Sunday February 5, 2017: Democratic Process

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
Guide us—
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

Continue reading

Devotional for Day 5

(written for the Presidential Election, 2016)

I walk in, as on pilgrimage.
The altar cloths are red, white, and blue
the ushers are the women
who have been running these things
who have been running everything
since before I was born.

I’m handed the ballot
like a scroll
because the questions
seem that important—
ancient and modern
of what my God and country
ask of me:
who?

Who—for commissioner, mayor, president—
who—for district 8, ward 7, school board—
who—will do justice, love mercy, and walk humbly?

I make my mark
with at least a shred of hope
that something good will come from this.

And regardless, I remember:
the world won’t be destroyed, entirely, by this;
the world won’t be saved, entirely, by this.

Marking my vote
is like kneeling in prayer
because neither will accomplish
anything right away—
but the purpose of both
is to remind me
of my deepest hope
for the world that I’m trying to help create.

So I rise from prayer,
and turn in my ballot
and remember the who is me,
and us, and we the people—
and again I set to the task that is mine:
justice, mercy, humble service
in my small corner of the world.

Activities for Day 5

The fifth principle is The right of conscience and the use of the democratic process within our congregations and in society at large or All people need a voice.

Here are some activities to help you celebrate:

As a family

Could your household be running smoother? Why don’t you call a family meeting and ask the kids for their input. Not only will you be giving your children a voice, but you may learn something you never knew, and gain some insight into your children.

Talk about government and how it runs.

As an Individual

Sometimes, people need us to help them get their voices heard. Get involved with an organization that advocates for a subpopulation, or stand up for someone on the street or on the playground.

Write letters or make phone calls to members of congress.

Food

Plan a special meal with family or friends, hold a vote on what you’ll eat. Majority wins!

Gifts

Offer your shoulder and your ear to anyone who needs someone to talk to. Try hard to not be defensive, dismissive, or offer up “quick fixes.” Sure, it may be a hard to hear about someone else’s heartache, but you’ll be giving someone comradery and compassion—two gifts that are priceless.

UU Women and Voting

Here is a piece from the UUA’s Worship Web called Skit for Famous UU Women.

As our election nears, I worry about our voices being heard. I worry that there are people who will not use their vote because they feel disenfranchised, scared, tired, and alone. What I say to you, though, is that we need to raise our voices. The president is not the only vacancy to feel. There are members of congress. There are state governments and local governments.

The piece I am sharing with you today, I’m certain would be more powerful if heard, rather than read, but even just on paper it speaks to the need to raise our voices and use our votes. The point of an election is to be heard. We need to be brave like the women in this reading and speak up.

Namaste,
Cricket

Can we still be good neighbors in an election year?

http://www.uuworld.org/articles/we-can-still-be-good-neighbors?utm_source=uuworld&utm_medium=front&utm_campaign=1st

This quote from the article spoke to me, “Each presidential campaign cycle seems to have less and less to do with governing or democracy, and more to do with deepening our divisiveness. Democracy requires disagreement and the skills to manage it, listening and tolerance.”  What spoke to you?

Namaste,
Cricket