The Unitarian flaming chalice

Readings for Worship Services

You’re invited to participate in our Virtual Worship Services!

On this page, you will find readings posted for upcoming online worship services.  We use this page to share readings we are inviting people to record themselves and then send to us for inclusion in an upcoming service.  We are discovering a variety of ways that all of us can participate from a distance.

for December 20th, 2020 — a Christmas Pageant Rap

We are looking for people to share a video of them rapping a section of our newly commissioned Christmas Pageant Rap to be premiered on December 20th! Sections must be recorded as video (not just audio). Send files directly to jeffbarzsnell[at] by Friday, December 18th. Any questions, email or call Jeff.

Click here for the full text of the Christmas Pageant rap.

for December 27th, 2020— A Brave and Startling Truth by Maya Angelou
from Celebrations: Rituals of Peace and Prayer.

We are looking for 3 groups or individuals to record the assigned sections specified below while walking outside at a slow pace and speaking directly to the camera.  Have someone record you on an iPad or mobile phone and send files to jeffbarzsnell[at]

Note: be careful of windy conditions since it will affect the audio quality.

Any questions, email or call Jeff.

1st Group:       Section 1, 4 & 7

2nd Group:       Section 2, 5 & 7

3rd Group:        Section 3, 6 & 7


When we come to it
When we let the rifles fall from our shoulders
And children dress their dolls in flags of truce
When land mines of death have been removed
And the aged can walk into evenings of peace
When religious ritual is not perfumed
By the incense of burning flesh
And childhood dreams are not kicked awake
By nightmares of abuse


When we come to it
Then we will confess that not the Pyramids
With their stones set in mysterious perfection
Nor the Gardens of Babylon
Hanging as eternal beauty
In our collective memory
Not the Grand Canyon
Kindled into delicious color
By Western sunsets


Nor the Danube, flowing its blue soul into Europe
Not the sacred peak of Mount Fuji
Stretching to the Rising Sun
Neither Father Amazon nor Mother Mississippi who, without favor,
Nurture all creatures in the depths and on the shores
These are not the only wonders of the world


When we come to it
We, this people, on this minuscule globe
Who reach daily for the bomb, the blade and the dagger
Yet who petition in the dark for tokens of peace
We, this people on this mote of matter
In whose mouths abide cankerous words
Which challenge our very existence
Yet out of those same mouths
Come songs of such exquisite sweetness
That the heart falters in its labor
And the body is quieted into awe


We, this people, on this small and drifting planet
Whose hands can strike with such abandon
That in a twinkling, life is sapped from the living
Yet those same hands can touch with such healing, irresistible tenderness
That the haughty neck is happy to bow
And the proud back is glad to bend
Out of such chaos, of such contradiction
We learn that we are neither devils nor divines


When we come to it
We, this people, on this wayward, floating body
Created on this earth, of this earth

Have the power to fashion for this earth
A climate where every man and every woman
Can live freely without sanctimonious piety
Without crippling fear


When we come to it
We must confess that we are the possible
We are the miraculous, the true wonder of this world
That is when, and only when
We come to it.