Discussion Group for Liminal Spaces

#24 Small Group Ministry Session on “Liminal Spaces” Written by Rev. Jude Geiger, MRE, First Unitarian, Brooklyn. Based on a Sermon by preached at First UU on 11/6/11 found here.

Welcome & Opening Chalice Lighting  Please read aloud — By May Sarton #428 in Singing the Living Tradition

Come out of the dark earth Here where the minerals Glow in their stone cells Deeper than see or birth.

Come into the pure air Above all heaviness Of storm and cloud to this Light-possessed atmosphere.

Come into, out of, under The earth, the wave, the air. Love, touch us everywhere With primeval candor.

Statement of Purpose:  To nurture our spirits and deepen our friendships.

Brief Check-In: Share your name and something you have left behind to be here.

Covenant Reflection

Reading: The entirety of this prayer can be found here showing all four voices used.

Spirit of Life, God of Many Names and One Transforming and Abundant Love, Broaden our imagination to see you in the faces of all those we meet along the way. May your teachers come in all shapes and sizes, all genders and all sexes, and may we have the courage to hear their lessons so that our lives may be moved.

We live in a world whose bodies are sometimes broken, or broken down, or weighted under burdens that none could hope to carry alone. We live in a world where we have all the capacity we ever needed to make another life that much easier.

And yet we don’t always use our power to help… we don’t always allow others in… we don’t always accept help when it is offered… we don’t always know when we can no longer do it alone.

Spirit of Life – open our hearts to the community of souls that surround us; Allow our words to be softened before the miracle of being; Strengthen our voice so that it may be a service to others; And stir in us compassion when it is gone, temperance when we are in our might, and hope when it is hard to find.

We especially hold dear this morning all the lives who have suffered harm for the bodies they were born into; for the genders whose expressions didn’t stand up to the gaze of society; and the lives that were lost due to violence born of fear, of hatred or of self-doubt. We pray for our youth who are wrestling with the choice of whether to live or to die. May our love, our compassion, and our commitment to seeing a world more free, and more free-spirited, help them to find the hope they need to continue living.

Discussion Questions:  

How has gender influenced your life? Do you find yourself approaching the world from a different angle than those who are differently gendered? How does your gender lift you up or make you glad? The sermon “Liminal Spaces” asks us to enter into those difficult places outside our comfort zone so that we might be able to help others who are experiencing pain or loss due to their gender expression. Can you identify where your comfort zone begins and ends? Where can you stretch more?

Closing:  “Life Again” By John Banister Tabb #626 from Singing the Living Tradition

Out of the dusk a shadow, Then, a spark. Out of the cloud a silence, Then, a lark.

Out of the heart a rapture, Then, a pain. Out of the dead, cold ashes, Life again.


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