7/12/2015 Service, Hephaestus

Altar: Hammer and anvil front center, UU Chalice center, god and goddess candles left and right center, Lunation deity jar candle and Aphrodite jar candle left and right rear.

Music intro: Devo, Working in a Coal Mine

Standard church welcome

Quarters

Earth: We dig the ores from the ground that are refined into the metals we use at the forge

Air: Blow inspiration through our minds as you fan the flames of the forge.

Fire: The power of transformation made physical in the forge.

Water: Quench and harden our works as they come from the forge.

Chalice: The stability of the earth, the inspiration of air, the transformation of fire, the emotions of water, all combined with the spark of spirit. Join with me as we read our affirmation. (read affirmation from the wall poster)

God candle: Welcome Hephaestus, from whom we draw inspirations and instruction for today’s service in your honor.

Goddess candle: Welcome Ghisallo, who guards us and guides us on our travels.

Lunation candle: Welcome Zeus as we learn from you this lunation. You whose very thunderbolts are created in Hephaestus’ forge know well the value of a good smith.

Aphrodite candle: Welcome our patroness for the year, and wife of Hephaestus, Aphrodite, whose marriage proves that love does not require possession, nor a leash, but merely the thought in the heart of those who love you. Let us take your love with us as we learn today.

Greetings and welcome again to the July 12th service at SJF UU. Today’s service is on Hephaestus, the greek god of the forge and one of my personal deities.

First a little about Heph. Heph is the son of Zeus and Hera, but unlike his brothers and sisters came out looking like five miles of bad road. We are talking a baby that even his mother couldn’t love he was so ugly, so they grabbed him by the leg and threw him from the heavens to the earth, which besides not doing anything to improve his looks caused him to have a lame and withered leg. Naturally this did nothing to dispose him towards the rest of the Olympian gods, and after residing on the earth for a while as he grew up he created a golden throne for Hera with invisible bindings. When Hera sat upon this throne (because it was very beautiful and very finely crafted) she was unable to rise from it. After determining that this was Heph’s work and only he could release Hera the other gods came and begged him to release his mother, to which Heph replied, “I have no mother.” Harsh, but to be honest if your mom had ordered that you be cast out of the house and it was done in such a way as to cripple you forever, would you be kind to her? anyway after Dionysus got him drunk and dragged Heph and his tools back to Olympus where they built him a palace with a workshop, he cut Hera loose from the throne. This was not to be his last temper tantrum, but that is a tale for another sermon.

“Hephaestus crafted much of the magnificent equipment of the gods, and almost any finely-wrought metalwork imbued with powers that appears in Greek myth is said to have been forged by Hephaestus. He designed Hermes’ winged helmet and sandals, the Aegis breastplate, Aphrodite’s famed girdle, Agamemnon’s staff of office, Achilles’ armor, Heracles’ bronze clappers, Helios’ chariot, the shoulder of Pelops, and Eros’ bow and arrows. In later accounts, Hephaestus worked with the help of the chthonic Cyclopes—among them his assistants in the forge, Brontes, Steropes and Pyracmon.” And that is a direct quote from Wikipedia.

But as fine as all the works of Hephaestus are there is something they all share and something we can all lend. All of them started as… an idea.

Yes, before the first fire was lighted in his forge to heat the metal, he first had the spark of an idea in his mind, blown alight by the breath of inspiration. And that is something we can all do, is create an idea.

One of the followers of Hephaestus greatest rules is to make things that help other people, because if you make something that isn’t any help to anyone, have you really made anything aside from a lump to look at? So today, we are going to make an idea of something to help the church. What can be built that would help the people of the church both now and in the future? This idea will be presented to the Facilities committee this evening as something the congregation thinks would be a good thing to do.

[15 minute brainstorming session]

Write down the idea agreed upon to present to the Facilities committee. or if more than one idea was awesome, present all the awesome ideas to the committee.

In place of cakes and ale, present each person with a nail, and do this story.

Before man had nails all he had was wooden pegs to hold things together. Since each peg had to be carved by hand to fit the holes made in whatever they were building, this took a while and things were built slowly as a result. The someone discovered that you could drive a heavy piece of wire into wood and it would stay in there and hold things together better than hand-carved pegs in drilled holes, and things could be made much faster because nails could be made much more quickly than carving wooden pegs and could be made ahead of time instead of stopping and carving the pegs after drilling the holes and finding out how big the pegs needed to be. While people built things with nails other people could make nails without ever needing to know what kind of thing was being built. I give this to you so that you can carry the idea with you that you don’t have to know the whole of a thing to make an awesome part of it.

Closing song: Anvil Chorus ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c3x-pwJGsgU )

Dismissal: Water, fire, air, and earth, you have all contributed to this service, and we thank you for that. Go now in peace with our gratitude.

Lunation (Zeus): Mighty Zeus, hurler of thunderbolts crafted by Hephaestus and ruler of the gods of Olympus, we thank you for your presence and lessons you may have taught us while you were her. Go now in peace.

Aphrodite: You are the boss’s wife and we thank you for your presence in our circle today and for whatever lessons you may have left with us today. Go now in peace.

Ghisallo: You who protect travellers and who was so revered by your followers that your shrines continued to be built and honored even as another god ruled your lands, we thank you for your presence and any lessons you may have left while you were here. Go now in peace.

Hephaestus: You were the boilerplate for the unfairly dismissed family member, and the inspiration for hundred if not thousands of stories and inventions. We thank you for your inspiration in our service today. Go now in peace.

Chalice: We extinguish this flame, but not the warmth of community, the light of truth, or the spark of commitment. These we hold in our heart until we meet again. Merry meet, to merry part, to merry meet again.

Pass basket and do announcements.

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