Spirit Moves Along the Regular Lines

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Spirit moves along the regular lines.

We find Spirit in special places and sacred moments,

But Spirit really travels the most normal of experiences,

In this room, through those words, with that set of actions.

Of course, it is not all the time or every time

In this room, by that phrase, with these actions

It is instead all of a sudden, breaking through

The ordinary, the rough tangibility like a metaphor

Spirit moves along the regular lines

Where there are grooves from regular use

In this room, at this hour, going through these motions

As if ‘sacred’ is just waiting everywhen to be noticed.

And so, we come to this particular place

To perhaps experience a oneness with all places

At this particular hour, to experience timelessness

By the lines of this window, the shape of that candle flame

And suddenly, Spirit breaks through. And we notice

Something special, something singular, something real.

Spirit moves along the regular lines

Perhaps you have noticed, here or here or just now.

Prayer for Forgiveness

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Prayer for Forgiveness     by Rev. Douglas Taylor      

Eternal Spirit, from Whom all things come and to Whom all things return

We gather this morning as a community of faithful seekers

Firm in our belief that the Spirit of Life and Love moving among all people pays little heed to the human boundaries of denomination, creed and sect.

We gather in reverent exploration during this time of atonement, repentance, and forgiveness

For the blessings of a new day, the company of good people, and the joys of simple things: we give thanks

And for the revival of faith among the shifting sands of life: let us remember and give thanks indeed

Remind us, O Spirit, to be gentle with others and with ourselves, for we all carry burdens, we all are broken in some way.

Humbly, we reflect on the places where there is brokenness in our lives that we had a hand in.

Forgive us for the times we have held back in selfishness and for those times we have struck out in anger

Forgive us for the times we have remained silent when our words would have helped and for those times we spoke out and our words have caused injury

Forgive us for the times we have let fear dictate our actions and for the times we have ignored or dismissed the fears of others

Forgive us as we, in our imperfect way, seek to forgive others and seek forgiveness for ourselves

We give thanks, O Spirit, for our second chances, for our new day unfolding, for our opportunities to begin again in love

Let us move forward from this moment, ready to offer blessings to the world as we ourselves have been blessed

This we ask in the name of all that is holy,

May it be so

Prayer for Freedom

Prayer for Freedom                

Rev. Douglas Taylor

Gracious and Loving God, from Whom all things come and to Whom all things return

We give thanks this morning for the opportunity to again gather as a people of faith in search together for comfort and meaning and a path toward justice.

Some of us here today have barely made it through the week. Life has been hard and we need the presence and prayers of good people and of thee to sustain us on our journeys.

Some of us here today have arrive excited and curious, looking for new ideas and new opportunities to connect and to build something good and beautiful.

Some of us here today have heavy hearts for the suffer happening just beyond our front doors, for the poor, the immigrant, the incarcerated, the disenfranchised and disempowered.

We gather this morning as Unitarian Universalists seeking freedom and liberation for ourselves and for all people. We gather to be co-creators of a sacred space together guided by the deep values of our faith.

We recognize that a faith like ours needs to be enacted it needs to be lived in action.

We know that freedom for one of us needs the freedom of all of us. That the freedom of our faith community needs the freedom of all the faith communities

We hear how our own cries for relief amid our struggles as individuals sounds very much like the cry made by the immigrants who build this city years ago, and the immigrants who continue to show up today. It is the same cry from people incarcerated & dying in our county jail. It is the same cry from our transgender siblings and from people of color and from the poor and from all those abused and marginalized by our society today.

People like you and me, and people seemingly rather unlike you or me, all crying the same cry for relief from the sufferings we each experience.

Hear our cries, oh God, be with us in our difficulties.

Help us to find the courage to face the continuing injustices of our days.

Help us to reach out from our own heartache and become partners in the transformation of our world.

Help us to know, despite the messy complexity of life, that we do not struggle alone, that liberation is possible, and that hope is a powerful response in the face of what seems impossible.

Be thou an ever-present strength on the journey, O God.

In the name of all that is holy,

May it be so.

Chalice Lighting for Water Ceremony

Chalice Lighting for Water Communion/Ceremony  2019

Fire and Water,

flicker and flow

Our weekly ritual of bringing fire into our chalice reminds us of the spirit and the light

Our annual ritual of pouring water into our common bowl reminds us of our shared gifts and grace

Fire and water,

flicker and flow

We light our chalice – this fragile, flickering flame – as we honor the flow of grace among us. 

Blessing of the Backpacks

Blessing of the Backpacks

Rev. Douglas Taylor

Sept 1, 2019

Children, as you carry your backpack to and from school, it will at times grow heavy with responsibilities and homework and big, heavy books. In this moment we want to also fill your bags with something that has not weight at all. We want to fill your bags with the love and support of this community, with grace and compassion and respect. We want you to know that our love and our values travel with you through your days. May patience, honesty, and bravery be always tucked into the zippered pockets of your bags, available whenever you need.

Eternal Spirit from whom all things come and to whom all things return.

Watch over our children as we begin another school year. May their minds and hearts be open as they encounter new spaces and new ideas and new people. May they have opportunities to laugh and play and explore. Enliven their curiosity, O Spirit, inspire them to have big dreams and to ask big questions and to grow in strength and confidence.

Grant that they will persevere through their setbacks and work to overcome their challenges. Help them to always be true about who they are and what they experience of the world. Grant that they will reach out for help when they need it and to offer aid to others when they see someone else in need.

Keep their bodies safe and their spirits resilient. Surround them with adults who support and care for them.

And may they always know that they carry with them the values and support of this community. May they always be carried in your love.