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"Reflecting God's Light into the Dark Places" - UUSE Virtual Worship, February 4, 2024




Gathering Music


Welcome & Announcements


Centering


Prelude

"Illumination"

Improvisation by Mary Bopp


Chalice Lighting & Opening Words: "Where equity and justice transcend mere dreams"

(Dr. David Breeden)


Welcome to this place

where equity and justice

transcend mere dreams;

where they are the air we breathe.


Enter this sanctuary,

all who yearn for respite

from a world rife with

scarcity & inequity;

rife with the relentless

shackles of privilege and bias.


come, embrace this space;

be embraced by this place,

this refuge where


scarcity and disparity

dissolve

into we, together,


crafting a place

where the breath of life

is equity and justice ...

cherished, manifested, sustained.


Opening Hymn

#159 "This is My Song"

Words: Lloyd Stone; Music: Jean Sibelius


This is my song, O God of all the nations,

a song of peace for lands afar and mine.

This is my home, the country where my heart is,

here are my hopes, my dreams, my holy shrine,

but other hearts in other lands are beating

with hopes and dreams as true and high as mine.


My country's skies are bluer than the ocean,

and sunlight beams on cloverleaf and pine,

but other lands have sunlight too, and clover,

and skies are everywhere as blue as mine.

O hear my song, thou God of all the nations,

A song of peace for their land and for mine.


Prayer/Meditation: "In These Times in which the Ground Feels Shaky"

(Rev. Joan Javier-Duval)


In these times in which the ground feels shaky

And our hands and feet unsteady

We turn to you

Oh, Source of Strength,

Spirit of Compassion

For we do not know what the future holds

Truly, we can never know

And we need strength in these times of uncertainty

We need the strength and the fortitude to hold on,

to see clearly,

to reach out in love.

May we find guidance within ourselves and beyond ourselves

May we be restless for truth when truth is cast aside,

May we be seekers of peace as the drumbeats of war grow louder around us,

May we hear and sound the alarm for our planet as fires rage and ravage,

And, in all this, may Love rule our hearts.

May we know the Source of Love within us and stay grounded in that source

As we grieve,

as we grapple with the unknown,

as we work towards creating a more just, peaceful, and sustainable present and future together.

So May it be.

Amen


Welcoming Visitors and Joys & Concerns


Musical Meditation


Offering

Continuing our practice of sharing our gifts with the community beyond our walls, and in recognition of Black History Month, fifty percent of our Sunday plate collections for the month of February will go to Manchester's African American and Black Affairs Council or AABAC. AABAC is a community-based organization whose mission is to uphold all aspects of the lived experiences of Black people through advocacy, education, and community endeavors. AABAC strives to eliminate injustices experienced by Black people in Manchester, CT, through engagement with Manchester residents, community partners and allies.


Offertory

"Black Hole Sun"

Chris Cornell; arr. Mary Bopp


Prayer: "Your Guiding Power" (Rabbi Sydney Greenberg)


God, your word brings on the twilight of evening.

The heavens proclaim your glory.


And we, your creatures on earth,

Behold in wonder Your endless miracles.


Help us to recognize your guiding power

in distant galaxies and in our own souls.


Teach us your law of righteousness and love

So that Your spirit may govern our lives.


God of peace, bless our worship;

May our meditations find favor in your sight.


May our gratitude for your wonders

Lead us in love, to your service,


So that, like the changing seasons, the days, the nights,

Our lives too, will proclaim your glory.


Amen


Sermon: "Reflecting God's Light into the Dark Places" (Rabbi Konigsburg)


Closing Hymn

#118 "This Little Light of Mine"

Words & Music: African American spiritual


This little light of mine, I'm gonna let it shine.

This little light of mine, I'm gonna let it shine.

This little light of mine, I'm gonna let it shine.

Let it shine, let it shine, let it shine.


Ev'rywhere I go, I'm gonna let it shine.

Ev'rywhere I go, I'm gonna let it shine.

Ev'rywhere I go, I'm gonna let it shine.

Let it shine, let it shine, let it shine.


Building up a world, I'm gonna let it shine.

Building up a world, I'm gonna let it shine.

Building up a world, I'm gonna let it shine.

Let it shine, let it shine, let it shine.


Closing Words: "Rekindle Commitment" (Rev. Jenn Gracen)


May we go forward

From this gathering

Ready to commit again

To sharing the gift

of justice and equity

With this hurting world.

Go in peace, Go in love.


Extinguishing the Chalice


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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