We gather together this morning as best we can to restore in one another’s company a sense that there is still reason for hope. Together, we remember and proclaim that are more when we are gathered: wiser, more resilient and more able.
Prelude: Hold On, trad. Spiritual, arr. by Calvin Taylor, Anna Kojovic-Frodl, piano
We light our chalice this morning to these words adapted from Gretchen Haley.
Cast your vision here
in the middle of the hardest moment
the turning of [ so much that is new – ]
this life with so much worth
saving, this fragile faith –
For the children born
now, into the world as it is
with the threat of war and whole continents burning
still, while the memory lingers
of holidays chaotic
into this day,
offer the vision you’ve
tried to talk yourself down from,
your wildest dream,
your audacious aims,
the beauty that whispers to you
to follow, and build, and become
For this world coming undone
by distraction, and greed and fear –
this world divided by made-up borders fake fights
and all that needs forgiveness –
Here, stir up your steadfast hope
your resolute clarity of what remains possible –
with your dreaming
and brave –
All paths to the future
are born in this courage
of imagination – this willingness
to shed, to salvage, to
to be this blessing
for each other
to be this blessed.
Hymn: Wake, Now, My Senses v1, 3 & 5
Time for All Ages: The Oldest Student: How Mary Walker Learned to Read, by Rita Lorraine Hubbard and Oge Mora
Excerpts from two linked poems by Gwendolyn Brooks. The poems are the First and the Second Sermons on the Warpland, written in 1968.
This is the urgency: Live! The garbageman is as dignified as the diplomat. Big Bessie’s feet hurt like nobody’s business, but she stands…bigly…under the unruly scrutiny. It is lonesome. Yes. Nevertheless, live. Conduct your blooming in the noise and whip of the whirlwind.
Build now your church, my brothers, sisters. Build never with brick… nor with granite. Build with lithe love. With love like lion eyes. With love like morning rise.
Time of Stillness and Reflection:
Reading: Harlem by Langston Hughes
What happens to a dream deferred?
Does it dry up
like a raisin in the sun?
Or fester like a sore —
And then run?
Does it stink like rotten meat?
Or crust and sugar over —
like a syrupy sweet?
Maybe it just sags
like a heavy load.
Or does it explode?
Reflection: Dreams Deferred by Rev. Eric Meter
The Olympia Brown Unitarian Universalist Church is a community of generosity and abundance. Especially now, in this challenging and anxious time, your generosity is what keeps this community as vital as it is.
Each month we share the generosity of our collection with a local partner. Our outreach partner for January is the Women’s Resource Center of Racine, the county’s only provider of emergency shelter and a variety of services for victims of domestic violence and sexual assault.
For more information on how to donate to OBUUC and the Women’s Resource Center of Racine, please visit our church website, OBUUC.org.
Offertory Anthem: The Storm Is Passing Over by Charles Albert Tindley
arr by. Barbara Baker, OBUUC Choir
Benediction: words from Maya Angelou
History, despite its wrenching pain
Cannot be unlived, but if faced
With courage, need not be lived again.
Lift up your eyes upon
The day breaking for you.
Give birth again
To the dream.
Amen. Blessed be.
Let there be, as always, both peace and an unrest that inspires us to deeper love and more generous justice.
Postlude:Dreaming by R. Shuman, Anna Kojovic-Frodl, piano