We gather together today 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 we are more when we are gathered: wiser, more resilient and more able.
Because of this OBUUC, as the congregation is known, is a vibrant faith community.
Prelude Poco Lento in G Minor, by Cesar Franck, Anna Kojovic-Frodl
Chalice Lighting words from Lisa Doege
“Why a flaming chalice?” the question comes.
It’s the cup of life, we answer.
A cup of blessings overflowing.
A cup of water to quench our spirits’ thirst.
A cup of wine for celebration and dedication.
The flame of truth.
The fire of purification.
Oil for anointing, healing.
Out of chaos, fear, and horror,
thus was the symbol crafted, a generation ago.
So may it be for us, in these days
of uncertainty, sorrow, and rage.
And a light to warm our souls and guide us home.
Hymn #347 Gather The Spirit, Erica Eddy & Stuart Bard
Time for All Ages The Everything Seed, by Carole Martignacco and Joy Troyer
We join together now in a time of meditation or prayer, spoken at first and then for a time in the peace that silence brings.
As we enter into silence, we remember the many connections that sustain and uplift us through this religious community.
We remember those who preceded us, whose contributions built a free faith, and this home for its practice.
We remember those around us, whose continuing care in thought and deed is an ongoing blessing in our lives.
We remember those who will follow us, the children presently in our care and those not yet come to light, who will inherit the work of our hands and hearts.
In the silence now, we sit surrounded by these many connections, visible and invisible, that remind us every day that we are not alone.
Time of Stillness and Reflection
Reading from The Hill We Climb, by Amanda Gorman
from Joe Biden’s inauguration ceremony on Wednesday 1/2/21
When day comes we ask ourselves,
where can we find light in this never-ending shade?
The loss we carry,
a sea we must wade
We’ve braved the belly of the beast
We’ve learned that quiet isn’t always peace
And the norms and notions
of what just is
Isn’t always just-ice
And yet the dawn is ours
before we knew it
Somehow we do it
Somehow we’ve weathered and witnessed
a nation that isn’t broken
but simply unfinished
being American is more than a pride we inherit,
it’s the past we step into
and how we repair it
So while once we asked,
how could we possibly prevail over catastrophe?
Now we assert
How could catastrophe possibly prevail over us?
We will not march back to what was
but move to what shall be
A country that is bruised but whole,
benevolent but bold,
fierce and free
We will not be turned around
or interrupted by intimidation
because we know our inaction and inertia
will be the inheritance of the next generation
Our blunders become their burdens
But one thing is certain:
If we merge mercy with might,
and might with right,
then love becomes our legacy
and change our children’s birthright
So let us leave behind a country
better than the one we were left with
Every breath from my bronze-pounded chest,
we will raise this wounded world into a wondrous one
We will rise from the gold-limbed hills of the west,
we will rise from the windswept northeast
where our forefathers first realized revolution
We will rise from the lake-rimmed cities of the midwestern states,
we will rise from the sunbaked south
We will rebuild, reconcile and recover
and every known nook of our nation and
every corner called our country,
our people diverse and beautiful will emerge,
battered and beautiful
When day comes we step out of the shade,
aflame and unafraid
The new dawn blooms as we free it
For there is always light,
if only we’re brave enough to see it
If only we’re brave enough to be it
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.
Offertory Anthem Chaconne, by J. Pechelbel, Anna Kojovic-Frodl organ
Benediction words adopted from those by Elizabeth Selle Jones
Strengthened by the love of this community,
Fed by this communion of souls,
Reassured by the common vision,
Grateful for the opportunity of service and
Blessed by the gifts of friendship,
May we go, sustained and nourished
By this time together,
Back to our individual lives and,
Into the world [ that so dearly needs the best of who we are ].
Postlude America The Beautiful, Anna Kojovic-Frodl