“What is Memory?”

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Our guest speaker for this service is the Rev. Jane Dwinell, a retired UU minister who specialized in helping small congregations be the best they could be. She is the author of Big Ideas for Small Congregations, and more recently, the co-author (with Sky Yardley) of Alzheimer’s Canyon: One Couple’s Reflections on Living with Dementia. She divides her time between Alburgh and Burlington VT where she gardens and hangs out with her cats, Tubby and Pogo.Of this service, Jane says, “When my husband, Sky, was diagnosed with dementia in 2016, he set out to learn everything he could about the disease. As the years and his disease progressed, we often talked about memory, what it is, and what might be important about it. I will share some of our thoughts about this important subject given that six million Americans — and their loved ones — are currently living with dementia.” 

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“What Is Memory?”

Order of Service 
February 19 2023  

Worship Leader: Rev. Jane Dwinell

Greeter: Lois Reynolds 

Gathering and Board Greeting                           Carla Fogg

Prelude: “It Is Well with My Soul”   Phillip Bliss (1876)
Eva Greene, piano

When peace, like a river, attendeth my way
When sorrows like sea billows roll
Whatever my lot, faith has taught me to say
It is well, it is well with my soul.

Chalice Lighting by Amy Carol Webb                                 Jamie Gibson
We light this flame
For the art of sacred unknowing.
Humbled by all that we cannot fathom in this time,
We come into the presence of what we do know,
Perhaps the only thing we can ever know:
That Love is now and forever
The only answer to everything
And everyone
In every moment.

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 Words                                       Karen Tyler

Opening Hymn #360  “Here we Have Gathered”

Story for All Ages:  “Weeds in Nana’s Garden” by Kathryn Harrison
read by Marty Shaw

Anthem: Let Love Continue Long”
words by Berkley L. Moore, music by John Ireland

All Souls Choir, Tom Baehr, Director
Reading: “My Spiritual Life” by Sky Yardley               The Rev. Jane Dwinell

Sermon: “What Is Memory?”                                       The Rev. Jane Dwinell

Inviting the Offering: Our offering for this month is shared with the Women’s Freedom Center, a feminist organization working toward ending men’s violence against women while offering support and advocacy to all survivors of domestic and sexual violence, as well as prevention and educational activities to help create a community in which violence is not tolerated.             

Offertory:  Arietta  Lyric Pieces, Op. 12   Edvard Grieg (1867)
                          Eva Greene, piano  

Reflection on Joys and Concerns                            Karen Tyler                       

Reading: “Forgetfulness” by Billy Collins          
The name of the author is the first to go
followed obediently by the title, the plot,
the heartbreaking conclusion, the entire novel
which suddenly becomes one you have never read,
never even heard of,
as if, one by one, the memories you used to harbor
decided to retire to the southern hemisphere of the brain,
to a little fishing village where there are no phones.
Long ago you kissed the names of the nine Muses goodbye
and watched the quadratic equation pack its bag,
and even now as you memorize the order of the planets,
something else is slipping away, a state flower perhaps,
the address of an uncle, the capital of Paraguay.
Whatever it is you are struggling to remember,
it is not poised on the tip of your tongue,
not even lurking in some obscure corner of your spleen.
It has floated away down a dark mythological river
whose name begins with an L as far as you can recall,
well on your own way to oblivion where you will join those
who have even forgotten how to swim and how to ride a bicycle.
No wonder you rise in the middle of the night
to look up the date of a famous battle in a book on war.
No wonder the moon in the window seems to have drifted
out of a love poem that you used to know by heart.

Closing Hymn #86    “Blessed Spirit of My Life”

Extinguishing the Chalice  by Mary Edes                        Jamie Gibson
We are the living remnants of time and all that has come to pass in its wake—briefly shining lights on the way to eternity. We are only visible to the naked eye for an instant. Take this moment to shine like the star dust you are. May the light of our time on earth shine to bless the world and each other. Shine. Shine. Shine.

Closing Circle: “Carry the flame of peace and love, until we meet again.” (sung 2X)

Benediction                                                                    Karen Tyler
“Gratitude is when memory is stored in the heart, and not in the mind.”
Lionel Hampton

Coffee Hour and Conversation