Sundry

Prayer for Resilience

Prayer for Resilience

Rev Douglas Taylor

2-9-20

Gracious and loving God, from whom all things come and to whom all things return;

We gather on the edge of another week and, for some of us, on the edge of our strength; We come buoyed by events of our week or weighed down by them, or we arrive in some paradoxical mix thereof; We are here in our Sunday assembly of hope and restoration.

At times we come weary and worn down, and for some, that is how we arrive today; At other times we come with questions, with a longing, or with something to offer; But for those who come today shattered, broken, lonely and lost, let us offer our prayer of resilience.

Again, this week we test the tender places in our hearts and in our lives to see what healing may occur.

Gratitude is often a source of healing; We give thanks for the landscapes of grace in our lives, for music and for good companions, for the guidance of great principles, and the examples of integrity around us; We give thanks for all that lifts us up and for lessons that lead us on

For the times when we are brought low by anxiety or adversity, Show us the hidden wells of love we can tap into; Help us rise up once more, just once more, and once more again will surely be enough.

Remind us we do not strive in vain, that we are part of a chorus, that resilience is in our bones, that peace will prevail on earth and in our hearts, and that healing and grace come like soft rain.

Be thou an ever-present strength upon on journeys; And teach us that in falling down, we do rise again

This we ask in the name of all that is holy, May it be so

Spirit Moves Along the Regular Lines

Image result for small stone window"

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

Image result for repentance

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.