Hope Across the Board


Opening Words

Look to this day!

For it is life, the very life of life,

In its brief course lie all the verities

And realities of your existence:

The bliss of growth,

The glory of action

The splendor of beauty;

For yesterday is but a dream,

And tomorrow is only a vision;

But today, well lived, makes every yesterday

A dream of happiness

And every tomorrow a vision of hope.

Look well, therefore, to this day.

Attributed to Kalidasa


Our worship theme this month is hope. Today we’re exploring “Hope Across the Board.” “Across the board” – a phrase meaning “applying to all,” – all of us, across the globe, across our lifetimes. Our presenter Tammy Dominguez, will be sharing how hope is important to all of us, and how hope helps us through the fears and challenges in our lives. We’ll also hear two of Tammy’s original poems.

Opening Hymn #6, “Just as Long as I Have Breath.”

Unison Covenant

Love is the spirit of this church and service its cause

This is our great covenant:

To dwell together in peace

To seek truth in love,

And to help one another.

Chalice Lighting


In sightless night, terrors draw near
Nameless fears of talon and tooth
Hopelessness yawns before us—an abyss
Alone and unknown in the gloom, longing for the dawn

O sacred flame blaze forth—wisdom brought to life

Guide us—
With the light of hope
The warmth of love
The beacon of purpose and meaning

Because we are all afraid of the dark
Let there be light                                             By Andrew Pakula

Joys and Sorrows, sharing and prayers

Poem: Fear Sometimes (by Tammy Dominguez)

Fear seems to be the
main theme
the main stream

The big thread

Through my life.



Fear looms

Large and dark

Doom and gloom

On the horizon

In my life.



Looking back

Hope seemed black

With imminent attack

But it turned out to be



It makes more sense

To be unafraid

Don’t cower

Don’t wince

Worry changes nothing

At the end of the day.


It’s better to take

One day at a time

Don’t lose my mind

Whatever will be, will be,

It is what it is

Let it go and be free.


Cling to hope

Like a rope,

Nurture the flame

Cupped in your hands

For the Universe has big plans!


Sharing the fruits of our labor and good fortune

Time for All Ages

“We’ve been talking about “hope” this month, and this morning we’re talking about how important hope is to all of us and throughout all of our lives.

I like numbers, and I have been wondering lately, if you counted all the people in the world, about seven billion or so??? And then you counted how many times each person said or thought the word hope  each day “I hope” – okay, maybe their language has another word for hope – like “Esperansa” in Spanish, or in French – LESLIE? – or Chinese “SHE wa” – xiwang. And imagine you can magically hear all of those “hopes.” For just one minute – your ears magically can hear every single person across the world if they say “I hope” – how many would you hear during that minute? Millions?

So we’re going to take a moment to think not of what we hope for ourselves, but what we hope for all those seven billion people across the globe. What would you hope for, for those people? For all people? I have a paper here for each of you – to take with you, and I ask that you take each letter, and try to think of a word that starts with that letter of something that you hope for the people across the globe or for a certain other person. and write it or draw a picture of it. Let’s think of things you would hope for, for the people of earth that start with an H – happiness, health healing, homes. Then do that with each letter!”

Gift for the children (and adults if some left over) – Rocks with “hope” on them so they never “lose hope.”

CHILDREN LEAVE FOR RE #413, Go Now in Peace, as the children leave to go to religious exploration.


Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for good and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.

Hope according to Webster’s Dictionary: To wish for something with expectation of its fulfillment. To look forward to with confidence or expectations. To expect and desire.

We even name our daughters, Hope and Esperanza

When the world says, “Give up,” Hope whispers, “Try it one more time.” ~Author Unknown

The miserable have no other medicine but only hope. ~William Shakespeare, Measure for Measure

Hope is a roving gypsy With laughter on her tongue, And the blue sky and sunshine Alone, can keep her young; And year by year she lingers Under a budding tree… ~Dora Read Goodale, “The Chorus,” in Country Life in America: A Magazine for the Home-maker, the Vacation-seeker, the Gardener, the Farmer, the Nature-teacher, the Naturalist, April 1902

He who has health has hope, and he who has hope has everything. Arabian Proverb

H.O.P.E. Hold on pain ends.

H.O.P.E. Have only positive expectations.

To live without hope is to cease to live. Dostoevski

Ben – Of all the horrors that escaped Pandora’s box, hope was the only one to be trapped within after the horrid event.

Kelly – Hope is believing that things will get better, that things I wish and pray for will happen. Hope is that there is a higher power who cares and wants good for me and my family. Hope in a bottle is antidepressants for me also. No matter what my pride says, I absolutely needed them when I felt like I had no hope.

Deb – Wanting something in the future to happen and for it to be good.

Leslie – Hope is a spark of light which illuminates the truth in dark places.

Becky – Hope is believing with all your heart that things will work out the way they are meant to.


Growing up, I don’t remember hearing the word “hope” that much, if ever. I’m not sure my parents were well-acquainted with hope, therefore, how would they introduce me?

My parents had rough childhoods; everyone does, in different ways. We all carry our own style of baggage. My own has been a lifelong, self-imposed label of “accidental bastard,” which means never good enough, never chosen, never favored. I have struggled with abandonment and rejection issues my entire life.

As a little girl, when I saw Disney movies with princesses and princes sweeping them up on a horse to live “happily ever after,” is probably when I first dared to hope there could be a happy future for me. Sadly, hope was based on fantasy. My childhood was pretty tough and due to poor choices, most of my adult life was lacking joy, peace, and hope.

Fortunately, I’ve always considered myself to be an optimist and no matter how bad the situation, I always look for the bright spot, i.e. hope.

When I was five, my mom married and that man molested me for seven years. I’m sure that during that time, I hoped it would end. I lost a lot of my childhood memories, good and bad. I’ve always hoped not to get those memories back. I feel it’s better to not know exactly what he did to me.

I married an abusive, cheating alcoholic addict when I was eighteen. I had kids with three different fathers, tried marriage five times – each time hoping it would be the “one.” Unfortunately my “picker” is broken and I chose dysfunctional men every time. It’s very hard to escape patterns learned in childhood – we carry them with us and sometimes subconsciously repeat them.

For much of my twenties and thirties, I put my hope in broken men, who couldn’t help but let me down. I was bitterly disappointed, over and over and over. Still, I kept trying, still I kept hoping.

I hoped he would behave better if we moved far from the influence of his drunken family. I hoped he would change and really love me if I gave birth to his child. I hoped he would love me if I got his green card. I hoped he would value me as a wife if I cooked and cleaned, worked and raised children. I hoped he would stop beating me if just prayed hard enough, long enough, if I was a more submissive wife. I hoped my children would all turn out to be good people if I raised them with the ideals of the church and with perfect church attendance and lots of Sunday school. I hoped this job would be the one to change my life; this degree would make a difference. This vacation would make my kids appreciate me. I hoped by moving that I could get off meth. When my drinking was out of control, I hoped to not get caught. I hoped I could quit on my own.

With growing older comes wisdom. This is a wondrous thing I wish I could have had when I still had my youth, looks and energy. Still, better now than not at all. I learned that the only person I can truly depend on is myself. Putting my hopes in a person is folly because they are human; they WILL fail. Your parents, your boss, your best friend, your spouse, your children, the judicial system, police, every system, everyone. I even disappoint myself at times. I can’t live up to my own expectations.

Hope is much thoughtlessly overused. How many times a day do you say out loud or silently a day, “I hope…” I hope I have enough gas to get to work. I hope I have enough in my account to cover that bill. I hope I can find a close parking place. I hope the lines aren’t long. I hope my total isn’t over a hundred dollars. I hope I won’t be late for work. I hope my kids behave at school. I hope this new romantic interests calls me. I hope I don’t have to be alone the rest of my life. I hope to see some long-lost relatives before I die. I hope I don’t always have to live paycheck to paycheck. I hope our current leader doesn’t do as much damage as I believe he is capable of. I hope my daughter does what she needs to do to get her son back. I hope Aliyah’s dad doesn’t get custody. I hope my mom and dad live for many more years. I hope I don’t lose any more pets unnaturally and unexpectedly. You get the point.

When I was in Europe recently, I hoped to make all connecting flights. I hoped to not get lost in Paris. I hoped the taxi would show up to take me to the airport. I hope to return to Spain.

POEM: IN THE BEGINNING (by Tammy Dominguez


In the beginning

There was confusion,

At times, chaos

But also joy

There was sorrow, then pain

Emotional and physical

But also adventure and dreams

There were words,

Always words

There was no god

But there was family, and friends

And fairytales

There was naiveté, and hope,

And books

There were lovers, and heartbreak

And betrayal

There were children,

Loss, disillusion and


There was forgiveness at times,

Religion and many memories

At the end there was peace

And comfort, and wisdom

There were words,

More words, and still, books

And love, and family, and grown children,

And even better, grandchildren

There was travel, adventure

And good will

There was love of nature and

Belief that I know nothing

And a surety there is much unknown

That perhaps will never be known

There is still sorrow,

With understanding

There is a calm, sense of contentedness

But much regret

At the end, hoping for more beginnings.

Yes, there is hope, always hope.


Hope is the promise of a better tomorrow. May you all have hope and nurture it and grow it and may your hopes be realized.


Closing Hymn #347 Guide My Feet


By Robin Tanner

Today we share in a blessing for losers, risk-takers, all failures far and wide….

Blessed are they who fall in the mud, who jump with gusto and rip the pants, who skin the elbows, and bruise the ego,
for they shall know the sweetness of risk.

Blessed are they who make giant mistakes, whose intentions are good but impact has injured, who know the hot sense of regret and ask for mercy,
for their hearts will know the gift of forgiveness.

Blessed are they who have seen a D or an F or C or any letter less than perfect, who are painfully familiar with the red pen and the labels as “less than,”
for they know the wisdom in the imperfect.

Blessed are they who try again, who dust off, who wash up, who extend the wish for peace, who return to sites of failure, who are dogged in their pursuit,
for they will discover the secret to dreams.

Blessed are they who refuse to listen to the naysayers,
for their hearts will be houses for hope.

Blessed are they who see beyond the surface of another,
for they will be able to delight in the gift of compassion.

Blessed are they who stop running the race to help a fellow traveler, who pick up the fallen, who stop for injured life,
for they shall know the kindness of strangers.

Blessed are they who wildly, boldly abandon winning,
for they shall know the path of justice.

Closing Words #488
Hold fast to dreams

For if dreams die

Life is a broken-winged bird

That cannot fly.

Hold fast to dreams

For when dreams go

Life is a barren field

Frozen with snow.

Langston Hughes

Extinguish the Chalice