Our Redeemer's Blog

Faith Resources for Trying Times

Our Redeemer’s staff is collecting faith and spiritual resources that can help during these turbulent times. We’ll update this page as more resources are found. Do you have a faith resource to share? If so, email communications@ourredeemers.net.

OCTOBER 7, 2020

Many of you participate in our “Circles of Connection” – small groups on zoom that meet weekly to check in, study the Gospel, and pray for each other. Pastor Kathy and I were thinking that this resource would also be great for individual devotion time.  As we are focusing on renovating our building AND our own spiritual selves, this is an excellent way to bring yourself closer to God, and reflect on your own journey.  You’ll find many backlogged weeks of guides here, and you’re welcome to find the sermons on our Facebook page – all our worship services since stay at home are logged there.  Find the Circle guides HERE, and the worship services with the corresponding sermons [here].  Happy digging! – Pastor Gretchen

SEPT 1, 2020

If you “play all” once on Our Redeemer’s YouTube channel, it makes a great playlist to listen to anytime you need to be uplifted. Try it out!  YouTube – Our Redeemer’s Channel

JUNE 28, 2020

Karen Lee and Pastor Gretchen sing “I Choose Love”

JUNE 28, 2020

Karen Lee and Pastor Gretchen sing “Child of God” by Mark Miller.

JUNE 20, 2020

Karen Lee wrote a song for these times, “Somehow, We Must Sing”.

Somehow We Must Sing

JUNE 20, 2020

Here’s an organ setting duet of Bach’s “Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring” Karen Lee played using the “Acapella” app.

Bach – “Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring

JUNE 20, 2020

“Lift Every Voice and Sing” performed by the Aeolians Choir

Oakwood University Aeolians~Lift Every Voice and Sing

JUNE 12, 2020

Words from another time, but a time like ours –
volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous:

“All shall be well, all shall be well …all manner of things shall be well for there is a force of love moving through the universe that holds us all and will not let us go!’
(Julian of Norwich)

JUNE 11, 2020

For those (pandemic) times when every day seems just like the last, and your life energy is waning:

“In my own worst seasons I’ve come back from the colorless world of despair by forcing myself to look hard, for a long time, at a single glorious thing: a flame of red geranium outside my bedroom window. And then another: my daughter in a yellow dress. And another: the perfect outline of a full, dark sphere behind the crescent moon. Until I learned to be in love with my life again. Like a stroke victim retraining new parts of the brain to grasp lost skills, I have taught myself joy, over and over again.”
~ Barbara Kingsolver, High Tide in Tucson
JUNE 10, 2020

Here’s a thoughtful prayer about the trinity from Steve Collins.

three is the magic number

three is the magic number
calling us out of individualism
insisting on relationship
i to you
we to another
trinity seeding networks
until all the cosmos joins in

one to create
one to save
one to sustain

one to author
one to fight
one to enliven

one to conceive
one to die
one to resurrect

one to plan
one to act
one to explain

one’s sufficient
two’s company
three’s community

trinity expose our self-reliance
trinity break open our exclusivity
trinity seed our joining tonight


JUNE 10, 2020

Karen Lee and her daughter Erica singing Brahms’ “How Lovely Is Thy Dwelling Place,” arr. by Curtis Hanson.

JUNE 6, 2020

The Anti-Racist Starter Pack: 40 TV Series, Documentaries, Movies, TED Talks, and Books to Add to Your List

JUNE 6, 2020

An hour video with Brene Brown and Ibram X. Kendi on How to Be an Antiracist. It’s worth at least two listens to begin.

JUNE 6, 2020

Pastor Ivar Hillesland and his son sing this simple song…with new and relevant words. https://www.facebook.com/ivarhillesland/videos/10157350582945668/

MAY 25, 2020

Do you set aside time for prayer? Here are some resources for you to explore and use during our trying times. Blessings on your time with God. 

Pray As You Go: An app with a daily 10-14 minute music/scripture/prayer prompt, but also prayer tools for breathing, special prayer focuses on anxiety, loneliness, insomnia, etc. The readers have lovely, (usually) non-stuffy voices.

Unfolding Light Unfolding Light is a daily reflection (weekdays) by Steve Garnaas-Holmes rooted in a contemplative, Creation-centered, justice-oriented spirituality. unfoldinglight.net.

Celtic Christianity and Music Facebook Group: They describe themselves as “a Sanctuary with a Celtic soul. We hope to encourage you with posts that reflect God in our world. Through music. Through prayers both new and ancient. Through poetry and prose. ….a community of care…celebrating and living out the unconditional love Christ has for all creation.” LINK

Centering Prayer App: Create your own quiet time, with an opening prayer, beginning sound (lute, gong, bells, etc.) how long you would like to enter silence, and then an ending sound to let you know when the time is complete. LINK

Our Redeemer’s Spiritual Life-hack Group: Not specifically for prayer, but frequently inspirational. And perhaps we can share what prayer practices and prayers are especially helpful to us right now. Email Pastor Kathy Hawks for details.

How about you? What prayer resources do you use that you would like to share? Please forward them to Pastor Kathy, and we will figure out a way to share them more broadly.

MAY 25, 2020

An easy acronym to remember:

“TIME”.  Thankfulness,  Information/Growth,  Mediation,  Exercise. 

MAY 25, 2020

Some uplifting and creative online endeavors by Musical Director Karen Lee:

Harmonizing with herself: https://www.facebook.com/karen.lee.3954546/videos/3330323950313454/

Playing some classical music: https://www.facebook.com/karen.lee.3954546/videos/3266922546653595/

Getting to sing with my daughter: https://www.facebook.com/karen.lee.3954546/videos/3280854911927025/

Playing some Gospel blues: https://www.facebook.com/karen.lee.3954546/videos/3279046802107836/

Wishing you chances to explore creative opportunities you enjoy, too. 

MAY 25, 2020

Dog Walks – a dog can be a saving grace. Don’t have a dog? Here’s a good article debating the pros and cons of adopting a pet in these trying times for those who are considering the physical and psychological benefits of bringing a new pet into the family.

Tree Walks – trees can be very comforting neighbors and getting to know them by name is a great intellectual and learning activity for adults and kids. Did you know that the City of Seattle has a Tree Ambassador program? Tree Ambassadors are citizens who want to make a positive difference within Seattle’s urban forest. The ambassadors also create Tree Walks around the city for people to follow during walks. Discover fascinating resources for families and downloadable Seattle tree walk maps including a few in NW Seattle at this Tree Walk Link. Then check out this story from KUOW about “What trees are saying when we aren’t looking”. Enjoy your walks!

MAY 25, 2020

Every weekday at 10am PST, We Banjo 3, a “celtgrass” banted from Galway, Ireland, shares live music, conversations and interviews, poetry, and once a quick ping pong tournament. These four brothers (two families) are living in the U.S. and Ireland. There is music, conversation and interviews, occasional poetry, and always some kind of fiddle, mandolin, or (yes) banjo music. It is good to connect with a wider world! https://www.facebook.com/webanjo3

Homeboy Industries https://www.facebook.com/HomeboyIndustries/videos/2954022824655734 lead by Jesuit Father Greg Boyle, is a ministry that works in and with Los Angeles gangs. Their impact is impressive and heart warming. During COVID-19, there are daily stories shared by those whose lives have been touched by God through that ministry.

David Lamotte, musician/speaker/author, is curating conversations with artists to build community and support musicians without income right now. He is also sharing concerts from his living room. Poets, visual artists, writers, children’s musicians, and many more. https://www.davidlamotte.com/2020/online-shows-and-conversations/

New reads:

“Anger is the deepest form of compassion, for another, for the world, for a life, for a body, for a family and for all our ideals, all vulnerable and all, possibly about to be hurt.” The poet, David Whyte’s book, Consolations: the Solace, Nourishment and Underlying Meaning of Everyday Words, has insights worth consideration.

“Which tribe has the largest reservation in the United States and where is it?” Native American History Knowledge cards contains flashcards of information about First Nations history and I have found to be educational. www.pomegranate.com

MAY 25, 2020

Scott Erickson is an artist based in Vancouver, Washington. He’s a little different, but his paintings and liturgical work inspire to think differently about faith and life. He’s definitely going to push on spiritual norms a bit. See in new ways, which isn’t always comfortable. https://www.scottericksonart.com/

Jan Richardson (https://paintedprayerbook.com/) is moving, talented, and multi-faceted. Her art is liturgical, poetic, artistic, and beautiful. Her blessings are some of the best I have ever read. Like this one, from Holy Saturday: 

If we have grown weary in this season. If we have become overwhelmed. If we are living with fear or anxiety or worry about what lies ahead. If the swirl of Holy Week has become intense. If time is moving strangely. If grief has been a traveling companion. If the ground beneath us has given way. If resurrection seems less than certain.

It’s Saturday.

This is the day that calls us to breathe. This is the day that invites us to make a space within the weariness, the fear, the ache. This is the day that beckons us to turn toward one another, and to remember we do not breathe alone.

It’s Saturday.

Nadia and Pastor Gretchen have been friends for many years. She loves her pastoral heart, her clarity of call, and the way she swears like a sailor. Nadia has just released a new podcast, and it’s fantastic. Many of you know her books, “Pastrix” and “Accidental Saints.” This is a new media form for her, and it’s great. https://nadiabolzweber.com/

Sarah Bessey (https://sarahbessey.com/blog/) speaks clearly and gives hilarious, deep, moving words to times that challenging. She carries a feminist view, while still wearing mascara. She is not easily boxed in. Here’s one of her benedictions that I loved:

When you find yourself in the darkness, 

May you make friends with the stars.

May the lights of the city on the horizon lead you home,

and may you experience the Love of God,

the light of the world

in your darkest corners of grief. 

Poor Claire (http://poorclaremusic.com/) is the band and love child of Pastor Gretchen’s friend Lacey Brown, who also was the recording engineer and mix-master for our Informal Ensemble recording. Lacey and and Pastor Gretchen played together in Florida at the ELCA Youthworkers Extravaganza in the famous band “Sparklemotion,” and are good friends. My dear friend Jeff Brumley is also a part of Poor Clare. But I say those words so that I can tell you this: I would love this music if I had NO IDEA who made it. It’s beautiful, spiritual, moving, and amazing. I hope you like it too. 

Lauren Daigle is a mega-rock star in the world of music, and also a Christian (https://laurendaigle.com/). Most of her music is life-giving. She’s a gutsy singer, much in the style of Adele, but her songs come from a place of faith. Her tunes are comforting, and can be really groovy! Definitely worth a listen if you haven’t checked her out yet.

MAY 25, 2020

One of Katlin’s, our Welcome Minister, practices this year was to start praying the daily offices (that means small moments of prayer at morning, noon, and evening/night). She has found that it is a helpful rhythm for each day. It adds structure, during a time when everything feels fluid and unstable. 

Katlin admits that some days it feels too hard to stop and pray. But, she says: rhythms are still rhythms even when a couple steps are missed. “Rhythms aren’t defined by the misses, the exceptions; they are defined by the continuation of their work.”

Here are a couple of tools that she uses for praying the daily offices:

Luther’s Small Catechism – morning and evening prayers from Martin Luther. This is my go-to tool. It is simple and easy to memorize. https://catechism.cph.org/en/daily-prayers.html 

The Daily Office web app – from the Brotherhood of Saint Gregory; drawn from the Book of Common Prayer.  https://dailyoffice.app/

Common Prayer (website, app, and book) – has a social justice approach to the daily offices.  http://commonprayer.net/

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