Tolling the Bells Online for National Moment of Silence (2021)
At 2:30pm (Pacific) on Tuesday, January 19, 2021, the Presidential Inauguration Committee has invited communities of faith and public centers to join in moment of silent remembrance, while tolling bells and lighting buildings as part of the memorial. UUSCV minister, the Rev. Megan Visser, offers this prayer in the form of a video, in which one bell tolls for every 5,000 lives lost in the United States. Just before 2:30pm (Pacific), you are invited to turn on your porch light and listen to the bells. A ceremony at the same time will take place at the Lincoln Memorial reflecting pool in Washington, D.C., and in communities around the country. Writing and video by Rev. Megan Visser.
Crafting Words for Worship
"A Saving Faith"
Based on essay in Testimony, edited by Meg Riley, 2017
I had dreams about anywhere-else-but-here
But our faith kept me close.
I believed I had done something to deserve it.
Our faith shouted, “No!”
I tried to imagine it never happened
But our faith reminded, “Yes, grief is real.”
I thought I might die
But our faith nurtured my life.
I wondered if I was worthy of love
But our faith kept loving me.
I found it impossible to forget
But our faith said, "Forgive yourself first."
I did not know there were others.
Our faith sobbed, “Many.”
Prayer for Memorial Day (2016)
On Memorial Day, we honor those who have died while in military service. The day also gives the opportunity to recognize living veterans who continue to struggle with their experiences overseas and the hardship of reintegrating their lives at home.
I’ve heard veterans speak of the “deaths” carried in their hearts and minds, friends they lost in combat, and the pieces of their own souls, forever needing repair and compassion.
When someone passes in our community, we often learn of their achievements, their hobbies and friends, and their fully human lives. On this day, we recognize veterans who served and died, honoring their fully human lives, dedicated and vulnerable, courageous and fragile.
As the memorial poet John McCrae writes: “In flanders fields,” they “lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow, Loved and were loved.”
Opening Words for Labor Day (2015)
We enter this meeting house for kindness and comfort.
May rough-worn hands and aching backs be healed.
We enter this meeting house of hope for equality.
May those who labor to survive live to know justice.
We enter this meeting house of love and vocation.
May our bonds of solidarity be strengthened.
We enter this meeting house of courage and friendship.
May we proceed hand-in-hand toward freedom.
Advent Words for Four Sundays
Words are on the UUA Words for Worship website: https://www.uua.org/worship/words/ritual/advent-wreath-words-four-sundays