11 April 2023 – Chapel

Welcome Remarks

Adrian Mendoza

There is a time when things begin.
At some point serendipity becomes inevitability,
at some moment a seed is dropped
into the fertile soil and begins to search for the light.
Texas Poet Laureate Alan Birkelbac

Gathering Music

“For the Beauty of the Earth”

For the beauty of the earth,
for the glory of the skies,
for the love which from our birth
over and around us lies;
Lord of all, to thee we raise
this our hymn of grateful praise

For the beauty of each hour
of the day and of the night,
hill and vale, and tree and flower,
sun and moon, and stars of light;
Lord of all, to thee we raise
this our hymn of grateful praise.

Call to Worship

Adapted from Sowing Seeds by Creation Justice

Gad Maiga

Leader: We who have lost our sense and our senses—our touch, our smell, our vision of who we are; we who frantically force and press all things, without rest for body or spirit, hurting our Earth and injuring ourselves: we call a halt.
People: We want to rest. We need to rest and allow the Earth to rest.
Leader: We need to reflect and to rediscover the mystery that lives in us, that is the ground of every unique expression of life, the source of the fascination that calls all things to communion.
People: We declare a Sabbath, a space of quiet: for simple being and letting be; for recovering the great, forgotten truths; for learning how to live again.

Opening Song

“For the Fruits of this Creation”

Opening Prayer

Roeline Ramirez

Blessing of the Soil

Adrian Mendoza

Leader: Let us, then, toil prayerfully towards a future of soil that need not fear its own destruction by our hands.”
People: “Do not fear, O soil; be glad and rejoice, for the Lord has done great things!” (Joel 2:2)
Leader: Soil is mystifying. It originates from far beyond Earth’s galaxy in stars of incomprehensible distance from Earth. Our sun is much too young to produce the elements necessary to generate the life-giving medium we refer to as soil. The ground upon which we tread sings out the stories of distant galaxies and cosmic inconceivability. We are dependent on the vitality and fecundity of the ground. Let us, then, toil prayerfully towards a future of soil that need not fear its own destruction by our hands.

Giver of life, we give you thanks that in the richness of the soil, nature awakens to your call of spring. We praise you for the smell of freshly tilled earth, the beauty of a well-cared garden or field.
ALL: God you have created and given us this soil. Bless it today so that it may feed and nourish the seed. Bless those who work this soil and harvest the produce.


“The Soil” by Pax Ressler

Blessing of the Seeds

Saffet Catovic, Imam and Muslim Chaplain at Drew

Leader: In the Name of Allah, The Most Gracious, The Most Merciful.
“See before you the seeds that you sow in the earth. Is it you who cause it to grow, or is it we – Allah – God who is the Cause?”
Surah Waqiah – Chapter titled The Inevitable – Chapter 56 Verses 63-64

Let us Pray as our Prophet Muhammed (AS-Peace Be Upon Him) taught us to pray: ‘O Allah, Lord of the heavens and Lord of the earths, and our Lord, and the Lord of everything, splitter of the seed-grain and date-stone, and Revealer of the Tawrah (of Moses) and the Injil (Gospel of Jesus) and the Qur’an. We seek refuge in You from the evil of every evil that You are holding by the forelock. You are Al-Awal – the First, there is nothing before You, You are Al-Akhirah – the Last, there is nothing after You, and Az-Zahir – the Apparent, there is nothing above you, and Al-Batin – the Hidden, and there is nothing below You. Relieve us (thru these acts of planting seeds) of our debts, and enrich us thereby from our poverty – Ameen!
And the Prophet Muhammed (AS – Peace Be Upon Him) said. “There is no one who has submitted himself or herself to the service of God who plants a plant or a tree, or sows a seed and no bird, or human or animal eats from that except that it is Sadaqah a charity for that person.”

Let us pray it be so – Ameen!

God/Allah you have given us these seeds and seedlings
ALL: They have a past. They are the fruit of the past. They have a present. They are to be planted into your soil. They have a future. They are to bear fruit for the harvest. May the miracle of life within these seeds burst forth yielding a bountiful harvest. Bless these seeds and those who plant them.


“The Seed” by Aurora

Blessing of the Water

Dr. Jonathan Golden

Leader: I will give you your rains in their season, and the land shall yield its produce, and the trees of the field shall yield their fruit. (Leviticus 26:4)

A Prayer for Rain (Geshem)

Adapted from Rabbi Rachel Barenblatt (2009)

Dr. Jonathan Golden

Millennia ago the earth was washed in water
connections sparked unimaginable across the water.
The life we know begins cradled in water
each human being emerges in a flood of water.
From ancient times we’ve prayed to God for water
not too much, not too little, just enough water.
To mark holy times we immerse ourselves in water
washing our old hurts away in water.
In the Jerusalem, the City of Gold, rooftop tanks collect water.
Those who have and those who lack fight over water.
In the beginning, Presence hovered over water
mysterious and unknowable like deep water.
The bodies we inhabit are made of water
our veins and tissues stay functional through water.
We couldn’t stand and offer praise without water
Source of all, be kind to us: send water. AMEN

Leader: God, this water is your creation.
ALL: Water gives sustenance and nourishment to the soil and the seed. Bless the soil and the seed with gentle rain. Bless this water. Let it come as rain at the right time, in the proper amount so that the seed may flourish and grow. In your mercy send us favorable weather so that the harvest will be bountiful.


“Water Is Life – Mni Wičoni”
(song for Standing Rock) by Sara Thomsen

Intercessory Prayer

Leksmana Leonard, Laura Kushner, Isabella Novsima

Isabella: Each of our petition concludes with “Creating God” and we invite you all to join me as we respond with: “We are your gardeners”

We pray in thanksgiving for the opportunity to participate as gardeners in the cycle of life, that we see grow in the land, as we witness the spirit of life awaken in the seedlings energized by our rich faith traditions and prayers gathered here. Creating God,
ALL: We are your gardeners

Leksmana: We pray for our learning wise care and protection of earth, air, and water, so all people and species may have healthy earth, air, and water to thrive, now and for future generations. Creating God.
ALL: We are your gardeners

Leksmana: We pray for all people in the world who go hungry and thirsty every day, especially children, and for all humanity to commit to everyone having enough healthy food and water. Creating God,
ALL: We are your gardeners

Laura: We pray in asking forgiveness for our apathy, complicity, knowing and unknowing participation in the destruction of earth, water, and air, and ask for new visions and courage to move forward in sustainable and local ways that will feed all healthy food. Creating God,
ALL: We are your gardeners

Laura: We pray for governments, corporations, and organizations around the world, that they may be committed to healthy well-fed people and a thriving, healthy planet above profits and greed. Creating God,
ALL: We are your gardeners

Isabella: We pray in gratitude for our farmers and gardeners, near and far, recognized and unrecognized, treated fairly and not-so-fairly, that we honor them with just pay and treatment as brothers and sisters who work hard in difficult conditions to get food onto our table. Creating God,
ALL: We are your gardeners


Adrian Mendoza

Sending Song

Nelson Ngongo


Dr. Laurel Kearns

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