Worship on the theme of 'Care' from 13.9.2020

13Sep20 Service – Frenchay Unitarians In-chapel/online Bring & Share service -Theme of 'Care for self/others/environ during lockdown & beyond'

Opening video

A Universal Prayer for Peace (by Eva Millauer founder of Embodiment of One Heart collaboration https://evamillauer.com ) (beautiful video images by Samora Yeboah – project for the Caravan of Unity up to 21st Sept Conference. Samora has also published book of poems Tales from the Serpents Mouth and has youtube channel https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC0kPhpoIStkiE-ufOY8_VDQ Published by permission.

- 3mins video @ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y7cStBzQKjw&ab_channel=CCECaravanofUnity

one inexplicable universe

one starlit endless sky

one green and blue planet amongst countless others

one profound mystery

as one you dance

as one you dance

as one deep, vast ocean all around

as one body of earth and rock and fire and bones and flesh and hair

one air one water one wind one breath one sun one moon

one sound

one silence

one intricate and incomprehensible web of particles and waves

and atoms and cells and empty space

one gravity

one light

one day one night

one inexplicable universe

one magnificent and magical organism of aliveness

in forever changing forms of wondrousness

one love

one heart

one true happiness shining in all eyes

as one you dance

as one you dance

the one pain of all the horrors

the one pain of all the fake divisions

the one pain of all ideas of “I” and “me” and “mine”

one pain of all the “I am good” and “you are bad” perceptions

one pain of all the fears of the so-called other

one pain of all the love-destructive forces

one pain of all the unnecessary sufferings

as one you dance as one

as one responsibility

as one heart

as one love one love one love

as one colorful and bright and shining humanity


Welcome and Lighting the chalice

The introduction video was a poem by a friend Eva Millauer who founded a group called Embodiment of the one Heart espousing the power of love from the oneness of creation to help our dance through life happen joyously together despite tough challenges. (Samora’s video on ‘Racism is a disease of the mind’, I recommend too)

The theme of these challenges today in this bring and share service today is Care: Care for self, for others and for creation, our environment. Our energy for care has been both challenged and opened up by the Covid19 Crisis and we seek to explore how this has affected us in a bring & share service arrangement. We have 4 main topic areas these might fit into:

- Lockdown, Health impacts and community care

- Economic loss & self care

- Living Simply

- Care for and awareness of our Environment

Has anyone brought any prepared contributions?

Otherwise put up your hand if you want to make a contribution at any point...

Covid, Lockdown and Health of us and others

This Covid crisis has put us through more visible social change and experiences probably than any generation since the war and it hasn’t stopped yet. This imposes much stress on individuals and society so this service is to share some of the pains and the good things about caring for each other and the environment.

These changes have made many of us See things differently bringing to the fore the Caring commitment in the NHS, then the focus added in of the Care Homes and for other Key workers. The Thursday night clap for the NHS brought communities out on the streets, meeting and chatting in new ways in a society that is changing fast spiritually, politically and facing even bigger change from Environmental action for Climate Change to come.


Let’s start with the video song written to celebrate much of the goodwill at the start of covid
You'll Never Walk Alone - Capt Tom Moore, Michael Ball & The NHS Voices of Care Choir


So we clapped the Carers and it hopefully made them feel good, because it made me feel good applauding them.

But how do we really value them in society? With their lack of PPE, shift patterns, pay &conditions.

And what does this tell us about our values in society today? A thought to hold for later.

People had many privations of Lockdown to contend with which is introduced in this local Bristol Carer Michelle’s poem describing life on the virus frontline – published in dailypost


“The alarm goes off I raise my head

Thinking of the day ahead

How things have changed in many ways

Bringing Sleepless nights and worrying days

But my role as a carer remains the same

Keeping my residents safe is my main aim

Lockdown is on, family they miss

I reassure them.. I can do this!

Social Distancing and masks I wear

Regular hand washing this shows I care

I strive to keep this virus away

With my amazing team, we can keep it at bay.

Regular bulletins from our boss

Without these we would be at a loss

Important guidance on what we should do

And a little humour thrown in there too

Covid19 you plan to be mean

But the staff at Pendine …. we’re a great team

You’re taking lives more and more

But I’ll do my best! You wont get through our door!!!”

Music Song - You’ve got a friend – James Taylor talks about How we can all be friends caring for each other. https://open.spotify.com/track/69l8nFPu0LWmnoJX7YSVYc?si=ORACyGaHTLengXLERmr7Aw

Congregation Contributions

(Lindy -Mary Oliver Poem..[[Wild Geese]. poem given by a Sufi friend: "Become the Gift" and "If the Earth" by Stevie Smith. )


This is a time of stress. It comes from the rethinking of our previous lives (now challenged) and new actions. It’s a time when we grieve the loss of those that died. Those dying from Covid were not able to have loved ones at their side often. Nurses tried their best to be caring for the patients as they struggled on oxygen support or under sedation.

Others who died during Lockdown times from other health issues also suffered and family commemorations were restricted by lockdown limitations.

We reach out a caring heart to these people.

Let’s just have a few moments quiet praying for these.

Now some tough love prose from the Lebanese poet Gilbran that drives deep about the challenges of separateness and togetherness in our caring for each other.

“Let there be spaces in your togetherness, And let the winds of the heavens dance between you. Love one another but make not a bond of love: Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls. Fill each other's cup but drink not from one cup. Give one another of your bread but eat not from the same loaf. Sing and dance together and be joyous, but let each one of you be alone, Even as the strings of a lute are alone though they quiver with the same music. Give your hearts, but not into each other's keeping. For only the hand of Life can contain your hearts. And stand together, yet not too near together: For the pillars of the temple stand apart, And the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other's shadow.”
―Khalil Gibran, in his book The Prophet


Candles of Joy & Concern

Caring for Employment or Economic Loss & Self Care

As a society the large loss in National GDP is well discussed and how we will cope with it. However the individual losses of jobs, of income stopped by lockdown, of changes in peoples purchasing habits, of relationship breakdown and the stress of being cooped up in small spaces has put a huge weight on people. Self-Care is something we must always remember, to know where our limits are and to ask for help when we need it.

We must also remember that asking for help is hard. Many ran out of money couldn’t feed themselves or their families or just couldn’t get to the shops if they were on the vulnerable list. It was marvellous to see so many help with shopping for neighbours, encourage people to go to foodbanks or help out with rent or little extras as needed. God asks us to give and receive according to our needs and our capacities. Investing is social relationships is also part of sowing seeds as in this reading

from 2Corinthians 9 v6-8 - The Cheerful Giver

6 The point is this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully.

7 Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.

8 And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work.


‘Getting to know the stranger within’ Poem by Rev Danny Crosby in ‘With Heart and Mind 2’ published by the Worship Panel of the General Assembly of Free Christian and Unitarian Churches

Living Simply

The living at home, not having to commute, cooking our own food more and going for walks has meant a simpler life in Lockdown that has beeen appreciated by many. Life was too fast, too busy and our mental health was suffering. Many are exercising more, eating better and slowing down.

However it is not the same for all. Many are having to work longer hours, many are too stressed out to sleep well or suffering more depression – Give care and help according to people’s needs.


‘Ten Commandments’ by Rev Tong McNeile in ‘With Heart and Mind 2’ published by the Worship Panel of the General Assembly of Free Christian and Unitarian Churches

Congregation Contributions on Self Care – economic/employment issues & living simply


Environmental Awareness and Care

We celebrated our walks during lockdown and many spent more time in nature. This seemed to awaken the connection of many of us to nature again as well as enjoying quieter roads and less pollution. Gaia was given a holiday from mankinds persecutions of nature but it is returning now as the economy is given priority again.

Wendell Berry said “The care of the Earth is our most ancient and most worthy, and after all our most pleasing responsibility. To cherish what remains of it and to foster its renewal is our only hope.”

This poem from his New Collected Poems collection (Counterpoint, 2012) highlights the feel of being more one with nature and the peace we can find in it

“When despair for the world grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting with their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free. “

We need to take more CARE with our environment and Climate Change is highlighting in feedback that we are not doing so currently.

Music Big Yellow Taxi – Joni Mitchell with its memorable line, you don’t know what you’ve got ‘till it’s gone.

There is much talk of doing things different coming out of lockdown with a call for Build Back Better. I wonder whether this will happen or the draw of lifelong habits and ease of plane travel will make us forget this quite quickly.

Congregation Contributions on environment impact during lockdown?


So Caring through Covid has changed our perceptions of us and society, made us do things we wouldn’t have dreamed of last year and led us to think about others and ourselves a bit more. Let’s carry on caring about all of these things with the benefits it can bring.

As I blow out the candle we will hear from John Lennon and his dream of a better world we can create by caring for each other more as we Build Back Better.

Music - Imagine – John Lennon https://open.spotify.com/track/7pKfPomDEeI4TPT6EOYjn9?si=gTqc9aclRdqlT2z8St3CqA