Faith CoLab: Tapestry of Faith: Faith Like a River: A Program on Unitarian Universalist History for Adults


Activity time: 5 minutes

Materials for Activity

  • Chalice, candle, and lighter or LED battery-operated candle
  • Optional: Decorative cloth

Preparation for Activity

  • Set up a worship or centering table with the chalice and (optional) decorative cloth.
  • Optional: Invite a participant in advance to act as chalice lighter or reader to make the workshop more participatory.

Description of Activity

Light the chalice with these words by Alfred Storer Cole, a 20th-century minister and professor at the School of Religion of Tufts University, written in 1959:

Touch not my lips with the white fire

From the glowing altar of some peaceful shrine.

Thrust not into my hands the scroll of wisdom

Gleaned through the patient toil of the centuries;

Give me no finished chart that I may follow

Without effort or the bitter taste of tears.

I do not crave the comfort of the ancient creeds,

Nor the sheltered harbor where the great winds cease to blow;

But winnow my heart, O God; torture my mind

With doubt. Let me feel the clean gales of the open sea,

Until thy creative life is my life and my joy;

One with the miracle of Spring and the blowing grain,

The yearning of my fellowmen and the endless reach of stars.