Sunday, February 27, 2022: The Id in Identity

But what if we are not icebergs, but waves?

In the historical dimension we talk in terms of life, death, being, nonbeing, high, low, coming, going, but in the ultimate dimension, all these notions are removed. If the wave is capable of touching the water within herself, if the wave can live the life of water at the same time, then she will not be afraid of all these notions: beginning and ending, birth and death, being or non-being; non-fear will bring her solidity and joy. Her true nature is the nature of no-birth and no-death, no beginning and no end. That is the nature of water.

— from Fear: Essential Wisdom for Getting Through the Storm by Thich Nhat Hanh

The UU second principle is “Justice, equity, and compassion, in human relations.” This was a 1985 revision from the original six principles, which said “To implement our vision of one world by striving for a world community founded on ideals of brotherhood, justice and peace.” Lisa deGruyter will lead the service.

Please Join us for Worship.

We are forgoing meeting in person during the coronavirus epidemic, meeting on Zoom. We share music, readings, and hymns on our usual presentation slides, have a story and a talk, and share joys and sorrows, as well as a virtual “coffee hour” discussion starting at 10:30, with the service at 11. If you prefer not to be seen, video is optional. If you would like to participate, please email westforkuu@gmail.com for details and a link, or for help with using ZOOM.

If you are a regular attendee, we have added you to our Google Group if we had an email address. If you have not gotten a group email already, please email westforkuu@gmail.com so that we can add you to the group, which we will be using for staying in touch with each other during this time. Public announcements will continue to be posted here on the website and on our Facebook page and Twitter account, as usual.

Email westforkuu@gmail.com or use our contact form for more information or write to us at PO Box 523, Clarksburg WV 26302

Sunday, February 20, 2022: Solitude

Not all people are called to be hermits, but all people need enough silence and solitude in their lives to enable the deep inner voice of their own true self to be heard at least occasionally.

— Thomas Merton (modified slightly)

Each of us needs to make space for the “still small voice” of our own true self. Robert Helfer will lead the service.

Please Join us for Worship.

We are forgoing meeting in person during the coronavirus epidemic, meeting on Zoom. We share music, readings, and hymns on our usual presentation slides, have a story and a talk, and share joys and sorrows, as well as a virtual “coffee hour” discussion starting at 10:30, with the service at 11. If you prefer not to be seen, video is optional. If you would like to participate, please email westforkuu@gmail.com for details and a link, or for help with using ZOOM.

If you are a regular attendee, we have added you to our Google Group if we had an email address. If you have not gotten a group email already, please email westforkuu@gmail.com so that we can add you to the group, which we will be using for staying in touch with each other during this time. Public announcements will continue to be posted here on the website and on our Facebook page and Twitter account, as usual.

Email westforkuu@gmail.com or use our contact form for more information or write to us at PO Box 523, Clarksburg WV 26302

Sunday, December 26, 2021: NO SERVICE

We are taking Sunday, December 26, off. There will be no ZOOM service and no in-person service, while we individually celebrate Saint Stephen’s Day/Boxing Day/The Second Day of Christmas/The First Day of Kwanzaa or perhaps to prepare for tomorrow’s International Day of Epidemic Preparedness. Please join us January 2, 2022, when we resume regular Sunday services on ZOOM.

We are forgoing meeting in person during the coronavirus epidemic, meeting on Zoom. We share music, readings, and hymns on our usual presentation slides, have a story and a talk, and share joys and sorrows, as well as a virtual “coffee hour” discussion starting at 10:30, with the service at 11. If you prefer not to be seen, video is optional. If you would like to participate, please email westforkuu@gmail.com for details and a link, or for help with using ZOOM.

If you are a regular attendee, we have added you to our Google Group if we had an email address. If you have not gotten a group email already, please email westforkuu@gmail.com so that we can add you to the group, which we will be using for staying in touch with each other during this time. Public announcements will continue to be posted here on the website and on our Facebook page and Twitter account, as usual.

Email westforkuu@gmail.com or use our contact form for more information or write to us at PO Box 523, Clarksburg WV 26302

Sunday, December 19, 2021: Joy to the World

No more let sins and sorrows grow,
Nor thorns infest the ground
Let righteousness its glories show
As far as love is found
Far as the love is found,
Far as the love is found,
Far as, far as, the love is found.

In these dark times, there will be singing. In the darkest time of another dark year, we will gather to light a candle and look forward to the return of light. Lisa deGruyter will lead a service honoring ancient traditions.

Please Join us for Worship.

We are forgoing meeting in person during the coronavirus epidemic, meeting on Zoom. We share music, readings, and hymns on our usual presentation slides, have a story and a talk, and share joys and sorrows, as well as a virtual “coffee hour” discussion starting at 10:30, with the service at 11. If you prefer not to be seen, video is optional. If you would like to participate, please email westforkuu@gmail.com for details and a link, or for help with using ZOOM.

If you are a regular attendee, we have added you to our Google Group if we had an email address. If you have not gotten a group email already, please email westforkuu@gmail.com so that we can add you to the group, which we will be using for staying in touch with each other during this time. Public announcements will continue to be posted here on the website and on our Facebook page and Twitter account, as usual.

Email westforkuu@gmail.com or use our contact form for more information or write to us at PO Box 523, Clarksburg WV 26302

Sunday, December 5, 2021

“Joy is an act of resistance.” – Toi Derricotte

“Feeling good is not frivolous, it is freedom.” – adrienne maree brown

“Joy is the transformation of our suffering, not the escape of all we have to face.” – Mark Nepo

This Sunday, John Hall will discussing “Finding a Unitarian Universalist Joy and How That Applies to Our Principles”

Please Join Us for Worship.

We are forgoing meeting in person during the coronavirus epidemic, meeting on Zoom. We share music, readings, and hymns on our usual presentation slides, have a story and a talk, and share joys and sorrows, as well as a virtual “coffee hour” discussion starting at 10:30, with the service at 11. If you prefer not to be seen, video is optional. If you would like to participate, please email westforkuu@gmail.com for details and a link, or for help with using ZOOM.

If you are a regular attendee, we have added you to our Google Group if we had an email address. If you have not gotten a group email already, please email westforkuu@gmail.com so that we can add you to the group, which we will be using for staying in touch with each other during this time. Public announcements will continue to be posted here on the website and on our Facebook page and Twitter account, as usual.

Email westforkuu@gmail.com or use our contact form for more information or write to us at PO Box 523, Clarksburg WV 26302

The Sunday of Joy

The Third Sunday of Advent is all about joy. The following prayer and meditation were written for Christmas Eve, but it is about the Joy of the season.

The Eve of a Birth Like No Other by Lisa Doege

In stark light, against a black background, a simple wooden manger
Holy One, Emmanuel, You are with us and we with You, now on the eve of a birth like no other, and a birth exactly like all others.

We ponder the dreams and foretelling—royalty, savior, the light of the world. Revolution and possibility wrapped in helplessness and vulnerability. Divine love incarnate. Can it be? Dare we believe?

We wonder what manner of birth shall this be?
Will we labor alone?
Or shall unknown hands assist?
Will there be joy in the pain? Danger?
A lusty eager, protesting cry of arrival?
A lifetime in a moment of heart-stopping uncertain silence?

We wonder who shall issue forth?
Our truest, bravest, most precious self in infant guise?
Fledgling justice?
Elusive peace?
Reclusive hope?
A leader for them all?

We fear indifference for the one to be born. We fear hostility for the one to be born. We fear for ourselves and the one to be born unending cycles of struggle, risk and failure; duplicity and betrayal; wandering, searching, wrong turns and futile leads; tyranny and oppression; invisibility and forgotten-ness. We fear disappointment, mediocrity, resignation. We fear, perhaps most of all, that the wholeness that will arrive will be so very different than the perfection we imagine, that we will fail to recognize holiness squirming in our grasp.

Breathe into us strength and tenderness, resilience and steadfastness for the birth soon to come —that body and soul might stretch and push with the labor rhythms of the universe, neither breaking nor abandoning the task. May our tears be of joy, exhaustion, amazement but never surrender.

Gently wipe the film of doubt from our eyes, firmly blow the dust of doubt from our faith, that we might see holiness and foresee redemption in the one, the many soon to be born. May our belief make a way through the wilderness.

Open us to the fullness of the birth whose time is so nearly come—the joy and sorrow, the unknowing and the discovery, the messy and surprising humanity, the incomprehensible and utter rightness of the miracle. May our meager expectations of what might be vanish in the bewildering revelation of what is.

Ready our hearts for the blessing of being, at once and all together, any age, any gender—midwife, mother, newborn babe. Praising and giving thanks for all that we help into being, for all that we bear into being, for all that is born into being through us and in us. May we move in the grace of this triple blessing, radiate the pulse of this triple blessing, rest in comfort of this triple-blessing. Midwife, parent, newborn babe.

On this holy night, this eve of everything yet to be, we dream together of a way and a world so transformed by a single birth, by every single birth, that the myths and music of the ages dim in its holy blazing light. And we pray: may it be so.

Amen.

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.

Joy as a form of Resistance

This podcast is from December 22, 2016, brought to you from the Church of the Larger Fellowship. 

Joy is a great thing. When people tty to take away our joy, it is a powerful thing to celebrate joy. What little things bring joy to your life? How can you celebrate joy?

[The VUU] 164: Joy as a Form of Resistance

https://media.blubrry.com/clfvuu_latest/www.questformeaning.org/podcasts/vuu/latest/vuu164.mp3 via @PodcastAddict
Namaste,

Cricket

PS: There’s some Santa business here, so little ears might not want to listen.
Image from  https://www.theodysseyonline.com/choose-joy-feeling

Sunday November 20, 2016: Joy in the Moment

Prelude: Morning Has Broken – Cat Stevens

Welcome: Look To This Day by Kalidasa

Look to this day:
For it is life, the very life of life.
In its brief course
Lie all the verities and realities of your existence.
The bliss of growth,
The glory of action,
The splendor of beauty
Are but experiences of time.
For yesterday is but a dream
And tomorrow is only a vision;
But today well-lived, makes
Yesterday a dream of happiness
And every tomorrow a vision of hope.
Look well therefore to this day.

Chalice Lighting by Yvonne Aburrow

The chalice is the fullness of life’s experiences
And the emptiness of innocent openness to wonder
As we light the chalice flame
Let us explore the empire of the senses,
Let us celebrate experience and experiment:
the twin expressions of freedom, reason and tolerance. Continue reading