I write this at the end of our District Assembly weekend, a time when hundreds of Unitarian Universalists from the Pacific Southwest District gathered for shared worship and learning. It was so lovely to share that time with those of you who were there!
Our keynote speaker was Rev. Meg Riley, senior minister of Church of the Larger Fellowship (CLF). CLF is our largest Unitarian Universalist congregation and exists entirely online, offering online worship three times a week, online groups and classes, and a variety of other ministries. Rev. Riley is at the forefront of finding new ways to live our faith tradition.
Her keynote address called us to embrace making mistakes as we envision (and implement!) new ways of bringing the blessings of joyful community to a world that is dismissive of the central role religion has to play in building, restoring, and strengthening bonds of friendship, care, support, and healing. She encouraged us to be vulnerable together. And she encouraged us to consider that maybe we’re weird, and maybe that’s okay.
I was privileged to lead the prayer at the opening worship, and I would like to share it with you:
Spirit of life, Spirit of love, Spirit of laughter,
Great Mystery that connects us all,
Thank you, thank you, thank you.
Thank you for the beauty and the wonder of our gathering:
People of faith come together to be…together,
To learn together,
To live our faith together.
Thank you for bringing us together at this pivotal moment in time,
When we have the chance—now—to change the world,
To heal the world,
This wounded, hurting world.
Thank you for our shared vulnerabilities, for the learning of our mistakes, and for our collective weirdness.
We ask—this beautiful evening—we ask that you shore up in us our courage to face the work before us, shore up in us our courage to face change and to imagine new ways of living our faith together.
We ask that love be our guide,
And hope our sustenance.
Bless us that we may not falter
Because we know—we know—the world needs us, the hurting world needs us, desperately needs us and our life saving message:
You are beautiful; you are loved, completely, through and through; you are not alone, and, joined with others, you can do anything.
Blessed be and amen.
Bright blessings, Sharon