Building Grassroots Power


Chalice lighting

How do you feel now? Right now?
Are you full of joy?
Are you near tears?
Are you resilient – strong enough to bear any adversity?
Are you fragile, feeling like the slightest thing could knock you down?
Are you filled with hope, confident that things will get better?
Are you despairing – feeling as though nothing you do can make a difference?
Find your strength here. Find your hope here.
Together, we are more powerful than we can imagine.
When we join our strength with others, we can change lives and change the world.
May this light remind us of the power we carry
And guide us to channel it for love and for justice

Reading: by Luisah Teish

“There are times when I look at what human history has been and I say, Oh, OK, there have always been people like us who get a momentum started and then it dies down and nothing becomes of it. And it’s a hundred years or so before those thoughts are resurrected. But there’s a little voice in my ears that insists that I continue. It insists that something really important is happening here, something that is going to have an effect here for years. Something that is going to make a significant change in the world.”

Reading: People Have the Power, by Patti Smith [adapted]

I was dreaming in my dreaming

Of an aspect bright and fair

And my sleeping it was broken

But my dream it lingered near

In the form of shining valleys

Where the pure air recognized

Oh, and my senses newly opened

And I awakened to the cry

And the people have the power

To redeem the work of fools

From the meek the graces shower

It's decreed the people rule

People have the power

Vengeful aspects became suspect

And bending low as if to hear

Well, and the armies ceased advancing

Because the people had their ear

And the shepherds [told] the soldiers

And they laid among the stars

Exchanging visions, laying arms

To waste in the dust

In the form of shining valleys

Where the pure air recognized

And my senses newly opened

And I awakened to the cry

People have the power

Where there were deserts, I saw fountains

Like cream the waters rise

And we strolled there together

With none to laugh or criticize

There is no leopard and the lamb

And lay together truly bound

Well I was hoping in my hoping

To recall what I had found

Well I was dreaming in my dreaming

God knows a pure view

As I lay down into my sleeping

And I commit my dream with you

People have the power

The power to dream, to rule

To wrestle the earth from fools

But it's decreed the people rule

But it's decreed the people rule

Listen, I believe everything we dream

Can come to pass through our union

We can turn the world around

We can turn the earth's revolution

People have the power

We have the power

Closing words

No matter how hard it seems right now in our individual lives or in the world around
No matter how powerless we feel at this moment to shift the burdens, to fight the foe, to find joy, to extract the venom of despair
We have more power than we know
Alone, we have the power to change our own outlook and to change the experience of others. We can find joy and bring joy.
And together, we have the power to change neighbourhoods and nations
Find your power. Let us find our power together.
Let us transform lives and remake the world.