“The Promise of Balance”

What wonder is this greening, this promise from the Universe that the Earth is balanced, that renewal is more than possible! A service filled with the words of the poets and wise ones, traditions from native peoples who trusted that the rivers would swell, that the meadows and berries would give forth. Yet again we prepare to tip towards the light.

Click here Sunday shortly before 10:00 a.m. to join via Zoom.

It has been a year since the invasion of Ukraine, and we will honor the resilience and perseverance of the Ukrainian people, and the Russian people who have resisted this war. We will explore and celebrate the importance of music to one’s homeland, the power that music has to encourage peace, connect and sustain people through incredible challenges.   

Click here to read our protocols for in-person attendance.

“The Promise of Balance”

Sunday, March 19, 2023
Order of Service

Service Leaders: Trish Murtha, Christina Gibbons and Karen Tyler
Greeter: Lois Reynolds


Greeting                                                                                          Trish Murtha

ASC Board Greeting and Announcements                                   Ron Niswander

Prelude:   Vars. XIV, XV on a Corelli theme     Sergei Rachmaninoff
Eva Greene, piano

Chalice Lighting: “The Balance We Seek” by Rev. Sharon Wylie   Christina Gibbons
The hours of day and night are in balance.
In honor of Earth-centered traditions that celebrate this time of year,
we observe that the flaming chalice holds the elements of the four directions:
Earth, air, fire, water.
The lamp oil for earth
The air that feeds the flame
The fire we light
And the chalice itself, the cup, the symbol of water
We light our chalice and reflect on the balance we seek in our lives;
the balance we seek in our hearts;
the balance we seek in our world.

Lighting Our Children’s Chalice
We light this chalice to celebrate Unitarian Universalism. We are the church of the open minds. We are the church of the helping hands. We are the church of the loving hearts.

Opening Hymn #57 “All Beautiful the March of Days” 

Opening Words: From “Meditation on the Four Directions” by Julia Hamilton
                                                                                                         Trish Murtha

Anthem: As I Watch the Light
haikus by Andrea S. McAuslan, music by Tom Baehr
               All Souls Choir, Tom Baehr, Director

Story for All Ages: “If You Plant a Seed” by Kadir Nelson            Karen Tyler

Hymn #82    “This Land of Bursting Sunrise”

Stewardship Moment                                                                       Steve Squires

Reflection: “A Promise of Balance”                                                Trish Murtha

Inviting the Offering shared with Brattleboro Community Television

Offertory:   Cavatina        Stanley Myers
               Eva Greene, piano

Honoring the Candles of Joys and Sorrows                                    Karen Tyler

Reading: “Instructions on Not Giving Up” by Ada Limon               Karen Tyler                              

Closing Hymn #60  “In Time of Silver Rain” (poem by Langston Hughes)

Extinguishing the Chalice: “Communion with Earth and  Sky” by Rev. Stephen Shick
Christina:      Early spring awakens memories of a deeper cold
and hopes of a warmer wetness, sprouting seeds
and budding branches.
Gray trees on gray sky
screen eyes from all that lies waiting:
Trish:          The color of a million flowers,
the feathers of migrating songbirds,
the blossoming smiles of friends.
Soon we will no longer look to the night stars to guide us.
Soon the path will be lit and our task certain.
Christina:      In the warming days we will plant our future,
uprooting useless skeletons of last year’s harvest,
breaking the clods of indifference,
carefully pulling the weeds of neglect
so that roots can stretch.
Trish:        Before the harvest moon rises and we wait again,
images of still distant summer days
awaken thoughts of a time when
all is done that can be done.
Christina:      Then the harvest.
Then the transformation.
Then the baking.
Then the bread.
Trish:      All we know and love is in this cycle…
and prepares us in faith for the next and the next.

Closing Circle: “Carry the Flame of Peace and Love” (sung two times)

Benediction: “Rhythm of Seasons”                                          Trish Murtha

Coffee Hour and Conversation