Tag Archive for: Peace

Through the Lens of a Contemplative Photographer

The splendor of the Pacific Northwest by photographer Andrew E. Larsen

Blessed are the Peacemakers
GIVING PEACE A CHANCE

Andrew E. Larsen, pastor and
professional photographer

Pastor Andrew E. Larsen describes himself as a Peacemaker. His ministry promotes seeking truth and making peace between Christians and Muslims. “Peacemaking in the way of Jesus is what we follow,” he says.

Larsen’s ministry endeavors to help Christians and Muslims understand each other better. “We work hard at building bridges of understanding and trust that can bear the weight of truth,” he says. “From there we can work to find how humanity can be reconciled, regardless of our histories and differences.”

Larsen says while he’s a “card-carrying Christ-follower,” he can fully love his Muslim neighbors. He points to Matthew 5:9 as what Jesus taught and modeled in the Gospels. 

To this end, Larsen has produced two documentaries on this subject. Dr. Rev. Larsen is a Selah Companion and serves on the Selah Center Board of Directors.

View more of Andy’s photos at https://www.andrewlarsenphotography.com. 
Learn more about Larsen’s work in peacemaking at http://worldlyholiness.com.

A Prayer for Our Country

God of mercy,
bless this nation of ours.
We pray for liberty,
         that none may be oppressed or exploited.
We pray for democracy;
         that all voices be heard, and none silenced.
We pray for peace,
         that there be harmony, in which everyone’s gifts may flourish.
We pray for justice,
         that no one benefit at the expense of another,
         that there be a just and equal sharing of power.
We pray for a spirit of patriotism,
         that we be faithful to one another as a whole.
We thank you for our freedom, and those who have protected it:
         teachers who taught us to question,
         neighbors who acted in covenant with one another,
         those who spoke out against injustice.
We thank you for the gift of our diversity;
         may we honor all people
         and celebrate our rich differences.
We thank you for this land, for it is yours.
         May we live in reverence for your Creation.
God of mercy, in love of our country we confess
         our mistreatment of the poor, and of the land,
         our abuse of power, and idolatry of our place in the world.
Temper our might with humility
         and our power with compassion.
Mend our divisions, heal our fear,
         and restore our love of one another.
Bless this nation,
         and bless every nation the same,
         for all of us are sisters and brothers.
On this Day of Inter-independence,
bless us O God, and make us a nation of justice and peace,
         a nation of benevolence and generosity,
         a nation of mutual sharing and cooperation,
         a nation devoted to the healing of the world.
God of mercy, bless this nation,
that we may be a nation of mercy.
Amen.

Steve Garnaas-Holmes,
www.unfoldinglight.net
Used with permission

About Steve Garnaas-Holmes

Steve Garnaas- is a retired United Methodist pastor. He and his wife Beth live in Maine. He often leads retreats on prayer, poetry, and renewing our language about God. He writes a lot of church music.  “I am trying to be here now,” says Garnaas-Holmes.

Unfolding Light

Unfolding Light is a daily reflection rooted in a contemplative, creation-centered spirituality, often inspired by my daily walk in the woods. In poems, parables, psalms, thoughts, and the odd weather report I hope to invite readers into a spirit of presence, compassion, justice, and delight. Though these writings are rooted in the Christian story you’ll hear in them melodies of many traditions. Unfolding Light is for anyone who wants to be a part of God’s healing of the world. You can receive Unfolding Li

Photo by Spenser Sembrat on Unsplash

To Uvalde in Memoriam

I was in the woods at 8 tonight it was similarly quiet, and they were singing here too
I did not feel joy nor peace 

I asked to the Divine to offer grace, tender love, comfort to 21 families tonight
in Texas whose lives were shattered today 

I’m so glad I quit Facebook otherwise I’d be ranting at guns and conservatives

Somehow, there is a way to walk in the absolute terror in this world
Hold the space with injustice and cruelty ……
While aiming my own pathway toward peace 

I feel unable to do this 

And …. the Divine?
She will light the way

By Jeffrey,
Selah Community

It Is Well With My Soul in English, Spanish, Russian, and Ukrainian

Rooted in Christ is a Christian music group from the beautiful Pacific Northwest with Ukrainian roots. However, they profess their true roots in Christ. The group recorded “It Is Well With My Soul” in English, Ukrainian, Russian, and Spanish a year ago. This rendition of a traditional hymn seems especially appropriate with recent current events. The video has been viewed 105,845 times since October 2021. May it speak to your soul as it did ours. 

Pax et Bonum,
Mary Pandiani
Executive Director
Selah Center