Welcome Good morning everyone. Welcome to the Olympia Brown Unitarian Universalist Church in Racine, WI. We gather together this morning so that our courage may be renewed, our convictions restored. We are more when we are together:
stronger, wiser, more resilient and able.
Because of this OBUUC, as the congregation is known, is a vibrant congregation. For further information, please see our website… obuuc.org.
Prelude Water is Wide, arr. Vandall performed by Lynn Orlando and Anna Kojovic
We light our chalice this morning to these words by Teresa Soto (Spilling the Light: Meditations on Hope and Resilience)
Some people are used to keeping rules; don’t cross the street when the light is red, only sensible.
It turns out that keeping rules isn’t the same as keeping covenant, which asks us, instead of keeping a bright line, to keep our promises.
To what have we promised ourselves? To this moment in time and place. To this community and even, tenderly interconnected, this planet.
We promise ourselves to the idea that we are each and all human beings. We promise that there is something moving between us that we cannot tame and cannot measure.
The chalice is a reminder that what flame we keep inside us cannot light the way. The light must spill to shine. The thing you must be is yourself. Unadulterated, shedding the willingness to journey alone, as though you are made of something hard and unforgivable.
You are human. You belong, right here, right now.
And together, we will chase away the sickness, the secrets, and leave only the open
Possibility that the future is a space for growth.
Our Chalice is lit.
Hymn Gather the Spirit by Jim Scott
Time for All Ages Flowers & Water
Today, to remember that we are all connected, we’re making Blooming Flowers. These paper flowers, when folded then placed into water, “bloom.” May this activity be shared by your family.
We are blessed
We are blessed by being
We are blessed by being here
We are blessed by being here together.
Centering Words from Elizabeth Stevens
These are strange times. There are so many things that feel unfamiliar.
We are still figuring out how to protect ourselves and one another. We are still figuring out ‘social distancing’. We are still figuring out phone trees and virtual community. We are still figuring out how to weave a safety net secure enough so that no one slips through.
Some of us may not know how to manage these strange new technologies. Some of us may not know where we can find toilet paper. Some of us may not know where our next meal or our rent is coming from.
None of us know if we will get sick, or how sick we will get. None of us know who we will lose.
But we know the things that are important:
We know how to manage our anxiety. We know that we are resilient, as individuals and collectively. We know how to come back to our best selves, again and again. We know how to breathe.
We know how to be kind. We know how to be generous. We know that we can count on one another. We know that when all of us offer what feels right, what feels good, we always, ALWAYS, wind up with everything we need.
We know that this epidemic won’t last forever. We know that the world is a beautiful place, and that we are meant to rejoice and be glad in every day we are given.
Above all, we know that we are held in a love, a love whose tensile strength is limitless. It will stretch. It will give. But it will not let us go.
May we trust in that love, in these strange times, and in all times.
Time of Stillness and Reflection
Reflection Connected by Wisconsin Water
Hymn #396 I Know This Rose Will Open, performed by Jess Huetteman
What Nourishes Us Now
The Olympia Brown Unitarian Universalist Church is a community of generosity and abundance.
Especially in this challenging and anxious time, your generosity is what keeps this community as vital as it is.
For more information on how to donate to OBUUC, please visit the church website.
This month, our collection plate donations help support the work of the Sentinel Mentors, a mentoring and social enterprise initiative for black youth, young adults and families located in Racine.
Sentinel’s mentoring sessions primarily take place in public schools. Funds donated will be used to help create the Racine Black Legacy Project which is an online museum and historical archive for local black history.
Racine’s black history needs to be more visible to the entire community and especially the black community.
And now, as we reflect on the ways of generosity and the needed work ahead, let’s listen to Anna once again.
Offertory River flows in You- Yiruma, performed by Anna Kojovic
Before our time of worship is complete, let me leave you with these words by Joseph Cherry
As we prepare to extinguish our chalice flame, please hold your hands
up to those on either side of you
Prayer for Living in Tension
If we have any hope of transforming the world and changing ourselves,
We must be
Bold enough to move into our discomfort,
Brave enough to be clumsy there,
Loving enough to forgive ourselves and others.
May we, as a people of faith, be granted the strength to be
And so loving.
Postlude Kawouno Wan Gi Pi, OBUUC Choir