Worship transcript for January 3, 2021

Prelude (All Souls Choir)

“Today” (Kirk Franklin)

Call to Worship (Rev. Kathleen Rolenz)

Come into this day made sacred by our presence
Come into this hour made holy by our gathering
Come into this moment made meaningful by our attention
Come let us worship together.

We welcome Meredith and Anna Higgins Hargrave to kindle our chalice flame this morning.

Chalice Lighting (Meredith Higgins Hargrave and Anna Hargrave)

As we light the chalice this morning, we invite you to also light a candle at home.We Light Our Flaming Chalice to illuminate the world we seek.In the search for truth, may we be just; in the search for justice may we be loving; and, in loving, may we find peace.

Hymn

“My Life Flows On in Endless Song”

My life flows on in endless song; Above earth’s lamentation,
I hear the sweet, though far-off hymn That hails a new creation
Through all the tumult and the strife, I hear that music ringing
It finds an echo in my soul How can I keep from singing?

What though the tempest ‘round me roars, I know the truth, it liveth.
What though the darkness ‘round me close, songs in the night it giveth.
No storm can shake my inmost calm while to that rock I’m clinging.
Since love prevails in heav’n and earth, how can I keep from singing!

When tyrants tremble as they hear the bells of freedom ringing,
when friends rejoice both far and near, how can I keep from singing!
To prison cell and dungeon vile our thoughts to them are winging;
when friends by shame are undefiled, how can I keep from singing!

Welcome (Tim Rhodes)

My name is Tim Rhodes and I am serving as your Worship Associate this morning. Welcome to our longtime members and first time visitors and guests. For nearly 200 years, our congregation has sought to live up to the vision inherent in our name, All Souls. It’s a vision of a human community where all people are welcome at the table. Where the divisions that separate us in our daily lives come tumbling down and we recognize ourselves as part of one human family.

We are a Unitarian Universalist congregation, diverse in many ways but united in our belief in the inherent worth and dignity of every person, and in the obligation to express our faith through acts of justice and compassion.

We invite you to join us as we seek to create a diverse, justice-seeking, spirit growing community that is true to the dream of All Souls! If you are interested in joining this church, please send a message via the chat to Gary Penn, Director of Membership Services.

I’d like to extend a special welcome to those of you are who are visiting this morning. We’re glad you’re with us. Feel free to let us know in the chat where you’re viewing us from, and if you’d like to receive our weekly e-newsletter.

We move now to our moment of “Beholding.” As the music plays, scroll through the Zoom gallery and share a wave or a greeting in the chat with some of the other folks who are part of the great family of All Souls.

Story for All Ages (Dolores Miller and the Children of All Souls)

“Green Eggs and Ham” (Dr. Seuss)

That Sam-I-am! That Sam-I-am! I do not like that Sam-I-am.
Do you like green eggs and ham?
I do not like them Sam-I -am. I do not like green eggs and ham.
Would you like them here or there?
I would not like them here or there. I would not like them anywhere. I do not like green eggs and ham. I do not like them Sam-I-am.
Would you like them in a house? Would you like them with a mouse?
I do not like them in a house. I do not like them with a mouse. I do not like them here or there. I do not like them anywhere. I do not like green eggs and ham. I do not like them, Sam-I-am.
Would you eat them in a box? Would you eat them with a Fox?
Not in a box. Not with a Fox. Not in a house. Not with a mouse. I would not eat them here or there. I would not eat them anywhere. I would not eat green eggs and ham. I do not like them, Sam-I-am.
Would you? Could you? In a car? Eat them! Eat them! Here they are.
I would not, could not, in a car.
You may like them. You will see. You may like them in a tree!
I would not, could not in a tree. Not in a car! You let me be.
A train! Train! A train! A train! Could you, would you, on a train?
Not on a train! Not in a tree! Not in a car! Sam! Let me be!
Would you, could you, on a boat?
I could not, would not, on a boat. I will not eat them on a train. Not in a tree! Not in a car! You let me be! I do not like green eggs and ham! I do not like them, Sam-I- am.
You do not like them. So you say. Try them! Try them! And you may. Try them and you may, I say.
Sam! If you will let me be, I will try them. You will see. Say! I like green eggs and ham! I do! I like them, Sam-I-am! And I would eat them in a boat. And I will eat them on a train. And in car and in a tree. They are so good, so good, you see! So I will eat them in a box. I will eat them with a Fox. I will eat them in a house. I will eat them with a mouse. And I will eat them here and there. Say! I will eat them ANYWHERE! I do so like green eggs and ham! Thank you! Thank you, Sam-I-am!

Congregational Concerns and Prayer (Rev. Rob Keithan)

Happy New Year, All Souls! I’m Rev. Rob Keithan, and I have the honor of serving as your Minister for Social Justice. (other text you want to insert here…maybe tie the children’s story to the theme of the month if it hasn’t been already?)

So here are a few updates and invitations.

First a reminder that we offer Religious Education for Children and Youth every Sunday, beginning at 9:30 AM. In addition to that, other activities are planned and can be found on the church’s website and in the e-newsletter.

Please visit the home page of the church’s website to check out upcoming programs. Our Adult Spiritual Development Team will be rolling out new offerings beginning next week…

Please note that the on-line Zoom class offered by Rev. John Beuhrens is about his new book, Conflagrations. You don’t have to have read the book before the class, but it would make it more meaningful. You can buy the book on Amazon.com.

Monthly drop-in covenant groups meets tomorrow, from 1- 2:30 PM with me; and Thursday, January 7, from 7 – 8 PM with Rev. Kathleen. We’ll be exploring the January theme of “Resistance.” The Zoom info is on the homepage and all are welcome.

Wednesday, January 6, 5:00 – 6:30 PM Tea Time for TransTea Time for Trans/Nonbinary Congregants of All Souls. All transgender, nonbinary, genderqueer and/or gender nonconforming members/congregants of All Souls are invited to a virtual Tea Time with Kathleen Rolenz. Rev. Kathleen would like to meet with congregants to introduce herself and to get to know you! She’ll join us for the first 30 minutes or so, then she’ll leave and members are invited to continue to connect with one another. Bring a beverage and some snacks, Zoom in and let’s get to know each other. Contact Shige Sakurai (ministry@sakurai.org) for more information. Login information on the website. Wed., January 6, 5:00 – 6:30 pm.

Hymn 123

“Spirit of Life” (words and music by Carolyn McDade) (sung in English and Spanish)

Fuente de amor, ven hacia mi
Y al corazon cantale tu compassion
Sopla al volar, sube en la mar
Hasta moldear la justicia de la vida
Arraigame, liberame
Fuente de amor, ven a mi, ven a mi

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.

Reading (Rev. Keithan)

(Rev. Kit Novotny, UCC Minister)

For everything there is a season, and a time for every single thing this side of heaven:
a time to be a baby, and a time for last breaths;

time to rage incoherently at the state of the world, and a time to tuck yourself into
soft blankets and drink ginger tea;

a time to smash the imperialist white supremacist capitalist hetero-patriarchy,
and a time to build up the egalitarian, multiracial, anti-racist, environmental, liberationist love movement;

a time to make wishes on dandelions, scattering seeds to the wind,
and a time to pluck up new weeds, declare them flowers, and make new wishes;

a time to ugly cry and let the snot drip down,
and a time to belly laugh till your sides ache;

a time to grieve dear ones gone to glory, and a time for dance parties even among graves;

a time to deep clean and throw away all the crap that doesn’t spark joy,
and a time to collect thrift shop treasures and impractical shoes;

a time to cuddle so close you get tangled up in embraces and can’t tell whose arms are
whose, and a time to give each other space to become your whole selves;

a time to be on the search for what’s next, what’s on its way, and a time to let go of
what you always thought you’d have;

a time to recycle what’s ready to go, and a time to upcycle what wants keeping;
a time to shred old files, and a time to stitch up fresh wounds;

a time to get real still and quiet, and a time to yell true things out loud;

a time to love what needs loving, and a time to hate what needs hating;

a time for necessary conflict, holy resistance, and a time for peace, which steadily
steadily persists, and passes all our understanding.

Sermon (Rev. Rolenz)

“What the Future Self Sees”

Anthem (Jen Hayman and Rochelle Rice, vocals; John Lee, guitar)

“Dusty Trails” (Lucius)

We been gone for such a long time that I’m almost afraid to go home
A long road is a long dragged out imagination where things can go wrong
But we keep rolling on
I know I’m no doctor but if I was guessing I’d say it was just growing pains
And painful as growing is we can’t forget it’s our ticket to taking the reins
And we’ll all be okay
We’ll be okay
Dusty trails can lead you to a golden road
I’ve been told
Can’t remember who it was but all she spoke
Will a penny for her thoughts leave me broke
Cause everyone’s around and I’m still alone
Everyone’s around right now and I’m still alone
It’s all in the manual that we’ve been writing a future instuctional guide
If we skip to add to our prefufilled dreams we’d be lost without our own advice
We’ll be alright
We’ll be alright
Dusty trails can lead you to a golden road
I’ve been told
Can’t remember who it was but all he spoke
Will a penny for his thoughts leave me broke
Cause everyone’s around and I’m still alone
Everyone’s around right now and I’m still alone
I’m halfway to misery
Some say when you go halfway there’s still plenty of time to return
Oh am I halfway to heaven
Some may say when you go halfway you only have halfway to go
Dusty trails can lead you to a golden road
I’ve been told
Can’t remember who it was but all he spoke
Will a penny for his thoughts leave me broke
Cause everyone’s around and I’m still alone
Everyone’s around right now and I’m still alone

Offering (Tim Rhodes)

One of the great passions of my life has always been the joy of choral singing. It’s something that I have sorely missed and yearned for over the past year. As I pause and reflect upon that activity in light of our inability to gather within our sanctuary, I have come to realize that the true joy in singing is not simply in the outward vocalization of words and tones but more importantly in the listening. Hearing the voices surrounding us with a harmonic blend of various textures of voice which express the human spirit. In fact, I find I miss most the unity of a simple congregational hymn sang in unison, when we all, regardless of ability or training express and hear from one another the depth of our love for all creatures of our mother earth.

Nevertheless, as we embark upon this New Year I am filled with hope and faith that soon we again may return to our sanctuary to worship and to sing together again.

Now is the time in our service when we consider how much this church means to us, and how much we can give back to our church community.

 While I have found great joy in giving to the church through music, I know that that alone is insufficient to sustain the important work of building the beloved community. As the plates pass this morning, I invite you to consider the importance of this church in your lives, and to give generously. The morning’s offering will now be received.

Hymn

“I’m On My Way”

I’m on my way to the freedom land. (x3)
I’m on my way, great God, I’m on my way.

I asked my sister, come and go with me. (x3)
I’m on my way, great God, I’m on my way.

I asked my brother, come and go with me. (x3)
I’m on my way, great God, I’m on my way.

If they say no, I’ll go anyhow. (x3)
I’m on my way, great God, I’m on my way.

I’m on my way, and I won’t turn back. (x3)
I’m on my way, great God, I’m on my way.

Benediction (Rev. Coleman)

Music (All Souls Choir)

“Walk in Jerusalem” (Rollo Dilworth)