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

Sunday 23 October 2016: Joy in the Moment

Between our fears for the future and our regrets of the past, we often forget to find joy in the moment. This Sunday we will rejoice, and Lisa deGruyter will talk about spiritual practices for being in the moment.

We would love to have you come celebrate and worship with us.  Please join us  at the Progressive Women’s Association in downtown Clarksburg, WV at 11 am.

Children are welcome.  There will be an activity for children during the service, and a coffee hour afterwards.

The building is wheelchair accessible, with an accessible restroom.

Map (The building is behind the Harrison County courthouse; you can park in the PWA parking on the 2nd Street side or the Chase bank parking on the west side of the building.)

Miracles are everywhere

Sometimes we get caught up in the busy of the day to day. Sometimes our hearts get broken and we are discouraged. It is hard then to remember that being alive is a miracle.

image

There is a sky. There is an earth. There is a you. There is a me. There is an amazing  universe for us to discover.

~Namaste
Cricket