Readings:

In Between

 

By Rev. Dr. Kate R. Walker

Published:

UUA, Worship Web 

Church of the Larger Fellowship, Quest, January 2019

 

In between, liminal, that space where we wait.
Between moments; events, results, action, no action.
To stand on the threshold, waiting for something to end,
And something new to arrive, a pause in the rumble of time.
Awareness claims us, alert, a shadow of something different.

 

In between invitation and acceptance.
In between symptom and diagnosis.
In between send and receipt of inquiry and question.
In between love given and love received.

 

Liminality, a letting go, entering into confusion,
ambiguity and disorientation.
A ritual begun, pause … look back at what once was,
Look forward into what becomes.
Identity sheds a layer, reaches into something uncomfortable to wear.

 

In between lighting of the match and the kindling of oil.
In between choosing of text and the reading of words.
In between voices and notes carried through the air into ears to hear.
In between creation thrusts ever forward.

 

Social hierarchies may disassemble and structures may fall.
Communities may revolt or tempt trust.
Tradition may falter or creativity crashes forward.
Leaders may step down or take charge.
The people may choose or refuse.

 

In between, storm predicted, the horizon beacons.
In between, theology of process reminds us to step back.
In between, where minutia and galaxies intermingle with microbes and mysteries.
In between, liminal, that space where we wait: Look, listen, feel, breathe.

Falling into Joy

 

I learned about joy, a wild version, as I watched him run, tan paws pushing hard into wet sand. His rear end is tucked, powerful legs propelling into the freedom he craved.  I had just introduced him to the ocean.  The ocean invites perspective, if one chooses to look. My mountain sled dog took one look, and could not contain his joy.  Unleashed, he took off down the nearly empty beach, slowly stopping, he sniffed the salt air, and turned back toward me. The return included plunges and leaps to catch the elusive waves and gulls.  I laughed deeply, stress releasing from my belly, tightness slowly softening its grip on my muscles and blood flow.  We both fell into joy that day at Point Reyes National Seashore, its fluid perspective beckoning.

 

Gila, is Hebrew for joy, meaning a strong sensation, transient and worldly. It’s related to gal, or wave. I was slowly allowing joyous waves to emerge into and out of my disconnected body.  I was in my first year of seminary, learning about the Tanakh, the Hebrew Bible, and about my body through as many liturgical dance classes as I could fit into my schedule. I danced the cries of Job’s ancient lament. My calling to ministry arrived unbidden, a total surprise to me, but not to family and friends.  The calling was an invitation to heal, and explore the joy submerged below layers of embodied grief.

 

Later, watching the waves, we ate French fries, my joyous boy and I.

Hey Universe! 

Published: Conversations with the Sacred, ed. Manish Mishra-Marzetti and Kelleher, 2020, Skinner House

 

Hey universe!

I see you

From atomic dust to star dust

You exist

And

I exist in and through you

This I do not doubt

From eagle’s view to mouse

What do you see?

Am I mere food

For thought?

Does my existence

Bear meaning?

For you?

Or only me?

And my beloved?

Do they see me?

From mother and father

To Goddess, Jesus and the Atman Brahman

I yearn to be seen

Yes, I exist

But do they see me?

Really see me?

Do you?

Am I more than

A step in evolution?

My heart is tender

Raw even

With the pain of existence

Surely all that I bear

Will leave a trail

For others to follow

Like Arius to Servetus

And Fuller to Frederick-Gray and Betancourt

Let my faith guide others

My faith in you

Them

And me

Holy, holy, holy

Acts of the creative universe

Impulse to existence

From atomic dust to star dust

If not I

Let my faith   

Be seen

In acts of love

As broad as the universe

Never ceasing

Never ending

 

Blessed be all creation

Litany or Responsive Reading

A Time for Transformation

Published: UUA, www.worshipweb 

 

Leader: For our earth, our ancient mother, blue-green planet of the galaxy, harbinger of lives beyond measure, we honor you with our humble presence, we bow with humility and gratitude.

 

All: We pledge to transform our lives.

 

Leader: For the plants that have sustained our bodies; wheat, corn, peas, tomatoes, peppers and soybeans. For the live species providing rich protein; fishes, poultry, pigs and beef, we offer our thanks for the circle of life.

 

All: We pledge to transform our lives.

 

Leader: For the waters that give us daily life, from ocean depth to rocky cliffs, from Arctic ice to beaches and small streams, from lofty cloud to precious cup at our lips, we remember our dependence.

 

All: We pledge to transform our lives.

 

Leader: For the mountains rising to challenge our greatest aspirations, for the deserts transformed in a torrent of rain, for the forests thick with trunks marked by rings of wisdom, for roots interconnected web, for the new life within the heart of a seed, our souls respond in awe.

 

All: We pledge to transform our lives.

 

Leader: For the millions of species microscopic in the soils under our feet, to the pads, paws, and multi-toed, for the feathers and scales, for minuscule eyes open only under the moon’s soft guidance, and for the lichens and mosses pushing onto the leaves and rocks, we honor your existence.

 

All: We pledge to transform our lives.

 

Leader: For all of us descendants of the first primates, for those who sleep under the same blessed skies, for those who breath the same oxygen feeding our heart, for those who need love as much as I, and for those who yearn for the ease of compassion’s release, we remember we are not alone.

 

All: Called by love for the interconnected web of existence, and I pledge to transform my life and yours.