Unitarian Sunday Reflections

(Hull and Lincoln Unitarians)

Sunday 14 August 2022


Lincoln Service ~ 11 am


Hull Service ~ 4 pm

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Meeting ID: 851 6409 5601

Passcode: 130597



Love That Dares


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”




Welcome to each and to all:

seekers, journeyers, questing, and content.

May our time of reflection and worship,

fill our desire for wholeness and belonging.

In this time together we are made worthy…..



Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.


~ Martin Luther King Jr.


words by John Carter


We light our chalice, this candle,

          as a sign of connectedness….

                     a symbol forged in the violence of Nazi Occupied Europe,

                               it was a beacon of hope, welcome, security

                                         a promise of assistance on the journey to safety.



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.



“I am that great and fiery force”

based on words by Hildegard of Bingen


I am that great and fiery force sparkling in everything that lives,

in shining of the river’s course, in greening grass that glory gives.


I shine in glitter on the seas, in burning sun, in moon and stars.

In unseen wind, in verdant trees I breathe within, both near and far.


And where I breathe there is no death, and meadows glow with beauties rife.

I am in all the spirit’s breath, the thundered word, for I am Life.



Two Loves

Lord Alfred Douglas

100 Queer Poems, Random House.


 I dreamed I stood upon a little hill,

And at my feet there lay a ground, that seemed

Like a waste garden, flowering at its will

With buds and blossoms. There were pools that dreamed

Black and unruffled; there were white lilies A few, and crocuses, and violets

Purple or pale, snake-like fritillaries

Scarce seen for the rank grass, and through green nets

Blue eyes of shy peryenche winked in the sun.

And there were curious flowers, before unknown,

Flowers that were stained with moonlight, or with shades

Of Nature’s willful moods; and here a one

That had drunk in the transitory tone

Of one brief moment in a sunset; blades

Of grass that in an hundred springs had been

Slowly but exquisitely nurtured by the stars,

And watered with the scented dew long cupped

In lilies, that for rays of sun had seen

Only God’s glory, for never a sunrise mars

The luminous air of Heaven. Beyond, abrupt,

A grey stone wall, o’ergrown with velvet moss

Uprose; and gazing I stood long, all mazed

To see a place so strange, so sweet, so fair.

And as I stood and marvelled, lo! across

The garden came a youth; one hand he raised

To shield him from the sun, his wind-tossed hair

Was twined with flowers, and in his hand he bore

A purple bunch of bursting grapes, his eyes

Were clear as crystal, naked all was he,

White as the snow on pathless mountains frore,

Red were his lips as red wine-spilith that dyes

A marble floor, his brow chalcedony.

And he came near me, with his lips uncurled

And kind, and caught my hand and kissed my mouth,

And gave me grapes to eat, and said, ‘Sweet friend,

Come I will show thee shadows of the world

And images of life. See from the South

Comes the pale pageant that hath never an end.’

And lo! within the garden of my dream I

 saw two walking on a shining plain

Of golden light. The one did joyous seem

And fair and blooming, and a sweet refrain

Came from his lips; he sang of pretty maids

And joyous love of comely girl and boy,

His eyes were bright, and ’mid the dancing blades

Of golden grass his feet did trip for joy;

And in his hand he held an ivory lute

With strings of gold that were as maidens’ hair,

And sang with voice as tuneful as a flute,

And round his neck three chains of roses were.

But he that was his comrade walked aside;

He was full sad and sweet, and his large eyes

Were strange with wondrous brightness, staring wide

With gazing; and he sighed with many sighs

That moved me, and his cheeks were wan and white

Like pallid lilies, and his lips were red

Like poppies, and his hands he clenched tight,

And yet again unclenched, and his head

Was wreathed with moon-flowers pale as lips of death.

A purple robe he wore, o’erwrought in gold

With the device of a great snake, whose breath

Was fiery flame: which when I did behold

I fell a-weeping, and I cried, ‘Sweet youth,

Tell me why, sad and sighing, thou dost rove

These pleasent realms? I pray thee speak me sooth

What is thy name?’ He said, ‘My name is Love.’

Then straight the first did turn himself to me

And cried, ‘He lieth, for his name is Shame,

But I am Love, and I was wont to be

Alone in this fair garden, till he came

 Unasked by night; I am true Love, I fill

The hearts of boy and girl with mutual flame.’

Then sighing, said the other, ‘Have thy will,

I am the love that dare not speak its name.’




“from the light of days remembered”

by Jason Shelton & Mary Katherine Morn


From the light of days remembered burns a beacon bright and clear,

guiding hands and hearts and spirits into faith set free from fear.


          When the fire of commitment sets our mind and soul ablaze;

          when our hunger and our passion meet to call us on our way;

          when we live with deep assurance of the flame that burns within,

          then our promise finds fulfilment and our future can begin. 


From the stories of our living rings a song both brave and free,

calling pilgrims still to witness to the life of liberty.


          When the fire of commitment sets our mind and soul ablaze;

          when our hunger and our passion meet to call us on our way;

          when we live with deep assurance of the flame that burns within,

          then our promise finds fulfilment and our future can begin.  


From the dreams of youthful vision comes a new, prophetic voice,

which demands a deeper justice built by our courageous choice.


          When the fire of commitment sets our mind and soul ablaze;

          when our hunger and our passion meet to call us on our way;

          when we live with deep assurance of the flame that burns within,

          then our promise finds fulfilment and our future can begin. 




3 Short Reflections On Love

Lao Tai


“Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage.”


“Simplicity, patience, compassion.

These three are your greatest treasures.

Simple in actions and thoughts, you return to the source of being.

Patient with both friends and enemies,

you accord with the way things are.

Compassionate toward yourself,

you reconcile all beings in the world.”



Embracing Tao, you become embraced.

Supple, breathing gently, you become reborn.

Clearing your vision, you become clear.

Nurturing your beloved, you become impartial.

Opening your heart, you become accepted.

Accepting the World, you embrace Tao.

Bearing and nurturing,

Creating but not owning,

Giving without demanding,

Controlling without authority,

This is love.”




“Love knocks and waits for us to hear”

words by Daniel Charles Damon


Love knocks and waits for us to  hear, to open and invite, love longs to quiet every fear, and seeks to set things right.


Love offers life, in spite of foes who threaten and condemn; embracing enemies, love goes the second mile with them.


Love comes to heal the broken heart, to ease the troubled mind; without a word love bids us start to ask and seek and find.


Love knocks and enters at the sound of welcome from within; love sings and dances all around and feels new life begin.




This Is My Love

Richard Tetreault

Unknown. Sanctified : An Anthology of Poetry by LGBT Christian. Createspace..


 Is my love that compelling

that I must seek its happening pause;

undressed in a new place though old

impressed by a secular cause.

Imprisoned for years within a

scurrilous mantra

bowed by the world of its undulant magic;

oftener have I thought of God in a hurry

when seldom should I have thought

of things unimagined.

What is real is not necessarily true for you

as hope should be alive in every mind;

what was once better is now blatantly worse,

empowered by something not easily told.

If God is truth what then are your lies

and is faith only concerned with what is disturbing?

Time is the aspect inherently prized

that patience awaits from its standing.

And what of your infallibility

which possesses the word of God:

if yours is the only true word,

then behave as though it were.

Love’s expressions are always divine

greater than words and music combined:

it is God’s great bestowal legitimately worn

for which it has sought to reside.

I rail against words abused by your power

in judgments you make against my humanity:

am I not a creature of God’s as well

standing oppressed in the heart of your hell?

Do I stand to be graced by a Jesuitical awakening

that slowly takes leave of my childhood horrors

countering thoughts that menace my awareness

of being who I was as God’s young imposter.

I reject your concept of Christ’s mission

that exists just beneath your false toothed smile.

Your denial of my face

is not only sin.

it is dogma prevailing

over God’s forgiving.

I may not know your vision’s delights

and neither do you know mine;

what I now know best is the love

I possess

Whose light will live with me

to my last breath;

for God made my heart to stir

your unrest

as you’ve loudly condemned

love between men.


1st Corinthians 13

Priests for Equality. The Inclusive Bible. Sheed & Ward.


Even if I can speak in all the tongues of earth—and those of the angels too—but do not have love, I am just a noisy gong, a clanging cymbal.

If I have the gift of prophecy such that I can comprehend all mysteries and all knowledge, or if I have faith great enough to move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing.

If I give away everything I own to feed those poorer than I, then hand over my body to be burned, but do not have love, I gain nothing.


Love is patient; love is kind. Love is not jealous, it does not put on airs, and it is not snobbish;

it is never rude or self-seeking; it is not prone to anger, nor does it brood over injuries. Love doesn’t rejoice in what is wrong, but rejoices in the truth.

There is no limit to love’s forbearance, to its trust, its hope, its power to endure. 

Love never fails. Prophecies will cease; tongues will be silent; knowledge will pass away.

Our knowledge is imperfect and our prophesying is imperfect.

When the perfect comes, the imperfect will pass away.


When I was a child, I used to speak like a child, think like a child, reason like a child. But when I became an adult, I put childish ways aside.

Now we see indistinctly, as in a mirror; then we will see face to face. My knowledge is imperfect now; then I will know even as I am known.


There are, in the end, three things that last: faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is love.




“from the light of days remembered”

by Jason Shelton & Mary Katherine Morn



“brother Sister let me serve you”



Playing with Pride


In focusing and being out of focus for today, it was around the work and prep for Lincoln Pride. But I knew there were things that I wanted to us to hear, especially around that love, that emotion, and even truly aggravation known as love.


And a bit of playfulness….


The UUA had a slogan called Standing on the Side of Love, kinda protest, kinda of statement, received both praise and diression from critics… but it rallied people, and hideous “Liberal Democrat” orange shirts.


At one of the London Prides that I marched with Unitarian contingent a LD Unitarian provided shirts for all to wear, which were out of his Liberal Democrat activist stock, and one of our US unitarians had the standing on the side shirt and we couldn’t tell the difference.


It is a funny thing at how words get used, especially around the morality of love.


Gay men were oft identified by the phrase Love that dares not to speak its name.


A recognition it was love, but we don’t like it.


In many ways the christian milieu in which I was raised went to great lengths to define this idea of acceptable love. The division of love into good and bad.


And they missed the point of the material within the bible, within poetry and prose, within their own experience.


Love is Love, it is a marker of being human, but not just exclusive to humanity, in way we see it as the divine marker of life. Muslims say that Love is Allah’s (that is God’s) signature upon the earth. I have long appreciated that sense and statement.


We see love in many ways, and let us be honest some of them are not healthy.


My Pastoral counselling professor in seminary, in one of my favourite courses, spoke of his work with men who sexually abused their children.  He in class admitted that the hardest part of it was seeing how close his love for his children could go the same direction. In a way the step between a healthy loving relationship and an unhealthy one is small. That knowledge shattered his own self and I believe societal expectations and understandings. He returned from that sabbatical a better professor, that is saying a lot as he was a brilliant professor before his time away.


This understanding that things are not dualistic, there is more of a fluidity within life, and how easy something good, or healthy can turn harmful. And most of us negotiate this without much stress. We are mindful to not allow our love to become harmful.


Using theological language here borrowed from the writer of the letters of John in the christian texts of the bible, God is love and we know we belong to God by the ways that we love….my paraphrase. The fact that for John was simple all love is love, no division just love, and when we love we are in fact embodying the divine love. It can be harmful and we must be mindful for the danger is closer than we think. Equally we learn and study the human psyche and development to see that what was once unspeakable is in fact part of the wider fluidity of human sexuality.


And so, during pride we recognise that we have moved from a Love that dares not speak its name, to a love that dares to be and to invite us all to explore how life and love is embodied in our lives, and our living.


So how does love dare, within you?




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, arguious 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.







SYF 165 (CD4 / TK18) BOTH

“The Spirit lives to set us free”

words anonymous


The Spirit lives to set us free,

walk, walk in the light.

It binds us all in unity,

walk, walk in the light.

          Walk, walk in the light, (3 times) walk in the light of love.


The light that shines is in us all,

walk, walk in the light.

We each must follow our own call,

walk, walk in the light.

          Walk, walk in the light, (3 times) walk in the light of love.


Peace begins inside your heart,

walk, walk in the light.

We’ve got to live it from the start,

walk, walk in the light.

          Walk, walk in the light, (3 times) walk in the light of love.


Seek the truth in what you see,

walk, walk in the light.

Then hold it firmly as can be,

walk, walk in the light.

          Walk, walk in the light, (3 times) walk in the light of love.


The Spirit lives in you and me,

walk, walk in the light.

Its light will shine for all to see,

walk, walk in the light.

          Walk, walk in the light, (3 times) walk in the light of love.



Blessed Are the Queer

By HP Rivers


Blessed are the wanderers,
Seeking affirmation.

Blessed are the worshipers,
Praying from closets,
Pulpits, pews, and hardship.

Blessed are the lovers of leaving –
Leaving family and familiarity,
Leaving tables
Where love is not being served.

Blessed are those who stay.

Blessed are those
Who hunger and thirst for justice –
For they will be satisfied.

Blessed are the queer
Disciples of Truth,
Living, breathing, sacred
Reflections of
Divine Love.



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