Listening to Learn

Published by FirstUUAdmin on

Monica McNeal and Rev Michelle engage in conversation about racial justice and the ways that deep listening can help with much needed culture shifts, both in our church and society. Using role play and honest dialogue, they will explore common micro-aggressions and imagine the ways that deep listening can lead to more genuine, caring interactions.

Our opening words this morning are “Meditation on Opposites” by Alex Kapitan

Spirit of the universe…
We ask you to help us see beyond our dependence on opposites—
To transcend our desire to know who is like us, and who is not.
In this room there are people who embody juxtaposition,
who can tell stories written on their bodies about both and neither…
Help… to deeply listen,
and to truly know one another….

Building Bridges

Words: The Women of the Greenham Common peace occupation in England, 1983
Music: Contemporary English Quaker Round
Used with permission
performed by Emily McKinney

Motherless Child

John and Ruby Lomax 1939 southern states recording trip (AFC 1939/001), American Folklife Center, Library of Congress
performed by Marilyn Day

Motherless Child is found in our hymnal although the words used today are from a Peter Paul and Mary version. It is said to be a traditional negro spiritual dating from the middle 1800s. As with stories passed down through the ages, there are many versions of the melody and rhythm. The gut wrenching pain of loss, or being lost, are evident, yet the joy of finding your own way can be heard as well. We simply need to listen.

– Emily, Music Director

Sheep May Safely Graze

by J. S. Bach
performed by Eva Riebold

This J. S. Bach piece written in 1713 evokes a pastoral scene with perhaps a watchful shepherd and the tinkle of bells as the sheep move peacefully in the fields.

– Emily, Music Director


by LEA
Used with Permission

Lea Morris is a gift to the world, and in particular our Unitarian Universalist world. We are grateful for her willingness to share herself and her music with us. Lea once wrote on her blog “We are, all of us, here to experience a relationship with the rest of Life. By knowing others, we come to know ourselves. That is regardless of whether we easily love these so-called others, misunderstand them, eat them or visit briefly with them on our daily walks.” As we hear and see Lea singing the song “Listening,” may we feel our connections with one another and the living world around us a little more deeply.

– Emily, Music Director

Our closing words are “Be True, Be Well, Be Loving” by Cynthia Landrum

We leave this gathered community,
But we don’t leave our connection,
Our concerns, our care for each other.
Our service to each other, to the world, and to our faith continues.
Until we are together again, friends,
Be strong, be well, be true, be loving.

Categories: Sermon