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2016-2017 Volume XXXII (2016-2017)
Resetting a Course of Love
“There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear; for fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not reached perfection in love. We love because he first loved us. Those who say, “I love God,” and hate their brothers or sisters, are liars; for those who do not love a brother or sister whom they have seen, cannot love God whom they have not seen. The commandment we have from him is this: those who love God must love their brothers and sisters also.”—1 John 4:18-21
“Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold,” William Butler Yeats lamented in his poem “The Second Coming” in 1919. Almost a century later the ominous words resonate yet again. Fear takes hold, wreaking havoc on multiple fronts and scuttling compassion. It’s easy for a sense of panic to overwhelm even the faithful in the face of terrorism, violence, intractable wars, concern about the health of our planet. Yet so many biblical messengers say, “Do not be afraid.” How do we, today, step back from fear and reset our course according to Love’s heading?
In the 2016 Weavings volume devoted to compassion Gunilla Norris offered a breath prayer practice patterned on key elements of worship: invocation, praise, confession, petition, thanksgiving. “Breath by breath we let God take over our entire being,” she wrote in summarizing the effect of such a prayer practice. “We let the mystery of love make us the living souls we were created to be.”
For the 2016–2017 issues of Weavings we invite writers to explore how God resets our interior compass as we practice prayers of adoration, confession, petition, and thankfulness. How can these familiar prayer forms of corporate worship and private devotion become avenues of transformation? Where and how then can we become instruments of Love that cast out fear?
Read the Weavings Writer’s Guidelines here.
Vol. XXXII, No. 1 (Nov/Dec 2016/Jan 2017)
All Proposals Due 02/12/16
Please note: Writers who have contributed to Weavings in the past may send a proposal. All others must submit a draft of the article/essay/poem/prayer for consideration by this due date.
Selections Made by 2/29/16
Copy for Selected Materials Due 04/15/16
“Lost in wonder, love, and praise.”—“Love Divine, All Loves Excelling” (John Wesley)
Perfect love casts out fear and transforms us. We encounter perfect love in the triune God, and when we acknowledge that perfection, our experience of perfect love begins to blossom. Evelyn Underhill described adoration as “awestruck delight in the splendor and beauty of God, the action of God and Being of God, in and for God’s self alone.” She observed that “adoration begins to purify us from egotism” and leads to self-offering.1
John Mogabgab compared one who offers a prayer of adoration to the weaned child in Psalm 131: “the soul in quiet adoration lays its head against the heart of Love and absorbs all that Love yearns to bestow.”2 In a season when we speak and sing frequently of adoration, how does the act of adoring become real to us? Knowing God to be our Creator, our Redeemer, and our Sustainer, how do we come before God in profound awe and gratitude for divine love and grace, power and glory? If we adore God in all humility, “perfect love” that engenders compassion can be born in us as Jesus was born to Mary. What happens when corporate worship and personal devotion arise out of adoration? How does adoration move us toward compassion?
1 Evelyn Underhill, The Soul’s Delight: Selected Writings of Evelyn Underhill (Nashville: Upper Room Books, 1961).
2 John S. Mogabgab, “Editor’s Introduction,” Weavings (March/April 2008), 2.
Vol. XXXII, No. 2 (Feb/Mar/Apr 2017)
All Proposals Due 03/04/16
Selections Made by 03/21/16
Copy for Selected Materials Due on 06/01/16
“Father, I have sinned against heaven.” —Luke 15:18
The parable of the prodigal son pivots on a celebration. One son’s repentance and homecoming prompts preparations for a party; the other son’s indignation at the joyful reunion causes a new kind of pain for the father. God desires a healed and joyful relationship with us and among us. What is the role of confession in repentance? How do we recognize and acknowledge what needs healing in ourselves? Our separation from God—sin—causes suffering for ourselves and others. How do we take confession beyond the generic to the personally significant and still understand ourselves to be beloved children of God? How does communal confession affect initiatives for social justice, sustainable living, and mutual support? How can facing our complicity in human suffering propel us to action rather than despair?
Vol. XXXII, No. 3 (May/Jun/Jul 2017) “Petition”
All Proposals Due 04/15/16
Selections Made by 04/29/15
Copy for Selected Materials Due on 07/17/15
“What do you want?”—Mark 10:51
Jesus occasionally asked individuals, “What do you want?” With this question he met people where they were in order to help them recognize the way forward. Responding to that question opens a window into our soul, which can be the starting point of deeper prayer. How are prayers of petition a means of finding meaning, discerning call or vocation—in any life stage or circumstance, even those that are painful or limited? How can petition become an ongoing conversation with God, a relationship with the Divine, beyond a list of requests and concerns or a litany of difficulties? How do prayers of petition and intercessory weave lives together in community? When we are fearful, how might prayers of petition release our fear and reveal new ways to be in the world?
Vol. XXXI, No. 4 (Aug/Sep/Oct 2017) “Thanksgiving”
All Proposals Due – 05/08/16
Selections Made by 05/28/16
Copy for Selected Materials Due on 10/07/16
As he entered a village, ten lepers approached him. Keeping their distance, they called out, saying, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!” When he saw them, he said to them, “Go and show yourselves to the priests.” And as they went, they were made clean. Then one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, praising God with a loud voice. He prostrated himself at Jesus’ feet and thanked him. And he was a Samaritan. Then Jesus asked, “Were not ten made clean? But the other nine, where are they? Was none of them found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?” Then he said to him, “Get up and go on your way; your faith has made you well.”—Luke 17:12-19
What can we learn from the biblical witness about giving thanks? Even pop psychology promotes an “attitude of gratitude;” what are the deeper implications of thankfulness. Particularly in Westernized societies a pervasive sense of entitlement spawned by individualism, consumerism, and legacies of social privilege insulates many from humility and gratitude. When Christians express prayers of thanksgiving and gratitude, how do those prayers bring us into closer communion with God? How does intentionally giving thanks to one another and to God build up sacred community? How does thanksgiving shift our perspective on creation and on our own lives? How does thanksgiving reflect perfect love and become an antidote for fear?