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"Holy Clues" -- UUSE Virtual Worship, December 3, 2023

Gathering Music

Welcome and Announcements



"Meditations on Emmanuel"

by Mary Bopp

Chalice Lighting and Opening Words: "Untitled" by Anonymous

Opening Hymn

#298 "Wake Now My Senses"

Words: Thomas J. S. Mikelson

Music: Traditional Irish melody, harmony by Carlton R. Young

Hymn Leader: Sandy Johnson

Wake, now, my senses, and hear the earth call; feel the deep power of being in all; keep, with the web of creation your vow, giving, receiving as love shows us how.

Wake, now, my reason, reach out to the new; join with each pilgrim who quests for the true; honor the beauty and wisdom of time; suffer thy limit, and praise the sublime.

Wake, now, compassion, give heed to the cry; voices of suffering fill the wide sky; take as your neighbor both stranger and friend, praying and striving their hardship to end.

Wake, now, my conscience, with justice thy guide; join with all people whose rights are denied; take not for granted a privileged place; God’s love embraces the whole human race.

Wake, now, my vision of ministry clear; brighten my pathway with radiance here; mingle my calling with all who will share; work toward a planet transformed by our care.

Joys and Concerns

Musical Meditation


Continuing our practice of sharing out gifts with the community beyond our walls, fifty percent of our undesignated Sunday plate collections for the month of December will go to three area shelters: McKinney Men's Shelter (Hartford), East Hartford Shelter, and Cornerstone Shelter (Rockville).

Offertory Music

"As the Earth Draws Dark"

by Mary Bopp

Introduction to the Service

Reading: "You See, But Do Not Observe" Holy Clues by Rev. Stephen Kendrick

Responsive Reading #568 "Connections are Made Slowly" by Marge Piercy

Connections are made slowly, sometimes they grow underground.

You cannot tell always by looking what is happening.

More than half a tree is spread out in the soil under your feet.

Penetrate quietly as the earthworm that blows no trumpet.

Fight persistently as the creeper that brings down the tree.

Spread like the squash plant that overruns the garden.

Gnaw in the dark and use the sun to make sugar.

Weave real connections, create real nodes, build real houses.

Live a life you can endure: make love that is loving.

Keep tangling and interweaving and taking more in, a thicket and bramble wilderness to the outside but to us interconnected with rabbit runs and burrows and lairs.

Live as if you like yourself, and it may happen:

Reach out, keep reaching out, keep bringing in.

This is how we are going to live for a long time: not always,

For every gardener knows that after the digging, after the planting, after the long season of tending and growth, the harvest comes.


Musical Meditation

Homily: "Holy Clues" (Rev. Stephen Kendrick)

Closing Hymn

#225 "O Come, O Come Emmanuel"

Words: Latin c. 9th cent., trans. Composite based on John Mason Neale

Music: Adapted by Thomas Helmore, harmony by John Weaver

Hymn Leader: Sandy Johnson

O come, O come, Emmanuel, and with your captive children dwell. Give comfort to all exiles here, and to the aching heart bid cheer. Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel shall come within as Love to dwell.

O come, you Splendor very bright, as joy that never yields to might. O come, and turn all hearts to peace, that greed and war at last shall cease. Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel shall come within as Truth to dwell.

O come, you Dayspring, come and cheer our spirits by your presence here. And dawn in every broken soul as vision that can see the whole. Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel shall come within as Light to dwell.

O come, you Wisdom from on high, from depths that hide within a sigh, to temper knowledge with our care, to render every act a prayer. Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel shall come within as Hope to dwell.


Extinguishing the Chalice

Special Thanks

Closing Circle

May faith in the spirit of life

And hope for the community of earth

And love of the light in each other

Be ours now, and in all the days to come.

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