New every morning is your love, great God of light, and all day long you are working for good in the world. Stir up in us desire to serve you, to live peacefully with our neighbors and all your creation, and to devote each day to your Son, our Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.

"A Liturgy for Morning Prayer," Upper Room Worshipbook

Used by permission from the Book of Common Worship, © 2018 Westminster John Knox Press. All rights reserved. This prayer appears in “A Liturgy for Morning Prayer” in Upper Room Worshipbook.

Gathered Together

Creating Personal Liturgies for Healing and Transformation

Tilda Norberg • December 2007

BUY Print $16.99

BUY eBook (Available in ePub or Kindle) $9.99

How can the church honor a person's profound experience of struggle, change or celebration? How can corporate worship link to the unique and real-life needs of the people in the pews?

God wants us to be whole. One of the purposes of the church is to encourage that. However, in seeking to provide something for everyone, corporate worship traditions may have lost a personal touch that members need.

Perhaps your most dedicated parishioner, for whatever reason, looks outside the congregation for support or growth. Positive change comes from these efforts, but often the much needed spiritual element is left unaddressed.

In Gathered Together: Creating Personal Liturgies for Healing and Transformation, Tilda Norberg offers ideas for creating tailor-made liturgies that connect daily life with the rituals of worship.

"Individualized healing liturgies are not psychotherapy but a wonderful adjunct to an inner journey that may include therapy," Norberg writes. "…Personal liturgies can bring a vital component to the life of the church. [They] offer an exciting, effective, even necessary, contribution to personal growth—a natural addition to healing ministries."

Norberg details more than two dozen custom liturgies she has designed and led among the "ad hoc church," honoring such specific events as finding a vocation, recovering from illness, giving up false hopes and receiving first car keys. These liturgies are truly faith in action—intimate, honest and deeply transformative—as a congregation of close friends participate with the celebrant in a service uniquely designed around a personal need.

Her wise, creative guidance will inspire pastors to widen the scope of the liturgy and encourage laypeople to seek an authentic bridge between the personal journey and church life.

Categories: Spiritual Practice
Tilda Norberg, a United Methodist minister, is the founder of Gestalt Pastoral Care. After receiving her theological education at Union Theological Seminary, she completed further training at the Gestalt Institute of Princeton. Norberg is also a graduate of The Gestalt Institute of Canada and the Lomi School in San Francisco. She continues to teach, lead retreats, and see people privately.

ISBN: 978-0-8358-9916-1

Kindle ISBN: 978-0-8358-1556-7

EPub ISBN: 978-0-8358-1557-4

Imprint: Upper Room

Pub Date: December 2007

Trim Size: 6 in (w) x 9 in (h) x 0.441 in (d)

Page Count: 192

BISAC Categories: RELIGION / Christian Living / Spiritual Growth

BISAC1: REL012120



"Healing ministry is an untapped reservoir of the church. The church must explore it in every possible way to represent the healing presence of Christ in our broken world."

"Tilda Norberg gives creative voice to the church’s calling to liturgically honor and appropriate God’s gracious movement toward healing and wholeness, one person at a time. Gathered Together is a generous gift to the church from an exceptionally insightful, wise, and gifted pastor."
— Jeremiah J. Park Resident Bishop, New York Area The United Methodist Church

"Pastors should feel at home with this book; laypersons should feel empowered by it. Gathered Together is a splendid contribution to the field of spiritual counseling."
— Rev. John J. King, SJ Retreat Minister, Mount Manresa Jesuit Retreat House Staten Island, New York

"Tilda Norberg agrees with the tenet of Gestalt theory that humans have an innate yearning to grow and heal. She adds her belief that Jesus wants us to attain both objectives.

"In Gathered Together Norberg shows how symbols and keen intuition can facilitate the healing process. She calls on the power of simple Christian symbols and rites like Eucharist, baptism, anointing, laying on of hands, foot washing, and chanting. Importantly, she encourages 'gathering together' supportive friends to join in prayer for the person in need. This book reports remarkable examples of healing and transformation as the result of such 'personal liturgies.'"
— Hugues J. P. Ryser, MD Professor Emeritus, Boston University School of Medicine

"Gathered Together is essential reading for anyone seeking to understand and practice healing ministry. Joining stories, psychological insight, theological reflection, and practices of healing prayer for individuals, Gathered Together provides individuals and healing teams with resources to promote the healing of persons in need. The book sets forth a step-by-step approach for creating liturgies for personal healing that can be readily adapted. This book will enable churches to embody a truly holistic ministry of healing that embraces healing prayer for individual transformation as well as congregational worship. It will help healing teams understand the psychological dimensions of illness and the trauma of persons in pain. Gathered Together will awaken your congregation’s experience of God’s healing touch through individual as well as community prayer and ritual."
— Bruce G. Epperly Professor of Practical Theology, Lancaster Theological Seminary Author of God’s Touch: Faith, Wholeness, and the Healing Miracles of Jesus and Healing Worship: Purpose and Practice

"Tilda Norberg documents story after story of personal liturgy experiences in which the Holy Spirit breaks forth in powerful, awe-inspiring ways. Gathered Together is a ministry resource that invites pastors, prayer teams, and laity into the artfully organic and grace-filled process of creating personal liturgies that bless, transform, and heal."
— The Reverend Anne M. Cormier, MDiv, MSW, LSW Gestalt Pastoral Care Minister

"I find Gathered Together a great asset in the work I do in churches and in retreat centers. Rather than providing an off-the-rack healing prayer that may not exactly fit the person/situation, this book provides the components to construct, shape, and create a tailor-made healing liturgy specific to the needs presented by the person/situation I am working with at the time."
— Sister Anna Tantsits, IHM Retreat team, Franciscan Ministry of the Word at Bethany Ministries Former Associate Director for Adult Faith Formation & Evangelization for the Diocese of Albany

Books by Tilda Norberg