At the Crux of the Matter: A liturgy of saying goodbye

On Saturday, December 2, the doors were closed on Crux Books for the very last time. Another victim of online shopping, together with a crippling blow when the PanAm Games forced the doors of the store to be closed in the summer of 2015, just before Flyp opened there. The bookstore was within the security zone for the games, and received no compensation for the loss of business. Crux was located in Wycliffe College, just steps from the office of our campus ministry. It seemed clear that we needed to liturgically mark the passing of this beloved bookstore, and the transition that this would mean for our friend, Cindy Hayley, the store’s faithful owner. So we wrote a liturgy and gathered the community one more time. In this post I share the liturgy, with the hope that no one else ever needs to use it in their own community. But if you do, it is free for the taking. In the next post after this, I will share the readings used in the service and the meditation that I wrote for that service.

At the Crux of the Matter … The Word

A Service of Thanksgiving and Taking Leave
for Cindy Hayley and Crux Books

Founder’s Chapel
December 4, 2017, 10.30am

Liturgist and Preacher: Brian Walsh
Music Director: Deb Whalen-Blaize

Prelude “The Word” (The Beatles)

Word of Welcome and Prayer (Bishop Andrews)

Hymn:  “My Life Flows on in Endless Song” 

Proclamation of the Word
A composite reading from the Word on the Word

Meditation  “The Word does not return empty”

Musical Reflection: “Power of the Gospel” (Ben Harper)

Words of Gratitude

From the College: Rob Henderson
From the Church: Sylvia Keesmaat
From the Community: Don and Nancy Krain

Hymn: “When Peace, like a River”

Prayers of Thanksgiving, Blessing and Commissioning

Let us pray:

For your Word of Life that does not return empty,
we give you thanks.

For all these years of Crux Books:
for the liberating of the imagination,
the healing of souls,
the education of the church,
the outreach to this university,
we give you thanks.

For a place of quiet ministry,
a gathering place,
a place of laughter and debate,
of solace and hope,
we give you thanks.

For Pat Paas, the bigger than life
founder of Crux Books,
and for all who have worked in the store,
we give you thanks.

For Cindy and Ed Hayley
who kept the vision alive,
who struggled against the odds,
who served us so faithfully,
we give you thanks.

Dear friends, as we
pray for our sister, Cindy,
what is our prayer?

In our prayers for you we always
thank God our Father,
for we know firsthand
your faith in Jesus Christ,
your love for all the saints,
and that you live in the light
of resurrection hope.

What is your deepest desire for Cindy
as she takes her leave
of the Wycliffe College community?

We pray that you will be filled
with the knowledge of God’s will
in all spiritual wisdom and understanding,
so that you will continue
to live a life worthy of the Lord,
fully pleasing to God,
and that your life
will continue to bear fruit in every good work.

As you walk in faith,
bear the cross of Jesus,
seek first the Kingdom,
and rejoice in your discipleship.

And what do you want to say to our sister
as she continues a life in response to God’s call?

Beloved sister:
take heed that you fulfill
the ministries that the Lord has given you;
live in the Word,
seek justice,
minister to the vulnerable,
feed the hungry,
do not forsake the breaking of bread,
and practice resurrection.

We bless  you,
we give thanks for you,
we hold you in our prayers,
and we commission you.

All   The cross,
Cindy I will take it.

All   The bread,
Cindy I will break it.

All   The pain,
Cindy I will bear it.

All   The joy,
Cindy I will share it.

All   The gospel,
Cindy I will live it.

All   The love,
Cindy I will give it.

All   The light,
Cindy I will cherish it.

All   The darkness,
Cindy God shall perish it.

Go forth, dear friend,
with our blessing and with our prayers.
Go forth in the hope of the risen Christ.
Go forth and bear witness
in all that you do,
to the love of God,
the redemption of Christ,
and the comfort of the Holy Spirit.
In the powerful name of Jesus


[The community then gathered in the
bookstore one last time, for a bitter-sweet
time of fellowship.]

Brian Walsh
Brian is an activist theologian, a retired CRC campus minister, the founder of the Wine Before Breakfast community, and farms with Sylvia Keesmaat at Russet House Farm.He engages issues of theology and culture, and has written a couple of books you might want to check out. His most recent offering is cowritten with Sylvia Keesmaat and entitled Romans Disarmed: Resisting Empire, Demanding Justice.

One Response to “At the Crux of the Matter: A liturgy of saying goodbye”

  1. Ian Clary

    This is lovely, I wish I’d been there. Crux was a second home to me. Pat, Cindy and Ed were wonderful employers. I can’t believe it’s gone.


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