John and Sarah Gibb Millspaugh
Web of All...of life, death, and renewal: We open our hearts to those who suffer as a result of the
wildfires. We have seen–on our televisions, in our newspapers, outside
our windows–the pillars of smoke rising by day,the flames–tall as buildings–illuminating the sky at
night.Landscapes once familiar have turned alien. The sun has turned red as blood, the earth and the plants
turned black,the air filled with ash that drifts like snow. We have lost our homes and ecosystems, human and animal
life,And our sense of stability.We have been reminded that all earth's creatures must one day succumb to death's patient insistence.
Spirit of Life and Love,In testing times like these we stand in awe before the
mystery.In these days of fire some of us have fled our houses in
great haste, And some of us, as quickly, have opened our homes to the
stranger.We have seen death sweep the landscape, but we know life will renew itself, that the forests will
rise again,ecosystems will fill with life, and future homes will fill
with love. We know life renews itself even now, as human good springs up in the face of disaster,and women and men reach out to one another within
neighborhoods and across the continent, serving one another across every
all... of life, death, and renewal,Through all the seasons of our lives,May we find the courage to reach out in sympathy or need. May we feel within us the life force that stirs under the embers, waiting to be
reborn.May the compassion and care we have found amidst the
flamescarry us now and remain with us as we move into those times
and placeswhere we might more easily close our hearts.We pray for strength, and finally we pray for gratitude:for all that is not lost, and all that we can rebuild.May we be the rebuilders.
Shalom, Salaam, Namaste, Blessed Be, and Amen.This prayer was
written on October 24, 2007, by Rev. John Gibb Millspaugh, minister of Tapestry,
a Unitarian Universalist (UU) Congregation in Mission Viejo, California, and Rev. Sarah Gibb Millspaugh, Adult Programs Director for
the Unitarian Universalist Association. The Santiago fire, which had burned almost 20,000 acres that night, came within four miles of the Tapestry congregation's building
and rained ash upon it. Several families in the congregation (and Rev. John Millspaugh's parents) were evacuated
from their homes; many more families opened their homes to the
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Last updated on Tuesday, February 19, 2013.
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Red Sun near the Tapestry UU congregation during the fire.
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