Meta Herrick Carlson ’08 M.Div. is the author of “Speak It Plain: Words for Worship and Life Together,” published in 2022 by Fortress Press. These prayers, blessings, litanies, and liturgies were created as a companion to existing worship resources.
In the book’s preface, Carlson notes that people in the pews today do not necessarily know the stories or language that has been used in churches for generations, nor do they necessarily experience God in the same way. In this collection, her goal is to speak to the hunger and wonder that people feel. The materials address the needs of many people who may not have been included in other resources, including victims of violence, people in ecumenical relationships, people who are experiencing infertility, those who are experiencing a blue Christmas, interim leaders, and people facing separation or divorce.
Diane Waarvik, director of congregational care for Bethlehem Lutheran Church in Minneapolis, writes, “‘Speak It Plain’ is a gift to Christian leaders who want to create, grow, and nurture more inclusive and welcoming congregations. You will find compassionate blessings and poems for those who come to our faith communities, new understandings of the liturgical service, and more. Meta Carlson, a gifted parish pastor, offers insights and tools to Christian leaders to better connect the teachings of the church to how we live our lives today!”