Water service – September 12, 2010 – First Parish of Watertown, MACall to Worship – from Mary Rogers

Deep peace of the running wave to you,
Of water flowing, rising and falling,
sometimes advancing, sometimes receding
May the stream of your life flow unimpeded!
Deep peace of the running wave to you!

Welcome to this house of peace. Here may you find rest and comfort from the crashing waves of the world that advance upon you, and sometimes feel as though they might overcome you. Like passengers on a ship at sea we are tossed and turned sometimes, and we need a place that will hold us, a place that will guide us to safety, and a place that will give us bearings to find meaningful passage, warm friendships, and moments of joy and wonder as we journey through this world. May this be that place for you. Welcome.

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Reading – “That Lives in Us” by Rumi

This is our service where we all share the water we gathered over the summer. We often talk about water at this service as a good thing – What are some of the good things about water? something that we drink for thirst, or that we swim in, or that grows plants and sustains life. But water can also be a dangerous thing. What are some of the dangerous things about water? flooding, hurricanes, storms. Sometimes we need to protect ourselves from water that is dangerous. Today I brought an oar with me from one of our kayaks. The oar is used to paddle through the waters to new places, to go on adventures over the water. Our oar also helps us steer and navigate the kayak, so we can safety travel on those waters, and eventually find our way home. I want to share a reading today that speaks of using an oar to go on your journey through life, and our journey together as a church community.

If you put your hands on this oar with me,
they will never harm another,
and they will come to find
they hold everything you want.

If you put your hands on this oar with me,
they would no longer lift anything to your
mouth that might wound your precious land?
that sacred earth that is your body.

If you put your soul against this oar with me,
the power that made the universe will enter your sinew
from a source not outside your limbs,
but from a holy realm that lives in us.

Exuberant is existence, time a husk.
When the moment cracks open, ecstasy leaps out and devours space;
love goes mad with the blessings, like my words give.

Why lay yourself on the torturer’s rack of the past and future?
The mind that tries to shape tomorrow beyond its capacities will find no rest.

Be kind to yourself, dear, to our innocent follies.
Forget any sounds or touch you knew that did not help you dance.
You will come to see that all evolves us.

If you put your heart against the earth with me,
in serving every creature, our Beloved will enter you
from the sacred realm
and we will be, we will be so happy.

Blessing of the Waters – from Calvin Dame

(L) Just as this water is gathered from many sources and is now poured into one container, may we now see our lives and spirits gathered into one community.

(R) Just as this water has the potential to sustain life and to cause living things to grow and become, may we recognize our own loving capacities to nurture and sustain life.

(L) Just as this water, when combined with other water, has the potential to turn the wheel, to float the boat, to wear away the rock of the river bed, let us not forget our own power, insignificant alone, but capable of moving mountains when joined in common struggle.

(R) Just as this water has the potential to clean the world, to refresh and refurbish, let us remember our own ability to see the world anew, washed fresh and sparkling with possibility.

(Everyone) Gentle and gracious spirit, who gives us everything we have, thank you for this sweet water, thank you for the life we share. Amen.

Closing Words – from Mark deWolfeKnow that the love which blooms inside you is stronger than fear, for people who love find strength they didn’t know they had. Know that the love inside you is stronger than illness, for people who love hang in when physical health is gone. And known that love is indeed stronger than death, for people who love are like stones tossed into a pool: the circles of love radiate out and echo back long after the stone has come to rest at the bottom. So remember your love as a source of strength; remember who you are; lovers tossed by these difficult times.