Sunday March 6, 2016: The Spirit of the Broken

“Will I” from RENT
“I Bet My Life” by Imagine Dragons

Welcome – Come into this circle of love and justice By Marilyn J Sewell

Come into this circle of love and justice,
Come into this community where we can dream and
Believe in those dreams—
Come into this holy space where we remember who we are
And how we want to live.
Come now, and let us worship together!

Chalice Lighting World Chalice Lighting for March by Rev. David Usher, First ICUU President

All around the world, the light of honest thought shines, showing people the path to their own authentic faith.
All around the world, the warmth of community glows, drawing people in from loneliness and estrangement.
All around the world, the flame of justice burns, inspiring people to acts of faith-filled courage.
Here, too, may the light and warmth of this chalice be to us a beacon of truth, generosity and compassion, that we may learn the ways of faith and love.

Song: Come, come, whoever you are
Wandererer, worshipper, lover of leaving
Ours is no caravan of despair
Come, yet again come (5 times)


As Unitarian Universalists, we believe in the inherent worth and dignity of every person.
“Worth” takes endless forms.  As we find more expressions of our worth,
we grow richer as a church community.
We believe in justice, equity and compassion in human relations.
 If we let rationalizations replace justice, resignation replace equity,
or pity replace compassion, our human relations are diminished.
We believe in acceptance of one another and encouragement to spiritual growth in our congregation.
How do I withhold acceptance? Do my fears stunt our congregation’s growth?
When next I hesitate, can I extend my hand instead? 

We believe in a free and responsible search for truth and meaning.
How much more will we learn if we share our search with travelers who set a different pace, see from a different perspective, or understand with a different wisdom?
We believe in the right of conscience and the use of the democratic process within the congregation and in society at large.
For all to have a voice we need many ways of expression and we need many ways to listen.
We believe in the goal of world community with peace, liberty and justice for all.
Just as “peace” means no violence, and “liberty” means no oppression, and “justice” means no prejudice, “all” means no exceptions.
And, we believe in respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part.
We gain strength from the support of others, and we grow stronger as we support others. Together we can weave our values into an ever-stronger web of existence. 

Story for All Ages: The Cracked Pot

Offering and Response  (Unison)

For the gifts which we have received—and the gifts which we, ourselves, are—may we be truly grateful. Yet more than that, may we be committed to using these gifts to make a difference in the world: to increase love and justice; to decrease hatred and oppression; to expand beloved community; to share, and to keep sharing, as long as ever we can. Amen.

Reading: Acknowledgment of Limitations by Calvin O Dame

We come into one another’s presence seeking some part of ourselves, knowing that we do not live alone, knowing that we cannot live fully if we are for ourselves alone.
We come as ordinary people, each with strengths and each with weaknesses, aware of our shortcomings. Our lives set before us many tasks. We are not always equal to them.
Too often we fall short of our best expectations of ourselves; we do not know enough, we are not always patient, we fall into anger, we cannot find strength, we do not wait for wisdom, we lack vision. It hurts. It hurts to acknowledge our shortcomings.
And yet, here we are, not always perfect, not always wise, but always human, gloriously and miraculously alive and breathing, wondrously and mysteriously human.

May our time together renew our hope.
May the stories we share refresh our courage.
May the songs we sing lift our spirits.
May the words we speak invigorate us.
May the touch of hands, the sound of laughter,
the sight of faces new and familiar,
restore us in faith. Amen.

Sermon: The Spirit of the Broken by Cricket Hall

Originally I was going to use a canned sermon for today. I was tired and sore and really wanted to “phone it in” as they say. But I was doing research and looking at the CLF website. For those of you who do not know, CLF or Church of the Larger Fellowship is an online congregation of UUs. It is a really great place to get ideas for services, programs, and projects, as well as a wonderful place to connect with people from all walks of life. They have a monthly theme and it happens to be Brokenness in March.  I was very much inspired by the story of the Broken Pot that I shared with you earlier.


For me, being broken has always been part of my life.


Broken Homes

” I never thought I’d have children; I never thought I’d be in love, I never thought I’d meet the right person. Having come from a broken home – you kind of accept that certain things feel like a fairy tale, and you just don’t look for them.” Angelina Jolie

Broken Friends

“Friendship is like a glass ornament, once it is broken it can rarely be put back together exactly the same way.” – unknown

Broken College Dreams

“I often miss the little girl that I use to be. The one whose dreams had no barriers. The one who believed in a world where anything is possible, but most of all, I miss the little girl whose heart was full and unbroken” – unknown

Broken Body

“I don’t think of myself as being disabled, or able-bodied.” – Natalie du Toit

Broken Reality

“The opposite of play isn’t work. It’s depression.” – Jane McGonigal

We are all broken in some way. So if we are all broken, what does broken mean?


having been fractured or damaged and no longer in one piece or in working order.”a broken arm”synonyms:          smashed, shattered, fragmented, splintered, crushed, snapped;

(of a person) having given up all hope; despairing. “he went to his grave a broken man” synonyms: defeated, beaten, subdued;

The world breaks everyone, and afterward, some are strong at the broken places. —Ernest Hemingway

Are we really broken? Is there nothing we can do?

Mosaics are made of broken pieces of stone, glass, and pottery. They are beautiful pictures made from things that were previously broken. We can make mosaics with our lives.

In Japan there is a technique called Kintsugi or Kintsukuroi

Mindfulness Meditation can help us reach to the bottom of our brokenness and start to rebuild.

Gratitude Journals are and easy and fun way to not focus on the broken within our lives and work on a way to heal ourselves.

“Maybe love is not always about trying to fix something that is broken. Maybe its about starting over and creating something better.” – unknown

Reading: The Inherent Wholeness of Every Being By Erika A. Hewitt

We who are Unitarian Universalist not only affirm the inherent worth and dignity of every person; we also affirm the inherent wholeness of every being — despite apparent brokenness.
No one reading these words is a stranger to pain, or the knowledge that things break, or break down: promises, friendship, sobriety, hope, communication…. this breaking happens because our human hearts and our very institutions are frail and imperfect. We make mistakes. Life is messy. Brokenness happens.
We’re intimately acquainted with brokenness, then, even as we believe that no matter how fractured we are or once were, we can make whole people of ourselves. We are whole at our core, because of the great, unnameable, sometimes inconceivable Love in which we live.
As UUs, we believe that paying attention to something is an act of love; witnessing and naming brokenness is how we begin to heal it. Some sorrows demand to be named out loud:

My sister died.
My body is fragile.
I’m scared that I won’t be able to pay my rent this month.
The streets in my city are filled with violence.
Healing begins when we examine what’s in pain, wonder how it occurred, and allow it to teach us.


In fact, sometimes the brokenness is immense and the only grasp, the only power we have over that large and complicated pain looming over us is to bear witness, to tell its story, and to seek out companions and helpers who are willing to agree that yes, there is something breaking or messy in front of us, and we will not leave or even look away until repair has begun.

If love begins with attention, repair takes the form of compassion, bearing witness, speaking out.
Repair looks like connection, justice, or even revolution. It looks like after-school tutoring programs, community meals, and holding signs in front of City Hall.
And it begins by placing full trust and faith that there is inherent wholeness in every broken situation.

Joys and Sorrows If you woke this morning with a sorrow so heavy that you need the help of this community to carry it;

or if you woke with a joy so great that it simply must be shared, now is the time for you to speak.


For the joys and sorrows that haven’t been spoken, but which remain in the silent sanctuaries of our hearts.

These joys and griefs, spoken and unspoken, weave us together in the fabric of community.

Silent Meditation

Song: Wash it Away by Nahko and Medicine for the People

Closing: The World is too Beautiful by Eric Williams

The world is too beautiful to be praised by only one voice.
May you have the courage to sing your part.
The world is too broken to be healed by only one set of hands.
May you have the courage to use your gifts.
May you go in peace.

Song: Go Now In Peace (3 times)

Go now in peace, go now in peace
May our love and care surround you
Everywhere, everywhere, you may go