PRELUDE A Wedding at Troldhaugen E. Grieg
David Chapman, pianist and music director
WELCOME & ANNOUNCEMENTS Jennifer Grant, worship
GREETINGS Richard Speck, district executive of the Joseph
CALL TO WORSHIP Barbara W. ten Hove, co-minister
I stand before you this morning with my heart full. Over the
past three Sundays, we have celebrated the liberal spirit that
birthed this church 50 years ago. Today, the last of four such
services falls on the Sunday after the national election. This
past Tuesday, many, many people went to the polls to participate
in something we say is primary not only to our political life
but our religious life as well the democratic process. Democracy
is hard. Democracy is messy. And, because it allows all of us
to cast a vote to decide who will serve us, it can also be disappointing.
Not everyone who deserves to win, does so. Not everyone who loses
Yet, I am still amazed that in a country as diverse and at
times as volatile as ours, elections happen peacefully. I got
up Wednesday morning and was unhappy at many of the choices my
fellow Americans made. But I was grateful that we are able to
make choices, even if we don't always get our way. Democracy is
messy. Democracy is hard.
As we enter into worship this morning, and conclude our formal
tribute to the many men, women and children who have created and
sustained this congregation for these past 50 years, I can't help
but feel grateful that I am a part of a religious community that
stands on a foundation built not on fear but on hope. Our faith
teaches us that diversity is a strength. Our faith teaches us
that all of humanity, even as fragmented as we sometimes appear,
is one. And our faith teaches us that love-deep, powerful, hard
love lies at the heart of all that we call holy. And that
only by learning to live that love will lasting peace in our nation
and our world come to be.
When I began to plan this service with David Chapman, our music
director, we decided to use a short piece called "The
Miracle" as an intonation. The composer of this piece,
Allen Koepke, writes in his performance notes that "the lyrics
suggest one possible answer toward achieving a lasting peace.
Although some may suggest that 'love' is an oversimplification
of the solution, others may insist it is the only real one."
The song says:
Perhaps the answer's in believing that faith will show the
Just as a soothing breath of hope, descending from above,
lasting peace is found in the miracle of Love.
CHORAL INTONATION The Miracle A. Koepke
FLAMING CHALICE DEDICATION
INTRODUCTION OF GUEST SPEAKER Jaco B. ten Hove, co-minister
Some of you may have attended Unitarian Universalist summer
camps over the years, such as our regional one, UUMAC (UU Mid-Atlantic
Community) in Pennsylvania. When I was in junior high school I
started going to one such camp in New York State, called Homestead.
Today I'm very happy to introduce to you one of the counselors
from that very camp in 1965, who now happens to be president of
our entire Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA), Bill Sinkford.
Bill grew up in Cincinnati, Ohio, where he connected with the
First Unitarian Church when he was a teenager. (Later he would
declare that being a part of that church "saved my life.")
He was elected president of the continental youth organization
of that era, called LRY (Liberal Religious Youth), of which I
was also a local and regional leader. Later Bill also became an
adult advisor for youth groups, another path we shared.
After graduating from Harvard College in 1968, he went to Greece
for a year and returned to gradually set up his own successful
business, called "Sinkford Restorations." He also raised
two children, who are now in their 20s. Returning to his home
church in Cincinnati, he heard a call to ministry and went to
Starr King School in Berkeley, another path we share. He joined
the staff of the UUA in 1995 and was elected president in 2001.
He's here to help us celebrate both our 50th anniversary and the
renovation of our RE Building. Welcome, Bill
TOGETHER TIME Speaking of Presidents
with Bill Sinkford, president of the Unitarian Universalist
SONG#346 Come Sing a Song with Me
Children may leave for Religious Education/Exploration.
READING A Politics of Hope B. Obama
HYMN #134 Our World is One World
SERMON The Liberal Church in a Fundamentalist World
CHORAL RESPONSE Just One Dream J. Bettis & W. Afanasief
SILENCE, REFLECTION OR PRAYER
OFFERTORY Romance C. Saints-Saens
John Lagerquist, flute
Silent Candles of Joy or Sorrow may be lit at this time.
Bill: For over 400 years, liberal religious people have
tended the flame of hope. Its light is strong even in the face
Barbara: For nearly 250 years, our nation has struggled
to live up to its vision of freedom and possibility. Its light
is strong even in the face of extremism.
Jaco: For fifty years, good people have shaped a congregation
that proudly carries forward the local liberal tradition of our
faith. Its light is strong even in the face of growth and change.
Jennifer: And so we move forward, with hope in our hearts
that the next decades will be years of strength, vision and joy.
Yes, we have learned much in 50 years and yes, we still have much
more to offer our world and each other in the years to come.
Bill: For this we know: our world is one world, what
touches one affects us all.
Barbara: This we know: lasting peace is found in the
miracle of love.
Jaco: This we know: side by side, heart to heart, we
can finish anything we start.
Jennifer: This we know: our congregation can give life
the shape of justice.
Barbara: As we conclude our celebration of fifty years
together, I invite all of us we sing together our closing hymn
#123 Spirit of Life.
RESPONSE #123 Spirit of Life C. McDade
EXTINGUISHING THE CHALICE
COME ALONG DOWN TO PAINT BRANCH Zoe Mulford & Paint
Selected verses (slightly adapted by Jaco B. ten Hove,
guitar and vocals):
Won't you come along with me (3x)/ to this place I know(2x)
Every week it's where I love to be!
COME ALONG DOWN TO PAINT BRANCH,
'CAUSE THAT'S WHERE THE PEOPLE GO [repeat after each verse]
We embrace diversity (3x)/ in this place I know... (2x)
We are a blended community
Woods and stream surround this place (3x)/ on this land I know
Manifesting sacred space
Come and hear the music flow (3x)/ in this place I know...(2x)
Hear the P-I-A-N-O
(Closing verse, added later by JBtH):
This is a song that has no ending (3x)/ in this place I know(2x)
The past and the present and the future are blending
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