Opening our sails to the Spirit

Opening our sail to the wind

This morning we met after a pretty stormy few days with a bit of a biting wind which had, mercifully, died down to something more acceptable!

I had stumbled across a very interesting website – – which led to our focus at the start of this new year (This was our first bandstand gathering of the year). The following is adapted from their liturgy you can find there.

We began with this reflection:

I cannot cause light; the most I can do is try to put myself in the path of its beam. It is possible, in deep space, to sail on solar wind. Light, be it particle or wave, has force: you rig a giant sail and go. The secret of seeing is to sail on solar wind. Hone and spread your spirit till you yourself are a sail, whetted, translucent, broadside to the merest puff.   Annie Dillard, Pilgrim at Tinker Creek, First Perennial Classics, HarperPerennial, 1998, page 33

This put us in mind of our ‘patron saint’ Brendan, setting sail and going where the Spirit blew. This seemed highly relevant to us at the start of a new year, not knowing the way ahead, but wanting to go where we are led…


Leader:            The light of God fills all of Creation,

inviting us to shine like the dawn.

People:            We are called to be open,

                         to stretch ourselves out

                         with every movement of the Spirit.

Leader:            The light of God fills us with compassion,

inviting us to pray.

People:            We are called to follow Jesus,

                         to open ourselves to the force

                         of God’s love and justice and peace.

Leader:            The light of God fills every moment,

inviting us to reach out

beyond what we think we know or can do.

All:                    We are called to become the living Word,

                         filled with divine power and light

                         for the healing of the world.


We walked with questions reviewing the last year and thinking ahead to this one, before joining in this prayer of commitment:

Lord God, we come today to claim our relationship with you.

We pray for the commitment to grow together, sharing the gifts you give us with others here and in the wider world.

Forgive us for the hurts we have inflicted and help us forgive those who have hurt us.

Give us strength and discipline to nurture our relationship with you, to care for your creation, to foster justice

and to be in solidarity with those in need

We open ourselves to your light and guidance in this coming year.



We named those known to us and those in Nigeriaa, France and elsewhere who we wanted to be in solidarity with and included them in our sharing of bread and wine, saying:


Leader:   We gather as one body to celebrate God’s presence among us  united in Christ’s spirit, broken and whole all at once;

All:          Nourished and hungry, loved and loving,  sinner and forgiven; we make one circle of knowing, believing, rejoicing, being,  as God lights and     rests among us.

 The body of Christ, broken for us

 he blood of Christ, which makes us whole.


Finally, taking one of our banners – made of sail material, we spread our sail to the wind (which unhelpfully, momentarily died!) and used this benediction:

Leader:   So to 2015 as individuals, families and ThirdSpace

Let us open wide our spirits,

that together we are transformed into one broad sail,

propelled by the force of God’s love.

Reaching beyond what we now know,

to answer the call to be God’s light in this broken world.

In the company of God the creator, Jesus the Christ,

and the Holy Spirit shining within us,

All:          Amen.                          


To any readers who weren’t there – join us in stretching yourself wide and seeing where the Spirit blows you this year! Happy New Year!