A blog post about peace in the midst of these wild storms, Jesus asleep in the boat, and looking for blessings in our lives.
By: Rebecca Garrett Pace,
Minister of Worship & The Arts, and a person who sort of loves and is sort of afraid of storms.

Ok, I admit it. Sometimes when folks say they’re “too blessed to be stressed,” I kind of want to barf. Ok more than kind of. It’s probably jealousy of their Zen. I don’t think I have ever not been stressed. Unless you count being anxious as being different than stressed. Then, you could say, sometimes I’m just anxious but not stressed, and sometimes I’m both. Hurray!
But here’s the good news: blessedness doesn’t depend on our stress level. Blessedness just is. It’s a gift. It’s Jesus showing up — not after the storm is over, and not even for the sole purpose of calming the storm — it’s Jesus showing up IN the storm. Read that again. Jesus shows up in the storm. In the storm. 
Jesus shows up in the pandemic.
Jesus shows up in the political unrest.
Jesus shows up in the protests.
Jesus shows up in the back-to-school nerves.
What a blessing.
So here are some blessings for you.
The first is a blessing for Alex Sanger Elementary School, with whom we partner each year.
The second is a blessing for our devices — because yes, Jesus shows up in the Zoom rooms and in the Canvas slides and in the emails we forgot to reply to.
The third is a blessing for all of us who are learners and teachers.
May you be blessed. And may you return to these blessings as often as you need. Because blessing is not a cure for the storm or an escape from it. Blessing is the kind and loving Jesus in the boat with us.

A Blessing for Sanger
May the gift of leadership awaken in you as a vocation,
Keep you mindful of the providence that calls you to serve.
As high over the mountains the eagle spreads its wings,
May your perspective be larger than the view from the foothills.
When the way is flat and dull in times of gray endurance,
May your imagination continue to evoke horizons.
When thirst burns in times of drought,
May you be blessed to find the wells.
May you have the wisdom to read time clearly
And know when the seed of change will flourish.
In your heart may there be a sanctuary
For the stillness where clarity is born.
May your work be infused with passion and creativity
And have the wisdom to balance compassion and challenge.
May your soul find the graciousness
To rise above the fester of small mediocrities.
May your power never become a shell
Wherein your heart would silently atrophy.
May you welcome your own vulnerability
As the ground where healing and truth join.
May integrity of soul be your first ideal.
The source that will guide and bless your work.

A Blessing for Our Devices
God, you call us to share your Good News of love, justice and peace with a world in need…
You have gifted us with rich resources from scripture, tradition, reason, and experience…
These resources have allowed people to develop new ways of listening to the voices of many others, attending to their interests and concerns, connecting with diverse peoples and groups, and engaging them as a people of faith…
We ask your blessing on our digitally-integrated ministries and on the many devices we use to learn, to love, and to serve our neighbors in a changing world.
May they never become distractions from relationships or idols in our hands. May we always remember that your Son, Jesus Christ is the One, True mediator of your love and grace and may we work to imitate him, even in the wired world. Amen.

A Blessing for Learners & Teachers
Written by Rebecca Garrett Pace
Students and teachers, administrators and office staff, custodial workers and tutors, and all who learn and teach, may God be with you on the first day of school and on the last.
May God be with you in your excitement and your nerves.
May God be with you in new-found lessons and old-hat activities. 
May God be with you on the days everything works smoothly, and on the days technology seems to have a mind of its own.
May God be with you in each deep breath you take, and may you know that you are beloved!
Hear these words: you are not alone! 
You are profoundly loved and supported by God and by our community! 

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