Mark’s Service in March looked at how we could become more aware of the gifts of our lives and how we could pass them on to others. He enlarged on this theme to explore how we could introduce a greater element of exchange into the way our everyday economy works. We finished by looking at several concrete examples of
exchange economy, and whether as a Fellowship we could become actively involved with any of them. We agreed that at our AGM in April we should shorten the Service slightly to allow for a discussion of the ideas that came up.
Our Swindon meeting opened with a Reflection on a theme by Kenneth Patton “Let us know the bonds by which we are bound to one another for we are not alone.” These bonds were later represented by candles of joy and concern. Our thanks to Jean Macmaster for providing such beautiful music at short notice. Richard Gaines
then looked at the concept of prayer. Richard said that there is less in the way of formal prayer in Unitarian Services than in more traditional Christian Services. He then showed us that many of the readings found in collections of Unitarian worship material are in fact prayers. For example the responsive reading by Rev Margaret Kirk beginning “Source of Life, we give thanks for those who are willing in the midst of confusion to speak a quiet word of truth”, used in our Reflection, exemplified characteristics of prayer: recognition of something greater than ourselves, thankfulness, our sense of community and an expressed wish for help as we try to act as we think right. Jim Corrigal’s article in the Inquirer suggested to us one important element in individual prayer, concentration of attention, out of which come changes in us that can be enabling. Members recognised that because Unitarians have diverse theologies we are each likely to respond more to some prayers than others.