Friday, June 20, 2008


On June 15, our congregation gathered to say a final goodbye to our ministers of 14 years, Revs. John Manwell and Phyllis Hubbell.  People of all ages sang together, listened together and shared flowers in our ritual of flower communion.  Revs. John and Phyllis said a special goodbye to the children and Becky helped hand out letters they had written directly to each child of the church.  (If your children weren't there on Sunday, they will be receiving their letters in the mail in the coming month.)  Each letter contained the gift of a tiny starfish, in reference to the story they shared in their last Story for All Ages for the children of First Unitarian:

Once a man was walking along a beach that was covered with starfish and in the distance he could see a young girl walking back and forth between the edge of the water and the starfish on the sand.  As the man approached, he saw that she was picking up individual starfish and tossing them back into the sea.  

The man was struck by the futility and enormity of her task.  There were far too many starfish.  There was simply no way she could reach them all in time.  He said to the girl, "There's no way you can save all these starfish."

The girl looked at the man for a moment and then bent down to pick up a single starfish and threw it into the ocean.  "I saved that one didn't I?"

At the end of the service the congregation spread out into a circle along the walls of our historic sanctuary in what has come to be a truly beautiful manifestation of our vitality as we squeeze each member of the community into the circle.  We sang together the song of farewell that all of our children are familiar with, "Go Now In Peace."  

In the words of this song:  

May the Love of God Surround You, 

Everywhere You May Go...

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