Sunday March 26, 2017

Prelude: Persephone Smiles by Heather Jinmaku

Welcome: Springtime Call to Worship By Susan Davison Archer

The earth is warming, the birdsong increases, the sweeter breezes brush our cheeks, and the earth holds hope in its seeds and buds.
Come, let us gather this morning, with joyful noise, with warm hearts, and with hopeful spirits, for we are one with the renewal of the earth and blessedly held in the love of one another.

Song: Sanctuary

Make us aware we
are a sanctuary
Each made holy
loved right through
with thanksgiving
we’ll be a living
sanctuary a-new

 Chalice Lighting: Our Souls Speak Spring By Evin Carvill Ziemer

 If we lived in another climate
Our souls might speak other languages
We might speak oasis or permafrost, dry season or monsoon

But our souls speak spring
Our souls speak green shoots pushing through last year’s leaves
Our souls speak flower buds stretching to sun
Our souls speak mud puddle and nest building, damp earth and worm castings, tiny green leaves and frog choruses

We speak spring because spring sings in us
We gather to nurture our faith in our own growing
Our own courage to push through
Our own blossoming in beauty
Our own small part in the spring of this world

Come, let us worship together

Song: The Principles Song (to the tune of Do Re Mi):

One, each person is important.
Two, be kind in all you do.
Three, we’re free to learn together.
Four, and search for what is true.
Five, all people have a voice.
Six, build a fair and peaceful world.
Seven, we care for Earth’s lifeboat.
That will bring us back to me and UU.

Story for All Ages: “A Spring Story”
              From the book
The Spring Equinox
Celebrating the Greening of the Earth
By Ellen Jackson

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:  Spring in all her green glory By Lorelai Greenwood-Jones

Leader: Quick! Look about you! The snows of Winter are gone and the Earth has awoken once more!

Congregation: Hail the Spring in all her green glory!

L: The brave small flowers push up from the warming soil; birds return from their southerly homes; the first buds appear on the trees.

C: Our days are full of the songs of the feathered ones; our nights grow warmer as the sun strengthens.

L: Warm air caresses us, filled with the scent of fresh earth and a thousand blooming flowers.

C: We shrug off the inactivity of colder days and move briskly through the delightful days.

L: Birth and rebirth, new life from seeming death – the promise of old coming true once again.

C: The sleeping seeds awaken, the sap rises. Everything is renewed.

L: What was once laid in stillness now bursts forth in riotous activity; frozen dreams blossom.

C: Within us and around us, new life is blossoming; within us and around us, the promise of spring has come.

Lesson: Spring has Sprung by Cricket Hall

When I was a little girl my absolute favorite way to sleep was upside down in my bed, you know, with my feet at the head and my head at the foot of the bed. No, I was not pretending to be a bat. I slept this way because in the springtime, I would sleep with my window open and the window in my room was closest to the foot of my bed. I could stair out the window, counting the stars, while the spring birds sang me to sleep. I didn’t need an alarm clock with my window open, the robins and doves woke me with sunshine. To me, the first day of spring was more than just some day on the calendar; it was the first day I could sleep with the window open. I slept with the window open last night! It is spring! I am so excited.

Last Monday, was the official first day of spring, the vernal equinox. In the wheel of the year, it is called Ostara. We celebrate the greening of the Earth. The cold days of winter are behind us. We celebrate creativity, fertility, rebirth, as the flowers start to bloom again and animals wake up from hibernation, and balance. At the equinox, the world is balanced; the day and night are completely even. It is a reminder from nature that we need to stop and breath and find our centers again if we wish to continue to grow.

Eggs are very popular for this holiday. Egg hunts, egg dying, egg races, and even eating deviled eggs. Besides being sacred to the goddess Ostara, eggs are the start of life. They are symbols of birth and fertility. Crossing many cultures and continents, eggs are the ultimate symbol of spring. They are the start of new life. They are a new beginning. They are hope.

We are here at the beginning of spring. It has been a turbulent year. The last twelve months have seen ups, downs, and awakenings. We let the winter take us into the dark with it.  We have felt anxiety, uncertainty, inept, broken, and not heard. Some of us have expressed that the dark is too great, that there may never be light again. And yet, we are still here. And yet, Mother Nature has found a way to remind us that there is always light. The wheel turns. Spring returns. Rebirth happens. Creativity restores.

What can we do to celebrate Spring? What is the best way to revel in the rebirth of the world? First, we must run a self-diagnostic. Looking within ourselves to find our hope. We then, need to find what feeds that hope. It can be anything, something creative, something productive, something relaxing. Then we must do those things. Paint a picture, bake a cake, sew a dress, plant a garden, read a book, crochet a blanket.  FEED YOUR SOUL. Give your soul a spring. Once we have been reawakened, then we can work on the rest of the world. With a heart full of spring we are ready to help others. We are equipped to help others. The spring is a time of balance. It is not a time of extremes. The coldest days are behind us. The warmest days are ahead of us. We quest for balance and light, keeping in tune with nature, feeling the warmth again. In finding our own balance, we can help the world find balance and hope.

Song: Sanctuary

Make us aware we
are a sanctuary
Each made holy
loved right through
with thanksgiving
we’ll be a living
sanctuary a-new

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.

Reading: Meditation on Planting By David Snedden

EARTH, clay from which we are made and to which we will return. Soil, rich and aromatic, crumbling in my fingers, dark under my nails. This, cleansing dirt, the natural filter for aquifers, holds life. Once weathered rock and dissolved mineral, now joined with humus, decaying material feeding hungry fungus and bacteria… you are living, made of living organisms and giving us life. Forgive us for treating you… like dirt. Overlooked as we walk over you without a second look. Littered with our discarded cartons and plastic bags. Forgive us our seeping toxins from clever industrial innovations.

Forgive us and accept these seeds…

SEEDS, promise of future life, may you germinate, and live into your full potential. Let your roots feel and follow the Earth’s gravity down and let your green shoots break through to the surface and feel the light. Future plant, thank you. Thank you for converting sunlight into chemical energy that allows life to flourish. Thank you literally for the food we eat.

Thank you and accept this water…

WATER, fundamental compound, we are only a part of your journey… little puddles making mud, cumulonimbus clouds above, glaciers melting over us tower, sprinkling in a springtime shower, the unimaginable expanse of an ocean’s depths, vapor in our dying breath. You are in all of us, in every cell of our being. Water, continue to flow, continue to allow life to grow, continue to quench our thirst, continuing your cycle through the Earth… Transpiration and evaporation, condensation and precipitation. Continue to filter and trickle into streams, finally reaching the sea, only to continue your journey again….

Into the air…

AIR, solution of gases, invisible but felt, held and heard. We feel you as the air pressure changes and the tree’s leaves dance in your wind. We hold you in anticipation… you are our life breath, flowing in and out of us all, oxygen in and carbon dioxide out. Inhale…. exhale. Flowing back and forth, between plant and person, algae and animal. We hear you, Air. You are the conveyance for our encouraging words and uplifting music as your waves vibrate. You surround us and expand throughout our atmosphere, beyond the stratosphere.

Toward our sun…

SUN, little, yellow star, great source of life’s energy. Bringer of light and warmth, Harbinger of the new day as we see you again after another rotation on our axis. Roiling radiant plasma, your solar rays give us hope. Hope for a new tomorrow, hope for warmth after a long winter, hope for light when the future seems dark and so hard to see. Brilliant, giant sun, shine down on our little Earth…

Silent Meditation

     André Rieu – Voices of Spring

 

Closing: Spirit of life, bring to us beauty By Judith L Quarles

Spirit of life, bring to us beauty—the beauty of snowdrops and tulip shoots.

Bring to us strength—the strength of torrents of spring streams and the quiet strength of roots pushing deep into the ground for nourishment.

Bring to us pleasure—the pleasures of maple syrup sticky and sweet on our tongues and the wind grabbing a kite and taking it high—if only we could go too!

Bring to us wisdom—the knowledge that new life springs up without help. In spite of everything we do or don’t, green shoots will bring in the spring; grass and weeds and dandelions will appear.

Bring to us love—springtime love has magic in it. The children look cherubic, the parents look eager, the lovers look lost, the seniors look satisfied. Let springtime love be a part of our lives. Spirit of life, come to us that all the energy and power of spring will make us tall and smiling and expectant. Amen.

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

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