Today we are celebrating our Flower Ceremony, which was created by Dr. Norbert Čapek for the Liberal Religious Fellowship he founded in Prague, then Czechoslovakia, in 1925, and which became the largest Unitarian Church in the world. He sought a ceremony that would celebrate love and community and the interdependent web of life and love among a new and diverse congregation drawn from many backgrounds, and which would be a celebration not tied to any older religious ceremonies, which many of his congregation had rejected. Nearly a hundred years later, it is celebrated by Unitarian Universalist congregations everywhere.
We will have a potluck dinner and egg hunt following the service at Robert Helfer and Lisa deGruyter’s house in Clarksburg. Ham and potato salad will be provided. Please bring a dish to share and baskets for collecting eggs. There will be cascarones. Your friends and family are welcome, too.
We would love to have you come worship with us.
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.
Our Religious Education/ Life Long Learning Class will meet at from 10am to 10:45 am with a coffee gathering before the service. More about us.
Adult religious education, at 10, will be a discussion on applying our beliefs to current events.
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 can park on either side of the PWA building. The lots are marked as private, but are available on Sunday mornings.
The fair, which was founded in 2015, gives children in grades K – 12, in the Fairmont, WV community (and North Central West Virginia and beyond) the opportunity to follow the Scientific Method in creating an experiment-based project.
We believe our community science fair unites school children across our region, regardless of school designation, economic status, or STEM ability.
Mission of the NCWV Community Science Fair
1. To promote hands-on exploration of scientific principles for K-12 students in West Virginia
2. To foster understanding of, and creativity in, the scientific method of investigation
3. To stimulate an interest in STEM
4. To continue to build a strong STEM community in West Virginia
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.
Song: Come, Come Whoever You Are (5 times)
Come, come, whoever you are,
Wanderer, worshipper, lover of leaving,
Ours is no caravan of despair.
Come, come yet again, come
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 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 respect individual religious paths, even those we do not understand,
for we aspire to accept one another and to encourage spiritual growth.
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
Story: How Treachery Came to Russia – Rainer Maria Rilke
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.
Reading: The Peace of Wild Things – Wendell Berry
Story: The Tiger and the Strawberry (Zen Koan)
Lesson: Finding Joy in the Moment – Lisa deGruyter
Song: Let It Be a Dance We Do, led by Ric Masten
Let it be a dance we do. May I have this dance with you? Through the good times and the bad times too, Let it be a dance.
Let a dancing song be heard. Play the music, say the words. And fill the sky with sailing birds, And let it be a dance Let it be a dance, Let it be a dance. Learn to follow, learn to lead. Feel the rhythm, fill the need. To reap the harvest, plant the seed, And let it be a dance
Everybody turn and spin. Let your body learn to bend. And like a willow with the wind, Let it be a dance. Let it be a dance, Let it be a dance. A child is born, the old must die. A time for joy, a time to cry. So take it as it passes by, And let it be a dance.
The morning star comes out at night. Without the dark, there is no light. And if nothing’s wrong, then nothing’s right, So let it be a dance. Let it be a dance, Let it be a dance. Let the sun shine, let it rain. Share the laughter, bear the pain. And round and round, we go again, So let it be a dance.
Joys and Sorrows
(Please save announcements and comments until 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.
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: The Work Continues by Martha Kirby Capo
Our time together is finished, but our work is not yet done: May our spirits be renewed and our purpose resolved As we meet the challenges of the week to come. The chalice flame is extinguished Until once again ignited by the strength of our communion.
The chalice has been extinguished. Go now in peace.
Announcements, Shameless Self-Promotions, Etc.
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.)
West Virginia has taken a beating over the past week and a half. There have been massive floods, broken dams, children washed away, lives lost, houses washed away, and what feels like insurmountable damage.
There have been outcries for prayers. Prayers for West Virginia have filled my Facebook. Prayers for the flood victims. Prayers for people helping. Prayers for those still missing. Prayers for those who are found. Prayers for those who are safe. Continue reading
Prelude: Lauryn Hill “Mystery of Iniquity”
Chalice Lighting: Chalice Lighting for Challenging Times By Lisa Doege
“Why a flaming chalice?” the question comes.
It’s the cup of life, we answer.
A cup of blessings overflowing.
A cup of water to quench our spirits’ thirst.
A cup of wine for celebration and dedication.
The flame of truth.
The fire of purification.
Oil for anointing, healing.
Out of chaos, fear, and horror,
thus was the symbol crafted, a generation ago.
So may it be for us,
in these days of uncertainty, sorrow, and rage.
And a light to warm our souls and guide us home. Continue reading