Category Archives: Opening Words

This day, a depository of abundance

This day, a depository of abundance,
faith lingers
joy thrives
hope dwells
love reigns
if we but chose to make it so.

This hour, a reservoir of grace,
truths revealed,
vulnerabilities appeased,
companions exposed,
relationships awakened,
if we but chose to make it so.
This moment, a gateway,
wide vistas,
bright horizons,
melting stones,
crumbling walls,
if we but chose to make it so.

Come my friends, enter
that we may fill the void
with abundance and grace.

Harvest Communion

Since time immemorial
people have gathered
around hearth fires and theologies
around alters and relationships
around births and deaths
to bear witness to passionate living
expressed in
laughter and touch
tears and tenderness
anger and pain
silliness and seriousness
fear and vulnerability
courage and valor

People have gathered
around water coolers and wine
around friends and enemies
around tables and in bedrooms
to share the intimacy of an imperfect life
to befriend regret, resentment and bitterness
to soothe grief and heartache
to rejoice in goodness and praise the holy
to companion loneliness and isolation
to find grace in the darkness of despair
to stand in awe of the beautiful and abundant

People have gathered since time immemorial
to bow before all that we don’t know,
all that is and was and shall be.

Gathered now to bear witness,
share the journey,
exchange the stories,
May we open our hearts and minds
And prepare the spirit for the ritual of communion.

Bound Up With Humanity

Bound up with humanity and united in life,
we gather in the shelter of faith, hope and love.
 
Nestled in the sweet company of
open hearts, curious minds, and generous spirit,
we settle into the beating pulse of transcendent mystery.
 
Called to truth,
guided by the ineffable,
the path opens,
the way is made clear.
the adventurous soul follows;
trust leads us on.
 
Called by life
Gather by faith
may our time together be an aspiration,
an emergence of goodness and light.

Opening Words in Celebration of 25th Anniversary Unitarian Universalist Community Church

On the occasion of the twentieth anniversary of Small Group Ministry at Unitarian Universalist Community Church in the twenty-fifth anniversary year of the consolidation of All Souls Unitarian Church and Winthrop Street Universalist Church in Augusta, Maine. (October 29, 2017)

Spirit of life, love and all that is holy,
in these sacred halls
in the bonds of community
in the well of that which nourishes and sustains
we gather in the comforting arms of the care that cares for us all.

Into this holy gathering, we come
in search of relationships that are real, and
healing communities to bear witness to the life forever unfolding
beautiful, complicated, and true.

In this holy time, we pause
for almost two hundred years, Unitarians in Augusta
have sought the unity in the oneness
that which is known by many names but never really known

In our desire to touch and be touched,
see and be seen,
love and be loved,
we seek out each other that we may know God as Love:
in our midst, in family, in friends, and in thy enemy.

In this holy time, we pause
for almost two hundred years, Universalists have celebrated
the goodness of all of humanity and the sanctity of a life well lived.

In our search for healing and wholeness, truth and justice,
we strive in word and deed to create and sustain
a world in which all of creation is held in the light and love

In this holy time, we pause
for twenty-five years
unified and strong,
vibrant and real,
dynamic and engaged,
One by one we arrive,
Unitarian Universalists, united in faith.
One by one we arrive
into the hallowed arms of a community
of Life, Love, and all that is holy!

In this holy time, we pause
for twenty years Unitarian Universalists of Augusta
have gathered in small group ministry
seeking deeper connection,
cultivating meaning and purpose.

In the company of others,
exploring this faith
sharing the spiritual journey.

Together we make
this space holy,
this time sacred
and this faith real.

Come, let us worship together
as we have done for countless generations,
as we will do well into the future.

Preparing Hearts and Minds (Maine Wabanaki REACH Invocation)

Maine-Wabanaki REACH
First Annual Convening of Allies
July 24, 2016

INVOCATION

Creator of all things, great mystery, ever present, known by so many names but never truly know. We stand before thee. Humble and open seeking a more just and equitable nation.

O’ Creator, of all that was, is, and will be, prepare our hearts and minds and spirits for a day of joy and wonder, heartache and struggle. Breathe life, love and hope into this gathering that we may be fortified for the possibility of what today offers.

O’ Creator, we have arrived here, native and non-native, colonized and colonizer, indigenous and settler, oppressed and privileged.

Each of us, regardless of the identities we carry into this room, arrived with anticipation and an eagerness to speak truth to the actions of our ancestors and to take responsibility for the ways our own lives continue to cause harm.

Each of us, regardless of the identities we carry into the room, arrived ready to answer the call to change the narrative.

We arrived with compassion in our hearts and justice on our mind, ready to engage in acts of decolonization and to be a part of building up Wabanaki sovereignty.

O’ Creator, merciful and kind, forgive us, we who arrive with the audacity to claim this work of reconciliation and healing, as we benefit from the very systems of oppression we seek to dismantle.

May we listen more than we talk. May we quiet the defensive mind, the critical mind, the judging mind that we may hold space for silence: for the light of truth to be heard and the soothing balm of grace to heal.

May we lean in curiously. May our questions make room for learning, spark insight, inspire wisdom, and lead us out of complacency into intentional acts of resistance.

May we find the courage to speak truth to our experiences, shedding tears of awareness, sifting through and struggling with guilt. May we find the courage to be vulnerable, to be real, as we rebuild relationships our of destructive paths of a colonized nation.

In speaking truth to the full realities of our lives, the lives of our ancestors, may we shatter the distorted histories, the purposeful illusions, and the lies shaping our nation and holding the human heart and mind hostage.

May we, the bearers of truth revealed, find the tenacity and humility to face the hard realities with accountability and, when appropriate, apologies. May we turn these hard earned truths into effective action.

In these acts of listening, leaning in curiously, holding silence, and speaking truth, may we build a worthy foundation to stand as allies.

From the fragmented and shattered, from the spoken truth, from the righting of wrongs and the healing of souls, may we learn to walk as allies: aware, humble, and ready to step up, when asked, by the native people: the Penobscot, the Passamaquoddy, the Micmac, The Maliseet and the Abenaqi.

O Creator, may we be powerful allies in the call to restore indigenous culture, identity, spirituality and sovereignty in the land of the Wabanaki people.

O’ Creator of all things, we know this is our work to do, and we know we are part of something much bigger than we can ever fully understand.

Hold us and guide us in this endeavor.
Shine light on what is right and good.

Keep us on a path of humility.

Give us strength and courage

to face the challenges that lie ahead.

O’ Creator of all things, breath life, love and hope into this gathering that we may be fortified for the possibility of what today offers.

So may it be, May it be so

Amen.

Welcome into this space made holy by your presence…

Welcome, Welcome in
Whoever you are
From wherever you have come from
We are glad that you have chosen
this time and space to enter
into this most amazing day.

Welcome, Welcome in
Welcome into this space made sacred by your presence
For here, the laughter of the children reminds us of our youth
For here, the tears of grief will be greeted with the grace of
human touch

For here, the cooing of a child will be experienced as a breath of fresh air
For here, the frustration of the week can be released with song and prayer
For here, the disappointment of life’s journey will find new alignment in the company of others
For here, the gladness in our hearts is met with delight
For here, we revel in authentic expressions of our complicated messy lives

Welcome, Welcome into this holy space,
Where we affirm the goodness of humanity
lift up the infinite manifestations of Mystery
known by many names but never fully known.

Welcome, Welcome in
Welcome into this sacred space made holy by YOUR presence.
May you find joy and laughter, healing and comfort,celebration and affirmation
May your time with us sustain you in your days ahead.
May the company of others hold you in the palm of God’s hands
as we affirm our living and find purpose in our dying.

Opening Words For A New Year

 

Welcome into the unfolding New year,
It is good to be together, here in
the warmth of community, a welcoming
hearth, the joyful heart. A place
to soothe the weary soul.
 

Welcome into the unfolding New Year.
It is good to be here, together,
Companions, amid the flurry
of winter’s beauty
and bitter tricks:
cold and ice
salt and sand,
shovels and plows,
hats and mittens,
snow days and body shops
snow skis and snowshoes
hot cocoa and tea.
 

It is good to be together, partners
in this winter journey, in the land up north
where snow falls, ice forms and seeds,
deep beneath the frozen earth, await
the arrival of spring.
 

We could have been that seed, or a chickadee
at the feeder or the eternal boulder. How about
a meadow vole burrowing between grass and snow
safe from eagle’s sight.
 

We could have been… instead, we find
ourselves in human form on earth.
To be human beings, alive in rare ways,
the privilege of consciousness,
the preciousness of life,
called to bear witness to creation.
 

In birth, in living, in dying,
May we know the privilege,
the preciousness and the sacredness
of this one remarkable life.

Come In From The Cold

IMG_0075Come in from the cold,
my friends, do come in.

Come in from this month
of glitter and gold,
the lights are just right here
and there’s no boxes or bows.

Come in from the busyness,
parties and fluff,
the bedazzled, the fan dangled,
the decadence is too much.

Come in from the incessant
marketing of stuff                                            
the newest, the latest,
the greatest, the must.

Come in from the cold
of the commercialized call
to participate blindly,
widely and above all.

Come in from the cold,
the superficial pretense
that you need this and that
to have a full set.

Come in from the cold
where delusions abound
for the propaganda out there
is easily found.

Come in from the cold,
For it is time for a pause,
To remember our life
needs to breathe through it all.

Come in from the cold.
It is time for what’s real.
To remember that true meanings
of love have appeal.

Come in from the cold.
Sacred company calls.
In the shadow of friends
One does have it all.

Come in from the cold.
Let us worship in truth.
In a space that is holy
With wisdom and youth.

We gather this morn,
To worship in peace,
To stand still with awe,
To partake and to greet.

Come in from the cold,
my friends, do come in.