Small Group: Myths

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First UU Church of Nashville Covenant Group Session Plan #141
Meghann Robern, Intern Minister

December Worship Theme: Gratitude

Opening Words: Thomas Merton, adapted (Lifting Our Voices #43)

We are living in the greatest revolution in history–
a huge spontaneous upheaval of the entire human race:
not a revolution planned and carried out
by any particular party, race, or nation,
but a deep elemental boiling over
of all the inner contradictions that have ever been,
a revelation of the chaotic forces inside everybody.
This is not something we have chosen,
nor is it something we are free to avoid.

Chalice Lighting and Covenant

Check-In and Sharing


“As you may have heard, the first film in the third Star Wars trilogy will be opening around the country this coming Friday. You may have also noticed how this is a big deal. It threads my own generation, who were the first to be captured by Hero’s quest pasted onto a space opera with verve and panache. But also it also threads together the generation following who lived into the much higher production values and rather darker themes of the prequel trilogy. And now it looks like that thread will be running through a third generation, who already knew all six of the previous films looping them as technology allowed, as many times as their hearts desired.

Many who wonder at the staying power of these films over generations have pointed to that connection to Joseph Campbell’s Hero With a Thousand Faces, with its thesis of a great myth that plays out in culture after culture. Now I watch a third generation caught up in this story with at least as much enthusiasm as so many of us felt in May of 1977, and I find it hard to argue with Professor Campbell’s premise.”

(excerpt from a homily given by James Ishmael Ford at Pacific Unitarian Church in Rancho Palos Verdes, CA on 13 December, 2015)

Even if you’re not a fan of Star Wars, the idea of mythology and archtypes as fundamental to human development through storytelling is compelling. Often these stories, that are told over and over again in different iterations, are not factually true, like a historical document, but are true in what they teach us about each other and living in right relationship. They help us discern not only what is worth fighting for, but how we fight when the time comes.

What stories have informed your development as an individual? As a person in relationships with others? What stories have you discovered you interpret very differently from someone else? How did you react? Have you ever started a relationship with someone (friendship counts!) based on a shared love of a story?

What stories are precious to you, and why?

Closing Check-Out and Chalice Extinguishing

Closing Words: Rebecca Parker, adapted (Lifting Our Voices #47)

Your gifts
whatever you discover them to be
can be used to bless or curse the world.
The mind’s power,
The strength of the hands,
The reaches of the heart,
the gift of speaking, listening, imagining, seeing, waiting
Any of these can serve to feed the hungry,
bind up wounds,
welcome the stranger,
praise what is sacred,
do the work of justice
or offer love.
Any of these can draw down the prison door,
hoard bread,
abandon the poor,
obscure what is holy,
comply with injustice
or withhold love.
You must answer this question:
What will you do with your gifts?


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