By The Reverend Dr. Katie Snipes Lancaster

Virginia Reising sent me the Mary Oliver poem below, not knowing how intimately intertwined Oliver’s writing is to my pursuit of prayer. Some of my most treasured God-moments have come while listening to Mary Oliver’s poetry read aloud. There have been seasons of my life in which I could not even begin to write a prayer without first turning to her poetry to become reacquainted with human language.

Despite Oliver’s persistent message to slow down, sit in gratitude, be still, pay attention, observe snails and geese and green growing things, it seems like her poetry moves at high velocity, straight to the heart of it all.

May her poetry be prayer for you today.

Let us pray:

It doesn’t have to be
the blue iris, it could be
weeds in a vacant lot, or a few
small stones; just
pay attention, then patch

a few words together and don’t try
to make them elaborate, this isn’t
a contest but the doorway

into thanks, and a silence in which
another voice may speak.
—Mary Oliver, 1935–2019

Invitation: Families with children are invited to join us for our new Candle Time on Tuesdays from 7–7:20 p.m. in the month of June. Contact Christine Hides for the link to the online meeting.