Worship for January 31, 2021
We’re worshipping safely on Zoom this week and for the foreseeable future. 

Be safe and at ease, Shadow Rockers. And, stay tuned.
"Praise Song for the Day"
By Elizabeth Alexander

Each day we go about our business,
walking past each other, catching each other’s
eyes or not, about to speak or speaking.

All about us is noise. All about us is
noise and bramble, thorn and din, each
one of our ancestors on our tongues.

Someone is stitching up a hem, darning
a hole in a uniform, patching a tire,
repairing the things in need of repair.

Someone is trying to make music somewhere,
with a pair of wooden spoons on an oil drum,
with cello, boom box, harmonica, voice.

A woman and her son wait for the bus.
A farmer considers the changing sky.
A teacher says, Take out your pencils. Begin.

We encounter each other in words, words
spiny or smooth, whispered or declaimed,
words to consider, reconsider.

We cross dirt roads and highways that mark
the will of some one and then others, who said
I need to see what’s on the other side.

I know there’s something better down the road.
We need to find a place where we are safe.
We walk into that which we cannot yet see.

Say it plain: that many have died for this day.
Sing the names of the dead who brought us here,
who laid the train tracks, raised the bridges,

picked the cotton and the lettuce, built
brick by brick the glittering edifices
they would then keep clean and work inside of.

Praise song for struggle, praise song for the day.
Praise song for every hand-lettered sign,
the figuring-it-out at kitchen tables.

Some live by love thy neighbor as thyself,
others by first do no harm or take no more
than you need. What if the mightiest word is love?

Love beyond marital, filial, national,
love that casts a widening pool of light,
love with no need to pre-empt grievance.

In today’s sharp sparkle, this winter air,
any thing can be made, any sentence begun.
On the brink, on the brim, on the cusp,

praise song for walking forward in that light.

Breath Prayer for Today:
Breathing in: I am walking forward in light.
Breathing out: I am grateful.
We Covenant One With Another
Adult Spiritual Formation - 10:00 am
With just a few weeks left until Lent begins, we have a short series for heading into February: Three Things. We’ll try some quick response writing and sharing around mindfulness and gratitude.

Transition Music
“Those Who Dream” by The Many

Worship Begins - 11:00 am

Welcome and Announcements ~ Karen Richter

Call to Worship
One:  Breath of God, you are the one in whom we live and move and have our being.
All:   And we are the ones in whom you live and move and have your being, for you made us in your image and likeness.
One:  May your unifying energy be felt here among us,
All:   And rekindle the fire within, that makes us feel alive when we care for others.
One:  Let us draw from the well of living water,
All:    And be attentive to that which needs nourishing in ourselves and in our world.
One:  Come, let us worship where all are welcome in the house of God and find rest for our spirits.

Opening Prayer ~ Karen Richter
Perceiving and Responding
Giving and Stewardship
We are grateful for the fidelity of giving among our community. Your trust makes our compassionate response to the world possible. You can find our weekly financial update, affectionately known as Heidi's Corner, at this link.

Celebrations and Prayer Requests
We share news of our lives, birthdays, concerns, celebrations, and moments of grace and service. Please unmute to share your celebration in the Zoom worship space or "drop it" in the chat! Celebrations are more than just a habit; finding ways to celebrate in the midst of life is part of our shared spirituality.

Pastoral Prayer ~ Rev Patricia StandTal Clarke, MD DMin

Celebration Song
“Come, Christians, Join to Sing” by Forrest Bachtel
Balancing Word and Deed
Word About Life for Today ~ Rev Patricia
An American Woman: Two Spirited and Two Nations

A selection from "The Hill We Climb" by Inaugural Poet Amanda Garman

So while once we asked,
how could we possibly prevail over catastrophe?
Now we assert
How could catastrophe possibly prevail over us?
We will not march back to what was
but move to what shall be
A country that is bruised but whole,
benevolent but bold,
fierce and free
We will not be turned around
or interrupted by intimidation
because we know our inaction and inertia
will be the inheritance of the next generation
Our blunders become their burdens
But one thing is certain:
If we merge mercy with might,
and might with right,
then love becomes our legacy
and change our children’s birthright
So let us leave behind a country
better than the one we were left with
Every breath from my bronze-pounded chest,
we will raise this wounded world into a wondrous one
We will rise from the gold-limbed hills of the west,
we will rise from the windswept northeast
where our forefathers first realized revolution
We will rise from the lake-rimmed cities of the midwestern states,
we will rise from the sunbaked south
We will rebuild, reconcile and recover
and every known nook of our nation and
every corner called our country,
our people diverse and beautiful will emerge,
battered and beautiful
When day comes we step out of the shade,
aflame and unafraid
The new dawn blooms as we free it
For there is always light,
if only we’re brave enough to see it
If only we’re brave enough to be it
Introduction to Breakout Rooms and Discussion
  • The work of social justice begins with inner work. How might we continue the work to uproot white supremacist patriarchy in ourselves and our community?

Words for Mission
One: Friends, we have heard what is good, and we know it in our hearts. So let us go from this place, emboldened by the love of God and community. Together we share in the work of healing. Together we bear the light that outshines the night. These are the times.
All: We are the people.
One: All of Creation is blessed.
All: May we love all and serve all.
One: May God be with you.
All: And also with you.
One: Amen.
All: Amen.