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Unitarian Sunday Reflections
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(Hull and Lincoln Unitarians)

11 July 2021



“A Place Called Home”

Pursuing Life in the Beloved Community




“When we transcend ourselves for the other, though, community becomes the sacrament of human fulfilment and purpose in life.”

~ Joan Chittister


“Prayer invites God to be present in our spirits and in our lives. Prayer cannot bring water to parched land, nor mend a broken bridge, or rebuild a ruined city, but prayer can water an arid soul, mend a broken heart and rebuild a weakened will.”

~ Abraham Heschel



We light our chalice, this candle,

          as a sign of our connectedness, our community, and of our journey on this spiritual quest called life….


We take a moment to reflect on our life and living of this week…

          What was good? Healthy?

          What was not good? Unhealthy?

          What moments, events, conversations, time alone

          that allowed me to connect to another, to life,

                               to that which may be called Divine.


May the Great Spirit of the Journey walk with us today.





“Here we have gathered”

words by Alicia S. Carpenter


Here we have gathered, gathered side by side;

circle of kinship, come and step inside!

May all who seek here find a Kindly word;

may all who speak here feel they have been heard.

          Sing now together this, our heart’s own song.


Here we have gathered, called to celebrate

days of our lifetime, matters small and great:

we of all ages, women, children, men,

infants and sages, sharing what we can.

          Sing now together this, our heart’s own song.


Life has its battles, sorrows, and regret:

but in the shadows, let us not forget:

we who now gather know each other’s pain;

kindness can heal us; as we give we gain.

          Sing now together this, our heart’s own song.



For many, a church is described in familial terms, such as a family, and as a place that feels like home. Today I invite you to reflect on the way you experience this congregation, or your home congregation. Some of our readings will be aspirational in nature, some more geared to the spiritual sense of community, some hopefully challenging.




Lyrics by Charlie Smalls, Zachary Walzer and Luther Vandross

From the Musical Wiz


When I think of Home

I think of place

Where there’s love overflowing.

I wish I was home

I wish I was back there

With the thing i’ve been knowing.

Wind that makes the tall glass

Bend into leaning

Suddenly, the raindrops that fall

Have a meaning

Sprinklin the scene

Makes it all clean


Maybe there’s a chance

For me to go back

Now that I have some direction

It sure would be nice

To be back home

Where there’s love and affection

And just maybe I

Can convince time to slow up

Giving me enough time

In my life to grow up

Time, be my friend, let me start again.


Suddenly, my world’s gone

And changed It’s face

But I still know where I’m going

I have had my mind spun around in space And yet, I’ve watched it growing

And if you’re listening god, please, Don’t make it hard

To know if we should believe the things That we see

Tell us, should we try to stay,

should we run away, or would it be Better just to let things be?


Living here in this brand new world

Might be a fantasy,

But its taught me to love

So it real, real, real to me

And I’ve learned

That we must look inside our hearts

To find

A world full of love

Like yours, Like mine

Like Home


The Guest House

— Jellaludin Rumi, translation by Coleman Barks


This being human is a guest house.

Every morning a new arrival.

A joy, a depression, a meanness,

some momentary awareness comes

as an unexpected visitor.

Welcome and entertain them all!

Even if they are a crowd of sorrows,

who violently sweep your house

empty of its furniture,

still, treat each guest honourably.

He may be clearing you out

for some new delight.

The dark thought, the shame, the malice.

meet them at the door laughing and invite them in.

Be grateful for whatever comes.

because each has been sent

as a guide from beyond.



HFL 235

“A Melody of Love”

words by Joseph Johnson


God speaks to us in bird and song,

in winds that drift the clouds along,

above the din of toil and wrong,

          A melody of love.


God speaks to us in far and near,

in peace of home and friends most dear,

from the dim past and present clear,

          A melody of love.


God speaks to us in darkest night,

by quiet ways through mornings bright,

when shadows fall with evening light,

          A melody of love.


God speaks to us in every land,

on wave-lapped shore and silent strand,

by kiss of child and touch of hand,

          A melody of love.


O voice divine, speak thou to me,

beyond the earth, beyond the sea;

first let me hear, then sing to thee

          A melody of love.



“Garden of Our Soul”

by Joan Chittister

from Wisdom Distilled From The Daily


“One of the most interesting spots in our monastery is its inner courtyard. Exotic flowers grow there in every season and very few people notice them. 


Most of the windows that border the courtyard belong to private workspaces. The few public vantage points are in narrow corridors where people need to keep moving by, rather than being able to gather and look. 


Yet, the courtyard is one of the most life-giving places we have. It gives light to the inside of the monastery. It breeds beauty. Much like a Japanese garden, it centres the house in peace. 

And everybody knows it. 


And few people see it. 


But without it the house would be a completely different place.


The inner courtyard of our monastic community is seen by few but depended on by many for that glimpse of beauty we need in life to always see it anew. 


It seeps into our bones and our subconscious like the fine art of humility. It is there nourishing us quietly and calling us to something more worthy than the distractions of the day. It calls us to reality.”


“A Creative Church”

by Choan-Seng Song

from Third Eye Theology


Creativity and spirituality are intimately related. One cannot do without the others. Traditional society has required certain of its members to behave spiritually without becoming at the same time creative….Liberation is a deeply spiritual matter. Basically, it is the interrelatedness between spirituality and creativity that poses a radical challenge to the institution called the church.


A church with true spirituality is a creative church.


It is creative not only in matters strictly religious but must be creative also in all areas and dimensions of human life. A truly creative spirituality is one that enables us to realise and experience the divine presence in all that we do, not only in religious worship, but also in all realms of our activities. It breaks down the barrier between the sacred and the profane, the religious and the non-religious, the holy and the secular. To encounter other human beings in the rough and tumble of this world, to experience life in the midst of death, and to perceive earning in the face of meaninglessness — this is spirituality.



HFL 255

“This Land is Your Land”

adapted from words by Woody Guthrie


This land is your land, this land is my land,

from lowland pasture to western island,

from teeming city to fen and moorland —

          This land was made for you and me.


As I went walking that ribbon of highway,

I saw above me that endless skyway,

I saw below me that golden valley:

          This land was made for you and me.


I roamed and rambled and followed my footsteps

to sparkling sands of her dunes and beaches,

and all around me a voice was sounding:

          This land was made for you and me.


The sun was shining, as I was strolling

in wheat fields waving, on downlands rolling;

a voice was chanting as mist were lifting:

          This land was made for you and me.


In ancient city, by wall and steeple,

in field and factory, in office and stable,

cared for or lonely, I sing to people:

          This land was made for you and me.


This land is your land, this land is my land,

from lowland pasture to western island,

from teeming city to fen and moorland —

          This land was made for you and me.



“This Land is Your Land”

missing verses by Woody Guthrie


As I went walking I saw a sign there

And on the sign it said “No Trespassing”

But on the other side it didn’t say nothing

That side was made for you and me


In the shadow of the steeple I saw my people

By the relief office I seen my people

As they stood there hungry, I stood there asking

Is this land made for you and me?


Nobody living can ever stop me

As I go walking that freedom highway

Nobody living can ever make me turn back

This land was made for you and me



“A Place like Home”


When I first walked into the Croydon Unitarian Church, my first conflicting response was this is familiar and yet not, but I felt at home.


I had worshiped with other groups, and loved my time with them, yet that sense of familiarity was not as strong as it was with that church on that day.


I can tell you why, via theological terms, or praxis or basic practices terms, this is so, but that is a different story for another time.


I suspect that for many of us we have a similar feeling or sense of this ideal of a faith home.


I hope we find here, a calm spirit so we can explore what faith, spirituality, and service can give us. I also hope that we as a community continue to challenge each other to a greater sense of faith, spiritual depth and deeper service to our communities, and our world.


So where does it begin….


With open hospitality.


A faith community that does not welcome the stranger violates the deep spirituality of its faith and its being. In theological therms to be able to see within every person we meet, within the very core of all creation, the mark of the divine, we as individuals and as a community are then opened to receive and welcome those who come to us, as well as being opened to receive welcome as well.


Everything we do, we do out of a call to love, no matter how limited or even misguided, our faith community is in a journey of learning and living and accepting that ultimate welcome, that love that transcends boundaries.


This beloved community, begins with you and with me, and as we journey together it grows beyond us to encompass the whole of creation.


May we continue to make this meeting place a place of true welcome, a place we can call HOME.





For Our Home

A reworking of the the prayer: A Morning Prayer

From the British League of Unitarian and Other Liberal Christian Women, 1928

by Rev John Philip Carter


Divine Spirit of Life,

G_D of many names and of none


May we know this day that you are a part of our lives and our living.

May all that we do, our actions, our duties, our hard, arduous and distasteful tasks show forth a joy and contentment that we have come to know in our walk upon this good green earth.


May we always see the beauty of our home, the world around us, no matter where we walk, nor what circumstances we find ourselves.

May our hands reach out to all things in love, compassion and understanding…

          seeking a way to bring healing and wholeness to our suffering and broken world.

May our hearts be open to all life surrounding us.


May our spirits learn from our earth’s many spiritual masters and mistresses so that we too may lead lives befitting ones called to divine purposes.


Ones called to be a light,

Ones called to be a blessing,

Ones called to serve all life.


May we be such a people for such a time as we live

          serving the whole of this beautiful world and all that live upon her.





Thanks again for all your assistance, to Graziana on the piano, to all who have assisted in the set up and to Daniel for his facilitation of the zoom program.



SYF 208

“When our heart is in a holy place”

words by Joyce Poley


          When our heart is in a holy place,

          when our heart is in a holy place,

          we are blessed with love and amazing grace,

          when our heart is in a holy place.


When we trust the wisdom in each of us,

ev’-ry colour ev’-ry creed and kind,

and we see our faces in each other’s eyes,

then our heart is in a holy place.


          When our heart is in a holy place,

          when our heart is in a holy place,

          we are blessed with love and amazing grace,

          when our heart is in a holy place.


When we tell our story from deep inside,

and we listen with a loving mind,

and we hear our voices in each other’s words,

then our heart is in a holy place.


          When our heart is in a holy place,

          when our heart is in a holy place,

          we are blessed with love and amazing grace,

          when our heart is in a holy place.


When we share the silence of sacred space,

and the God of our heart stirs within,

and we feel the power of each other’s faith,

then our heart is in a holy place.


          When our heart is in a holy place,

          when our heart is in a holy place,

          we are blessed with love and amazing grace,

          when our heart is in a holy place.

          When our heart is in a holy place.



Words By Jim Wickman


May our faith sustain us,

our hope inspire us,

and our love surround us

as we go our separate ways,

knowing that we will gather again

in this beloved community.





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