Part of the depth of a Unitarian Universalist faith is our reliance on covenant, rather than creed. As Rev. Melissa Ziemer-Carvill points out in this sermon delivered at the First Unitarian Church of Rochester, New York on August 14, 2003 when she served as their summer minister, a covenant is more than a promise, but a relationship between ourselves and each other, and the holy, that not only calls us to our higher purpose but also offers forgiveness when we fall short.
Rev. Ziemer-Carvill now serves the Unitarian Universalist Church in Kent, Ohio.
compassion, covenant, deepening, forgiveness, love, Melissa Carvill-Ziemer
On Not Throwing Anything Away
by Rev. Melissa Ziemer-Carvill
Here’s a little quiz. The words to our opening hymn, Come, Come Whoever You Are, are from a poem by the 13th century Sufi mystic Jelalludin Rumi. There are many adaptations of the poem, but most of them include a line omitted from our hymnal. See if you can pick it out.
“Come, come, whoever you are Wanderer, Worshiper, Lover of Leaving, Ours is no caravan of despair Though you have broken your vows a thousand times… Come, yet again, Come.”
Did you catch it? Though you have broken your vows a thousand times . . . We leave that one out, but I think it is such an important line. We need to know that we are not the only ones who break our vows. We need to know that imperfection is part of the human condition, that we can fail again and again and still, we are welcome.