Holding on and letting go

The following service was shared at Sophia’s Spring on November 4, 2018.  It was prepared and led by our Minister, Rev Jan Sebastian.

This is love: to fly toward a secret sky,
to cause a hundred veils to fall each moment.
First to let go of life.
Finally, to take a step without feet

Acknowledgement of the First Peoples

Song AA 72   In this familiar place

Lighting of the Candles
As the sea gathers its waters
for the next waves on the shore:
so Sophia’s people gather for loving.

As the notes of harmony congregate
for the sound of music:
so Sophia’s people cluster in community.

As the wind sweeps the air
Into great clouds of beauty:
So Sophia’s people wonder at creation.

As the call for justice is heard
across the planet in many places:
so Sophia’s people commit to work for peace
and justice for all.
Source of Love, Source of Being, Source of Life.
We give thanks for you, Sophia, breath of life.
                                            Adapted by JS from original words by Dorothy McRae McMahon

Circle of Names                

Song   AA 151 When human voices cannot sing

A time to quietly reflect
Loved ones who have gone before us…(using stones, reminiscent of the Jewish custom of leaving stones on graves – linking in with All Saints Day)                                                       

Psalm 24   from   Barbara Monda, Rejoice, Beloved Woman: The Psalms Revisioned
John 11:1-44          Martha’s perspective  by Jan Sebastian       

Reflection one and all
With a challenge to reflect on what we are holding too tightly to… bound to, and then releasing it, letting it go – symbolized by a strip of cloth (like Lazarus’ grave clothes)

Song   AA 48     God of all beauty

Notices and Offering

Joys and Concerns

Prayers for others
Candles passed around the circle and people prayed out loud, or silently, as they held a candle, before passing it on.

Song AA 39 For the bread and wine and blessing

May the love of Sophia inspire you,
And you too

Let us lift our hearts in gratitude for breath
Yes, let us give thanks for life and breath.

It is a good and joyful thing…

prayer continues…

We break this bread for our broken humanity,
For the powerful and the powerless
Trapped by exploitation and oppression
May there be healing of humanity

We break this bread
for those who follow other paths:
the noble path of the Buddha;
the yogic path of the Hindus;
the way of the Eternal Guru of the Sikhs;
and for the children of Abraham and Sarah,
the Jews and Muslims
May there be healing where there is pain and woundedness.

We break this bread for the unhealed hurts and wounds within us.
May we seek healing.

This is the cup of peace and of new life for all.
A sign of love for the community of hope.
A reminder of the call to live fully, to love generously, and to be all that we can be.

To eat and drink together reminds us of the deeper aspects of our human fellowship, for from time immemorial the sharing of bread and wine has been a universal symbol of community.

So let us share this special symbolic meal together.
Sharing bread and wine together

A moment of silence together

Community Prayer
We are grateful that we can gather in peace and can share this meal together.
We are grateful and do not take this for granted.

May we go from here strengthened by the love and grace of Sophia, Spirit of Wisdom and the example of Jesus, his call to justice and abundant life.
We are strengthened to go out with courage.

We are grateful for the blessing of this community, which connects us and springs us onward.
We are grateful for life and breath.

Blessing Song
May the blessing of God go before you.
May Her grace and peace abound.
May Her Spirit live within you.
May Her love wrap you ‘round.
May Her blessing remain with you always.
May you walk on holy ground.
Miriam Therese Winter

Service prepared by Jan Sebastian
Songs from Alleluia Aotearoa (AA) The New Zealand Hymnbook Trust, and
Songlines. Miriam Therese Winter
Music used by permission or with license CCL14970
With thanks to our musician, Betty Dodemaide


Photo Credit
Diana Gilbert

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