• You know that something is good, when a clergy colleague on Friday tells you that what you’re doing in keeping Monday Morning Grounding going is a ministry and makes a difference, and then on Monday when the Trader Joe’s cashier asks how your Monday has been and, I can say: I woke up tired and grumpy and because of Monday Morning Grounding, I’m having a better day. 

    So, that’s the truth. Monday Morning Grounding can turn your day around and set you up for the week. We sing, we’re playful, we share meaningfully, we are hospitable. We notice and share what we notice. People are welcome to come on Zoom with camera on or off, singing on mute unless we’re passing a song around (which we often do), and as Breen (MMC Board president) likes to say, you can come with your shoes on or off, because this is holy ground. You are welcome and invited!! Don’t think that this is like any other Zoom meeting (non-MMC) that you’ve been to.

    The general framework is that for thirty minutes, a leader teaches and we learn a song (or two), share that song, read, or sing, a poem interactively and reflectively, notice what comes up, then come back to the song. We play with words, especially in songs that are zipper songs. 

    Then we have 15 minutes for coffee/tea and general conversation. In the last few weeks we’ve talked about who saw how much of the solstice, who is going to various conferences, the weather, contemplative practices, and connecting nationally and internationally. We have people from across the US and Canada, and occasionally further abroad. We celebrate new jobs, we ask for prayers for people who are ill, we check in about things that people shared the last time they were there.

    Monday Morning Grounding is modeled on some key MMC values: shared leadership, sing more, talk less, noticing, hospitality.

    We’ve been running in 7-8 week sessions with breaks for extra business times for the regulars who are clergy or church musicians or involved in the life of the church. This session started on April 8, and goes through May 20.

    What we’ve been singing and reflecting on this session—This doesn’t reflect the full richness of our time together, but it gives you a sense of what we have been doing. We welcome new leaders and new hosts, and make connections and space with/for regulars as well.


    Resources shared

    April 8, 2024 - Led by Edith

    Song: Barbara Cates, text from Deuteronomy 10:17-19

    Refrain:  You shall also love the stranger, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt x2

    Verses:

    For the Lord your God is God of Gods and Lord of Lords   Refrain
    For the Lord executes justice for the orphan and the widow   Refrain
    For the Lord loves the stranger, providing them with food and clothing   Refrain

    https://soundcloud.com/user-142625336-359902369/you-shall-also-love-the-stranger-deuteronomy-10-17-19

    Poem: Hospitality by Joy Cowley, Aotearoa New Zealand

    I asked Love to help me 
    greet the stranger in myself. 
    I knew how to open my door to the world 
    and greet everyone out there as friend 
    but I didn’t have any kind of welcome 
    for the impoverished one within.
    She was the weakness I couldn’t acknowledge.
    She was the pain I didn’t allow. 
    She was the leper I’d tried to cast out the city, 
    the one who cried at night in lonely places.
    I thought that if I let her in 
    she’d cause me no end of trouble, 
    and I was afraid.

    But Love helped me to prepare a feast.
    We set the table, Love and I, 
    and then we did it, 
    I invited my stranger. 
    ‘Answer the door,’ said Love.
    ‘You have nothing to fear.’

    She came in slowly.
    I put my arms around her 
    and embraced her in her rags 
    and we wept together for years of separation.
    I sat my stranger at the head of the table, 
    gave her the best of food and wine
    and, claiming her as my own, 
    began to introduce her to my friends.
    ‘But who shall I say she is?’, I whispered to Love.
    ‘I can’t call her a stranger now.’
    Love smiled and said, ‘Don’t you know?
    She is the Christ.’

    From “Seeing Christ in Others: an Anthology for Worship, Meditation and Mission”
    Compiled and edited by Geoffrey Duncan, United Church Publishing House, Toronto, Canada

    April 15, 2024 - Led by Nancy

    Song:

    Don't be pushed around by the fears in your mind. 
    Be led by the dreams in your heart. 

    Music by Nancy Willbanks, quote from Roy T. Bennett
    https://open.substack.com/pub/allourdays/p/fears-and-dreams 

    Poem: Fear And Dreams by eleventykira

    So what is keeping me from following my heart?
    I am not enough
    To face the fear that
    My passion is
    Fruitless.
    The fear is
    So overpowering that
    My dreams are
    Crushed.
    Because the fear is
    Bigger than me,
    It seems,
    Despite the fact that
    I was made for a purpose.
    So what choice do I have?
    Simply do what is safe
    Rather than
    Let the fire in my soul take power.
    This is what I must do.

    This is what I must do.
    Let the fire in my soul take power,
    Rather than
    Simply do what is safe.
    So what choice do I have?
    I was made for a purpose,
    Despite the fact that
    It seems
    Bigger than me,
    Because the fear is
    Crushed.
    My dreams are 
    So overpowering that
    The fear is 
    Fruitless.
    My passion is
    To face the fear that
    I am not enough.
    So what is keeping me from following my heart?

    https://powerpoetry.org/poems/fear-and-dreams 


    April 22, 2024 - Led by Emily

    Song:

    I am a Promise
    I am a promise
    I am a possibility
    I am a promise
    With a capital P
    I am a great big bundle of potentiality, oh yeah
    And I am learning to hear God’s/(Love’s/Earth’s) voice 
    And I am trying to make good choices 
    I'm a promise to be anything God/(Love/Earth) wants me to be

    Gloria Gaither / William J. Gaither

    Poem link: 

    https://vimeo.com/411239105 

    April 29, 2024 - Led by Breen

    Song:

    Deep down inside of me
    I got a fire going on

    Part of me 
    Wants to sing about the light
    And part of me 
    Wants to cry cry cry

    by Adele Getty
    https://soundcloud.com/songforest/deep-down-inside-of-me

    Poem: What the Fire Gives by Jan Richardson

    https://paintedprayerbook.com/2015/05/17/pentecost-what-the-fire-gives/ 

    You had thought that fire
    only consumed,
    only devoured,
    only took for itself,
    leaving merely ash
    and memory
    of something
    you had believed,
    if not permanent,
    would be long enough,
    enduring enough,
    to be nearly
    eternal.

    So when you felt
    the scorch on your lips,
    the searing in your heart,
    you could not
    at first believe
    that flame could be
    so generous,
    that when it came to you—
    you, in your sackcloth
    and sorrow—
    it did not come
    to consume,
    to take still more
    than everything.

    What surprised you most
    were not the syllables
    that spilled from
    your scalded,
    astonished mouth—
    though that was miracle
    enough,
    to have words
    burn through
    what had been numb,
    to find your tongue
    aflame with a language
    you did not know
    you knew—

    no, what came
    as greatest gift
    was to be so heard
    in the place
    of your deepest
    silence,
    to be so seen
    within the blazing,
    to be met
    with such completeness
    by what the fire gives.

    May 7, 2024 - Led by Anne

    Song: Hold My Hope/Teach Me to Be Love by Ana Hernández

    Hold my hope.
    Hold my trembling.
    Hold my heart,
    teach me to be love.

    https://www.musicthatmakescommunity.org/teach_me_to_be_love

    Poem:  Shaking Hands by Pádraig Ó Tuama
    https://poets.org/poem/shaking-hands

    Because what’s the alternative?
    Because of courage.
    Because of loved ones lost.
    Because no more.
    Because it’s a small thing; shaking hands; it happens every day.
    Because I heard of one man whose hands haven’t stopped shaking since a market day in Omagh.
    Because it takes a second to say hate, but it takes longer, much longer, to be a great leader.
    Much, much longer.

    Because shared space without human touching doesn’t amount to much.
    Because it’s easier to speak to your own than to hold the hand of someone whose side has been previously described, proscribed, denied.
    Because it is tough.
    Because it is tough.
    Because it is meant to be tough, and this is the stuff of memory, the stuff of hope, the stuff of gesture, and meaning and leading.
    Because it has taken so, so long.
    Because it has taken land and money and languages and barrels and barrels of blood.
    Because more than two troubled peoples live here.
    Because I know a woman whose hand hasn’t been shaken since she was a man.
    Because shaking a hand is only a part of the start.
    Because I know a woman whose touch calmed a man whose heart was breaking.

    Because this just might be good.
    Because who said that this would be easy?
    Because some people love what you stand for, and for some, if you can, they can.
    Because solidarity means a common hand.
    So join your much discussed hands.
    We need this; for one small second.
    So touch.
    So lead.


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