Opening to Joy: Odes to Hope
Unitarian Universalist Community of the Mountains
December 5, 2021

Rev. Kevin Tarsa, and Gail Johnson Vaughan, Worship Associate

This service introduces the December theme: Opening to Joy. Let’s face it, we are dealing with a lot of impediments to joy – an ongoing pandemic, steady escalation of extremism in our country with frightening assaults to freedom and democracy coming ever closer to home, and of course wildfires. 

    So, really, you want us to open to joy and hope. YES, and that’s what this service aims to do. Be ready for everything from a flash mob to a special embodiment of heart opening… and lots more.


Song for Gathering  There Is More Love Somewhere #95, an African American Hymn  – Jasper Waters, song leader; Delaney Sherr and Tom Wernigg, violin; Christy Sherr, cello; Rev. Kevin Tarsa, piano 

Land Acknowledgement read by Gene Gilligan

Welcome  Gail Johnson Vaughan, Worship Associate 

Lighting of the Chalice  Still So Much Good, and Beauty, and Joy… by Rev. Gretchen Haley  read by Melissa Ridgway 9:30

Opening Movement  Circle of Joy  Grace Kendrick

Wisdom for All Ages  Ode to Joy, from Beethoven’s Symphony No.9

Joys & Sorrows 

Music  Southwind played by Delaney Sherr, violin  

Prayer & Meditation Witnessing the Miracle by Andrea Mason  read by Gene Gilligan, Gail Johnson Vaughan, Melissa Ridgway, Rev. Kevin Tarsa

Song Sweet Surrender 

Reflection  Gail Johnson Vaughan  

Music  Out Beyond, text by Jalal al-Din Rumi, as translated by Coleman Barks  music by Joanne Hammil 

Homily Opening to Joy: Letting Go to Hope  Rev. Kevin Tarsa    

Offering   Gail Johnson Vaughan, with Hospitality House Development Director, Ashley Quadros  

Offertory  The Humours of Lissadell, Delaney Sherr, violin 

Dedication   Gail Johnson Vaughan 

Thank you 

Closing Song  Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee #29 lyrics by Henry Van Dyke (adapted), music by Ludwig van BeethovenJasper Waters, song leader; Delaney Sherr and Tom Wernigg, violin; Rev. Kevin Tarsa, viola; Christy Sherr, cello 

Closing Words  Rev. Kevin Tarsa  

Community Benediction / Extinguishing of the Chalice  
                   Carry the flame of peace and love until we meet again.  

Music for Going Forth