Our first on-line service

All Souls Church Unitarian Universalist

Order of Service for March 22, 2020

At The Outset of the Outbreak

Rev. Shayna Appel


Our Buddhist friends tell us that pain is inevitable, but suffering is optional. Could the same be said of fear and anxiety? As we gather for the first time in this new realm of virtual worship, how is it with your soul? Following the service there will be a time for virtual fellowship – a time for us all to chat on-line. So, grab a cup of coffee and your most comfortable chair and we’ll see you Sunday!

Working Out the Kinks

Arrive” early (9:30-9:50am) to our virtual worship space and let us help you work out your technical glitches!

Welcome & Announcements

A Message from UUA President Susan Frederick-Gray

PreludeClassical Gas

Mason Williams; Guitar

Deborah Henson-Conant; Harpsichord

Opening Words Hoping, Trusting for So Many Things By Katie Kandarian-Morris

Here we have come into this sacred space—

quieter now with our readiness

Hushed voices, hoping, trusting for so many things:

For connection, for communion

For inspiration, for information

For healing, for wholeness,

For words, for music,

For celebration and consolation,

Here we have come into this space bringing all of who we are,

Let us be willing… however we are changed.

Chalice Lighting

Afraid of the Dark by Andrew Pakula

In sightless night, terrors draw near

Nameless fears of talon and tooth

Hopelessness yawns before us—an abyss

Alone and unknown in the gloom, longing for the dawn

O sacred flame blaze forth—wisdom brought to life

Guide us

With the light of hope

The warmth of love

The beacon of purpose and meaning

Because we are all afraid of the dark

Let there be light


Caravan of Love by Burns & Kristy

Time for All Ages Rev. Megan Lynes & Co.


Nelson Mandela

Time and again, I have seen men and women risk and give their lives for an idea. I have seen men stand up to attacks and torture without breaking, showing a strength and resiliency that defies the imagination. I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. I felt fear myself more times than I can remember, but I hid it behind a mask of boldness. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.”

How to Overcome Anxietyby Thich Nhat Hanh

Someone asked me, ‘aren’t you afraid about the state of the world? ‘I allowed myself to breathe and then I said, ‘what is most important is not to allow your anxiety about what happens in the world fill your heart. If your heart is filled with anxiety, you will get sick, and you will not be able to help.’ There are wars – big and small – in many places, and that can cause us to lose our peace. Anxiety is the illness of our age. We worry about ourselves, our family, our friends, our work, and the state of the world. If we allow worry to fill our hearts, sooner or later we will get sick.

Reflection At the Outset of the Outbreak

How are you all doing? Have you had a real moment, a quiet moment, enough of a moment to give that some thought? Or are you figuring, in light of everything else you’re trying to manage, that you’ll think about that later?

Maybe you are still in a state of disbelief at all that has changed in the course of two short weeks. Maybe you are busy trying to accommodate to all those changes. Maybe your focus is on the communities of people you serve. Maybe your focus is on your own family and friends.

Some of us are, no doubt, worried about our own chances of surviving this pandemic. Some of us are more concerned about losing people we love. Some of us are likely still trying to wrap our heads around the potential for human loss that could still be before us. Some of us prefer not to go there.

I imagine that some of us are beginning to struggle with the isolation we must now endure for a time. I imagine others of us are wishing we could find a little isolation!

Are you a parent who has been conscripted to the ranks of our nations educators? Are you an adult child of elder parents who must now care for those you love from afar? Are you the spouse of a life partner who is struggling, or maybe the struggling life partner finding it difficult to be there for your spouse?

No matter who you are, or how you are dealing with the Coronovirus Pandemic of 2020, you are welcome here, with all “that”!

I’ve been thinking a lot these last weeks about a priceless Buddhist teaching I learned of a long time ago. It’s that, pain is inevitable, but suffering is optional. It means that pain in life is unavoidable. To live is to feel pain at some point or another. But what we choose to do with the pain leaves it either as pain alone, or we add meaning to it in such a way as to cause ourselves or others suffering. Another way to think about this is that pain is just pain until we turn it into suffering.

This is kind of hard to wrap ones mind around without understanding the breadth and depth of the Buddhist practice of mindfulness and being in each moment. It’s hard to understand without a comprehension of un-attachment. It may be entirely incomprehensible unless one practices some aspect of Buddhism.

But it got me thinking about fear and anxiety and I wondered if the same theory could be cross referenced. Is it possible that fear is inevitable, but that anxiety might be optional? If it is, that would truly be good news in these times!

A few moments ago we heard some words by Thich Nhat Hanh in which he seemed to say that anxiety is fear we allow to get into our hearts. And if we allow this, it will make us sick and we will be unable to help ourselves or others! Yes, there is tremendous suffering in our world right now, but knowing this need not paralyze us. Adding worry to our legitimate fear won’t accomplish anything – it won’t change the situation we find ourselves in one bit. What it WILL do is make matters worse.

If one is a Buddhist, one combats allowing fear to become anxiety by practicing mindful breathing, mindful walking, mindful sitting, and working in mindfulness. For those of us who are not practicing Buddhists, or for those of us who’s Buddhist practices are not all they could be, I recommend two things. First, try to keep your mind in the present. What is fearful in the moment can become incredibly anxiety producing when we put ourselves into a future we can’t possibly know. Second, find a way to be of use. We all have people to look after right now, or people we could be looking after. Do what you can during this time of trial, and trust that it is enough.

And remember, not being anxious isn’t the same thing as not having fear. Fear is a natural and healthy response to something as threatening as Covid-19. But be courageous in the face of your fear. As Nelson Mandela tells us, courage is not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. It is the difference between having fear, and allowing fear to have us.

Finally friends, in these difficult times, don’t forget the power of prayer. Because prayer allows us to connect to that which is greater than us, or that which is the still small voice within us. Prayer calls us to be intentional about quieting our hearts, our minds, our souls and whole selves. In prayer we find the courage to go on, the presence of loved one’s here and gone who remind us that we are not alone. In prayer we find strength within and resources we might otherwise miss.

For our friends and families, for our communities, for world leaders and healthcare workers, for those who have died, for those who are sick, for those who are heartbroken…we pray.


We Pray by Nick Page

Stewardship Moment Leslie Kinney

Closing Words
Lockdown by Brother Richard Hendrick

Yes there is fear.

Yes there is isolation.

Yes there is panic buying.

Yes there is sickness.

Yes there is even death.


They say that in Wuhan after so many years of noise

You can hear the birds again.

They say that after just a few weeks of quiet

The sky is no longer thick with fumes

But blue and grey and clear.

They say that in the streets of Assisi

People are singing to each other

across the empty squares,

keeping their windows open

so that those who are alone

may hear the sounds of family around them.

They say that a hotel in the West of Ireland

Is offering free meals and delivery to the housebound.

Today a young woman I know

is busy spreading fliers with her number

through the neighborhood

So that the elders may have someone to call on.

Today Churches, Synagogues, Mosques and Temples

are preparing to welcome

and shelter

the homeless, the sick, the weary.

All over the world people are slowing down and reflecting

All over the world people are looking at their neighbors in a new way.

All over the world people are waking up to a new reality

To how big we really are.

To how little control we really have.

To what really matters.

To Love.

So we pray and we remember that

Yes there is fear.

But there does not have to be hate.

Yes there is isolation.

But there does not have to be loneliness.

Yes there is panic buying.

But there does not have to be meanness.

Yes there is sickness.

But there does not have to be disease of the soul.

Yes there is even death.

But there can always be a rebirth of love.

Wake to the choices you make as to how to live now.

Today, breathe.

Listen, behind the factory noises of your panic.

The birds are singing again,

The sky is clearing,

Spring is coming,

And we are always encompassed by Love.

Open the windows of your soul

And though you may not be able

to touch across the empty square,



It Is Well With My Soul by BYU Vocal Point

Extinguishing Chalice By Debra Burrell

We have basked in the warmth and beauty

of this flame and this community.

As the chalice flame is extinguished,

let us carry its glow within.

Let us kindle new sparks within these walls and beyond.



Our Buddhist friends tell us that pain is inevitable, but suffering is optional.  Could the same be said of fear and anxiety?  As we gather for the first time in this new realm of virtual worship, how is it with your soul?  Following the service there will be a time for virtual fellowship – a time for us all to chat on-line.  So, grab a cup of coffee and your most comfortable chair and we’ll see you Sunday!

If you do not have internet connection at that time,  you can join by phone at one of these numbers:

312 626 6799
929 205 6099
253 215 8782
301 715 8592