Concluding our month of services related to Memory: how do we act upon our memories, now? Also, Rev Barbara ten Hove will offer reflections on our symbolic flame, the open bowl in which it dances, and its sturdy base.
Speaker: Rev. Paul Beckel
Do you carry with you religious baggage — assumptions or bitterness about religion or religious people that weigh you down? Is there anything in such memories, or residual ways of thinking, that we can appreciate, even as we let go of the bulk of it?
Each of us have had moments in which we became conscious that an ethical value was important to us, was a principle that we wanted to live out in our own lives. What is your earliest memory of being conscious of such a principle?
Today we will honor those who have shaped our lives, and also to honor our Transylvanian Unitarian ancestry. The service will include a short, silent, ritual, enacted with our multi-generational birth-month cohort, in which we’ll remember how someone important to us has impacted our lives.
We’ll consider the ways to create and honor the many forms of sanctuary that can comfort and inspire us, including places, art, words, music, and silences that have shaped us. And: How might we create for ourselves private and shared places and forms of sanctuary?
I believe it is right to extend sanctuary to those we can help. So, on this day before the holiday celebrated in some places as “Columbus Day,” and celebrated here as “Indigenous People’s Day,” let’s re-commit to making our home a sacred place for all.
In this multi-generational service, we’ll use birthday months to organize our fellowship into 12 groups, creating an opportunity to interact with people of different ages in a more intimate setting. Trained facilitators will focus on where each of us comes from, physically, emotionally, and spiritually.
Hey, you got your vision, I got mine. Whether we understand each other, or not, is it ethical to try to nudge/persuade/coerce one another to see it our way? Leadership, guidance, teaching, parenting, advocacy … don’t these interfere with others’ freedom of thought and conscience?
We have a vision of ourselves as interconnected with those beyond our walls. Yet, around us we see messages of division and isolation, and pressure to “stay in your place.” We might counteract this is by broadening our sense of where we are from.
Each fall Unitarian Universalists around the world come together for Water Communion — a celebration of our interdependence. Bring a small container of water — perhaps from a source of particular significance to you. Water will be available so that everyone, especially children, may participate.