Messages of Hope

photo of golden horizon thanks to Alma, taken on a visit with Bev in Arizona 3/2019: If you look, there is beauty just outside your door. But you have to get up off the couch to see it...

"I AM WHOLE" An audio song posted on SoundCloud by Jody Scalise (1947-2022) at the end of October 2022. Click Here.
published in The Recorder Greenfield MA on 06 April 1922 by our dear friend Jody Scalise of Buckland:

Let’s pretend that in this world a child is born. The world takes notice and pays attention. They pay attention to the well being of this child. The world makes a place that is safe for this child to be. The world makes it possible for that child to have what other children have. The child is well nourished. The child is well educated.
The world makes certain that the child knows what love is. The world makes sure that the child lives in a violent free environment. The world is grateful for the presence of this child and the child knows it.
As the child grows, these same principles apply. The world cares about that child.
For the child, the world is a place of possibilities. And the world is a better place because of the presence of that child. And the child is a better child because the world cares.
The child is the world after all and the child, the world.


Our friend The Reverend Canon Edwin Alexander of Hamilton, Ontario, Canada sends us his greetings. He has shared wonderful songs on Youtube by Hugh P & Maria Doherty:
Softly and Tenderly - 'Tis So Sweet - A Living Prayer
We are grateful that Jody Scalise has shared his gifts and talents with us for many years. Written by Jody Scalise, performed with Kinda Peck, enjoy a bit of Biblical humor:
Who's God?
Heaven is better...
Getting to heaven
Jody has also shared his beautiful music: Good Morning Jesus and Hearts Like Jesus

For anyone "local" to our area, a great find on Youtube is the story of immigrants coming to Cummington, Mass. in 1945. To view this insightful documentary with views of the area just Click Here.
For anyone who is searching for a bit of kindness, please consider watching this series on BYU TV, the Kindness Diaries.

It speaks of love, generousity and adventure - you just could be changed after watching this series.

10/18/2020 Today we got to hear from Anita that no matter what the stormy seas that are upon us, we can "Adjust Our Sails". Sometime in the near future we will hear a message from Tina titled "Find Your Rock." In the spirit of God working among us, check out this wonderful song from Dennis Jernigan recorded in 2009, click here
The Ten Gnostic/Essene Commandments of Yeshua from Pistis Sophia
I will be gentle and reverent toward all life;
I will not kill or benefit from killing.
I will be loving to others and respect their property;
I will not hoard or steal.
I will have compassionate and wise relationships;
I will not abuse or use others is lust.
I will be forthright, peaceful and honest;
I will not deceive.
I will keep the temple of my body and mind righteous and pure;
I will not over indulge its desires or endanger its health.
I will cultivate serenity and goodness;
I will not gossip or engage in idle negative talk.
I will be humble and helpful to those in need;
I will not belittle or live off others.
I will give alms and cultivate gratitude;
I will not grumble or give in to envy.
I will be mentally focused and calm;
I will not give way to distraction and anger.
I will devote myself to the fourfold God;
I will not dishonor their Life, Light, Power or Wisdom.

"Stars and Stripes Forever"
played as a virtual ensemble by the Shelburne Falls Military Band, July 2020.
The Shelburne Falls Military Band began in the fall of 1835 when three farm boys, Martin Merrill, Jonathan Nims and Solomon Merrill,bartered for 2 old clarinets and an old five keyed bugle. The Shelburne Falls Military Band has been operating continually, since those early days, making it one of the longest continually operating military bands in the United States. CLICK HERE

"What to the Slave is the 4th of July?" Frederick Douglass' Descendants Deliver His 'Fourth of July' Speech, from NPR. In this short film, five young descendants of Frederick Douglass read and respond to exerpts of his famous speech which Douglass delivered July 5, 1852 in Corinthian Hall, Rochester, N.Y., addressing the Rochester Ladies' Anti-Slavery Society. CLICK HERE

" Love works magic. It is the final purpose of the world story, the Amen of the universe." - Novalis
Baron Georg Philipp Friedrich von Hardenberg (1772-1801) was an author, philosopher and poet of early German Romanticism. He is most commonly known by the pseudonym Novalis (denoting a "clearer of new land" — derived from a tradition of his ancestors, who had called themselves de Novali).

"God's Counting on Me, God's Counting on You" by Pete Seeger, featuring Lorre Wyatt on You Tube - CLICK HERE

“Let This Darkness Be a Bell Tower” by Rainer Maria Rilke

Maria was a Bohemian-Austrian poet and novelis

Quiet friend who has come so far,
feel how your breathing makes more space around you.
Let this darkness be a bell tower
and you the bell. As you ring,
what batters you becomes your strength.
Move back and forth into the change.
What is it like, such intensity of pain?
If the drink is bitter, turn yourself to wine.
In this uncontainable night,
be the mystery at the crossroads of your senses,
the meaning discovered there.
And if the world has ceased to hear you,
say to the silent earth: I flow.
To the rushing water, speak: I am.
Sonnets to Orpheus II, 29
5/28/2020 Bridge Over Troubled Water by Josh Groban & Jen Malenke, click here
.5/28/2020 The Prayer by Celine Dion & Josh Groban Live, click here.
5/28/2020 Rise Again, click here - a choir of women physicians in Canada sing. This one had me crying for awhile...during this quarantine, "rising again" is what we can all hope for...
5/28/2020 What A Wonderful World -John Foreman's Aussie Pops Orchestra click here
While we're all staying at home, the talented musicians of the Aussie Pops Orchestra, together with some amazing Australian artists, have phoned in a song for your entertainment.

5/19/2020 SGN = Some Good News click here
Every week this 20 minute show on Youtube brings the world's "good news" - the clips are full of love, laughter, and tears - check it out!

5/12/2020 We Are the World click here
1985 USA for Africa, official video sung by many famous artists.
written by Michael Jackson & Lionel Richie

5/10/2020 suggested book: CPR for the Soul: Reviving a Sense of the Sacred in Everyday Life by Tom Stella
Tom Stella’s latest exploration into the life, death, and rebirth of the soul. In CPR for the Soul: Reviving a Sense of the Sacred, Stella shares the deep, eternal wisdom that knows the lines separating the sacred and the secular, time and eternity, humanity and divinity, are false. Or, at the very least, blurred. God, by whatever name, is found in the midst of everyday life, work, and relationships. All people, all creation, and all of life is holy ground.

5/10/2020 quotes by Maya Angelou

“I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
“Lift up your hearts Each new hour holds new chances For new beginnings.”
“If you find it in your heart to care for somebody else, you will have succeeded.”
"Try to be a rainbow in someone's cloud."
5/07/2020 "You've Got A Friend" performed by the worldwide cast of the broadway musical Beautiful for The Actors Fund. Listen and view by clicking here.
In The Time of Pandemic by Kitty O'Meara. This poem has gone viral on the world wide web. To listen to it, as read by country singer Rory Feek, click here.

And the people stayed home.
And read books, and listened, and
rested, and exercised, and made art,and played games, and learned new ways of being, and were still.
listened more deeply. Some meditated, some prayed, some danced. Some met their shadows.
And the people began to think differently.
And the people healed.
And, in the absence of people living in ignorant, dangerous, mindless,and heartless ways,the earth began to heal.

And when the danger passed,and the people joined together again,they grieved their losses, and made new choices, and dreamed new images, and created new ways to live and heal the earth fully, as they had been healed.:

Basil the Great (329-379 C.E.): In celebration of Earth Day, used as Unison Prayer at our 4/26/2020 service:

The earth is the Lord's and the fullness thereof.
O God, enlarge within us the sense of fellowship with all living things, even our brothers, the animals, to whom Thou gavest the earth as their home in common with us.
We remember with shame that in the past we have exercised the high dominion of man with ruthless cruelty so that the voice of the earth, which should have gone up to thee in song, has been a groan of pain.
May we realize that they live, not for us alone, but for themselves and for Thee and that they love the sweetness of life.
I want creation to penetrate you with so much admiration that wherever you go, the least plant may bring you the clear remembrance of the Creator. …
One blade of grass or one speck of dust is enough to occupy your entire mind in beholding the art with which it has been made.

4/23/2020 'What The World Needs Now Is Love’ is the charity single sung in 2016 by Broadway for Orlando, an all-star group of artists from the theatre and pop world. Listen and view by clicking here.
4/19/2020 One World: Together at Home kicked off Saturday (April 18) evening on a wide variety of channels and streaming services, the Lady Gaga-curated event had already raised more than $50 million to combat the coronavirus pandemic. There is over eight hours of music and entertainment by artists from all over the world. You can view this event on by clicking here.
4/15/2020 He Leadeth Me a choral performance on the shores of the ocean from students of Fountainview Academy. Click here to view.
Fountainview Academy is parochial boarding secondary school, located 17 miles south of Lillooet, British Columbia, Canada.
Thanks to a very special church member for sharing the link to this performance!

4/12/2020 Happy Easter Everyone!
Andrea Bocelli at Milan, Italy "Music For Hope"
Today on Easter Sunday, by invitation of the City and of the Duomo cathedral of Milan, Italian global music icon Andrea Bocelli gave a solo performance representing a message of love, healing and hope to Italy and the world. Enjoy this wonderful collection of music and images by clicking on the YouTube link here.

04/07/2020 shared by Tina
Founded by the Lawrence family in 1885, the core ethos of Roedean School (SA) was to provide young girls with the kind of academic education that would enable them to meet the challenges they faced during this time in their struggle for gender equality. Located on Princess of Wales Terrace, Parktown, 2193, South Africa, join in visiting the continent across the sea. Here is a wonderful "virtual" Roedean student choir virtual rendition of "Hallelujah" by Canadian singer Leonard Cohen. Take a deep breath and enjoy by clicking here.

03/31/2020 shared by Gail
"It is Well with My Soul"
A group of Nashville studio singers perform an epic cell phone choir
To see and hear this incredible production on Nashville's News4, click here

A message from our friend and photographer Gail
03/26/2020 Walk and Pray

Walk and pray
Walk and pray
Left right
Left right
Kind and calm
Kind and calm
Kind and calm
Don’t worry about a little slight
Save your strength for the bigger fight
Pray for the workers on the front line
Pray for the people who’ve lost their jobs
Walk and pray
Pray and walk
Pray for all the world
Pray that God will save us.
A message from church member Doug


I cannot always remember the words to some of our old favorite hymns or the new ones, but I can't help but think of these words from one of my favorite hymns:

When through the woods and forest glades I wander and hear the birds sing sweetly in the trees,
When I look down from lofty mountain grandeur,
And hear the brook and feel the gentle breeze.
Then sings my soul, my Savior God to Thee;
How great Thou art, how great Thou art!
Then sings my soul, my Savior God to Thee;
How great Thy art, how great Thou art!

My mind quickly turns to another song:

My eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord----
In the beauty of the lilies Christ was born across the sea,
With a glory in his bosom that transfigures you and me;
As He died to make us holy, let us live to make all free,
"Our God is marching on" .

In my blindness I hope and pray that everyone can see a bright shining future for all of us. I know that my faith and trust in God will see me through.
'til we meet again,

A message from Rev. Rich Fournier, our former pastor (he served 2007 until retirement 2024)

Dear brothers and sisters,
Here is a prayer for the times we are going through and a reminder to try to not lose sight of the graciousness and beauty and love that still surrounds us.
O God, we awaken to you. We lift our hands and hearts in celebration for the gift of life. We thank you for all of this that you have entrusted to us: for the earth that feeds us, and the air that fills us, for the sun that gives us life, and the water that overflows our cups. We thank you for the resurrection that is today. And for the new covenant that you have written upon our hearts— an inside-out love which nobody need teach us— and for wisdom inscribed on the sacred scroll of our souls. During these trying and sometimes fearful times, help us to remember all the goodness around us that we so often take for granted. Simple reminders will do. They are everywhere we turn through the creativity of the Christ Spirit, and throughout wondrous universe— every body and every thing is a Post-it Note calling us back to Your ubiquitous covenant of love. Thank you for being there, and there, and there. . .Amen

Don't be anxious about tomorrow. God will take care of your tomorrow too. Live one day at a time. - Matthew 6:34

A message from Rev. J. Paul Sampley
Professor Emeritus of New Testament and Christian Origins at Boston University
Beloved friend of Mary Lyon Church
I know it's hard on that little loving community, but love will always find a way--if we pay attention and keep our eyes of faith wide open to recognize that way. Yes, it is no doubt smart to close down the community worship, but nobody can close down God's love. Seems like Paul (the first) said something along that line at the end of Romans 8.
Sally and I are with you all even though we are thousands of miles away.
We give thanks to God for everyone of our brothers and sisters in Christ who are there and who today must meet "in Spirit."

A prayer from Rev. Dr. Bruce Epperly
Pastor of South Congregational Church, Centerville, MA
Holy God, remind us to choose love and not fear. Help us to trust that the future is your hands. Guided by your love, let us choose to be your companions in changing the world. Let this crisis become an opportunity for service, hospitality and love. In Christ’s Name. Amen.

Oh God, I’m Spinning Out: A Prayer
Rev. Dr. Hannah Adams Ingram
Chaplain, Franklin College, Franklin Indiana
March 10, 2020

There is so much I do not know
There is so much I cannot see
There is so much I cannot control

In the moments I feel powerless, I will take a deep breath
trusting that I am tasked only with doing my part, not the whole

In the moments I feel unsure, I will take a deep breath
trusting that I am not alone and that together, our wisdom will be richer

In the moments I feel anxious, I will take a deep breath
trusting that there is no depth I can fall out of reach of the Spirit that holds me close

What I do know is that my life and love and worth extend far beyond my work
What I can see is that spring follows every winter and new life pokes out from cold ground
What I can control is my breath and the love I inject into a world so clearly lacking it

“And now these three remain: faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is love.”