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Chalice Lighting Words, Ordination Ceremony, March 29, 2014

Words for Chalice Lighting by Roger Jones

Ceremony of Ordination of Amy Moses Lagos to the UU Ministry

Saturday, March 29, 2014, in San Francisco

Good afternoon. When Amy Moses-Lagos was growing up in Springfield, Illinois, she attended the Abraham Lincoln Fellowship, Unitarian Universalist, now the Abraham Lincoln Congregation.

I know this, because when she was six, I was one of her Sunday School teachers there, when I was younger then, than she is now. Of course, this means that of everyone in this room who has had a formative influence on Amy as a Unitarian Universalist, I had the earliest influence, and therefore I guess the most profound…unless you count her mother, brother and sister, who are also here

Back then, in that congregation, at the start of every Sunday service, a child would lead the congregation in words for lighting the chalice.

Those words, and ours today, are combined from two sources: the late Rev. Elizabeth Selle Jones, now departed, the minister emerita of our church in Livermore, and from a Passover Haggadah, whose words are in the gray hymnal.


This flame affirms the light of truth, the warmth of community, and the fire of commitment.  [Selle Jones]

Please repeat each line after me:

 May the light we now kindle -PAUSE

Inspire us to use our powers -PAUSE

To heal and not to harm, -PAUSE

To help and not to hinder, -PAUSE

To bless and not to curse, -PAUSE

To serve you, Spirit of Freedom!


So may it be.


Thanks for the Memories: Gratitude and Farewell to Doug and Erika

Reflections on the occasion of the retirement of our Lead Minister, the Rev. Douglas Kraft.  His farewell service with us will be Sunday, June 30, at 10:00 AM.  We expect a very large crowd. Religious Education ArtWorks!  will take place at 10:00 but the kids and youth start in the sanctuary; if you are coming with kids, please arrive at 9:45 so they can be signed in and can make a name tag before the service begins.  


It’s an amazing achievement in these times for a congregational ministry not only to last 13 full years but also to deepen and thrive every year, as is the case here at UUSS.  This is one of the longest ministerial tenures in this congregation’s 140-year history!

Congratulations to Doug and this congregation on all the institutional and physical accomplishments of this era.  I trust that you are remembering the campus improvements, spiritual insights, poignant moments, challenges overcome, and other special times that have marked the relationship between UUSS and Doug.

Though I’ve known Doug since his arrival in our UU Pacific Central District in 2000 (when I was the minister in Sunnyvale), the past five years have been for me the richest part of our connection.  Serving this congregation with such a wise, playful, deep-hearted, multi-talented and compassionate colleague has been the most enriching and unforgettable part my ministerial career.  So I am wistful that our working relationship is coming to an end.  I feel deeply sad, but also I feel greatly blessed.

This is a big transition for us at UUSS, but it’s a bigger one for Doug and his family, especially his wonderful wife, editor, partner and co-parent, Erika.  They moved to Sacramento from New England in order for Doug to accept the call to this congregation, so Sacramento and this church have been linked in their experience and their minds ever since the year 2000.   Furthermore, this is their last settled ministry in a congregation after a long career of gifted and gracious commitment and service.

We send them our deepest thanks and blessings to them.  Namaste!