Welcome Although a pandemic may separate us physically, it need not sever us from community. While we cannot be together in body at this time, we can be together in spirit. Let us then, set aside some time today to gather in spirit with one another and, through ritual and reflection, support one another by strengthening our resolve to remain faithful to our principles and maintain the bonds of community, friendship and love.
Below is an abbreviated worship service for use at home while limits on public gatherings are in place due to Covid-19. A new service will be posted and emailed each week until we can resume worship in the sanctuary at BUUC.
If you can, please join us on-line or telephone via Zoom, at 11:30 AM on Sunday. We will do the Chalice Lighting, Affirmation, Joys and Concerns and Benediction. A separate email will have the details.
Chalice Lighting Light a candle at home or in your mind’s eye mindful of people from our church community and around the world who, though physically separated, are gathered in spirit. Today’s chalice lighting is written by Amy Carol Webb
Sacred Unknowing We light this flame For the art of sacred unknowing. Humbled by all that we cannot fathom in this time, We come into the presence of what we do know, Perhaps the only thing we can ever know:
That Love is now and forever The only answer to everything And everyone In every moment
Affirmation ● Together: We unite in an atmosphere of care and support to foster spiritual health and growth. ● Together: We focus on sharing our ideas and histories, with warmth, hope, loving friendship and an open mind. ● Together: We nurture stability for our daily lives and seek motivation to reach out to the larger community.
Readings/Poem for Reflection Surface Tension By Tess Baumberger Of course there are people behaving badly during this pandemic, using it as an excuse to practice prejudice, to hoard, to blame; using it to divide and weaken us, cashing in on surface tensions for their own terrible benefit. The news daily shows these heavy things. In nature surface tension gathers water molecules together so tightly that they form a sort of membrane across which light things can dance-- Leaves, insects, the wavering sun. It is why rain falls in discrete drops and babies can blow bubbles. Surface tension makes life possible. It helps drops collect along subtle edges of pine needles or leaves, run down to water roots, then helps sap rise to nurture those same gatherers of sun and water.. Bitter tannins in chartreuse mosses increase the tension so larger drops can form, held aloft by their fragile villi until they can be absorbed, or used to foster new life.* Here’s the other picture revealed by this pandemic. People are reaching out in kindness and concern to acquaintances, neighbors, strangers creating aquifers, revealing watersheds running through the tiny capillaries of human hearts, minds, homes, streets and neighborhoods. Could the bitter tannins cause such large drops to form that we can scarcely hold them up until they can be absorbed? Until we can use them to foster life? Let us open ourselves wide to gather them So we may send them to the suffering, the grieving, the caregivers, and all the workers who always were essential. Let us send them across all those spurious divisions because there is a deeper, humbler, more beautiful truth. We deeply need one another, especially now. We can pull together across distances to form a surface Across which light things can dance and which can nurture life.
*for this knowledge I am indebted to Robin Wall Kimmerer’s work.
Question(s) for reflection:
What is your response to the reading? Did it touch/move or disturb you? In what way is the reading relevant to your life experience past or present? What might you take from this reading into the week ahead? Music
If you are able to join us via Zoom on Sunday, Jefferson Upton will play Minuet in G from Klavier Suite in g minor by J.S. Bach on the flute. If you are unable to join us, please enjoy this piece, Wake Now My Senses Joys and Concerns
If participating on Facebook: As you feel so moved, post a joy or concern you are holding this week. Remember this is a public forum so please exercise discretion, respect confidentially and refrain from moralizing.
If participating as on ZOOM recipient: You may raise your hand and wait to be called on or post your joy and concern in the chat box If participating as an email recipient: As you feel so moved, speak aloud a joy or concern you are holding, mindful you are not alone, but one among many with joys and concerns seeking expression.
Moment of Silent Meditation/Prayer: Take a moment to be still and listen to the wisdom of your heart and /or pray or chant words meaningful to you or in your own words.
Extinguishing the chalice: Blow out the candle you lit physically or in your mind’s eye.
Benediction Recite aloud or in silence
Peace be my companion Have courage Hold onto what is good Return to no person evil for evil Strengthen the fainthearted Support the weak Help the suffering Honor all beings Amen and Blessed Be