The Liturgical Year at First UU – we love rituals at First UU and understand that these annual services ground our year of Sunday Worship Services.
Annual Intergenerational Water Ingathering – Each September after a summer of travel and vacations we re-gather for another church year by blending water we have collected from our various experiences over the summer. Our ritual begins with water collected at last year’s Water Ingathering and using Rev. Jason Shelton’s hymn, “Holy Waters,” we blend the water we have collected over this summer and the water of our lives, our joys and sorrows, our life experiences into a community pool of hopes and dreams.
Day of Remembrance, on the last Sunday in October or the first Sunday in November we gather as a community to remember our loved ones who have passed from this world over the last year with a ritual of candles and stories. This is not an Intergenerational Sunday. Children join us for the opening of our worship service and a Story for all Ages and then process together to their age-appropriate education classes.
Family Ethnic Bread Communion – Each year, on the Sunday before thanksgiving we gather all ages in our community to honor the various ethnicities that create our country and participate together in a communion of bread and cider.
Winter Solstice Celebration – This December service is led by one of our Lay Worship Associates as we celebrate together this lunar holiday when the sun begins its slow return to our world. This is an intergenerational service with neo-pagan themes.
A Passover Seder Service – a unique UU Passover Seder Service wherein we simulate a Jewish Passover table with symbolic foods and rituals as we remember the ancient story of the Jewish escape from Egypt. This is an intergenerational service that remembers the suffering of all who are oppressed and honors the struggle for freedom.
Flower Communion Celebration – Our Flower Celebration is based on the service created by Norbert Capek for his Czechoslovakian congregation in 1923 and is a uniquely Unitarian tradition. We represent the individual gifts and talents of our congregation by bringing to the service a flower to represent each member. These flowers are gathered into vases and brought to our altar by the children and youth of our community. The bouquets in these vases represent the greater whole we create together through our individual colors and fragrances. At the end of the service, we add to each vase a few drops of water from our September Water Ingathering to complete the circle of our liturgical year. We end the service by inviting each person present to come forward a choose a flower to remind us of the blessings of our beloved community.