Small Group Ministry #31: After Sandy

#31 Small Group Ministry Session Written by Rev. Jude Geiger, MRE, First Unitarian, Brooklyn – Based on the sermon, “Beyond the Limits of Love” preached by Rev. Ana Levy-Lyons at First UU on 11/4/12. This session offers an opportunity to reflect on the effects of Hurricane Sandy to our community. It is found here: http://www.fuub.org/home/clergy/sermons/?sermon_id=84

Welcome & Opening Chalice Lighting  (Please read aloud) #539 In Singing the Living Tradition by Maya Angelou

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. If the group agrees, more time can be spent this month sharing our stories of Hurricane Sandy.

Covenant Reflection

Reading: An Excerpt/Edit from the sermon, “Beyond the Limits of Love.”

Unitarian Universalists tend to not like the idea of religious laws and requirements. We like to think that we’ll do the right thing out of love. But love doesn’t always result in people doing the right thing… or even the sane thing. Part of the tragedy of moments like this is that they expose the sad truth that love doesn’t take us far enough. We’re generally myopic when it comes to making hard choices on a large scale. Progressives talk about loving and caring for the earth. We can love the beautiful sunsets and mountains, the flora and fauna we encounter, but this kind of love is sentimental. Love is really bad at abstractions. It’s no good at acting on cause-and-effect at several levels of remove. It’s lousy at reading climate charts and calculating statistics and probabilities and running computer models to connect our actions with their indirect impact on the most vulnerable among us. And yet that is exactly what we need right now.

Discussion Questions: Looking back on the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, how does Rev. Ana’s words regarding the utility of love resonate with you? When does kindness fall short? How do you see the world differently as we begin to get back on our feet as a city, with so many people now homeless? What would sustained change look like in the world at large? What would it look like in your – particular – life?

Closing:   (please read aloud – responsively if you have several copies) #576 “A Litany of Restoration” by Marjorie Bowens-Wheatley (In Singing the Living Tradition)

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