We Thank Them All

The Unitarian Universalist Mid-Atlantic Community, better known as UUMAC, is a one-week get-together, held annually on a college campus in Pennsylvania. It is many things to its participants, but intentional community is one good way to describe it. I sometimes call it summer camp for the whole family, and for many it is a religious retreat.

In 1999, when I served as director of UUMAC, I was asked to write a prayer on the theme of gratitude for the closing ceremony. What I wrote has since been published on the Unitarian Universalist Association’s WorshipWeb, where it is a resource for ministers and lay worship leaders.

I have since used it in some variations, but here it is as published:

Some came here looking for solace.
Some came here and gave it to them.

Some came here seeking music.
Some came here and gave it, joyfully.

Some came here seeking laughter.
Some came here and created it.

Some came here seeking learning, growth.
Some came here and provided it.

Some came here looking for a sense of security, a safe haven.
Some came here and provided it.

Some came here seeking an escape from hectic lives.
Some came here and enabled them to have it.

Some came here seeking the joy of community.
Some came here and created that.

Some came here wanting to serve.
Some came here and made it possible for them.

We thank them all

What I was getting at was that, in well functioning communities — and, for us Buddhists, sanghas — at any given time, some of us have more needs than others. And at any given time, some of us have more need to give than others. When those needs balance out, we’re as close to heaven on earth as I can imagine. (Which reminds me of how Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hanh is fond of saying that heaven is anywhere where there’s compassion, and hell is anywhere where there’s no compassion.)

We need to thank those who need help as well as those who need to give it.

What got me thinking about that today was the blogosphere. I even toyed with the idea of writing a new version of my litany to fit bloggers and, uh, blogees. Maybe that’s a project for the future.

I didn’t understand the blogosphere until I began daily-ish blogging early last September. Many of us in the worldwide blogosphere need to research, write, create art, spread ideas at the same time that we consume all of the above. Others focus on creating, or on taking it in.

We thank them all.


If UUMAC interests you, consider going this year. The dates are July 10-16, and you can get more information here. My wife and younger son will be there. I’m passing it up because I’ll be doing the summer retreat with Lama Surya Das July 16-22 in Putnam County, New York. If that interests you, you can get more information here.


— Mel Pine (Urgyen Jigme)

Copyright 2016 © Mel Harkrader Pine

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