Viruses are contagious, but so is panic, fear, anxiety, hysteria, apprehension, calm, grace, empathy, love, and kindness. I ask everyone to “choose wisely which one you will spread.”
This Morning's Order of Worship
  • Welcome & Announcements
  • Call to Worship by Tim Haley
  • Opening Hymn: Comfort Me
  • Reading: The Church Has Left the Building
  • Lighting Our Chalice by Mary Sarton
  • Time for All Ages: The Wish Tree
  • Offering
  • Morning Message: Coping with Grief
  • Joys & Concerns
  • Closing Hymn: Gather the Spirit
  • Closing Words by Margaret Fuller
  • Coffee Hour: Live! at 12 pm
Welcome & Announcements
Welcome to our virtual worship service this Sunday, March 29th.

If you have joys or concerns, please send them to Gwen at by Wednesday at 9 am for next week's Worship at Home.

Please take a deep breath, settle in, and join together across distances for this service.
Call to Worship
by Tim Haley
Amid all the noise in our lives,
we take this moment to sit in silence --
to give thanks for another day;
to give thanks for all those in our lives
who have brought us warmth and love;
to give thanks for the gift of life.

We know we are on our pilgrimage here but a brief moment in time.

Let us open ourselves, here, now,
to the process of becoming more whole --
of living more fully;
of giving and forgiving more freely;
of understanding more completely
the meaning of our lives here on this earth.
Opening Hymn
"Comfort Me," Sing along with Sam!
The lyrics to sing along are attached here.
Please note that this link is an audio file of Sam playing and singing the hymn that he has recorded, hosted by Soundcloud. The link above will direct you to that web page. The lyrics to the hymn are attached as a PDF.
The Church Has Left the Building by Margaret Weis
The church is not a place; it is a people.

The church is not only a steeple above the treeline, streets, and cars.
Rather, it is a people proclaiming to the world that
we are here for the work of healing and of justice.

The church is not walls built stone upon stone, held together by mortar
but rather person, linked with person, linked with person:
all ages and genders and abilities—
a community built on the foundation of reason, faith, and love.

The church is not just a set of doors open on Sunday morning,
but the commitment day after day, and moment after moment,
of our hearts creaking open the doors of welcome to the possibility of new experience and radical welcome.

The church is not simply a building, a steeple, a pew.

The church is the gathering together of all the people, and experiences,
and fear, and love, and hope in our resilient hearts;
gathering, however we can, to say to the world:
welcome, come in, lay down your heartache, and pick up hope and love.

For the church is us—each and every one of us—together,
a beacon of hope to this world that so sorely needs it.
Lighting Our Chalice
by Mary Sarton
Help us be the always hopeful
gardeners of the spirit,
who know that without darkness
nothing comes to birth,
as without light
nothing flowers.
Time for All Ages
Gather together to read the story "The Wish Tree," written by Kyo Maclear and illustrated by Chris Turnham, which is read aloud below. After the story, gather together your supplies: small cards, something to write or draw with, and twine.
  • Write down or draw a picture of the wishes you are holding in your heart. Maybe the wish is related to our current circumstances, maybe it's something different. You could have just one wish or many! Punch a hole through the completed wish cards and attach the twine.
  • Head outside with your wishes to find your wish tree. As you walk and encounter trees, take a moment to be with them - smell them, touch them, rub your cheek against them - is this your wish tree? If it feels right, attach your card(s) to the wish tree. You may search long and hard for one wish tree or find out that every tree is a wish tree!
  • When you're ready, reverse course and take down your wishes to leave no trace behind. Be sure after removing your cards to whisper your wishes to the tree - they'll remember if you do!

Want more ideas? Visit Tinkergarten for other activities.
Offering: Our Half-Plate
This week's half plate helps our local partner, Preble Street Soup Kitchen, serving over 1100 meals daily. Preble Street has never closed its doors and is serving hundreds of Portland’s hungry of all ages through the COVID-19 crisis. Now as much as ever, your support saves lives. To offer more help, join one of our teams serving dinners 1st Tuesday of each month (email Ruth White at Please offer your gift by clicking the "Make Your Offering" button below (to contribute via PayPal), dropping a check or cash in the mail, or sending via your bank. We are here for you. The morning offering has now been requested.
Morning Message
Coping with Grief by Rev. Frieda Gillespie, Interim Minister
Please note that this link is to YouTube and includes an audio recording of Rev. Frieda's morning message and a slideshow of photos of the church community. The link above will direct you to that web page. If you prefer an audio-only version, you can listen on Soundcloud .
Joys and Concerns
We remain together in spirit. Here is what we have in our hearts today:

  • Sarah Witte is lighting a candle of concern and love for her parents at Oceanview: "Their independence has been so diminished over the last year, and now… lock down. May they be aware of all the love we’re sending them, and feel connected while the storms are passing over us."
  • We light a candle for all those we hold in our hearts today and every day. We honor those whose concerns are too tender to be spoken.
Closing Hymn
"Gather the Spirit," sung during the Draw the Circle Wide in 2013
Please note that YouTube may play an advertisement prior to the song. You have an option to "skip" forward after a few moments to continue to the music.
Closing Words
by Margaret Fuller
Be revered
In thee the faithful hope that still looks forward,
And keeps the life-spark warm of future action
Beneath the cloak of patient sufferance.
Coffee Hour: Live! at 12:00 pm
Please join us for a virtual coffee hour hosted on Zoom! (New to Zoom? Check out this informative guide .) 

You can join:
  • Online (this includes audio and optional video capabilities)
  • By landline or cell phone by calling: +1 929-205-6099 and then entering the Meeting ID: 379 697 489.
Here are the ways you can contact us at First Universalist:

Rev. Frieda Gillespie, Interim Minister or call 508-207-7566
* You can contact Rev. Frieda at any time in an emergency. Home office hours are 10 am - 2 pm.
Gwen Matthews, Program Assistant
Andrea Meadows, Administrative Assistant

Joanna Landsman, President
Jennifer Civiello, Vice-President
Marge Titcomb, Treasurer
Sarah Witte, Clerk
Andrew Tonks
Nancy Dix
George Dreher
Stew Guernsey