Holidays and Traditions
We often address holidays and traditions of major religions in Sunday worship services, and also sometimes recognize earth-centered traditions, especially those corresponding to the change of the seasons.
Although the church’s fiscal year begins on July 1, our Summers are pretty relaxed. Our minister and many of us take vacations. The church has many guest speakers and lay led services. There may be some hikes and picnics.
In early September we often have a church barbecue, and a ritual Unitarian Universalist service called the Gathering of the Waters, in which we mix together small amounts of water we’ve brought back from our vacations, or simply from our homes.
In October we usually recognize Dia de los Muertos and All Saints’ Day by encouraging congregants to bring photos of loved ones who have passed away, and may also recognize Hallowe’en by encouraging everyone to wear costumes.
In some years we also have a Service Auction in which we bid on services contributed
by other congregants. This event includes food and alcohol to lubricate the bidding, as the Service Auction is a major fundraiser for the church.
In November many of us enjoy a potluck Thanksgiving dinner.
In December, we celebrate Advent, Christmas, and Chanukah in the Sunday services. The children have a tree-decorating party, with food and Christmas carols for the adults. Many of us attend a Christmas Eve service, and/or a pot luck Christmas dinner.
Springtime brings many traditions. We always have a Canvass dinner or luncheon to get us into a giving frame of mind, and a Congregational Meeting at which new members to the Board of Trustees are elected, the budget for the new year is discussed and approved, and other business is conducted as needed. During the year there may be additional congregational meetings. But other things are much more fun. The children celebrate Easter with an egg hunt, and the adults join together for a Seder dinner to recognize Passover and celebrate an end to slavery.
A springtime Unitarian Universalist tradition is the Flower Communion, in which we bring a flower to add to a communal bouquet, and then take a different flower home.
We sometimes bring in May with a Maypole Dance.