Living and Loving with Climate Emergencies: The 7th UU Principle

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Online Order of Service

Prelude:  Come Sunday by Duke Ellington  Piano: Kate Gridley  Video: John Barstow

Welcome & Pathways to Healthy Connection:  Karl Lindholm

Call to Worship: Holy Now by Peter Mayer   Steve Maier

Chalice Lighting:   Karl Lindholm & Ollie Cultrara

We light this chalice for the web of life which sustains us,
For the sacred circle of life in which we have our being,
For the Earth, the Sky, Above and Below, and
For our Mother Earth, and for the Mystery.

(by Paul Sprecher)

Time for All Ages:  The Sea Star based on story by Loren Eiseley    Poppy Rees, director of Religious Exploration 

Honoring the Children in Song:  This Pretty Planet by Tom Chapin sung by Poppy and Milo Rees

Offering: The Garden Song by David Mallet     Piano & Photographs: Kate Gridley   Montage: Richard Hopkins

Today’s offering will be shared with Covid-19 Minister’s Discretionary Fund. Contributions can be made at

Milestones and Passages: Karl Lindholm

(Future ones can be shared at

Prayer/Meditation and Time of Silence

Immortal Love by Elizabeth Alexander

Part 1: Sermon by Steve Maier and These Violent Lights Have Violent Ends by Caitlin Gildrien (see poem below)

Part 2: Sermon by Steve Maier and Mushrooms and Other Thoughts by Caitlin (see poem below)

Part 3: Sermon by Steve Maier   

Hymn: For the Earth Forever Turning 

Benediction & Extinguishing the Chalice: Steve Maier

Postlude: The Exodus Song by Ernest Gold  Piano & Photographs: Kate Gridley  Montage: Richard Hopkins

Thank you for joining us for worship!

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by Caitlin Gildrien

I don’t want to write
about California. I don’t want to look.
Did you know there were two new litters
of mountain lions in the Santa Monica mountains?
A mama can only carry one at a time. I don’t know
why that’s the thing that breaks me. It’s the world
that breaks me. We’ve broken the world.

Just past the tweet that tells me about the kittens
is a thread about Romeo and Juliet,
the Claire and Leo movie version,
and that is what I click through. How I loved that movie,
the fish tank, the kissing. I wanted to live
in a world like that, a world like this world
except slant. Better lighting, better language.

How you can understand it best
by not listening too closely. I think too much.
All the fish in that tank scooped probably from the sea;
how the sea is failing. I wanted to love someone
until they would die for me. I wanted to be the one
they would choose to carry out of the burning world.
When the fish stocks fail, when the Amazon tips
past the point for which it can compensate
with the meager reforestation it is allowed—
there should be nicer language for this in a poem,
I’m sorry. I just keep thinking of Juliet, who thought the sea
was infinite and so a good metaphor for love.

But we’re determined to find the bottom
of any bounty. They thought this continent
was boundless, too, and scraped it clean
to prove themselves its better. They.
Did you see that storm of smoke,
utterly apocalyptic, over the highway?

It makes a person say God. God, lift me
by the scruff. Or the throat, maybe.
All of us, maybe. Shake hard.
Be rough with love.

Mushrooms & Other Thoughts

by Caitlin Gildrien

My loves, for a moment I’m going to try
to look at the world and not see it dying.
It’s November, and there was a wild currant
in the snowy maple grove still green.

And there were tracks of deer and rabbit,
and there has been the scat of some mid-
sized predator on the outcropping of rocks,
probably coyote, and the redtail that nests
somewhere nearby has been screaming
and throwing her shadow on the snow.
And tiny fluorescent mushrooms
dot the half-rotten fence like Morse code,
a message from the mycelia, which
cross-hatch the earth, near-infinite network

of carbon and communication. If God
is a word for all-knowing, all-seeing,
then the fungi are the oldest gods,
Indra’s first net. Psychopomp
and underworld both. It’s true
that the forest is watching; it knows
each time a tree is felled.
I keep expecting to wake
and find the world has left us.
Yet here we are.