A New Unity Sunday Gathering
Come together now in this place
Come together with a spirit of mutuality
Knowing that what we create together benefits all of us
Knowing that when we give of ourselves, we gain
Knowing that a light kindled illuminates us all
Let us be here together in a spirit of giving
Wild Geese, by Mary Oliver
You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
for a hundred miles through the desert repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body love what it loves.
Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting —
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.
Message, by Andy Pakula
The wild geese call. Their call is loud and raucous - like our world. Hearing it can teach us. These great large birds with their often untidy habits and their strident voices not only are part of the world, they can even fly. If they can do that, then maybe imperfect I can accomplish something as well.
There is a trick with geese, though. Geese can’t do it alone.
Geese fly in a v-formation with each bird flying just behind and out to the side of the one before it. In so doing, each bird is supported by the upwash of air from the wing-tip of the bird in front. Because of this effect, a flock of geese can fly two thirds farther than the geese could fly separately.
Invisibly, quietly, and powerfully, each goose is carried upwards by a gift from another. The whole flock lives and thrives on uplifting gifts passed amongst them.
Each goose is part of a network of support - both being supported in flight by a goose in front and supporting one behind.
We here also live raised up by often invisible gifts. We are gathered within a gift created originally 308 years ago by givers long gone. Further giving happened more than 150 years ago when other givers enlarged and improved the original gift.
And throughout that time, generous people have given their time, their money, their energy, their creativity, and their talents to this place and this community. We are here because of their gifts.
And today and every day in this community, more gifts are given and received and those gifts provide the uplift that allows us to go further and faster than we ever could alone. The gifts are many and varied. Today, we will take the opportunity to recognise those often-invisible gifts and name the generous people who have given them.
Winston Churchill said "We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give." The way we give to one another is what creates and strengthens our interconnected lives. It is giving that weaves and fortifies the bonds between us. It is our mutual giving that ensures that each of us hears, over and over, that we have a place in the family of things.
[Volunteers in the past 12 months are recognised by name and small gifts]