Sunday, 2 December 2018: Love Is Too Strong a Word

Prelude

Hackney Colliery Band – A Bit Of Common Decency

Chalice Lighting: Open to Unexpected Answers

By Julianne Lepp

We seek our place in the world
and the answers to our hearts’ deep questions.
As we seek, may our hearts be open to unexpected answers.
May the light of our chalice remind us that this is a community of warmth, of wisdom, and welcoming of multiple truths.

Gathered Here (3 Times)

Gathered here in the mystery of the hour.
Gathered here in one strong body.
Gathered here in the struggle and the power.
Spirit draw near.

Responsive Reading: Seven Promises

Let us live lightly on the Earth, beginning with our church community,
for we respect the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part.

Let us embrace others both near and far in hope and compassion,
for we lift up the goal of world community with peace, liberty and justice for all
.

Let us remember that everyone bears responsibility for the health of our congregation, for we affirm the right of conscience and the use of the democratic process.

Let us remember that everyone bears responsibility for the health of our congregation, for we affirm the right of conscience and the use of the democratic process.

Let us respect individual religious paths, even those we do not understand, for we aspire to accept one another and to encourage spiritual growth.

Let us remain open to new ideas, knowing that we need not be afraid of change, for we trust in a free and responsible search for truth and meaning.

Let us remain open to new ideas, knowing that we need not be afraid of change, for we trust in a free and responsible search for truth and meaning.

Let us treat others as we would like to be treated, for we desire justice, equity and compassion in human relations. Let us listen actively and speak and act respectfully to others, for we believe in the inherent worth and dignity of every person

Music: Light One Candle – Peter, Paul, & Mary

Offering and Response (Unison)

For the gifts which we have received—and the gifts which we, ourselves, are—may we be truly grateful.
Yet more than that, may we be committed to using these gifts to make a difference in the world: to increase love and justice; to decrease hatred and oppression; to expand beloved community; to share, and to keep sharing, as long as ever we can. Amen.

Lesson: Love Is Too Strong a Word

When Robert and I were first married and new UUs, we would spent Christmas in West Virginia with my family and then go to North Carolina where his sister was living. The year our daughter was born, our then brother-in-law, who was the UU minister in Greensboro, gave us this tape, and I first listened to it in the dark, driving over the mountains back to Tennessee. Vonnegut’s ideas really spoke to me then, and listening to him again now, I think shaped my ideas of faith more than I ever realized.

Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. Ware Lecture, UUA General Assembly, 1984

Almost 35 years later, UUism has largely ignored what Vonnegut had to say that night. Love is still the doctrine of this church, we have stood on the side of love, and now we side with it.

It was hard to find readings and music for this service. I discovered through a variety of searches that there are no hymns, UU, Christian, or otherwise, about respect. There were no chalice lightings or readings about respect, except for a few about the interdependent web. The idea for the prelude came from a Vonnegut quote:

Love is where you find it. I think it is foolish to go around looking for it, and I think it can be poisonous. I wish that people who are conventionally supposed to love each other would say to each other, when they fight, ‘Please — a little less love, and a little more common decency’.

― Kurt Vonnegut Slapstick, or Lonesome No More! (1976)

Vonnegut wondered what Jesus really said in Aramaic. All we have are the Gospels written in Greek, so I started there. In both “Love your neighbor” and Paul’s letter to the Corinthians, the word used is “agape“, which is one of the many Greek words for love, sometime translated loving kindness. When the Bible was translated into Latin, “caritas” – what became charity in English, was used in the love chapter from Paul’s letter, but “diligio” in Love your neighbor. Diligio is the root of what became diligent and diligence. Diligio means something more like esteem, regard for, taking care, respect, than what we now think of as charity, or of love. Respect God, and respect your neighbor.

I thought we would try a unison reading of the Love Chapter of Corinthians, to see how it feels to say Respect rather than Love.

Unison Reading

Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not respect, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.
And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not respect, I am nothing.
And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not respect, it profiteth me nothing.
Respect suffereth long, and is kind; respect envieth not; respect vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up,
Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil;
Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil;
Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth;
Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.
Respect never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.
For we know in part, and we prophesy in part.
But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.
When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.
When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.
For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.

And now abideth faith, hope, respect, these three; but the greatest of these is respect.

– I Corinthians 13, King James Version

Hymn: Spirit of Life

Words and Tune: Carolyn McDade

Spirit of Life, come unto me.
Sing in my heart all the stirrings of compassion.
Blow in the wind, rise in the sea;
move in the hand, giving life the shape of justice.
Roots hold me close; wings set me free;
Spirit of Life, come to me, come to me.

Joys and Sorrows

(Please save comments and announcement for the end of the service)

If you woke this morning with a sorrow so heavy that you need the help of this community to carry it;
or if you woke with a joy so great that it simply must be shared, now is the time for you to speak.
…..
For the joys and sorrows that haven’t been spoken, but which remain in the silent sanctuaries of our hearts.
These joys and griefs, spoken and unspoken, weave us together in the fabric of community.

Silent Meditation

Song: Go Now In Peace (3 times)

Go now in peace, go now in peace
May our love and care surround you
Everywhere, everywhere, you may go

Closing: May we go forth from this place – Charles A Howe

May we go forth from this place thankful for the life that sustains and renews us, and open to the grace that surrounds and surprises us.
May we go forth from this place with openness and with thanksgiving.

The chalice flame is extinguished Until once again ignited by the strength of our communion.

Go now in peace.

Sunday, September 29, 2018

“The purpose of the church is to heal the consequences of lovelessness and injustice in the hearts and souls of our members so they might heal the community and together heal the world.” – Nancy Bowen

 

We would love to have you come worship with us.

This Sunday, Cricket will explore “How the UUA’s Principles and Purposes were shaped and how they’ve shaped Unitarian Universalism”

Our services are Sundays at 11 a.m. at the Progressive Women’s Association Event Center, 305 Washington Ave. in downtown Clarksburg, behind the Courthouse. There are classes for children and adults 10 to 10:45 am, and a coffee gathering before the service. More about us.

Classes and worship are replaced by Spiritual Outings on the first Sunday of each month during the summer, with brief worship, a potluck picnic, and outdoor activities. The schedule is in the sidebar.

Children are welcome.  There is childcare and an activity for young children during the service.

The building is wheelchair accessible, with an accessible restroom.

Map

The schedule for the current adult religious education class is here.

Email westforkuu@gmail.com or use our contact form for more information

or write to us at PO Box 523, Clarksburg WV 26302

Sunday, July 8, 2018

“We are not a religious tradition with a creed, but a religious movement that has always wedded social justice work to theology.”- James Luther Adams

We would love to have you come worship with us.

This Sunday, Cricket will give a lesson about James Luther Adams and the five smooth stones of liberal religion.

Our services are Sundays at 11 a.m. at the Progressive Women’s Association Event Center, 305 Washington Ave. in downtown Clarksburg, behind the Courthouse. There are classes for children and adults 10 to 10:45 am, and a coffee gathering before the service. More about us.

Classes and worship are replaced by Spiritual Outings on the first Sunday of each month during the summer, with brief worship, a potluck picnic, and outdoor activities. The schedule is in the sidebar.

Children are welcome. There is childcare and an activity for young children during the service.

The building is wheelchair accessible, with an accessible restroom.

Map

The schedule for the current adult religious education class is here.

Email westforkuu@gmail.com or use our contact form for more information

or write to us at PO Box 523, Clarksburg WV 26302

Sunday, April 15, 2018

“There can be no peace without justice and respect for human rights.”

Irene Khan

This Sunday, John Hall will give a lesson titled “Pushing the Pendulum – Five Decades of Social Justice.”

Our services are Sundays at 11 a.m. at the Progressive Women’s Association Uptown Event Center, 305 Washington Ave. in downtown Clarksburg, behind the Courthouse. There are classes for children and adults 10 to 10:45 am, and a coffee gathering before the service. More about us.

We would love to have you come worship with us.

Children are welcome. There is an activity for young children during the service.

The building is wheelchair accessible, with an accessible restroom. You may park on the south side of the building, which is marked reserved for the PWA.

Map

The schedule for the current adult religious education class is here.

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

Hope to see you there.

Namaste,

Cricket

Sunday, February 18, 2018: Our UU Presidents

Jefferson, though a sincere student of the teachings of Jesus and a Unitarian, was denounced as an atheist. We know the contumely, insult, and mob violence to which Priestley was subjected in England. Franklin, the Adamses, and Fillmore were all Unitarians, but they were looked at askance. Lincoln, one of the most deeply religious men, was clearly Unitarian in his faith. In spite of all these illustrious examples, religious prejudices have been played upon in politics to defeat Unitarians and upholders of liberal Christianity and in very recent years; but even in the time my life compasses, I can see a great change for the better.

–President Taft

On this President’s Day weekend we will look back at our Unitarian Presidents.

Our services are Sundays at 11 a.m. at the Progressive Women’s Association Uptown Event Center, 305 Washington Ave. in downtown Clarksburg, behind the Courthouse. There is a discussion time 10 to 10:45 am, and a coffee gathering before the service. More about us.

We would love to have you come worship with us.

Children are welcome. There is childcare and an activity for young children during the service.

The building is wheelchair accessible, with an accessible restroom. You may park on the south side of the building, which is marked reserved for the PWA.

Map

The schedule for the current adult religious education class is here.

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

Sunday, January 28, 2018: 1800 years of UU History

Francis David at the Diet of Torda

The Christian roots of Unitarian and Universalist ideas go back to the first centuries of Christianity. Today we will watch a presentation by Sarah Lewis briefly over-viewing all of our past.

Our services are Sundays at 11 a.m. at the Progressive Women’s Association Uptown Event Center, 305 Washington Ave. in downtown Clarksburg, behind the Courthouse. There are classes for children and adults 10 to 10:45 am, and a coffee gathering before the service. More about us.

We would love to have you come worship with us.

Children are welcome. There is childcare and an activity for young children during the service.

The building is wheelchair accessible, with an accessible restroom. You may park on the south side of the building, which is marked reserved for the PWA.

Map

The schedule for the current adult religious education class is here.

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

Sunday, January 21, 2018: 1800 years of UU History

The Christian roots of Unitarian and Universalist ideas go back to the first centuries of Christianity. Today we will watch a presentation by Sarah Lewis briefly over-viewing all of our past.

Our services are Sundays at 11 a.m. at the Progressive Women’s Association Uptown Event Center, 305 Washington Ave. in downtown Clarksburg, behind the Courthouse. There are classes for children and adults 10 to 10:45 am, and a coffee gathering before the service. More about us.

We would love to have you come worship with us.

Children are welcome. There is childcare and an activity for young children during the service.

The building is wheelchair accessible, with an accessible restroom. You may park on the south side of the building, which is marked reserved for the PWA.

Map

The schedule for the current adult religious education class is here.

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