We gather together this morning as best we can to restore our courage as we face the world as it is.
Prelude: Meditation by F. Bridge, Darlene Rivest, violin, Anna Kojovic, piano
Chalice Lighting: words adapted from those by Angela Herrera
Don’t leave your broken heart at the door;
Bring it to the altar of life. Don’t leave your anger behind;
it has high standards
and the world needs vision.
Bring them with you, and your joy
And your passion. Bring your loving,
And your courage and your conviction.
Bring your need for healing,
And your powers to heal.
There is work to do
And you have all that you need to do it right here [ among this community ].
Our Chalice is lit.
Hymn: Circle Round for Freedom, Oakland (CA) Chancel Choir
Time for All Ages: The World Needs More Purple People, by Kristen Bell and Benjamin Hart
Centering Words: by Sam Trumbore
set up time of stillness and reflection
Teach my heart healing words.
Show me the words that help rather than harm.
Instruct me in the verbs that bring energy,
the nouns pointing to the real,
the adjectives describing your subtleties.
Reveal to me how words can be offered
in a way that connects rather than separates,
that develops trust and eschews suspicion,
that opens the heart and relaxes the mind.
Time of Stillness and Reflection:
Reading: Rebuild the Dream by Van Jones
In essence, we are standing up for “liberty and justice for all.” And many of us take that “for all” part pretty seriously. We don’t mean “liberty and justice for all,” except for those lesbians, gays, bisexuals, and transgender people. We don’t mean “for all,” except for those immigrants or those Muslims. We don’t mean “for all,” except for those Asian Americans, African Americans, Native Americans, or Latinos. We don’t mean “for all,” except for those women. We don’t mean “for all,” except for those Appalachians and rural poor. We don’t mean “for all,” except for the elderly or the disabled. We don’t mean “for all,” except for the afflicted, addicted or convicted. When we say “liberty and justice for all,” we really mean it.
We have a long way to go. In this age of polarization, one political extreme pretends that we already have obliterated every vestige of bigotry and bias. The opposite extreme, meanwhile, insists that we have not made an inch of progress in one hundred years. Neither camp is being honest. There was much to overcome, and much work remains to be done. But our ancestors’ sacrifices and struggles were not in vain. We are a better, more inclusive nation today than we were in 1900 or 1950 or even 1980. And we will be still more so, thirty years hence.
In America, we honor the past – good, bad, and otherwise. And yet we place our faith in the future. We should never deny the pain of yesterday. But we should never let that pain have the last word, either.
The future is worth fighting for. The time has come for the next generation to step forward.
Reflection: The Democratic Experiment by Rev. Eric Meter
Song for the Day: “We Shall be Known” by the “How We Thrive” Virtual Choir
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 November is the Root Pike Watershed Initiative Network: Root-Pike WIN, as it is known, restores, protects and sustains the Root-Pike basin by building partnerships to advance projects that benefit some of the most degraded Lake Michigan watersheds. Based in Kenosha and serving 20 municipalities in southeastern Wisconsin, Root-Pike has been a force for awareness and action in fixing our broken Lake Michigan rivers for the last two decades. Support for Root-Pike WIN brings clean water projects, programs, and public outreach in our community where they would not have occurred otherwise. Here is a short video to tell us all more about what the group accomplishes. For more information on how to donate to OBUUC and Root Pike WIN, please visit our church website.
Offertory: Prelude Op. 16 No.4 by A. Scriabin, performed by Anna Kojovic
Benediction: words by Andrzej Baranski
I will engage the present with all of my heart.
I will let my emotions and feelings burgeon
sincerely in order the experience the fullness of life.
I will see the best in other people and will be an instrument
that plays a tune of hope and love.
My words and actions will be measured by the Golden Rule.
The past will be a source of inspiration and meditation;
gratitude will induce positive decisions
in the present with which I will build a better future one day at a time.
Postlude: Country Dance by F. Bridge, Darlene Rivest, violin, Anna Kojovic, piano