We began receiving thematic resources for worship, religious education, and small group ministry from Soul Matters Sharing Circle in the fall of 2016. Someone asked me if this means we get “canned” sermons or services – in others words, sermons or services wholly constructed by some person or committee unconnected to UUFB. The answer is “No.” So, what do we receive?
Our subscription is for the monthly packets of resources, all related to a specific theme. The packet I use most is the Worship Resources, which contains:
- Suggested opening, chalice lighting, & closing words
- Suggested meditations, prayers, & blessings
- Suggested readings & music
- Suggested stories for all ages
- “Sermon seeds” – quotes or angles from which to approach the theme
- Suggested sermons – links to print or audio files of sermons others have preached on similar themes. Note that we’re not given permission to reproduce these, simply to use them as research.
- A list of “Calendar Connections” – Holidays of other faiths, significant dates in Unitarian/Universalist/Unitarian Universalist history, national/cultural dates of significance, and even some fun “holidays”
Some months we use the packets for worship extensively, drawing from the resources for different elements of the service or finding inspiration in a particular piece of music. Other months we might utilize the packets less, and still find just the right reading or call to worship.
This month’s theme is Resilience, the ability to persevere, to survive, to make it through whatever life throws at us. I’m drawing inspiration from the introduction to the theme written in the small group resource packet right now. In essence, resilience is more than one person persevering. We persevere and survive when we know we’re not alone.
We are stronger together than we are individually. I often quote my colleague, Theresa Soto. Soto’s wise words are simple: “All of us need all of us to make it.”
Come, let us worship – and develop resilience – together.
Rev. Lori Hlaban