Celestial Lands The Religious Crossroads of Politics, Power, and Theology

The first spoken words in the Hebrew Bible

The first spoken words in the Hebrew Bible are “Let there be light.” Let there be light today as we once again gather in community. Let us feel the light within each of us burn brighter. Let us feel the light of each others’ lives surround us. Let us feel the light of the new year that begins for so many of us, not in January, but in the early days of September.

Let this chalice light represent what brings us back to our beloved community – the gifts of friendship, of wisdom, of insights, of encouragement, of support. Let this light remind of us our history, our knowing, our shared silence and our shared laughter, our shared tears and our shared hope for our futures.

May our lights be rekindled – as individuals, as friends, as family, as church community.

Let there always be light.

— Rev. Debra W. Haffner

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