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    Worship at the Walpole Unitarian Church promises a rich and diverse menu this year using a creative approach to sustainable ministry!

     Reverend Elaine Bomford offers two services a month, and we draw from a large number of other professional and lay speakers. On the first Sunday of the month, we hold Circle Sunday service, a casual time to be together, discuss a topic, play and sing.


Worship Services Autumn 2019

September, October November

Unless otherwise noted, all services begin at 10 a.m.

Sunday, Sept 8 – Rev. Elaine Bomford will lead our “Ingathering and Water Communion.” In keeping with Unitarian Universalist tradition, we begin the new church year with the Water Communion.

      Bring water from your summer adventures, from your own well, or from a favorite local stream or lake. Folks of all ages are invited to share something about the source of their water, and why it is important. We mingle the waters we bring with those from previous years, and (after boiling!) save the combined waters for use in future rites of passage. 

Sunday, September 15 – A Circle Sunday held at Hastings House led by Leaf Seligman. “Listening to the Holy Fool: A meditation on radical trust and life unfolding.” I associate autumn with transition, and as my own life shape-shifts, I take heart from drawing the Fool card in my Zen Tarot deck. Drawing the card indicates that trusting one’s intuition and the rightness of things will assure the support of the universe as one leaps into the unknown. My sermon will reflect on the challenges and gifts any of us may encounter trusting the Fool. 

     Seligman, recently returned from vacationing in Scotland and leading a circle training in Massachusetts, is busy trusting the universe as her new book, “From the Midway: Stories of Unfolding Redemption and Belonging,” comes out this week. She writes, preaches, teaches, and practices restorative justice – and delights in returning to Walpole. 

Sunday, September 22 – “This Land Is Your Land” led by guest speaker and guitarist Keith Penniman. The service features the words and music of Woody Guthrie. For all ages! 

Sunday, Sept 29 – “Tashlich” led by Rev. Elaine Bomford. Tashlich means “you shall cast away.” Scholar Janice Rous says “the word ‘shalechet,’ from the same Hebrew root, means shedding, as in foliage on trees that drop their leaves in Fall.” Rev. Elaine shares her understanding of this Rosh Hashanah tradition and leads us in a ceremony of casting bread upon the waters to symbolically shed old regrets, outgrown patterns, and sins.

Sunday, October 6 – A Circle Sunday held at Hastings House led by Steve Crofter executive director of the Community Asylum Seekers Project (CASP). “CASP is a local non-profit organization with the mission of providing basic needs and a supportive community for those in the process of seeking asylum in the United States. CASP is now hosting six families of asylum seekers (14 people) in nearby communities. Crofter will talk about who asylum seekers are, why they have come to our country, and ways that we can help them."

Sunday, Oct 13 – “The Paradox of Chief Seattle” led by Rev. Elaine Bomford. “The earth does not belong to us, we belong to the earth…We do not weave the web of life. What we do to the web, we do to ourselves…All things are connected.” These phrases resound in our hearts and minds. But did Chief Seattle – Chief Si’ahl of the Duwamish people – really say them? Rev. Elaine unravels the story. 

Sunday, October 20 – “Will the Real Witches Please Stand Up?” led by Rev. Linda Goodman, Interfaith Minister. In this “season of the witch” we can see scary images of pointy-hatted hags on broomsticks everywhere. But there is a tradition of wise women, herbalists, and healers who practiced the craft long before they became demonized and persecuted by the patriarchal powers. Let's take a look at the nature-based spirituality of our crafty ancestors and ancestresses. 

Sunday, Oct 27 – “Owls: Wise and Otherwise,” led by Rev. Elaine Bomford. The eerie and beautiful sound of owls hooting in the night is memorable, like a blessing from the wild. In many respects, owls have intrigued, frightened, and inspired people from ancient times to the present day. Rev. Elaine leads us on this 

flyover view of wise and not-so-wise owls from myth, folklore, and spirituality. After Service UU World Discussion.

Sunday, November 3 – A Circle Sunday held at Hastings Parish House. Rev. Sandra Whippee, will speak on the Monadnock Interfaith Ministry.

Sunday, Nov 10 – “Letters Home,” led by Rev. Elaine Bomford. On this Sunday preceding Veteran’s Day, Rev. Elaine shares letters home written by her grandfather, Roy A. Townsend, who served in the Navy in World War I.

Sunday, November 17 – “Gather the Spirit: Finding the Divine in Community,” led by Antonia Andreoli. We UU’s are all on a spiritual journey, developing our Credos as we travel. This service presents one individual’s status report – the view from Oasis 74. 

Sunday, Nov 24 – “Ways of Saying “Thank You,” led by Rev. Elaine Bomford. Unitarian e.e. cummings wrote: 

             i thank You God for most this amazing

             day: for the leaping greenly spirits of trees

             and a blue true dream of sky; and for everything

             which is natural which is infinite which is yes....

    As we approach Thanksgiving, Rev. Elaine explores ways gratitude is expressed.

Sunday, December 1 – “Countering Islamophobia: Understanding our Muslim Brothers and Sisters,” led by Rev. Dr. M’ellen Kennedy. As Muslims are being maligned nationally and we are being whipped up into fear of Islam and Muslims, what do we really have to be afraid of? Let’s explore where Islamophobia comes from anyway and what it’s about. Come hear stories and experiences from the perspective of a Sufi (the mystical tradition of Islam) and an active participant in the national grassroots effort to counter Islamophobia for the past 8 years.

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