In the presence of these flowers,
These representatives of Creation's profound beauty:
Diverse and Unique, but Related and Interdependent,
These flowers which come to us as gifts from we know not where
And which we, in turn, choose to bring to our shared and common altar
As gifts to one another
In their presence we turn our thoughts to the mystery beyond mysteries
to the most sacred—which we never understand fully
but which we are granted revelatory glimpses of
in each of these flowers,
in each of your faces,
and through relationships with neighbors near and far
May they remind us of grace we have known in days past:
Forgiveness we have been granted, and provided.
Love, unearned and shared.
Recovery, begun and established.
Generosity, unforeseen and most sacred.
And may they inspire us now, and in days to come:
To embrace and,
To re-create beauty.
To give unto the world as exuberantly as these flowers.
Our spiritual support this morning turns, especially, to brothers and sisters around the world who share our faith (as a litany):
For the Unitarian Universalists of Pakistan, who are seeking to comfort the victims of terrorist bombings,
For the Ugandan Unitarian Universalists who have created a school for 100's of children of parents who have died from HIV/AIDS, and who are now building that school's walls, even before they have built the walls of a church, Amen.
For the Kenyan Unitarian Universalists who are recovering from the post-election violence in their country, and who inspire us through the service they provide to those who suffer in their communities.
For the Indonesian Unitarian Universalists who dream of a day when religious freedom and tolerance are common,
For the Unitarians of North East India who suffered the untimely death of their General Secretary, Brington Mylliemngap in March, but who remain inspired by his witness,
For the British Unitarians who are embarking upon exciting paths of towards justice and growth,
For the Transylvanian and Hungarian Unitarians who have born witness to our faith for so many centuries, and with whom we discover so much about ourselves,
For the UUs of the Philippines who testify to the practical healing power of our faith,
For the Unitarians of Prague and the Czech Republic, who maintain the vision of Norbert Capek, the vision which calls us to the Flower Communion today,
For all Unitarian Universalists around the world, in congregations large and small, as much as for those who, like Thomas Jefferson, must be content to be Unitarians by themselves, for all who embrace Freedom, Reason and Tolerance as hallmarks of Faith and proclaim a vision of Peace with Justice, we reach out with love and care and gratitude.
May the meaning and message of Flower Communion be alive in our hearts, inviting us to be faithful partners in the creation of beloved community, and guiding us towards right relationship with all of our neighbors, near and far.