Unitarian Sunday Reflections

(Hull and Lincoln Unitarians)

Sunday 19 June 2022


Lincoln Service ~ 11 am


Hull Service ~ 4 pm

Join Zoom Meeting


Meeting ID: 851 6409 5601

Passcode: 130597



“Living With Heritage”

Hymns, Reflections, and Readings

On remembrance of Windrush & Juneteenth


We continue to Pray for the Ukraine, Yemen, and all places of war and destruction and all people, creatures and the environment effected by these wars.


May Peace come

“No more war, please”




I have learned over the years that when one’s mind is made up, this diminishes fear; knowing what must be done does away with fear.”

~ Rosa Parks



words by John Carter


We light our chalice, this candle,

          as a sign of connectedness….

                     that we are on a quest,

                               a spiritual journey moving us beyond our narrow and petty                                                                                                                     preoccupations,

                                         moving us to embrace all the transcendent beauty of life.

                                         moving us toward each other, all life, all creation…






We take a moment to reflect on our life and living of this week… as we reflect…. explore and ask of yourself….

          For what am I most grateful?

          For what am I least grateful?

          When did I have the greatest sense of belonging to myself, others, nature, the                     universe, God?


As we end these reflections, as we move to worship, may we continue to reflect on the things that make life whole and how we may grow ourselves into them.

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



1st Hymn


“As we sing of hope and joy today”

words by Elizabeth Alexander


As we sing of hope and joy today,

some know only anguish and despair.

How can we lift our voices in this way

while some have pain and misery to spare?


If a crumbling world we would renew,

we must sing no ordinary song,

peals from a noisy gong will never do;

 in every breath compassion must belong.


Let this song our greatest hopes contain:

laughter of a well-fed child its tune,

roofs over every heart-beat its refrain,

its harmony from peaceful cities hewn.


Sing of joy while hammering each nail.

Sing of hope while pulling every weed,

so shall we sing together and prevail;

may every Alleluia bear a seed.



Short History of Windrush….

On June 22, 1948, 492 Caribbean people arrived at Tilbury Docks, Essex on the Empire Windrush ship. While news reports claimed that the number was 492, the ship’s records show that more than a thousand passengers were on board. The United Kingdom suffered significant losses after the Second World War, and the British government decided that it was essential to recruit Afro-Caribbean migrants for the production of steel, coal, iron, and food, and running public transport. The transition wasn’t smooth and the first Afro-Caribbean immigrants faced violence and intolerance from the majority of the white population. Black people were also banned from many pubs, clubs, and churches.


“A Brief Report from WW2 Britain”

from David Olusoga, Black & British, p478.


“In October 1942 the novelist Ann Meader was horrified to see two black soldiers with two blonde white girls in Weston-super-Mare, where large numbers of American GIs were stationed. Meader confessed to her diary that she felt the British girls would be ‘shot’ for taking the risk of introducing ‘coloured blood’ into their children.”


Short History of Juneteenth….

Juneteenth is a federal holiday in the United States commemorating the emancipation of enslaved African Americans. Juneteenth marks the anniversary announcement of General Order No. 3 by Union Army general Gordon Granger on June 19, 1865, proclaiming freedom for enslaved people in Texas.[7] Originating in Galveston, the holiday has been celebrated annually on June 19 in various parts of the United States since the 1860s, often broadly celebrating African-American culture. The day was first recognized as a federal holiday in June 2021, when President Joe Biden signed the Juneteenth National Independence Day Act into law.


Short History of Tulsa Race Massacre

The Tulsa race massacre took place on May 31 and June 1, 1921, when mobs of white residents, some of whom had been deputized and given weapons by city officials,[12] attacked black residents and destroyed homes and businesses of the Greenwood District in Tulsa, Oklahoma, U.S. Alternatively known as the Tulsa race riot[13] or the Black Wall Street massacre,[14] the event is considered one of “the single worst incident[s] of racial violence in American history”, and is believed to be one of the deadliest terrorist attacks in the history of the United States.[15][16] The attackers burned and destroyed more than 35 square blocks of the neighborhood – at the time one of the wealthiest black communities in the United States, known as “Black Wall Street”.[17]



by Rev Belle,


Activist Theology, by Robyn Henderson-Espinoza


They say we waiting on Superman but he ain’t coming

And truth be told our superman be Jesus who we wait on for

the second return

But the only saviour i see be you and me

Like mommas saving grace been the only thing we need

But we failed to take heed

So we search for answers in those things we can’t read

I mean we read that the cross was the ultimate deed

But failed to see that what he gave us was a seed

That when planted, we neglected it so on the fruit grew weed


ON MY MIND: THE GEORGIA ESTATE, HANOVER PARISH, JAMAICA by Cliff Reed, Beyond Darkness: Words for Reflection


“How can you be sitting there,

telling me that you care, that you care?

When everywhere I look around,

the people suffer in suffering,

in everywhere, everywhere.”

          (Bob Marley & The Wailers, Survival, 1979)


“Georgia, Georgia, no peace I find,

Just an old sweet song keeps Georgia on my mind.”

          (Hoagy Carmichael, “Georgia on My Mind”, 1930)


Maybe the Georgia on your mind

is a State of the Union, or a country,

or a girl you love.


But there is another Georgia.

It is green and lush and beautiful,

a little piece of paradise, perhaps.


But if it seems that way,

it wasn’t always so.


Once it was a little piece of hell,

where slaves laboured

under the sun and the lash —

laboured to bring sweet luxuries

to rich English tongues, and wealth

to rich English pockets.


In this Jamaican Georgia, the swaying

sugar-cane was watered with African blood.

Babylon ruled, and this is on my mind.



“Lift Every Voice and Sing”

by J. Rosamond Johnson and James Weldon Johnson


Lift every voice and sing

Till earth and heaven ring

Ring with the harmonies of Liberty

Let our rejoicing rise

High as the listening skies

Let it resound loud as the rolling sea

Sing a song full of the faith that the dark past has taught us

Sing a song full of the hope that the present has brought us

Facing the rising sun of our new day begun

Let us march on till victory is won


Stony the road we trod

Bitter the chastening rod

Felt in the days when hope unborn had died

Yet with a steady beat

Have not our weary feet

Come to the place for which our fathers sighed?

We have come over a way that with tears has been watered

We have come, treading our path through the blood of the slaughtered

Out from the gloomy past

Till now we stand at last

Where the white gleam of our bright star is cast


God of our weary years

God of our silent tears

Thou who has brought us thus far on the way

Thou who has by Thy might Led us into the light

Keep us forever in the path, we pray

Lest our feet stray from the places, our God, where we met Thee

Lest, our hearts drunk with the wine of the world, we forget Thee

Shadowed beneath Thy hand

May we forever stand

True to our God

True to our native land


2nd Hymn

SYF 84 (CD4/TK12)

“Justice for persons”

words by Andrew McKean Hill


Justice for persons and for different nations,

respect the diverse species in our care,

community of life on earth sustaining,

love for this planet which we all must share.


Compassion is the strength of love and sympathy

letting us share another being’s pain;

creature or human, loving friend or stranger,

love for each other is the whole world’s gain.


Wisdom is insight clear, precise and thoughtful,

searching for truth and human law refined;

guidance from past, made ready for the future

by the best reasoning of the human mind.


Integrity, with honour and uprightness:

these are the qualities which form and make

women and men, the people for tomorrow,

those who serve others for another’s sake.


Justice, compassion, wisdom and integrity,

these are the vitues which our poor world needs.

They’ll flower tomorrow, fruition glorious splendour,

if we today go out and plant the seeds.



“Living With Heritage”

a theopoetic reflection

By Rev John Carter


We live

We have our connections

We have our issues


There are things that we have inherited…

                                         known and unknown.


We were born to this age,

                               this era,

                                          this time.


All of this is not of our personal making…

          nor is it our responsibility for why things are the way they are.


What is ours,

What is mine,


Is how I react to all this history,





This has oft been the question…


We see it throughout history,

          the stories of heroism,

                     the praise of courage,

                               the idols of remembrance.


I was taught this all from a young age.


A young lad

          chopped down a cherry tree

                               and could not tell a lie.


A military strategist,

          who hated the policy of his country,

                     could not bear arms against her.


A backwoods man,

          exploring a new country,

                     stood off a bear with just a knife.



what is true,

what is not…..


Stories that nations tell of themselves,

Tall tales of a people,

Hagiographies of nationalism.


All in praise of men,

Women were always subservient .


In all of this

These examples I was taught

But what were they trying to tell me…


More so,

What were they trying to tell my classmates…


At an early age I figured out

What I was being told

Wasn’t truth,

Didn’t mesh with my young experience…


It has taken a life time

A lot of soul searching

Much pain


For discovery

For recognition

For understanding….


I am still a novice.


Heritage is important

I don’t deny this.


Understanding it

          is necessary.


What good it imparts

          as well as what evil.


It is my task to struggle with it.


I am proud of my land of birth.

My families have an interesting tale.

Of courage,

Of exploration,

Of disaster.


I am proud of my adopted land too.

It too has interesting tales.

Of  courage,

Of exploration,

Of disaster.


Interesting mixtures






In writing this I discovered….

I  have lost a lot of the tales I was told…

They no longer had import…


It took living with the Dine’


To see that  school text books,

Hollywood films,





Were lies.

These representations were not the people I had lived with,

Were not my best friend,

My first crush,

My mates.


They had no clue of the compassion and friendship given


(Just as I had no clue of how  being the only anglo student in my classroom

Gave me more power than my beloved classmates combined)


Equally these stories didn’t present all the facts….


Did you know that

the practice of scalping by native nations was not a traditional practice.


It was introduced by the British

during one of their proxy wars with France in North America

As a way of tracking success and

Monetary reimbursement.


Did you know of the blankets and other items traded with the native nations?


These were infected with small pox.


Or how misleading the image of the drunk Indian is?


Yes they got drunk

Because we found we could control them via alcohol


(Native nation people do not have the enzymes needed for processing alcohol.

It is an evolutionary factor.

Equally the Inuit peoples do not have the enzyme

for processing cow milk,

nor sweat glands)


The telling of these stories

 is to show how weak,

how undisciplined,

how immoral

these nations were….




And how righteous



The thing is….

George Washington

told lies.


Daniel Boone

was a mercenary

who died in an insurrection against the lawful government of texas

(It was Mexico)


Robert E Lee,

Was claimed to have disliked the practice of slavery…

Could not fight against his home state of Virginia…

So he choose



Morality and Justice.


These conversations are not about White Guilt.


Nor are they about

any other type of

guild we may feel

when confronted with injustice.


In each voice we hear





Gender identity,



And this list goes on and on,,,


This conversation is about


And how

We chose to be open or closed.



We choose to listen.



We choose to respond.



We choose to act.


How faithful

are We

to the beliefs, the ideals, the values

We as Unitarians,

As people of faith,




We remember these events,

We listen to these voices,


We do so


We believe in Justice

In good and right relationships with all

In the interconnectedness of all humanity,

Of all creation.


This is our hope

And our






Sung Prayer

SYF 148 (CD 1/TK 23)

“Spirit of Life, come unto me”

words by Carolyn McDade


(sing 2 times)

Spirit of Life, come unto me.

Sing in my heart all the stirrings of compassion.

Blow in the wind, rise in the sea; move in the hand, giving life the shape of justice.

Roots hold me close; wings set me free;

Spirit of Life, come to me, come to me.




3rd Hymn

SYF 191 (CD SYF 4/TRACK 20)

“We Have A Dream”

words by Michael Forster, based on speech by Martin Luther King, Jr.


We have a dream: this nation will arise,

and truly live according to its creed,

that all are equal in their maker’s eyes,

And none shall suffer through another’s greed.


We have a dream that one day we shall see

a world of justice, truth and equity,

where sons of slaves and daughters of the free

Will share the banquet of community.


We have a dream of deserts brought to flower,

once made infertile by oppression’s heat,

when love and truth shall end oppressive power

And streams of righteousness and justice meet.


We have a dream: our children shall be free

from judgements based on colour or on race;

free to become whatever they may be,

Of their own choosing in the light of grace.


We have a dream that truth will overcome

the fear and anger of our present day;

that black and white will share a common home,

And hand in hand will walk the pilgrim way.


We have a dream: each valley will be raised,

and every mountain, every hill, brought down;

then shall creation echo perfect praise,

And share God’s glory under freedom’s crown!




When unpleasant words appear…

          be they attack

          be they historic reporting

          be they personal testimony of pain, hurt, and injustice…


Open our hearts, our minds, our ears….


So we may reflect,

So we may listen,

So we may move,

          with compassion

          with empathy

          with equity


Bringing love to all we meet today,


          and throughout all our days on earth.



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