in the warmth of love
We gather to seek, to sustain, and to share.
We say these words every Sunday. We ask a child to light an oil flame in a ceramic chalice-shaped bowl. We begin our time of worship together. This Sunday we will all be lighting a diferent chalice – a collage of names and flames. It goes with this year’s Stewardship theme: “Raise High the Flame”. This chalice will accompany us in our month-long stewardship campaign… rather like the Olympic torch– only without burning so much fossil fuel.
On Sunday, during the Time For All Ages you can add your energy and light to our chalice “flame.” We will have colored paper flames available for you to write your name, or family names on. We want to make sure the chalice includes members, contributing friends and soon to be members. Adding your flame symbolizes your commitment or re-commitment as a vital member of this congregation.
Together we will create collage as we assemble our flames into a giant chalice. Rob Curran, our Stewardship Chair wants to remind you that: “If you have completed your annual stewardship form, you may put that into the stewardship box as well.” Your generosity will ignite excitement for the year ahead!
So let’s think about our chalice lighting words: “In the light of truth” reminds us of our commitment to being a beacon of factual information, from our comprehensive and fact based approach to sexuality education to candidate forums and public panel discussions. It reminds us to lift up parts of our society that have been hidden or neglected. As the Washington Post says “Democracy Dies in Darkness.” This is vital work we commit ourselves to each Sunday.
“In the warmth of love” reminds us that we are a covenanted community. Love calls us to affirm the worth and dignity of all people. Love calls us to respect each other and the interdependent web of all life of which we are a part. Love’s warmth is a feeling of belonging. Sometimes we forget to say “I love you” to each other. Our chalice flame calls us to feel and express that love and to be agents of love.
“We gather to seek” because we recognize that each of us is a real person, broken, perhaps and seeking ways of mending. Or we have decided on a path of growth and need a reassuring community as we discover new understandings.
“We gather to sustain” is well hidden in our words, but so vitally important. The sustaining of our community is not a job for one person, not a job for a leader or two, or delegated to a task force. It is everyone’s work… like firefighers pulling hoses together, or workers harvesting in a row.
“We gather to share” from our bounty, from our skills, from our personal experiences. It is this spirit of sharing that we wish to evoke with this year’s theme “Raise High the Flame.” Please take some time to consider your level of sharing in our congregation. What will you do in the year ahead? What can this congregation do together in the year ahead? Bring your pledge form Sunday.
But first, take a moment and relax! Friday Evening Coffeehouse, 7 PM! Come on in out of the rain to hear the jazz go down!
PS: Note our use of the Oxford comma in our chalice lighting words (for those who notice such things!)