Archive for January, 2013
Opener of the Ways, God of Many Names, and One Transforming and Abundant Love,
We enter into the stillness of this hour,
Coming from many different places,
Holding with us all the stories that make up our lives.
Each sharing a glimpse of our heart in our passing,
A hope for a deeper connection,
An offered hand in our times of need,
A welcoming ear to lessen our burden,
A place to catch our breath when we are weary,
And a religious home to challenge us when we are complacent.
Mother of All, guide us on our journey,
In this life, help us to have the strength for the long road,
With love in our hearts,
Temperance in our words,
And the will to craft a world of justice and equity.
We know that we can not do all this alone,
That we are more whole when we are in community;
That a place of reflection and care reminds us of our humanity.
We welcome this day several new members to our community.
May they find with us the home they need,
And may we find in them,
The companions we need,
to continue along the road,
With grace and compassion.
This blog post on Huffington looks at a recent TED Talk exploring the development of human life in the womb and it’s theological ramifications. It can be found here: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/rev-g-jude-geiger/a-biological-depiction-of_b_2483140.html
Spirit of Patience, God of Many Names,
Walk with us in the unfolding of our lives,
Remind us that with every trial we face,
There rests a seed of potential,
A way yet found,
A chance to love,
And the possibility of a world made more whole from our care.
As the holidays are further from us,
And we return to the pacings of the everyday,
May we not fall for the illusion of the status quo,
May we carry with us the hope and the joy,
Birthed in our festivals and our holy days;
So that in our returning to our classes,
And our offices,
And our duties,
Not only may we find solace,
But help us to bring that sense of peace,
That sense of wonder,
Into the lives of those we meet,
Throughout every week of the year.
As we come upon our national holiday,
Honoring the life of Martin Luther King, Jr.
May this spirit of patience,
Serve to remind us that change is possible,
That justice can be found,
That all may someday be treated equally.
Let us not stall before set-backs or disappointments.
Knowing that there is much work to be done,
And we are the ones to be doing it.
#33 Small Group Ministry Session Written by Rev. Jude Geiger, MRE, First Unitarian, Brooklyn – Based on the sermon, “The Still Point” preached by Rev. Jude Geiger at First UU on 12/30/12. This session explores how we ground our sense of gratitude and our work for justice, in our hearts. The sermon it’s based upon is found here: https://revwho.com/2013/01/02/sermon-the-still-point/
Welcome & Opening Chalice Lighting (Please read aloud) #419 in Singing the Living Tradition attributed to Kalidasa
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.
Reading: An Excerpt from T.S. Eliot’s “The Four Quartets” — “At the still point of the turning world. Neither flesh nor fleshless; Neither from nor towards; at the still point, there the dance is, But neither arrest nor movement. And do not call it fixity, Where past and future are gathered. Neither movement from nor towards, Neither ascent nor decline. Except for the point, the still point, There would be no dance, and there is only the dance.”
An excerpt/edit from the sermon:
“And it’s those moments between the moments (as T.S. Eliot writes in another section of the same epic poem) that we can return to for solace, for energy, or inspiration. The pausing is not solely about rest, but about renewal. Those two words may seem like the same thing, but I believe there’s a difference. Anyone who has woken up in the morning, after a full night’s sleep, with no will to goto work or school knows the difference between rest and renewal. The still point is about coming back to our place of renewal – stopping so that we can start once more – with fresh purpose and meaning. Gratitude enables us to meaningfully act.”
Discussion Questions: Where do you find places of renewal in your life? How do you allow your heart to replenish itself, and not just your body? Do you agree that gratitude enables us to meaningfully act? If so why. If not, which emotion would you base your purpose and actions upon?
Closing: (please read aloud ) #688 by Nancy Wood in Singing the Living Tradition
Spirit of Hope, God of Many Names, and One Transforming and Abundant Love,
We turn toward a new year,
A week into our resolutions – made or unmade,
Reflective of a year of commitments past,
And a year to come,
With its dreams,
And its promises of change.
May we come to know a lifetime of possibility.
Open our eyes to every opportunity,
To make amends,
To grow out of our ruts,
To remember to appreciate what is before us,
To grieve where we must,
And to let go when it is time to let go.
In building the Beloved Community on earth,
May we be moved in spirit, and in heart,
To do the work at hand.
Ever knowing that we are the ones we’ve been waiting for,
That justice and peace are possible in our communities,
In our lifetime,
Only through the strivings of each and every one of us.
We pause now in honor of the 150th anniversary of the emancipation proclamation – where slaves were freed in our nation’s history.
When we find ourselves at our most cynical,
Giving up hope that the world can bend toward justice,
May we remember how far we’ve come.
Knowing what we’ve accomplished so far,
As impossible as it once seemed to the people of another era,
So too may we be so inspired to act with conviction,
That our deeds will be remembered by a generation to come.
Spirit of Renewal, God of Many Names,
We rest at the close of another year,
One full of many stories,
Some troubled, and some joyous.
May we not turn away from facing the troubled moments of the year,
Teach us to honor the tragedies and the losses,
by seeking to mend what can be mended,
affect the changes we as a nation must affect,
to reduce the violence,
to care for broken,
to find peace in our world once more.
May we not use the New Year as an excuse to shirk from our duties,
Washing our hands of the work at hand.
So too help us to still find the joy in our living world,
To not lose sight of the good in our hearts,
The beauty of the land,
Or the possibilities of change in our lives.
We have been blessed with the gift of life,
And amidst all its challenges, struggles and small exhaustions,
It is full of moments of wonder,
Stories of hope,
And opportunities to love again and again.
May we honor this gift we have,
by holding the passion and the pain,
with grateful hearts,
as best we can.
At this hour, where our nation,
is on the brink of extreme measures of austerity,
we hold especially in our hearts,
all those who are living in fear of losing much needed financial support,
who rely on benefits who might not be there in a few days,
or who are still seeking employment.
Grant our leaders wisdom,
to heed the urgency of the mantle of their leadership,
And may they soon learn that political points,
are inferior to the work of building up the nation.