Singing Black Spirituals in Mostly-White Congregations

We Barn Geese are so convinced of the value of Black spirituals that we believe they’re worth singing even in the complicated context of mostly-white congregations. Also, we are pretty dang white ourselves. So we recognize that this gets complicated.

Extended Advent Orientation

This series encourages your community to observe Advent for up to seven weeks this year, though it can certainly be used for a four-week Advent too. Our materials are organized by date to make it easy for you do what works best for your context: whatever Sunday of Advent you’re on, and no matter howContinue reading “Extended Advent Orientation”

Adapting the Advent Wreath

The most immediate challenge of an extended Advent is how to count the weeks. The average Advent wreath can accommodate four candles. Also, the average Advent wreath was donated in memory of someone, and switching to something completely different might be tricky. Here are a few Advent candle options, with or without the existing wreath.Continue reading “Adapting the Advent Wreath”

November 14: “My Lord, What a Morning/Mourning”

The double meaning we find here does more than simply demonstrate just some mild poetic confusion about a hymn (or elucidate the trickiness of deploying a homonym in the oral-aural atmosphere of the worship environment).  I believe it also elucidates a deeper tension at the heart of the Christian faith. 

Pastoral Considerations for John 6

There are several considerations we tried to hold as we prepared materials for this series: antisemitism, disordered eating, diet culture and fatphobia, allergies and intolerances, and sensitive hymn choices (content warning for mention of sexual abuse). We hope you’ll let us know if there are places we failed to do it, or could have done it better.

Week Five: “You have the words of eternal life”

In today’s text, no one really understands Jesus’ teaching except for Jesus. Even the twelve are at a loss. Most of the crowd chooses to respond to their discomfort by leaving, but Simon Peter speaks for the twelve when he throws up his hands and says, “Lord, to whom can we go? You have the words of eternal life.” We don’t understand any of this, Jesus, but we’ll keep walking with you. You satisfy our hunger, even if you feed us with discomfort.

Week Four: “My flesh is true food”

There is a limit to words. I can tell you about the beautiful aliveness of bread, the experience of watching it rise, the way its crust fills the kitchen with the tiny sound of crackling as it cools. I can tell you how it fills me. I can tell you about the gospel according to bread: that life gives life, that it’s full of grace and fully embodied, that God has a perfectly imperfect body like ours and calls our bodies good. But words describing bread and God won’t feed you by themselves.

Week Two: “Give Us This Bread Always”

Commentary by the Rev. Justin Kosec Text: John 6:24-35 “What do you want to eat?  What are you hungry for?” These are the words my wife might helpfully ask as I rummage in the fridge, clinking jars to see what’s behind, opening drawers, making a Generalized Fuss.  Sometimes she’ll even make some suggestions: “Do youContinue reading “Week Two: “Give Us This Bread Always””

“Promise Us” Liturgical Resources

Looking for liturgical elements to complement the “Promise Us” series for Lent? We’re on it! On this page you’ll find (in this order): A sample of an at-home rite for the imposition of ashes An order for Confession and Forgiveness Prayers of the Day that bridge the Hebrew Scripture and Gospel readings for Lent YearContinue reading ““Promise Us” Liturgical Resources”