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June 7, 2020 | Youth Sunday, ROPE Sunday, and Bridging

Updated: Jun 25

Recording of our combined Youth Sunday, ROPE Sunday, and Bridging online service on June 7, 2020

Chalice Lighting

Sabrina and Audrey Schreck


As we worship in our separate homes this morning, we are joined by other Unitarian Universalists in lighting our chalice. In this trying time, we are seeing drastic changes being made due to Covid-19. To some of you, it feels overwhelming trying to keep up with the latest news reports and stay safe while stuck in quarantine. That's where transition comes to play. Transition, as said by William Bridges in his book "Making Sense of Life's Changes," is "the inner reorientation and self-redefinition that you have to go through in order to incorporate any of those changes into your life." You must adapt to the changes before you can grow from them. So, we light this chalice as a symbol of taking control and adapting to the changes in our life.


Opening Words

from "Seasons of our Lives" by Richard M. Fewkes


Creator of all times and seasons, and of all the seasons of our lives, we gather in this place, thankful for the days that have been, even those that have tried our souls; and hopeful for the days that shall be, even those that shall demand of us the best that we have of faith and hope and courage; till we have become one with ourselves and thee in all the seasons to come.

Introduction

Abby Schreck


Our youth Sunday this year is new and different for us all, such is the case for most things in our lives today. These may be the seasons that are trying our souls and testing our faith. As our ROPE students give their credos and move into high school and as our seniors bridge into adulthood, let us all take time to appreciate the season and moment that we are in now. It is not an easy one by any stretch of the imagination but like all seasons of our lives, we will emerge stronger into a new, and challenging, but beautiful season in our life.


"Outside Your Window"

Music, lyrics, and vocals by Holly Corteville


Panicked people mill around;

Wondering when the stores are clearing out;

Buying all the toilet paper rolls;

Every material for their home


But life is so much more than this;

Than all the media that or this;

Just look away and then you'll see;

There's so much more than you and me


There's so much more just outside your window;

Open the door and then you'll see;

You don't need to look so far;

Anything can happen in your own backyard


Quiet empty street;

a ghost town of barren trees;

Soaked up in the headlines of the latest disaster;

Forgetting that thereafter there's a world


But life is so much more than this;

Than all the media that or this;

There's trees to climb and mountains to move;

Why stay inside, what will you choose


There's so much more just outside your window;

Open the door and then you'll see;

You don't need to look so far;

Anything can happen in your own backyard


Doesn't it put life in perspective;

All the beauty in the world that we live in;

Doesn't it show how small that we are;

Maybe our problems weren't so big from the start


But life is so much more than this;

Than all the media that or this;

Just look away and then you'll see;

There's so much more than you and me


There's so much more just outside your window;

Open the door and then you'll see;

You don't need to look so far;

Anything can happen in your own backyard


Maybe our problems weren't so big from the start


Reading

"For All That Is Our Lives" by Erik Walter Wiksom


May we be reminded that all things come and go; that today’s joys and today’s sorrows will in time give way to those of tomorrow and that those of us who have strength to share today ought to do so while we can, and that those who are in need ought allow ourselves to receive, for tomorrow those roles might well be reversed. Spirit of Life, mother, and father of us all help us to remember those who are not here with us today, those who need what we have found here and those who have what we here need. May we always be open to growth and change, to movement, to grace.


Pastoral Prayer

Nate Schreck


Regarding the recent murders of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor at the hands of the police and ensuing protests in our country and around the world, I think it is important that we all reflect upon ourselves. Think about what you have done to help our Black siblings. Think about what you can do to help our Black siblings. What will you do? How will you use your privilege?


Credo

by Macy Kort


Good morning. I’m glad to be here today. Life still goes on even during quarantine. Even though life is crazy right now, I’m glad I still get the chance to present my faith to you all.


I’ve been part of this church my whole life. I started in the nursery and moved all the way up to ROPE in the blink of an eye. I watched my brother and sister give the same type of speech I am today. I learned about many different religions, cultures, and about myself along the way.


I was excited and nervous to start this new class. I tend to be an indecisive person, so picking one faith to stick with and present was thoroughly nerve-wracking. To be honest, I still don’t 100% know what I believe in. However I have a pretty good idea of what I want to say today. I am Unitarian Universalist. I always have been and always will be. I love the community here. I know that I am not limited by the beliefs of others here, but supported.


I was trying to come up with I personal story for this, but during brainstorming, I kept coming back to one memory: the summer church egg drop. Funny, right? I had to come up with a way to connect it and I think it actually provides a solid example of what I’m trying to say. During the activity, we would go up on a ladder and drop eggs that were protected by cups, plastic straws, and other contraptions we came up with. (I promise this is relevant.) The Unitarian Universalist community is my plastic straw contraption. That sounds weird, but I know I can keep exploring my faith, learn, and make mistakes with the congregation there if I fall. They will keep me from cracking like an egg on the concrete.


I will continue to follow the 7 principles and learn about what I believe with my UU family standing with me. I am Macy Kort and I am Unitarian Universalist.


Credo

by Sarah Phillips


Hello. My name is Sarah Phillips, and this is my credo. I have been going to BUC for about 4 years. My mom, Valerie, works here as the administrator, and my brother, Trent, is in 9th grade. I’m glad that my mom chose this church to go to. I think it’s important that we make informed decisions, especially if it’s something that can make a huge difference in someone's life, such as our faith. I like how this church teaches its congregants about a variety of faiths, and allows us to decide which one makes the most sense to us. The ROPE class has made me think a lot more about my beliefs, and also to think critically and question things, as opposed to being taught what is true.


When I was growing up, before I started going to this church, I didn’t know much about religion. We never went to church on Sundays, and the subject of religion made me sort of uncomfortable because I didn’t understand it. For most of my life, the only memorable religious experiences I had were at YMCA camps. In fifth grade, I went to a YMCA camp called Camp Storer with all the other 5th graders in my school. It was a whole week filled with hands-on educational experiences. The dining hall there was huge. It was our meeting place, where we would gather in between activities, and have our meals. Inside the dining hall, there was a sign that said, “I’m third.” One of the camp counselors explained to us that the sign meant that you put God first, your friends second, and yourself third. That God should be the most important thing to you, followed by your friends and then yourself. I thought it was odd that a public school would take us to a camp that promotes religion to us. I thought to myself, “What if you don’t believe in God?”


I don’t think you have to put God first. God is not a part in everyone’s life. Some people believe in God, and others don’t. I prefer to put both myself and the people I care about first. You want to be kind, generous and caring towards your friends and family, but you also need to take care of yourself.


To me, it is OK for people to have different beliefs about God. If God is your motivation to be a good person, you’re still a good person regardless. Personally, I want to be a good person to make the people on Earth happy. I’m not sure if a God exists or not, but I do know that the people I talk to and live with are real, and I can make them happy. I believe in people. I think that people can do good things for each other, even if they’re small actions. My dad, my brother and I sometimes help out at an organization called Sleep in Heavenly Peace. The organization delivers beds to families who need them. My dad transports the pieces of the beds in his van, we come to their houses, and build the beds in their homes. It doesn’t take a lot of effort to build the beds. I liked having completed something that benefited someone. Doing good is its own reward because I feel good when I help others, but more than that, I want to do good things for people because it makes them feel good, and more willing to do good things for others too. We all benefit from people doing good things for each other.


Not only do I believe in people, I believe in science. I think that science is a very powerful tool. A long time ago, when we didn’t know as much about the world around us, people used religion as a way to answer their questions. The ancient Greeks interpreted solar eclipses as a punishment, the Gods were angry with them, so their Sun God abandoned them. Now, we know that solar eclipses are caused by the moon getting in between the Sun and the Earth. The unknowns about the world have been a source of fear throughout history. The fact that science is shrinking those unknowns is a comfort to me.


There are some things that can’t be answered by science, like why we are here on Earth. For those questions, we have to look inside ourselves. For myself, I think that I am here to make a positive impact on people. I want to make people happy. I want people to have understanding, and I want to stand up for what is right. I want to help shrink the unknown. Even if my efforts only impact a couple of people, a little can go a long way. While we might find different answers, that’s okay. The answers will vary from person to person, because everyone is different. I believe that the diversity of those answers is important.


Even though we don’t have answers for everything, we are still getting closer to answering those questions every day. Science is progressing and we are learning more about the world all the time. I’d like to think that one day science will be able to find solutions to the problems we don’t have answers to yet.


Some people may put God first, but I prefer to put both myself and my loved ones first. We all benefit from people doing good things for each other. The fact that science is shrinking the unknown is a comfort to me.


I question whether there is a god that needs my faith, but I DO have faith in both people and science. I am here to do good for others, with the faith that those good deeds will spread. We will all have different reasons for doing good, whether it’s God, or just for each other. I believe the work people do with each other, and through science, can help make a better future for everyone.


Credo

by Holly Corteville


When I was younger, I asked a lot of questions. It is one of the first things we do as humans to learn more about our surrounding environment. Every time I asked such questions, I expected my parents to know all the answers. I thought, they’re adults. What don’t they know? But, unfortunately for me, even adults don’t have all the right answers, so I came to a roadblock.


My family went to a Christian church until I was in about 3rd or 4th grade. I don’t remember that much that stood out from that church. I found services very long and boring and would end up tuning out most of it. I was happy when I finally got to go to class and get away from the service. I did make friends there, but I never did believe in god in the traditional sense. If there was a god, I believed in something more abstract. Everyone in my family believed very differently. Because of this, my parents decided to come here.


Throughout my time here I became accustomed to many different religions and our principles. I started to realize how many other beliefs are out there, differing from my own, and how beautiful it was to see these people welcoming us to their places of worship. For many of the religions, I liked some of their ideas but none ever really satisfied me when it came to their explanations.


So many unique beliefs, all to answer to the same set of questions. Where did we originate from? Who or what is god? Is life fate or coincidence? What happens after death? Am I here for a specific reason? How does the universe work? Do we live in an enhanced computer matrix in which we are being used and grown by robots? I tried hard over these last years to find a definite answer to these questions, but is it fair to say each one has one answer? Is it fair to say any of them can be answered?


So far, there is not a large allotment of sufficient evidence to point in either direction being right or wrong. I like to think the beauty is that there isn’t an answer. It now gives us room to explore and ponder many different things. Because we don’t know, the door is open to so many fascinating possibilities. I would rather not know one answer. This uncertainty makes life so much more interesting and much less fixed on one individual belief. There would be no zeal in life if we already knew all the right answers. So I admit that I don’t know the answers to my questions, and I don’t particularly want to know the answers.


Right now, I will keep asking questions. Maybe someday I will think differently about them. I’m very excited to start a new part of my spiritual journey. I will continue to listen to others' beliefs and strive to live with an open mind.






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