. Creative Commons License BY-NC-ND 3.0

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