UU Lent – Day 32 – Justice

Blessing

The following can be read by one leader,  read by several leaders, or read responsively between leader(s) and the congregation.

Blessed are you who can question your own assumptions and listen with an open mind; you will receive new insights beyond your imagining.

Blessed are you who suffer the attacks of others to stand up for what is right; you will not be alone, for your courage will inspire others to rise.

Blessed are you who build friendships as well as justice; even when you lose an issue, you will have strengthened the foundation of your community.

Blessed are you who take delight in people; you will not be bored in meetings.

Blessed are you who agitate the placid waters of complacency; you will create waves in the inertia of privilege, and will know the thrill of riding the surf of change.

Blessed are you who lead with enthusiasm and confidence, resisting the temptation to shame the apathetic or self-absorbed; you will inspire curiosity and hope in others.

Blessed are you who play as well as work; you will have more fun, build more energy, and will draw the powers of the impish to your cause.

Blessed are you who ask for help in your role as leaders; you will find teachers at every turn, and your work will remain interesting and alive.

Blessed are you who, when wrongfully attacked, find safe outlets for your righteous rage; your mind will be clear, your decisions strategic, and your progress will not be derailed by the backlash of the fearful.

Blessed are you who do not demonize your opponents; your eyes and your hearts will be open.

Blessed are you who sing and dance; you will find energy and joy to lift you on your journey.

Blessed are you who offer thanks and praise five-fold for every critique; your children will want to visit after they are grown, people will want to serve on your committees, and friends will be interested in your opinions.

Blessed are you who study the rhythms of history; you will have knowledge with which to shape the future.

Blessed are you who work in coalition rather than in principled isolation; you will meet great people, learn things you didn’t realize you needed to know, and have partners for the journey when you are in the lead, or in need.

Blessed are you who volunteer to be secretary and take good minutes; your words will become history, and your efforts will move steadily forward rather than running absent-mindedly over thoroughly discussed ground.

Blessed are you who discover, train and encourage young leaders; you will see your work expand and grow beyond your own time and talent.

Blessed are you who can change your mind; you are still alive.

Blessed are you who will not let the perfect be the enemy of the good; you will see progress in your lifetime.

Blessed are you with an active spiritual life; you will find perspective and comfort in times of loss and betrayal, and will rise without cynicism to meet the challenges of a new day.

Blessed are you who live from a place of gratitude; for you will know the meaning of Life.

 

UU Lent – 24 – Blessing

BE THE BLESSING YOU ALREADY ARE

 

By John Gibb MillspaughSarah Gibb Millspaugh

 

Service Leader: In our religious tradition, it is not just ministers and religious professionals who have power to bless. Each of us has the power to bless another, and to bless the world. Therefore I invite everyone here to participate in this blessing. The words are ordinary words, but we make the blessing real through our shared intention.

[Invite congregants form physical connections, hand-to-hand or hand-to-shoulder, throughout the congregation.]

All: As we have been blessed, so we bless one another to be a blessing. Breathe in, breathe out, this breath we share with all that breathes. Feel the love of the universe flowing through this community, into you, and out into the universe again. Let the love of all the universe—your love—flow outward, to its height, its depth, its broad extent. You are more than you know, and more beloved than you know. Take up what power is yours to create safe haven, to make of earth a heaven. Give hope to those you encounter, that they may know safety from inner and outer harm, be happy and at peace, healthy and strong, caring and joyful. Be the blessing you already are. That is enough. Blessed Be; Amen.

 

Adapted from the Karaniya Metta Sutta (Sunna Nipata 1.8) of the Pali Canon

 

 

UU Lent – Day 17 – Possibility

“Man often becomes what he believes himself to be. If I keep on saying to myself that I cannot do a certain thing, it is possible that I may end by really becoming incapable of doing it. On the contrary, if I have the belief that I can do it, I shall surely acquire the capacity to do it even if I may not have it at the beginning.”
― Mahatma Gandhi