“All you need is love. But a little chocolate now and then doesn’t hurt.” – Charles M. Schulz
Prelude: The Candy Man Can from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory
Make us aware we
are a sanctuary
each made holy
loved right through
we’ll be a living
Chalice Lighting: Come ye into this house of worship! By Elizabeth A Parish
Principles: Kid Principles Song
Story for All Ages: How chocolate is made by SNAkids featuring Michael
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.
Song: #346 Come Sing a Song With Me
Reading: Chocolate Poems
For our reading today, we have three poems about chocolate.
Lesson: Reach for the Chocolate
L: Chocolate is tasty. Chocolate is sweet. And … Chocolate is good for you. Here are ten scientifically established health benefits of good chocolate. They are from an article in The Telegraph titled “National Chocolate Day: 10 convincing health reasons you should eat more of the stuff” published on October 28, 2016, by Andrew Baker.
- It’s good for the heart and circulation
A recent study found that dark chocolate helps restore flexibility to arteries while also preventing white blood cells from sticking to the walls of blood vessels – both common causes of artery clogging.
- It reduces risk of stroke
Researchers in Finland have found that chocolate consumption lowers the risk of suffering a stroke – by a staggering 17 per cent average in the group of men they tested.
- It’s mineral rich
Dark chocolate is packed with beneficial minerals such as potassium, zinc, and selenium, and a 100g bar of dark (70 % or more) chocolate provides 67 % of the Recommended Daily Allowance of iron.
- It reduces cholesterol
Consumption of cocoa has been shown to reduce levels of “bad” cholesterol (LDL) and raise levels of “good” cholesterol, potentially lowering the risk of cardiovascular disease.
- It’s good for your skin
The flavonols in dark chocolate can protect the skin against sun damage (though you’d probably better still slap on some sun cream).
- It can help you lose weight
Chocolate can help you lose weight. Really. Neuroscientist Will Clower says a small square of good chocolate melted on the tongue 20 minutes before a meal triggers the hormones in the brain that says “I’m full”, cutting the amount of food you subsequently consume. Finishing a meal with the same small trigger could reduce subsequent snacking.
- It’s good for mothers and babies
A Finnish study found that chocolate reduced stress in expectant mothers and that the babies of such mothers smiled more often than the offspring of non-chocolate-eating parents.
- It may prevent diabetes
It sounds mad, but cocoa has been shown to improve insulin sensitivity. So dark chocolate – in moderation – might delay or prevent the onset of diabetes.
- Chocolate is good for the brain
Flavanols are thought to reduce memory loss in older people, and the anti-inflammatory qualities of dark chocolate have been found beneficial in treating brain injuries such as concussion.
10. Chocolate makes you feel better
Chocolate contains phenylethylamine or (PEA), which is the same chemical that your brain creates when you feel like you’re falling in love. PEA encourages your brain to release feel-good endorphins.
P: But Who cares about all that … We all know we eat chocolate because it tastes good. It has a special way of making you feel relaxed when you are stressed. Hot chocolate is the perfect way to warm up on a cold winter day. And it’s extra special when the hot chocolate is homemade. Making chocolate candies or cake bring people together and provide happiness and connection. Chocolate is a healer and bestows comfort.
R: Comforting is good and all but what about the inspiring part of chocolate?
P: How is chocolate inspiring?
R: I’ll explain. Chocolate is inspiring by how it’s made and how it can be made into different things. Look, Here at the World’s Largest Chocolate Exhibition in Paris.
In the video, there are lots of sculptures and things made out of chocolate, I’m inspired to make different things out of chocolate. We made truffles for today’s service. We made plain chocolate, peppermint, raspberry, and orange flavored chocolate truffles. This is the fun part of the service. We are going to do a chocolate meditation.
L: If you would please come up one at a time and choose a chocolate truffle.
- After you have picked your truffle, look at it carefully.
- Notice the color and shape and how it sits in the paper
- Hold it in your hand. Look at the color. Smell the aroma.
- Do you feel a sense of anticipation, or an urge to immediately put the chocolate in your mouth?
- What physical sensations do you have?
- What emotions are you feeling? Just note them.
- Is it melting in your hand? Is your mouth watering?
- Now, take your chocolate and rather than put the whole thing in your mouth, just bite off a tiny bit and let it dissolve slowly, without chewing. Notice the taste… the sweetness, notice any other flavors present in your chocolate.
- Chocolate has over 300 different flavours. See if you can sense some of them.
- If you notice your mind wandering while you do this, simply notice where it went, then gently escort it back to the present moment
- How does it feel as it melts?
- After the chocolate has completely melted, swallow it very slowly and deliberately. Let it trickle down your throat.
- How do you feel when you eat the chocolate?
- Is this flavor associated with any memories?
- When you are ready, go ahead and finish your candy in any way you want to. You can continue to nibble at the edges or you can pop the whole thing in your mouth or something in-between.
- Which did you choose? When your chocolate is gone, how do you feel?
Song: Wake Now My Senses Hymn #298
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.
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
Our services are Sundays at 11 a.m. at the Progressive Women’s Association Uptown Event Center, 305 Washington Ave. in downtown Clarksburg, behind the Courthouse. There are classes for children and adults 10 to 10:45 am, and a coffee gathering before the service. More about us.
We would love to have you come worship with us.
Classes and worship are replaced by Spiritual Outings on the first Sunday of each month during the summer, with brief worship, a potluck picnic, and outdoor activities. The schedule is in the sidebar.
Children are welcome. There is childcare and an activity for young children during the service.
The building is wheelchair accessible, with an accessible restroom.
The schedule for the current adult religious education class is here.