If you search the Internet for the words “gladden the hearts of those” you will find numerous instances of a blessing based on the words of Swiss philosopher Henri Frédéric Amiel. I readily admit to having stolen it from The Rev. Elizabeth “Liddy” Hoster.
I added “and those you love” and have used it routinely. Congregations have been highly responsive to it, so much so that people ask for copies of the blessing.
One such is attached. Peace and blessings to you!
A Pastoral Blessing
Considerably prior to the release of the movie Noah (which qualifies as the worst I have seen in a long time – perhaps ever), I used the framework of that story to talk about Church and how we should be toward one another. It was prompted by a person who wanted her particular church to take a public position in support of gun control, but it’s not about gun control. It expresses the idea that Church ought to be a safe place where all are supported, regardless of what they have to say in the outside world. If we cannot continue to walk together, we are not loving one another, and if we fail to love, we fail to live as Jesus commands.
One priest said to me, “This sermon ought to be preached in every church in the diocese.”
The Ark as Church (preached at St. Christopher Episcopal Church, Charleston, West Virginia, February 17, 2013)
04272014_Easter II_StJohnsCharleston Sermon preached at St. John’s Episcopal Church, Charleston, West Virginia, April 27, 2014. Alone among the disciples, Thomas (who was a twin) had reason to doubt. His response to the risen Lord as “My Lord and my God” sets Thomas apart in a positive way.