Holidays and Traditions
Our congregation enjoys celebrating a variety of special holidays and traditions. Then, too, there are some we have adapted to meet our spiritual expansion.
Celebrated in the spring of each year. Everyone is encouraged to bring a spring flower and leave it on the chancel. The assembly focuses on the history of this uniquely Unitarian Univesalist ritual, as created by the Rev. Norbert Chapek. He wanted a ritual to close the church year in the Unitarian Church in Romania in 1921 and did not want something that would remind his congregation of the Christian communion. People brought flowers to church and left them on the alter, and after celebrating the joy of spring in word, prayer, sermon and song, the children distributed the flowers back to the people. Just as each flower is unique, so too are people, yet when gathered together, they become a community.
Created in 1980 at the UU Women’s Conference by Carolyn McDade and Lucile Schuck Longview to symbolize the importance of their gathering (to work on ridding the UU documents, including bylaws, of sexist language) each woman brought a container of water from home. During the worship, the water is mingled together. Another simple, yet powerfully moving ritual. Water is one of the most basic needs for all living things, to honor it seems fitting.
A Ritual of Letting Go, Cleansing, Intention, and Hope
This ritual service is about letting go, metaphoric cleansing and quenching of thirst, setting of intentions, self-anointing, healing, new beginnings and possibilities. It is a service of words, music and the ritual of the burning bowl. At each stop around the circle of flame, water, oil and light, each one of you becomes your own healer, priest/priestess, minister, teacher. It is your circle of release, cleansing, intention and hope to walk.
Once a year 5 or 6 members of the congregation are invited to share their personal religious sojourn with the congregation. One’s credo is the statements that form the foundation of a personal spiritual path. Those selected are given several month’s lead time to prepare and Credo Sundays are some of the most powerful experiences we offer.
Since our creation on March 26, 1997, our congregation has viewed Jesus more a teacher than part of the holy trinity which makes Easter, for us, a non sequitur. For some years now, we’ve celebrated the first Sunday in spring after the equinox (Easter) with a flute concert by Cornell Kninderknect, a locally renowned flutist. It, like our other special Sundays, is very important for us.
Other Special Mornings
- We plan morning assemblies to honor Jewish, Hindu, Buddhist, Muslin, and Pagan traditions because knowing more about diversity brings the world’s people together
- We also capture the spiritual aspects of US holidays