Greetings! I hope all is well with you.

Dear Congregation,

Greetings! I hope all is well with you.

As I’ve shared with you in sermons, in meetings, and one on one, I have gotten information about some good resources, ministry experiences, and other valuable tips that other pastors have shared in Facebook groups of which I am a member—”UCC Clergy”, “UCC Clergywomen”, “RevGalBlogPals”, “Things they didn’t teach us in Seminary”, and “Clergy Chicks”.

As our focus in worship this Sunday will be Jesus’ words on prayer as found in Luke 11:1-13, I thought of this poem/prayer written by Pastor Katy Stenta that I had saved because I thought it was so meaningful. I share it with you here.

“Fiercely Listening”


sometimes I think about

how much of my job

is listening to those

who are hurt

Sometimes I pray about

all those without ears to hear

Those who are quick to judge

or center themselves

or say, if they had just…


I think about how often Jesus just sat

and listened, really listened

and validated people’s pain,

and then called them by name.

Sometimes I think about

how much of the community’s job

is listening,

Fiercely listening to those

who are unheard, or drowned out or ignored

Fiercely listening to those

who are hurt,

without judgement

or agenda

…just listening fiercely

to those who have been

especially hurt

and then I

try to practice

that fierce listening

taking to heart

the cries of injustice

opening my ears to hear

and my heart to be melted

Help me to do my job I pray.



I can really identify with the opening words of this prayer. I have found, in my experience, that in the deep listening to another, God is present, and healing happens. Burdens are lightened. This “fierce listening” is not limited to the pastor in prayer. As Pastor Stenta writes, “…the community’s job is listening…” And so I invite each of you to do some “fierce listening”. It is a holy gift to both the speaker and to the listener.

I look forward to being in worship with you Sunday.


In Christ’s love,

Pastor Candy

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