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Let Freedom Ring! Expanded OOS for 07/02/23 for Zoom

Gathering Music – Mary Bopp


Welcome & Announcements


Prelude: “Song of the Soul” (Cris Williamson) performed by Janet Fall


Centering


Chalice Lighting & Opening Words


“Affirmation” by Leonard Mason

We affirm the unfailing renewal of life.

Rising from the earth, and reaching for the sun, all living creatures shall fulfill themselves.

We affirm the steady growth of human companionship.

Rising from ancient cradles and reaching for the stars, people the world over shall seek the ways of understanding.

We affirm a continuing hop

That out of every tragedy the spirits of individuals shall rise to build a better world.


Opening Hymn #38 “Morning Has Broken”


Morning has broken like the first morning,

Blackbird has spoken like the first bird.

Praise for the singing! Praise for the morning!

Praise for them springing fresh from the Word!


Sweet the rain’s new fall sunlit from heaven,

Like the first dewfall on the first grass.

Praise for the sweetness of the wet garden,

Sprung in completeness where God’s feet pass.


Mine is the sunlight! Mine is the morning

Born of the one light Eden saw play!

Praise with elation, praise every morning

God’s recreation of the new day!


Joys & Concerns






Reading “Why Freedom is Important”


In 1775, Patrick Henry saw the war with England coming and he delivered an eloquent speech at the Second Virginia Convention in favor of raising a militia. With grand oratory, but oblivious to the irony, he said “There is no retreat except into the chains of slavery.” Henry owned dozens of slaves, yet he declared that he himself would never succumb to being a slave to King George, delivering the famous line: “Give me liberty or give me death!”


What makes freedom so important that people die for it? The writer Emmaline Soken-Huberty offers ten reasons.


  1. Freedom means freedom of expression. We can speak our minds, but we can also express ourselves non-verbally, in art or movement. Hate speech is generally not considered a protected speech.

  2. Freedom means we can practice any religion or none at all.

  3. Freedom means a free press, including radio, TV, and the internet.

  4. We are free to vote, thereby protecting democracy.

  5. Although there is still prejudice, we are free to love who we want. We are still fighting for the freedom to be in charge of our own bodies, whether it’s the “right to choose” or to come out as LGBTQ.

  6. Freedom isn’t only about what you can do; it’s about what you’re protected from: things like slavery, discrimination, and harassment.

  7. Freedom is linked to happiness.

  8. Not all freedoms are equal. Of 38 nations surveyed in a Pew study, Americans valued free speech, freedom of the press, and the right to use the internet more than other countries did.

  9. Freedom evolves over time. In the early United States, most people didn’t believe “freedom” applied to everyone. It was limited to white, land-owning men. Things are different today, even as we continue to pursue full equality for all.

  10. Freedom is political. For centuries, people have twisted the meaning of freedom to serve their political interests. Freedom for abolitionists and feminists is very different from freedom for capitalists and corporations. When listening to politicians, we need to ask, “Whose freedom are they protecting?”


Each freedom is charged with such deeply felt emotions that, like Patrick Henry, people have risked and will always continue to risk their lives for liberty.



Offering


Offertory Music: “Born Free” (John Barry) Mary Bopp



Reading “The Way of the Explorer” (Edgar Mitchell)


While on a lunar expedition in 1971, astronaut Edgar Mitchell had a transcendent experience while looking back at Earth from space. It came upon him unbidden, with warning, and shook him to his core.


In his memoir “The Way of the Explorer”, he describes it like this:

“Looking beyond the Earth itself to the magnificence of the larger scene, there was a startling recognition that the nature of the universe was not as I had been taught. My understanding of the separate distinctness and the relative independence of movement of these cosmic bodies was shattered.

Seeing this blue and white planet floating there, seeing our sun setting in the background of the very deep black, velvety cosmos, I knew for sure in my gut that there was a purposefulness that was beyond man’s rational ability to understand. Here suddenly was a non-rational way of understanding that had been beyond my previous experience. Gazing through 240,000 miles toward the planet from which I had come, I suddenly experienced the universe as intelligent, loving, and harmonious.”


He came home to Earth determined to live life to the fullest, to acquire more knowledge and to abandon the economic treadmill. He did this primarily by founding the Institute of Noetic Science for the study of consciousness and other related phenomena.


Of his experience in space, he said further: “You develop an instant global consciousness, a people orientation, an intense dissatisfaction with the state of the world and a compulsion to do something about it. From out there on the moon…politics looks so petty. You want to grab a politician by the scruff of the neck and drag him a quarter of a million miles out and say, ‘Look at that you son of a bitch.’”



Sermon: “Let Freedom Ring” Judy Robbins, Guest Speaker from the Unitarian Society of Hartford


Closing Hymn: “Everybody Ought to Know” (Sweet Honey in the Rock) led by Janet Fall


Verse 1:

Everybody ought to know

Everybody ought to know

Everybody ought to know

Everybody ought to know

Everybody ought to know

What freedom is

What freedom is



Verse 2:

Everybody ought to know

Everybody ought to know

Everybody ought to know

Everybody ought to know

Everybody ought to know

What justice is

What justice is


Verse 3:

Everybody ought to know

Everybody ought to know

Everybody ought to know

Everybody ought to know

Everybody ought to know

What friendship is

What friendship is


Verse 4:

Everybody ought to know

Everybody ought to know

Everybody ought to know

Everybody ought to know

Everybody ought to know

What happiness is

What happiness is


Verse 5:

Well, everybody ought to know

Everybody ought to know

Everybody ought to know

Everybody ought to know

Everybody ought to know

What freedom is

What freedom is



Extinguishing the Chalice & Closing Words: “The Heart Knoweth” (Ralph Waldo Emerson)


We have a great deal more kindness than is ever spoken.

The whole human family is bathed with an element of love like a fine ether.

How many persons we meet in houses, whom we scarcely speak to, whom yet we honor and who honor us!

How many we see in the street, or sit with in church who though silently, we warmly rejoice to be with!

Read the language of these wandering eye beams.

The heart knoweth.


Closing Circle


After service conversation: Facilitated by Christina Bailey


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