10-15-2023 Order of Service

Acknowledge the Loss

Sunday, October 15, 2023, 10:25 am

Online on Zoom: https://zoom.us/j/738363620
Passcode: BUF

Zoom by phone, for audio only: (346) 248-7799
Meeting ID: 738 363 620
Passcode: 306220

We have received an inestimable gift.
To be alive in this beautiful, self-organizing universe
to participate in the dance of life —
with senses to perceive it, lungs that breathe it, organs that draw nourishment from it
is a wonder beyond words.
And it is, moreover, an extraordinary privilege to be accorded a human life,
with self-reflexive consciousness that brings awareness of our own actions and the ability to make choices.
It lets us choose to join the praising and healing of our world.

— Joanna Macy

Gathering Music             Andrea Rackl, Jaco ten Hove

Chalice Lighting              Rev Paul Beckel


Love is the spirit of this fellowship, and service gives it life.
Celebrating our diversity, and joined by a quest for truth,
We work for peace, and honor all
This is our covenant.

Children’s Focus             Liz Roberts

Prelude                            The Lost Words Blessing (words below)

BUF Phoenix Ensemble, dir. Kevin Allen-Schmid

Children’s Blessing

We hold you in our love as you go, as you go.
May your heart be at peace as you go.
To nurture the spark of your precious life,
We hold you in our love as you go.


Interlude                           Blessing, written and sung by Christopher Giffen


Singing Together             #18, What Wondrous Love


Sharing our Gifts 

Singing Together            #108, My Life Flows On in Endless Song


Singing Together            #155, Circle ‘Round

Circle ‘round for freedom, circle ‘round for peace.
For all of us imprisoned, circle for release.
Circle for the planet, circle for each soul.
For the children of our children, keep the circle whole.

The Lost Words Blessing

Enter the wild with care, my love
And speak the things you see
Let new names take and root and thrive and grow
And even as you travel far from heather, crag and river
May you like the little fisher set the stream alight with glitter
May you enter now as otter without falter into water

Look to the sky with care, my love
And speak the things you see
Let new names take and root and thrive and grow
And even as you journey on past dying stars exploding
Like the gilded one in flight, leave your little gifts of light
And in the dead of night, my darling
Find the gleaming eye of starling
Like the little aviator, sing your heart to all dark matter

Walk through the world with care, my love
And sing the things you see
Let new names take and root and thrive and grow
And even as you stumble through machair sands eroding
Let the fern unfurl your grieving, let the heron still your breathing
Let the selkies swim you deeper
Oh, my little silver seeker
Even as the hour grows bleaker, be the singer and the speaker
And in city and in forest, let the larks become your chorus

And when every hope is gone
Let the raven call you home

Original song by Julie Fowlis, Karine Polwart, Seckou Keita, Kris Drever, Rachel Newton, Beth Porter, Jim Molyneux, Kerry Andrew

I’m indebted to Francis Weller’s book, The Wild Edge of Sorrow (available in the Whatcom County Library System) for inspiration for today’s reflections.

And to Michael Dowd, whose hundreds of talks and essays you can find at thegreatstory.org, michaeldowd.org, and postdoom.com.


If you’re with us on Zoom today, please stay after the service for our online coffee hour. If you’re here in person, please join us downstairs for coffee and conversation. Visitors: you may wish to use a red cup — then we’ll know you’re open to a bit of orientation.

If you’re new, we’d be grateful to have you provide us with contact information so we can let you know what’s happening here. There are buff-colored visitor contact cards in the pew racks, and in the entryway, that you can drop in the collection basket. Or provide your contact information HERE. 

Contributions payable to “BUF” may be sent to:
1207 Ellsworth Street, Bellingham 98225

For info about donating online (credit card or PayPal), by automatic bank transfer, or via phone apps, see the “give” button in the upper right-hand corner at buf.org or contact the office: (360) 733-3837 / admin@buf.org


BUF Retreat Details
October 20-22 Meals provided all day Saturday. Registration for the day is $45 per adult, $25 for teens, and free for under 12. For those wanting to extend their time at Saturna the resort still has plenty of room in the comfortable bunk house. For registration or  housing info, contact genia@buf.org.


Adult Religious Education
Pathways to BUF – Saturday, October 28 10:00-2:00, includes lunch. New members, visitors, or anyone interested in knowing more about the UU tradition and BUF.

Spirit in Practice Wednesday, November 1, 8, 15, 29 11:00-12:30 Spirit in Practice will be an opportunity to explore and cultivate regular practices that connect us with the sacred ground of our being, however we understand it.

Register downstairs at coffee hour, thru a link in the MidWeek Update on buf.org, or email genia@buf.org


Community Night Dinners and Game Night
Wednesdays at 6:00, $5 per person, and kids under 12 free!


Pre-Holiday Re-gifting and Re-purposing Your Treasures Sale — Nov 11, 2023, 9 am – 3 pm

Donation List:

Children’s toys, books, games, clothes Kitchenware (includes limited small working appliances and cookbooks), pots, pans, dishes, tools Holiday items Coffee table quality books (Art, Travel, Photography, Cookbooks, Gardening). Sporting goods (no weapons) Tools Gardening Supplies Knick knacks/collectibles/artwork Craft Supplies Homegoods (Linens, bedding, towels etc, all in good condition. Small furniture Costume Jewelry Music (CD’s Vinyl, music books, small instruments) Games, Cards and Puzzles Please don’t donate adult clothing, paperback and hardback books except as detailed above, weapons, anything that is torn, stained or broken.

Donation times: Sunday 11/5, 9am – 1 pm, Weds., 11/8, 5-6:30 pm, Thurs. 11/9, 10am – noon, Fri. . 11/10, 9am – 1 pm. Pick up can be arranged if needed.
We need volunteers to help with:

  • Donations on Sunday 11/5, Weds 11/8, Thursday 11/9. See times above.
  • Set-up on Friday. 9am – noon, noon – 4pm
  • Day of sale shifts: 9am – noon, noon – 3pm, Clean-up crew 3-5 pm.

Sign-up at our table on Sundays or contact Drew Betz, drewlenore@me.com