Winter Services and Holiday Events
The month of December is a very busy one at the Unitarian Church of Vancouver. With members from various religious traditions, you will find a variety of services and we acknowledge the diversity within the congregation.
In the Christian tradition advent begins the Christmas season, four weeks before Christmas day. Many Unitarians whether they identify as Christian or not, enjoy the opportunity of a non-commercial way to celebrate the beginning of the season.
Science and Religion Sermon
Rev. Epperson has preached a sermon on science and its insights that challenge and nourish our religion for the first Sunday in Advent. Always well-researched and thought-provoking. Here are some examples.
- November 27 – Advent 2016 – The Important Stuff Is Invisible (428.1 KiB)
- 1 Dec 2013 – The Advent Of Us – How We Became Human (116.3 KiB)
- 25 Nov 2012 – The View From The Centre Of The Universe – Part 1 (130.8 KiB)
- 2 Dec 2012 – The View From The Centre Of The Universe – Part 2 (123.4 KiB)
- 28 Nov 2004 – Life From The Oceans (27.7 KiB)
First Advent Sunday Services 2002-17
2003 Birth of the Moon
2004 Life from the Seas
2005 Plate Tectonics
2006 Size of the Universe/Sea of Knowledge
2007 Cell: Smallest Living Thing
2008 The Astonishing Atom
2010 The Feeling Brain
2011 Teenage Brain
2012 View from the Center of the Universe
2013 The Advent of Us: How We Became Human
2014 On Human Consciousness and Goodness
2015 A Dangerous “Advent?”
2016 The Important Stuff is Invisible
2017 The Invention of Air
Advent Choir Concert
The Chalice Choir offers a concert, often on the evening of the first Sunday in advent. Not only do they sing for us, they provide refreshments afterwards so you can say “hello” to old friends and meet new ones. Members often invite friends and family members who may not regularly attend to the concert.
There’s often a celebration of the Jewish festival of lights. This year we’re hosting a latke-making party, with potluck dinner plus dreidl games, circle dancing and Rummy! Members with backgrounds in Judaism and also those who just want to learn more and enjoy all get together and enjoy the season.
An evening service of candles, readings and songs usually on the evening of the third Sunday in December. This is a favorite service among many of us. It runs the gamut from solstice to Hanukkah to both a rather ironic view of Christmas to “Christmas Full on!” There’s a potluck dessert/ finger food reception following. Bring a plate of something to share or just come to Hewett Hall after the service and enjoy. There’s always lots!
- Dec 18, 2016 Members of the Congregation, Dr. Steven Epperson Candlelight Service – 7:30 pm
- 15 Dec 2013 – Lighting A Candle In The Darkness (105.2 KiB)
Yule, Winter Solstice
We often offer an earth-centred ritual for the winter solstice. Currently there is a Sunday afternoon ritual and circle dance for each of the eight sabbats (the equinoxes, solstices and cross-quarter days).
Members often invite visiting family to join us and the wider community for an evening of carol-singing and readings. We recognize and celebrate various December traditions.
- Dec 24, 2016 Elliot Dainow, Dr. Steven Epperson Christmas Eve Celebration – 7 pm
- 24 Dec 2013 – Christmas Eve (161.4 KiB)
A Sunday morning pageant with a Unitarian twist. Many years our annual pageant has been written by members of the congregation or our minister to bring awareness to the true spirit of Christmas. It usually includes rehearsed parts for those who want to and can take up that challenge as well as some open participation for children to just join in spontaneously.
Christmas Day Potluck and Sing Along
On Christmas Day, we often host a dinner and a carol sing-along. Usually it starts around 1 pm.
In late December or early January we fire up the cauldron and invite people to symbolically add to the burning cauldron what they are letting go of from the past year.
- 28 Dec 2008 – Let It Go! – Mary Bennett (22.2 KiB)
- 6 Jan 2008 – A Secular Epiphany (31.0 KiB)
Women’s Gathering for Epiphany
There is also an annual women’s gathering around Epiphany. We gather to learn, celebrate and feast together.