Sunday, March 1, 2020: Dissent, Heresy, and Toleration

Dissenter of Sidmouth

Tolerance is a social rather than a religious virtue. A broad-minded view of the private belief of others undoubtedly makes for the happiness of society; but it is an attitude impossible for those whose personal religion is strong. For if we know that we have found the key and guiding principle of Life, we cannot allow our friends to flounder blindly in the darkness.

— Steven Runciman, The Medieval Manichee: A Study of the Christian Dualist Heresy

Unitarianism and Universalism were both born in heresy, challenges to the beliefs and mores of the world around them.

Welcome before prelude

Good morning and welcome to West Fork Unitarian Universalists. I’m Robert and I feel blessed to serve this congregation as a lay leader. I’m glad to see all of you here today.

Thank you for joining us.

Let us use the prelude for centering. We are about to enter sacred time. We are about to make this time and this place sacred by our presence and intention.

Please silence your phones… and as you do so, I invite us also to turn down the volume on our fears; to remove our masks; and to loosen the armor around our hearts.

Breathe.

Let go of the expectations placed on you by others—and those they taught you to place on yourself.

Drop the guilt and the shame, not to shirk accountability, but in honest expectation of the possibility of forgiveness.

Let go of the thing you said the other day. Let go of the thing you dread next week. Be here, in this moment. Breathe, here.

Prelude Belief – John Mayer

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Sunday, May 22, 2016: Dissent, Heresy, and Innovation

Dissenter of Sidmouth

Prelude Galileo – Indigo Girls

Welcome The beauty of the whole – 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 In memory of all the flames – Amarette Callaway

In memory of all the flames that didn’t die—
in the midst of darkness,
in spite of the darkness,
we light this flame today.
“The light shines in the darkness,
and the darkness did not overcome it.” (John 1:5 NRSV)

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