© Doug Rodgers 2006. All Rights Reserved.
Mission Peak Unitarian Universalist Congregation
September 10, 2006

Opening Words

Welcome to Mission Peak Congregation. It's an intergenerational service today; the children will stay with us. There is child care for infants and others who get too restless.

Welcome Back! Today is the day we celebrate our return from summer vacations. We are back to school, back to work, back to church. Maybe we went to wonderful places, or maybe we stayed home. Wherever we have been, today is the day UUs all over the country and here at Mission Peak celebrate by pouring a bit of water from where we have been. We pour it into the common bowl. Water from the snow of great mountains, from beautiful lakes or exotic lands. Water from our kitchen faucet. It all goes into the bowl. It all comes together, just as our lives come together.

We celebrate by telling our stories to each other. But because there are a lot of us, we tell our stories briefly! And for longer stories, we have a potluck after the service. Please join us for that.

Our water bowl already has some water from last year, we will add to it this morning and save some for next year. The rest we will return to the earth, by pouring it around our tree after the service.

Tomorrow is September 11. In case we might have forgotten, the news media have been reminding us where we were 5 years ago. Let's take a moment to remember those who died that day, and in the days since.

Water Meditation

It is a good feeling to be together. So many of us, people we know, our friends, their families. People who share a common bond of this church and what we stand for. We share our stories with the water that is from those places where we have been.

But it is all the same water, everywhere and for all time. There are different bits of things in the water, maybe some chlorine from the water supply, added to kill bacteria that might make us sick. Maybe some iron from the pipes that the water flows through. Maybe a bit of silt from a lake.

But water is all the same. The salt water from the ocean carries dissolved salts and living things - little one-celled creatures that we can't see, bigger ones like shrimp and fish that we catch and eat, or the biggest ones like the great sharks and whales. They live in the water.

We carry water around with us, in our bodies. Without it we could not live, nor could any creature. Because life is about water, about the things that happen in water. With no water there is no life. Life changes, but the water stays the same. Today it is in you, tomorrow in a cloud, then in a fish or maybe a tree or a weed. Maybe another person. Water mixes and moves, divides and collects together again. Creatures are born and die, but water lasts forever, or as close to forever as we can imagine.

In you there are some bits of water that were in other people. There is likely some water that was in the body of Jesus or the Buddha. Some of the water in you was once part of a tree, some was part of a whale, some was in a great glacier, some from a beautiful lake.

Water connects us, water is our common bond. Water is what all living things share. Think about it.

We all flow from one fountain Soul. All are expressions of one Love. God does not appear and flow out only from narrow chinks and round, bored wells here and there in favored races and places, but He flows in grand undivided currents, shoreless and boundless over creeds and forms and all kinds of civilizations and peoples and beasts, saturating all and fountainizing all.

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