See last year for the full service.
Today we are celebrating our Flower Ceremony, which was created by Dr. Norbert Čapek for the Liberal Religious Fellowship he founded in Prague, then Czechoslovakia, in 1925, and which became the largest Unitarian Church in the world. He sought a ceremony that would celebrate love and community and the interdependent web of life and love among a new and diverse congregation drawn from many backgrounds, and which would be a celebration not tied to any older religious ceremonies, which many of his congregation had rejected. Nearly a hundred years later, it is celebrated by Unitarian Universalist congregations everywhere.
We will have a potluck dinner and egg hunt following the service at Robert Helfer and Lisa deGruyter’s house in Clarksburg. Ham and potato salad will be provided. Please bring a dish to share and baskets for collecting eggs. There will be cascarones. Your friends and family are welcome, too.
We would love to have you come worship with us.
Our services are Sundays at 11 a.m. at the Progressive Women’s Association Event Center, 305 Washington Ave. in downtown Clarksburg, behind the Courthouse.
Our Religious Education/ Life Long Learning Class will meet at from 10am to 10:45 am with a coffee gathering before the service. More about us.
Adult religious education, at 10, will be a discussion on applying our beliefs to current events.
Children are welcome. There is childcare and an activity for young children during the service.
The building is wheelchair accessible, with an accessible restroom.
You can park on either side of the PWA building. The lots are marked as private, but are available on Sunday mornings.
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.
Make us aware we
are a sanctuary
Each made holy
loved right through
we’ll be a living
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
Prelude: Mango Thoughts in a Meatloaf Town
Rev. Meg Barnhouse, First UU, Austin, Texas
Hosea Ballou said “Man, being not only a religious, but also a social being, requires for the promotion of his rational happiness religious institutions, which, while they give a proper direction to devotion, at the same time make a wise, and profitable improvement of his social feelings.” And so we gather here, not only to practice our religion, but to support each other.
Chalice Lighting Drawn Together – Jennifer Leota Gray
We come together every week bound not by a creed,
Or a mutual desire to please one God or many Gods
Yet we are drawn together by a belief, that how we are in the world,
Who we are together matters.
We light this chalice, together in the knowledge
That love, not fear, can change this world Continue reading
Prelude: Here Comes the Sun – George Harrison
Welcome: Here in this sanctuary – Jack Mendelsohn
Welcome to this community.
Here in this sanctuary of ancient dreams and wisdom and beauty we come to grow, to be healed, to stretch mind and heart, to be challenged, renewed; to be helped in our own continuing struggles for meaning and for love; to help build a world with more justice and mercy in it; to be counted among the hopers and doers.
In the face of cynicism, darkness, brutality around us and within, we seek to align ourselves with a living community that would affirm rather than despair, that would think and act rather than simply adjust and succumb.
Here we invite the spirit of our own humanity and the healing powers under, around, through and beyond it, to give us the nerve and grace, the toughness and sensitivity, to search out the truth that frees, and the life that maketh all things new.
Chalice lighting: Take from life its coals – Laurel S Sheridan
Take from life its coals, not its ashes.
Fan the flames of love and justice;
join hands and hearts in common endeavor;
and there will be no limit to what we can achieve together.
Song: Gathered Here (5 times)
Please rise in body or in spirit and join in singing Gathered Here, five times. Continue reading
Church! What Is It Good For?
Prelude: Closer to Fine – Indigo Girls
And I went to the doctor, I went to the mountains
I looked to the children, I drank from the fountains
There’s more than one answer to these questions
Pointing me in a crooked line…
Let our church be a gift from each of us to the other.
But even more let it be a gift from each of us to our community.
Let us be a gathering place for the spirit, a refuge for hope, a beacon of inspiration, and a dynamo of life and justice for all.
Let faithful community be the ground of commitment and action to enrich the world.
For me the essence of Unitarian Universalism is the responsible search for my personal spiritual truth in a loving and supportive community that values that search. The analogy I use is the campfire or hearth. When the cold, existential winds of the uncaring universe blew hard and bitter, it was all that was between our ancestors and the outer darkness. But it was enough, and they thrived. It was the center of life. Children heard the stories of the people from the elders. How to find food was discussed. Strangers were welcomed around the flame. We learned to take care of the weak and infirm, the young and helpless, but also that if everyone did not tend the fire and fetch the wood, that there was no survival. For me our Chalice symbolizes that flame that was the center of community. Today, it is the center of where I find, explore and celebrate my own spiritual truth and continue to grow as a person of faith.
From Bob Hurst, First Unitarian Church of Oklahoma City Continue reading
Prelude: P!NK “Don’t Let me Get Me”
Welcome: “All That Lies Within You” by Angela Herrera
Consider this an invitation
With all your happiness
And all of your burdens,
Your hopes and regrets.
An invitation if you feel good today,
And an invitation if you do not,
If you are aching-
And there are so many ways to ache.
Whoever you are, however you are,
Wherever you are in your journey,
This is an invitation into peace.
Peace in your heart,
And peace in your heart,
And-with every breath
Peace in your heart.
Maybe your heart is heavy
Maybe it’s troubled
And peace can take up residence
Only in a small corner,
Only on the edge,
With all that is going on in the world,
And in your life.
Ni modo. It doesn’t matter.
All that you need
For a deep and comforting peace to grow
Lies within you.
Once it is in your heart
Let it spread into your life,
Let it pour from your life into the world
And once it is in the world,
Let it shine upon all beings.
Song: Gathered Here
Chalice Lighting: A Spark of Hope By Melanie Davis
If ever there were a time for a candle in the darkness,
this would be it.
Using a spark of hope,
kindle the flame of love,
ignite the light of peace,
and feed the flame of justice.
Prelude: Heyr himna smiður – Árstíðir
[Heyr, himna smiður (Hear, Smith of the Heavens) was written by the Icelandic chieftain and poet Kolbeinn Tumason, according to tradition, on his deathbed in 1208 AD. Þorkell Sigurbjörnsson set the poem to music in 1973. This recording features the Icelandic “Indie Rock” group Árstíðir. For more information, see en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kolbeinn_Tumason.]
Welcome: The beauty of the whole, By Meg Barnhouse
We gather to worship, our hearts alive with hope that here we will be truly seen, that here we will be welcomed into the garden of this community, where the simple and the elegant, the fluted and frilled, the shy and the dramatic complement one another and are treasured. May we know that here, each contributes in their way to the beauty of the whole. Come, let us worship together, all genders, sexualities, politics, clappers and non-clappers, progressive or conservative, may we root ourselves in the values of this faith: compassion and courage, transcendence, justice and transformation.
Chalice lighting: Afraid of the dark, By Andrew Pakula
In sightless night, terrors draw near
Nameless fears of talon and tooth
Hopelessness yawns before us—an abyss
Alone and unknown in the gloom, longing for the dawn
O sacred flame blaze forth—wisdom brought to life
With the light of hope
The warmth of love
The beacon of purpose and meaning
Because we are all afraid of the dark
Let there be light