Love. Revere. Discover. Connect.

November 9, 2014: “The Stevedore’s Song”

Sounding of the Singing Bowl (Rev Denis)

Prelude (Marj)

Welcome and Announcements (Nancy Tozer)

Opening Hymn #389 Gathered Here (Denis introduces)

Gathered here in the mystery of the hour.
Gathered here in one strong body.
Gathered here in the struggle and the power.
Spirit, draw near.

Call to Worship and Chalice Lighting (Rev Denis)

We are gathered here in one strong body
Amidst the beauty of the day
And the beauty of the work that surrounds us
Both reminders not to take the time to notice
Not only our surrondings
But also the ways in which our environment affects us
And the way we affect our environment

Our covenant calls us to walk together
To be in relationship with one another,
Even when times are tough
Even when it’s difficult to get along

Our mission is simple:
To love, to discover, to connect and to revere,
And oh how easy that is to do surrounded by this beauty.

Our mission,
Our covenant,
Those are the things we come here this morning to celebrate
Those are the things worthy of giving shape to.

David, would you do us the honor of lighting our chalice this morning, the flameof our mission, the chalice of our covenant?

[David lights the chalice as Rev Denis speaks]

Glimmer of hope
Spark of enthusiasm
Flame of passion
Fire of commitment
Be with us now as the symbol of our commitment to truth and freedom
We gather here this morning to celebrate our calling
To be prophets and priests together
To challenge and to support
To speak and to listen

Joys and Cares (Rev Denis)

Unitarian Universalist churches are different from most houses of worship because we gather no to worship one god named by history and tradition, but to worship our commitment to the world, and to one another, in relationship to that which each of us names as the divine. Our most sacred and significant practice, week to week is sharing our joys and cares with one antoher, which we memorialize in this book [hold up book], which you can find on a pedestal in the
narthex before worship.

The joy or concern you write there will be shared with the congregation, a request that we accompany you in celebration or sorrow, to as we walk together.

This morning, prayer requests include:

[Read from the book]

And we remember in silence all those friends and family members, near and far, whose joys and sorrows go unspoken.

[One minute of Silence, ended by ringing the bowl]

We also mark our milestones by coming forward and lighting candles of recognition.

[Accompanied by music]

Hymn #326 Let All the Beauty We Have Known (Rev Denis intro)

Let all the beauty we have known,
Illuminate our hearts and minds.
Rejoice in wonders daily shown,
In faith and joy and love that binds.

We celebrate with singing hearts
The loveliness of sky and earth
The inspiration of the arts,
The miracle of every birth.

Life’s music and its poetry
Surround and bless us through our days.
For these we sing in harmony,
Together giving thanks and praise.

First Reading (Rev Denis)

My telling of “The Star Thrower,” is based on many different retellings of a story that was originally told by Loren Eiseley (1907-1977)

(Before speaking, begin by miming picking up starfish and throwing them
toward the back of the sanctuary)

A little girl … that would be me … was walking along a beach where there were thousands upon thousands of starfish. Now some people call them sea stars because they are not actually fish at all, but that’s a whole different story. Anyway there were all these starfish everywhere along the beach, drying
out in the sun as the tide went down, away from the beach. (Resume throwing starfish)

She was worried that all those starfish would die in the hot sun, so she started throwing them back into the water (picking up speed) as fast as she could. (Breathe fast and heavy.) After a little while, she heard laughter, coming rom behind her. She looked up (mining looking up above the front of the sanctuary) and there were people looking down at her, pointing.

A man above yelled down, “The are so many starfish, you’ll never be able to make any difference at all!” Everyone around him laughed harder.

So the little girl picked up another starfish, threw it as far as she could into the ocean and yelled back, “I made a difference for that one!”

Everyone stopped laughing. So the man joined her in throwing the starfish back. (Motion one person to join in.) Then another person joined. (motion to another person.) And then another (Motion to another.) Until everyone on the beach was throwing starfish back into the ocean.

They weren’t able to throw all of the starfish back into the ocean before they started dying in the sun, but together, they made a huge difference.

Second Reading (David)

The second reading is an excerpt from the epic poem “A Song for Occupations,” by Walt Whitman:

House-building, measuring, sawing the boards,
Blacksmithing, glass-blowing, nail-making, coopering, tin-roofing,

The blast-furnace and the puddling-furnace, the loup-lump at the
bottom of the melt at last, the rolling-mill, the stumpy bars
of pig-iron, the strong clean-shaped Trail for railroads,

Oil-works, silk-works, white-lead-works, the sugar-house,
steam-saws, the great mills and factories,

The cotton-bale, the stevedore’s hook, the saw and buck of the
sawyer, the mould of the moulder, the working-knife of the
butcher, the ice-saw, and all the work with ice,

The work and tools of the rigger, grappler, sail-maker, block-maker,
Goods of gutta-percha, papier-mache, colors, brushes, brush-making,
glazier’s implements,

The veneer and glue-pot, the confectioner’s ornaments, the decanter
and glasses, the shears and flat-iron,

The awl and knee-strap, the pint measure and quart measure, the
counter and stool, the writing-pen of quill or metal, the making
of all sorts of edged tools,

The brewery, brewing, the malt, the vats, every thing that is done
by brewers, wine-makers, vinegar-makers,

Leather-dressing, coach-making, boiler-making, rope-twisting,
distilling, sign-painting, lime-burning, cotton-picking,
electroplating, electrotyping, stereotyping,

Flour-works, grinding of wheat, rye, maize, rice, the barrels and
the half and quarter barrels, the loaded barges, the high piles
on wharves and levees,

The hourly routine of your own or anyone’s life, the shop, yard,
store, or factory,

These shows all near you by day and night–workman! whoever you
are, your daily life!

In that and them the heft of the heaviest–in that and them far more
than you estimated, (and far less also,)

In them realities for you and me, in them poems for you and me,

In them, not yourself-you and your soul enclose all things,
regardless of estimation,

In them the development is good–in them all themes, hints, possibilities

Anthem Hands of the Heart, by Joyce Poley (Choir)

Personal Reflection (David Simmerer)

Sermon “The Stevedore’s Song,” (Rev. Denis)

Hymn #109 As We Come Marching (Rev Denis intro)

As we come marching, marching, in the beauty of the day,
A million darkened kitchens, a thousand workshops gray,
Are touched with all the radiance that a sudden sun discloses:
For the people hear us singing “bread and roses, bread and roses!”

As we come marching, marching, we battle too for men,
For they are women’s children and we mother them again.
Our lives shall not be sweated from birth until life closes:
Hearts starve as well as bodies — give us bread but give us roses!

As we come marching, marching, unnumbered women dead
Go crying, through our singing, their ancient song of bread!
Small art and love and beauty their drudging spirits knew:
Yes, it is bread we fight for, but we fight for roses, too!

As we come marching, marching, we bring the greater days:
the rising of the women means the rising of the race.
No more the drudge and idler, ten that toil where one reposes,
But a sharing of life’s glories — bread and roses, bread and roses!”

Blessing of hands

Joining in the blessing are three members of the Lay Pastoral Connection
Team, Kristine Burkwood, Ricki Beck and Rev Peggy Clason


Eternal Spirit
Earth maker
pain bearer
life giver
source of all that is and that shall be
parent and ancestor of us all

Let yourself be known
Let us see that which already exists within each one of us
Let us see in ourselves your divine being

May the energy of this morning’s blessing
flow into this place
to become a lagoon of love
a river of ardor
a whirlpool of passion
as we engage with one another to that which we are called to do

We may fail
We may lose our way
We may get sucked down to the depths of an ocean of mediocrity
but if that happens, spirit of life,
Let us find each other
Let us extend our hands to one another
Pull the drowning back to the placid shores of this loving place

May our hands be extended to one another always
as we do the work we are called to do
May we continue to bless one another
Even as we part company today
So that each of us,
no matter our tasks in the world
may spread the love of this community of faith
to everyone who seeks to dwell in peace
and grow in harmony with you.

Offering of Gifts

Offertory Hymn #1010 Oh We Give Thanks
Oh we give thanks for this precious day
For all gathered here, and those far away;
For this time we share, with love and care,
Oh we give thanks for this precious day

Bond of Union — Church Covenant (Unison)

We join hands in Unitarian Universalist fellowship, pledging ourselves toan individual religious freedom, which transcends all creeds, not to thinkalike but to walk together.

Benediction by Robert Mabry Doss

For all who see God, may God go with you.
For all who embrace life, may life return your affection.
For all who seek a right path, may a way be found.
And the courage to take it step by step.


Extinguishing the Chalice