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Readings: “Anyone's Ministry

Also appropriate as Meditation Manuals

Ministry is

  • a quality of relationship between and among
    human beings

    that beckons forth hidden possibilities;
     
  • inviting people into deeper, more constant
    more reverent relationship with the world
    and with one another;
     
  • carrying forward a long heritage of hope and
    liberation that has dignified and informed
    the human venture over many centuries;
     
  • being present with, to, and for others
    in their terrors and torments
    in their grief, misery and pain;
     
  • knowing that those feelings
    are our feelings, too;
     
  • celebrating the triumphs of the human spirit,
    the miracles of birth and life,
    the wonders of devotion and sacrifice;
     
  • witnessing to life-enhancing values;
    speaking truth to power;
     
  • speaking for human dignity and equity,
    for compassion and aspiration;
     
  • believing in life in the presence of death;
    struggling for human responsibility
    against principalities and structures
    that ignore humaneness and become
    instruments of death.

It is all these and much, much more than all of
them, present in

  • the wordless,
  • the unspoken,
  • the ineffable.

It is speaking and living the highest we know
and living with the knowledge that it is

  • never as deep, or as wide
    or a high as we wish.

Whenever there is a meeting
that summons us to our better selves, wherever

  • our lostness is found,
  • our fragments are united,
  • our wounds begin healing,
  • our spines stiffen and
  • our muscles grow strong for the task,

there is ministry.

Source:

Singing in the Night: Collected Meditations, Vol. 5 edited by Mary Benard. Skinner House, 2004.

Copyright: The author has given Unitarian Universalist Association member congregations permission to reprint this piece for use in public worship. Any reprints must acknowledge the name of the author.

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Last updated on Wednesday, February 27, 2013.

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