4th Sunday in Advent

Advent is the season of waiting. In the Christian year, it is the four Sundays before Christmas. Each Sunday there is a candle lit. They symbolize Love, Hope, Joy, and Peace. This week is about love. The reading below found on the UUA Worship Web is about waiting and love. What are we waiting for? What does love mean to us?
Season’s Blessings,
Cricket
The Virgin Monologue By Jim Burklo

“‘God did it’ isn’t an explanation,” said Joseph.
He got no account for the baby’s chromosomes,
No description of the mechanism that
Transmuted the divine shadow into royal blood.

“‘The devil made me do it’ would have sounded better to me,” said Joseph,
Though it never did him any good when he said it to his old girlfriends.

It was a mystery to him,
What moved him to listen for the rhyme
And puzzle for the reason
That Mary gave him the news in the manner that she did:

A mystery that put him at peace.
There was something in the way she held his hand
That no medical journal article could correlate;
Something in the way she gazed into his eyes
That eluded the grasp of genomic research.

“I don’t ask you to believe what I am saying,” she said,
“I don’t ask you to take my word for it.
I just ask you to love, as if.

Love me as if I were yours,
Love this baby as if he were yours,
As I love you as if you were mine.”

Love “as if” makes every child divine
Love “as if” fits all in David’s line
Love “as if” this love was meant for you
Love “as if” the Christmas tale is true.

3rd Sunday in Advent

Advent is the season of waiting. In the Christian year, it is the four Sundays before Christmas. Each Sunday there is a candle lit. They symbolize Love, Hope, Joy, and Peace. This week is about Joy. The reading below found on the UUA Worship Web is about waiting and Joy. What are we waiting for? What are we Joyful about?
Season’s Blessings,
Cricket
When Merry Meets Mess

“Use loneliness. Its ache creates urgency to reconnect with the world.”
— Natalie Goldberg

I know a little about “merry” meeting “mess” at the holidays — and by a little I mean How much time have you got?

Four Christmases ago, a painful break-up sent me spinning into a long tango with depression. Two Christmases ago, I came down with the stomach flu. Last year, as tears streamed down my face, friends cut off my long hair in preparation for my first round of chemotherapy. And this year? Like many, I’m grieving an election that, I believe, has already damaged the hearts and bodies of our country’s most fragile people.

I haven’t soured on the holidays, however — and I will not give up on Christmas — for two reasons.

First: long before my heart was broken and I lost my hair to chemo, I learned to shape the holidays to fit into whatever-shaped hole is in my heart.

At times, this has required ingenuity and vigilance. The holidays, laden as they are with traditions and sacred cows, can pull us into programmed ruts rather than genuine wonder. To ask, What do I truly need? and How can I claim my longing for joy? can happen only when we allow ourselves to practice vulnerability and take mindful pauses.

The other reason I won’t give up on Christmas is its central message: the Holy will never give up on us, her people. In fact, from Hanukkah to Solstice, that’s the message of most winter holy days: the Holy — call it God, call it The Force, call it Love’s Impulse — will never give up on us, even when we feel like curling up in a dark room and revoking our membership in the human family.

If I believe that your love will never let us go, I imagine saying to the Great All That Is, the least I can do is be your spy on the ground. I’ll keep watch for love, for compassion, for magic, for awe; and I’ll report back regularly, just to feel close to you.

Every one of you, Sugar Plums, has a story about the holiday blues: crisis, loneliness, wanting to give up. Telling our stories helps restore our wholeness. Tell yours. While you’re at it, form a plan for the coming weeks so that on the other side of this winter, you can look back  and say, “Here’s how I made it gentler on myself, and here’s where I remembered that love will show itself, again and again.”

Prayer

You reveal yourself to us in myriad ways, Gentlest of Ways, and at this time of the year you remind us that you’ll never turn away from us. Whether our hearts are merry or miserable, may our longing keep turning us toward you, and toward the presence of your Love among us.

Chalica 2017 Day 7

For each day of Chalica we will offer activities, some are fun and some are more reflecting, a chalice lighting, and a meditation. Gather everyone together, light the chalice, and breathe into the principles with us each day.

Activities:

  • Identify ways your family can be more green. Start a compost, recycle, bike more? As a family, choose one and commit!
  • Clean up trash at a park or in your neighborhood.
  • Advocate that your workplace, or your school, be more eco-friendly. Ask for recycle bins and reuse as much as possible.
  • Volunteer at a local animal shelter.
  • Shop your local farmer’s market for local and organic fruits and veggies.
  • If you aren’t already vegetarian or vegan, plan to make a vegetarian or vegan meal.
  • As the saying goes, “Reuse, Reduce, Recycle.” Today, recycle something from your house that would have been trash and create something with it: art, a gift, or a handy item.
  • Write a journal entry about how the world is connected together.
  • Rescue an animal.

Chalice Lighting: (If you don’t have a chalice at home, remember that the point of a chalice is that it is a symbol so any candle will work.) Since it is the last day there are two.

For the Web of Life By Paul Sprecher

We light this chalice for the web of life which sustains us,
For the sacred circle of life in which we have our being,
For the Earth, the Sky, Above and Below, and
For our Mother Earth, and for the Mystery.

 

All Animal Chalice By Mark Causey
We light this chalice, spark of the original fire of creation, to remind us that we all on this planet—the furred, the feathered, the finned, and the scaled, along with us featherless bipeds—we are all made of the same star-stuff and all share a common destiny. We all share the same hopes of a life free from harm and suffering and the same aspirations of happiness, love, and flourishing—being able to express our own unique natures and capacities as best we may. We are just that many diverse perspectives from which the whole is seen and experienced. We are inextricably intertwined, interconnected and interdependent. And it is good.

Blessed be.

 

Meditation: 
There are two meditations.

Blessing of the Water by Ranwa Hammamy

Bring us Close to Earth by Lyn Cox

Here is a musical meditation as well. This is Peter Mayer’s “Blue Boat Home”.

 

Season’s Blessings,
Cricket

2nd Sunday in Advent

Advent is the season of waiting. In the Christian year, it is the four Sundays before Christmas. Each Sunday there is a candle lit. They symbolize Love, Hope, Joy, and Peace. This week is about hope. The reading below found on the UUA Worship Web is about waiting and hope. What are we waiting for? What are we hoping for?
Season’s Blessings,
Cricket
We Are Waiting (a reading for Advent) By Leslie Takahashi

When used as a responsive reading, “We are waiting” is the congregational response.

This is the season of anticipation,
Of expecting, of hoping, of wanting.
This is the time of expecting the arrival of something–or someone.
We are waiting.

This is the time of living in darkness, in the hues of unknowing.
Of being quiet, of reflecting on a year almost past.
Waiting for a new beginning, for a closing or an end.
This is the time for digesting the lessons of days gone past, anticipating the future for which
We are waiting.

Waiting for a world which can know justice
Waiting for a lasting peace.
Waiting for the bridge to span the divides which separate us.
Waiting for a promise or a hope.
For all of this
We are waiting.

Chalica 2017 Day 6

For each day of Chalica we will offer activities, some are fun and some are more reflecting, a chalice lighting, and a meditation. Gather everyone together, light the chalice, and breathe into the principles with us each day.

Activities:

  • Volunteer as a family or make a plan to volunteer on a regular basis
  • Write a Holiday card for a veteran, person, at a nursing home, or a neighbor
  • Go for a walk and randomly compliment people you pass.
  • Write a journal entry about what peace means to you
  • Write a journal entry about what liberty means to you
  • Write a journal entry about what justice means to you
  • Read stories of injustice from around the world
  • Read about other holidays from around the world.

Chalice Lighting: (If you don’t have a chalice at home, remember that the point of a chalice is that it is a symbol so any candle will work.)

 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.

 

Meditation: 
There are two meditations.

Beatitudes for Justice Builders by Lindi Ramsden

Children’s Christmas Sermon by Gary Kowalski

Here is a musical meditation as well. This is “Happy Xmas (War Is Over)” by John & Yoko, The Plastic Ono Band with The Harlem Community Choir.

 

Season’s Blessings,
Cricket

Chalica 2017 Day 5

For each day of Chalica we will offer activities, some are fun and some are more reflecting, a chalice lighting, and a meditation. Gather everyone together, light the chalice, and breathe into the principles with us each day.

Activities:

  • Listen to a friend who needs to talk without offering advice.
  • Write a letter to someone in the legislature.
  • Find out how to get on the board at your church.
  • Find out when your City Council meets and plan to go to the next meeting.
  • Host a family meal and everyone gets to vote on what you will make.
  • Write a journal entry about what the democratic process means to you.
  • Watch a movie as a family, but everyone has to vote on what it’s going to be.

Chalice Lighting: (If you don’t have a chalice at home, remember that the point of a chalice is that it is a symbol so any candle will work.)

Reminder of the Inner Light By Gregory David Miller

This fire is a reminder of the light within us all;
the yearning for freedom,
the longing for truth,
the flame of intuition,
the torch of conscience.
We dedicate this service to the remembrance of this Holy Light.

 

Meditation:
There are two meditations. The second one is even fun for kids.

Give Voice to Mourning by Lindasusan Ulrich

The Great Pie-Rat Controversy by Naomi King

 

Here is a musical meditation as well. This is Dion’s “Abraham, Martin, and John” because it focuses on people who lived this principle.

 

Season’s Blessings,
Cricket

PS: Very sorry this is a day late.