A six-week worship series by Dr. Marcia McFee, Creator and Visionary of the Worship Design Studio, based on a book of the same name by contemporary theologian Wendy Farley, PhD.
An early 6th century theologian described God as “beguiled by beauty.” The Creator was lured by a longing for beauty and so set in motion a world of immense diversity and goodness. We were made for this Divine Goodness. We were made inherently worthy, not by our “doing,” but by our simply being. All things are beautiful–not by a standard of “pretty” as seen by our eyes, but by an essence of sacred worth that is sensed by the spirit. This is the root and heart of compassion and justice. Practices of contemplation help us train our gaze to these deeper truths. In this worship series we will dwell with the God of Divine Goodness, deeply in love with us, and practice ways to return that love as we fall more deeply in love with creation and with one another.
June 7-July 12
Week 1: Beauty, Contemplation, and Radical Compassion
Scripture: Ezekiel 31: 3-7 (Inclusive Bible)
Week 2: We Are Made for the Beloved
Scripture: Psalm 16: 7-11 (Inclusive Bible)
Week 3: Awakening to Beauty, Falling in Love with the World
Scripture: Psalm 147: 1-11 (Inclusive Bible)
Week 4: Abyss, Mystery, and Wonder
Scripture: Psalm 135: 1-3; 13-21 (Inclusive Bible)
Week 5: The Beauty of a World Without a “Why”
Scripture: Song of Songs 4: 1-7 (Inclusive Bible)
Week 6: From Beauty to Compassion and Justice
Scripture: Isaiah 52: 7-10 (Inclusive Bible)
Gather items to help you create a sanctuary space. Candles, prayer rugs or scarves, bells, pillows, any ritual items that represent your personal connection with the holy…you can get creative here. And this doesn’t have to be a permanent spot in your home — you can always repurpose the space for normal use during the week apart from worship.
Wind chimes are an item of focus for this series. There are lots of cool DIY craft ideas for making your own wind chime! Look on Pinterest and Google to find suggestions. You might hang your wind chime somewhere close to your chosen worship spot so it can catch the breeze. Click HERE for 15 easy DIY starters.
Make signs for each week of the series with messages that affirm our central messages. You could make and decorate cardboard/chalkboard/ whiteboard signs to display in your home as a reminder of the worship theme throughout the week, or even simply write these affirmations in a journal and meditate on them.
Here are the messages to put on signs foreach week of the series:
Week 1: “Water is life. Water your life so you can water other life…for the beauty of the earth.”
Week 2: “Your very essence is warmed by the presence of divine love. Be reminded to offer that warmth to others… for the beauty of the earth.”
Week 3: “Find beauty within the imperfections of life and accept peacefully the natural cycle of growth and decay. Be reminded to offer grace for imperfections… for the beauty of the earth.”
Week 4: “The more we know, the more we know we don’t know. Wonder and awe that leads to care of creation is good… for the beauty of the earth.”
Week 5: “Look at you! So beautiful, Dearest. So beautiful. Believe this voice of the Divine Lover… for the beauty of the earth.”
Week 6: “A contemplative life can empty us and ready us to become instruments of the Good…. for the beauty of the earth.”
If you have children at home, there is a prepared a scavenger hunt activity each week for children’s time! Parents, you’ll want to take a peek at these ideas beforehand and make sure you have the items hidden somewhere in your home for children to find easily when the time comes. Here are the scavenger hunt activities/items for each week:
Week 1: A cup of water and a plant
Week 2: A blanket
Week 3: Something with a crack or imperfection in it
Week 4: A star (can be homemade)
Week 5: A mirror
Week 6: A megaphone (can be homemade out of a rolled piece of paper)