Homecoming: No Time for a Casual Faith — UUS:E Virtual Worship, September 13, 2020

Gathering Music (begins at 9:50 AM)

 Welcome 

 Announcements

Centering

 Prelude

“Welcome Back” (John Sebastian)

Featuring vocalists Jeannette LeSure, Janet Desmaris, Chris Cosgrove, Shoshana Levinson, Joe Madar, and DanThompson, with special guests Manchester Town Troubadour Bill Ludwig and Blues Harpist Mark Zar. Photo montage by Joe Madar.

 

Chalice Lighting and Opening Words (ad. from Amanda Poppei) (Spoken by Lacy, Gina and Josh) (Read along at the UUA website here.)

Opening Hymn                                                “Here We Have Gathered”

(Words by Alicia S. Carpenter, Music from the Genevan psalter, 1543) (#360 in Singing the Living Tradition)

Here we have gathered, gathered side by side;
circle of kinship, come and step inside!
May all who seek here find a kindly word;
may all who speak here feel they have been heard.
Sing now together this, our hearts’ own song.

Here we have gathered, called to celebrate
days of our lifetime, matters small and great:
we of all ages, living out our span,
infants and sages, sharing what we can.
Sing now together this, our hearts’ own song.

Life has its battles, sorrows, and regret:
but in the shadows, let us not forget:
we who now gather know each other’s pain;
kindness can heal us: as we give, we gain.
Sing now in friendship this, our hearts’ own song.

Special Report from the Stuffed Animal Sleepover (Gina Campellone, with tech support from Michelle Spadaccini and Heather Alexson)

 Blessing of the Backpacks  (Gina Campellone)

As many of you know, it is our custom at UUS:E to kick off the congregational year with a blessing of the backpacks (briefcases, work bags, pocket books, etc.). This year we did our best to send out a little, silver charm as our blessing to everyone who is starting school in some capacity, whether as a student, a teacher, an administrator, a college professor, etc. The charm says “Never, never give up!” we thought that was an important message given that education this year is different and difficult because of the coronavirus pandemic. If you did not receive a blessing for your backpack, briefcase, workbag, pocketbook, etc., — or if you aren’t going back to school but you’d still like a charm anyways – please contact me or Gina and we’ll make sure you get one.

The note that came along with the backpack blessing said this:

May your mask keep you sage

And your light always be seen.

May you learn and grow each day,

In person or on your screen.

May your hearts and minds journey

And discover what is true.

But most of all, may you know you

Are loved – simply for being you.

 Musical Meditation (Mary Bopp)

Joys and Concerns 

Musical Meditation (Mary Bopp)

Offering

For the month of September, our Community Outreach offering will be shared by two organizations:

Power Up is a new Black Lives Matter organization in Manchester. They are courageously bringing much needed visibility to the ongoing realities of racism in Manchester and surrounding communities. Some UUS:E members and friends have participated in Power Up’s daily rallies and other actions.

 KIDSAFE CT is dedicated to the early intervention, prevention and treatment of child abuse and neglect in the towns east of the Connecticut River in Hartford and Tolland Counties. Their mission is to “partner with the community to educate and empower families and promote the well-being of young people.” Their work has continued during the pandemic, though their staff is working from home.

Offertory “Crowded Table” (The Highwomen, performed by the UUS:E Children’s Choir)

Chant “Love is the Spirit of This Church” (Words by James Villa Blake, music by Mary Bopp)

Love is the spirit of this church, and service its law.

This is our great covenant: to dwell together in peace.

Love is the spirit of this church, and service its law.

To seek the truth in love, and to help one another.

Love is the spirit of this church, and service its law.

 Reading “Unitarian Universalist Association Principles”

We, the member congregations of the Unitarian Universalist Association, covenant to affirm and promote:

The inherent worth and dignity of every person

Kids: Each person is important.

Justice, equity and com passion in human relations

Kids: Be kind in all you do.

Acceptance of one another and encouragement to spiritual growth in our congregations

Kids: We’re free to learn together.

A free and responsible search for truth and meaning

Kids: We can search for what is true.

The right of conscience and the use of the democratic process within our congregations and in society at large

Kids: All people need a voice.

The goal of world community with peace, liberty, and justice for all.

Kids: Build a fair and peaceful world.

Respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part

We care for the Earth.

Chant “Love is the Spirit of This Church” (Words by James Villa Blake, music by Mary Bopp)

 Love is the spirit of this church, and service its law.

This is our great covenant: to dwell together in peace.

Love is the spirit of this church, and service its law.

To seek the truth in love, and to help one another.

Love is the spirit of this church, and service its law.

 Homecoming Message from UUA President, the Rev. Dr. Susan Frederick-Gray

Reflection “No Time for a Casual Faith” (Rev. Josh and Gina Campellone)

 Closing Hymn

“May Nothing Evil Cross This Door”

(Words by Louis Untermeyer, music by Robert N. Quaile) (#1 in Singing the Living Tradition) (Led by Rev. Josh)

May nothing evil cross this door,
and may ill fortune never pry about
these windows; may the roar
and rain go by.

By faith made strong, the rafters will
withstand the battering of the storm.
This hearth, though all the world grow chill,
will keep you warm.

Peace shall walk softly through these rooms,
touching our lips with holy wine,
till every casual corner blooms
into a shrine.

With laughter drown the raucous shout,
and, though these sheltering walls are thin,
may they be strong to keep hate out
and hold love in.

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.

Coffee Hour / Chat