2016 hasn’t been perfect, but we have had a good year.
We have celebrated historical figures from UU history. We even had special guest Carol Sroczynski who interviewed Mother Jones, played by Patience Deweese. Special thanks to them and the members (Shelia and Jim Rye) of the Morgantown West Virginia Unitarian Universalist Fellowship who provided our music for that day.
We had fun hunting eggs on Easter Sunday and smashing cascarones in celebration of Spring.
We joined the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Charleston for their Annual Memorial Day Weekend in the Forest. We had fun Spiritual Outings at various parks throughout North Central West Virgina. We ended our summer of outings with the VA Park and burned our tree of joys and sorrows. We started a new tree the following Sunday.
Through trying times we have been there for each other. We have worked toward spiritual community. We have even gained a new member. Loki Hall signed the books on September 25th.
I hope that all of these things continue in the new year. I will close with this prayer.
Spirit of Life and Love, known by many names and yet fully known by none, we give thanks for this time and this place of renewal. We give thanks for the ability to begin again: after the disaster, after the tragedy, after the loss, after meeting the challenge set before us. Grant us the courage to continue on the journey, the courage to speak up for the well being of others and ourselves and the planet. May we forgive each other when our courage falls short, and may we try again. Grant us hearts to love boldly, to embody our faith and our values in living words and deeds. May our hearts open to embrace humility, grace, and reconciliation. Grant us the ability to learn and grow, to let the Spirit of Love and Truth work its transformation upon us and within us. Grant us the spirit of hospitality, the willingness to sustain a fit dwelling place for the holy that resides in all being. Grant us a sense of being at peace in the world, even as we are in moti on. Let us cultivate together the strength to welcome every kind of gift and all manner of ways to be on the journey together. To this we add the silent prayers of our hearts.
(Pause) Blessed be.