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.


Today’s Reflection

Silence breeds silence. If no one is talking openly about their experiences with mental health, no one wants to be the first person to test the waters and see how the community responds. I understand this fear. I too have been scared to share my experience with mental illness. As a pastor, I feared telling members of my congregation that I had been diagnosed with situational depression during my years of infertility. I didn’t know if they would trust me with their concerns if they knew I was taking medication for a chemical imbalance. I have feared also for a few of my family members who have been diagnosed with serious mental illnesses; I have worried that they might be ostracized from their faith communities if they revealed the extent of their disorders. I am a church leader. If I have been scared of speaking up about my personal experiences with mental illness, I only can imagine the fear other members of the congregation must feel.

—Elizabeth Hagan, Brave Church: Tackling Tough Topics Together (Upper Room Books, 2021)

Today’s Question

Who can support you in situations where you feel afraid to speak up about your experiences? Join the conversation.

Today’s Scripture

The LORD is my light and my salvation;
whom shall I fear?
The LORD is the stronghold of my life;
of whom shall I be afraid?

—Psalm 27:1 (NRSV)

Prayer for the Week

Lord, grant me the patience and grace to listen, the courage and wisdom to question and speak; and the bravery to create safe space for tough topics.
Submit your prayer to The Upper Room.

Something More

Churches are not immune to violence, as we have seen from shootings at houses of worship across the nation. The challenge for faith communities is how to prepare for and respond to potential violence. In Whom Shall I FearUrgent Questions for Christians in an Age of Violence, author Rosalind Hughes asks congregational leaders to examine whether their operational and security policies are consistent with gospel values. Learn more here.

Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

Looking for lectionary-based resources? Learn more about The Upper Room Disciplines.

1 Comment

  • Jill Posted July 12, 2023 5:38 am

    The closest of friends would be my support – for they know the most about what I am experiencing/have experienced. Of course, the Spirit would guide me in what I share.
    Spent yesterday morning with my tennis friend on her patio, watching Wimbledon, enjoying coffee and just catching up. She and I are to play together in my final match of the summer this evening. We have never played in an official match as partners, only just in practice. We are grateful for the opportunity. We will ride to the match together – as it is an hour away.
    Attended a colleague’s retirement party yesterday. It was nice to see old friends who have either retired or moved to another school system. The principal who hired me was there – it is rare that I get to see her. She is so fully responsible for the arc of my career path. It was her who asked me to teach in the program I am currently in, way back in the Fall of 1999. I can’t imagine what my teaching load/schedule would look like had she not asked me to join the program.
    I begin hospice volunteering today. I have been assigned my first patient. The coordinator with whom I trained will be joining me, showing me the way.

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