Category: Holidays and Traditions

How Unitarians celebrate “Christmas” and “Easter” – special annual celebrations we offer. Jewish celebrations.

Annual Ancestor Shrine–Come and visit

Origins of Our Tradition

Mary, Catherine, Nancy, Terence, Morgan and Jen first created an Ancestor Shrine with the children’s program back in the fall of 2013. Transforming the meditation room into a place of remembrance at the end of October has become a firm tradition since then. It is something our children remember and connect with over the years.

Please come explore the Ancestor Shrine after Sunday service on October 27th.

You may bring a photo or remembrance to leave on the altar if you wish (to be returned the following Sunday), and there will be paper and twine with which to write your own remembrances and hang from the willow branches.

May we remember where we come from, and how the tree of life shows us that truly all that exists on Earth is related. Further back we find that we have evolved from the dust of exploded stars–what great mystery!

May Days – Take a staycation this weekend at UCV

Celebrate May Days – Keep this list!

UCV has many celebrations lined up to celebrate the coming of the May! You can plan a staycation and hang out at our campus for most of the weekend! And the weather report has changed from 60% chance of rain to “sunny”. (May the 4th be with us indeed!)

  • Fri. May 3 – 6:30 pm – Potluck and Film Screening “She’s a Boy I Knew” – all welcome. (sponsor: UCV Genders & Sexualities Alliance)
  • Sat. May 4 – 1-5 pm World Labyrinth Day & Jane’s Walk VancouverWalk as One at One – painting/colouring the plants on the labyrinth (pastels, crayons and paper provided).
    • Tara Bonham plays her harp on the labyrinth at 2:30 pm
    • Wish Tree and Flower Crowns 4 – 5:30 pm
  • Sat. May 4 – 5 – 8 pm Messy Church potluck dinner
  • Sun. May 5 – 10:30-11 and 12-12:30 pm Maypole dancing before and after the service in the courtyard
  • Sun. May 5 – 12 – 1:30 pm Mexican Taco lunch by Environment and Refugee committees
  • Sun. May 5 – 2 – 3:30 pm Maypole dancing with instruction
  • Sun. May 5 7:30 pm – Donna’s Favorites Choir Concert $20 or pwyc
  • Tues. May 7 – 6 pm Beltane/May Day Earth Spirit Circle – Make flower garlands with Mairy Beam
  • Tues. May 7 – 7-9 pm Maypole Dancing with the Circle Dance group, coordinated by Mary Bennett

All events are on the web with additional details. http://vancouverunitarians.ca/eventlist

Imbolc – How to Celebrate Early Spring

by Mary Bennett   Imbolc (usually pronounced with a silent “b”) is a good time, if you’re like me, to finally put all of the Christmas decorations away and finalize your New Year’s resolutions!

I’d like to propose an annual snowdrop count on the labyrinth for the first Sunday of February. There are lots, so perhaps rounded off to the nearest 100!

Traditionally, Imbolc, half-way between the winter solstice and spring equinox, was (and is) a good time to look spring in the eye and say: come on in!!

Speaking of “come on in”, many neo-pagan groups welcome Brigid, the Celtic fire goddess, into their midst and thank her for her presence.

CBC this morning was talking about how people who went dry for January, are celebrating Feb-BREW-uary. Saint Brigid approves. Learn about the connection between Brigid and Beer here: http://brewmuseum.com/st-brigid-patron-saint-beer/

I would like a great lake of beer for the King of Kings.
I would like to be watching Heaven’s family drinking it through all eternity.

(Me, I’ve discovered making kombucha, so that will be my febrewary drink of choice. I’d be happy to share if you’re interested.)

Some seeds can be planted now, but perhaps indoors is safest.

As February 2nd is also Groundhog Day, and in Vancouver what that means is Banyen Book’s annual 20% off everything sale–including a great collection of pagan/earth spirituality books.

And if you’re still wanting more ideas, in the Catholic tradition, it’s Candlemas – you could buy and bless new candles for the year, melt down candle stubs to make all new candles or just light a whole lot of candles.

For all upcoming earth spirituality events, go to vancouverunitarians.ca/earth-spirit

You can sign up for the monthly e-newsletter there as well.

Questions? contact earthspiritucv@gmail.com

 

 

 

Seasonal Services and Events at UCV

Here’s a summary list of December services for your convenience.

Sunday, December 2, 11 am – Worship Service: Hope, an all-congregation worship service on this first Advent Sunday

Sunday, December 2, 7:30 pmChalice Choir Advent Concert

Dark Night, Luminous Night. Join the Chalice Choir for a concert of seasonal music, featuring works by Ola Gjeilo, a modern Norwegian composer, and a singalong of Christmas favorites. Childcare provided. Reception to follow. Tickets: $20.

Sunday, Dec. 9, 11 am – Worship Service with special guest speaker from the Vancouver and District Labour Council in honour of UN Human Rights Day

Sunday, Dec. 16, 11 am – Worship Service: No one is illegal? UN World Migrants Day

Sunday, Dec. 16 – Christmas craft sale before and after morning and evening services

Sunday, Dec. 16, 7:30 pmCandlelight Service

A UCV tradition: worship, the spoken word, seasonal carols and music, featuring the Chalice Choir, honouring the festivals of December and the beginning of a new year. All are invited. (Light dessert potluck after the service in Hewett Hall. Please bring a dish and stick around.)

Sunday, December 23, 11 am – Seasonal Pageant

Monday, December 24, 7 pmChristmas Eve Celebration

On this evening, we gather with candles, carols and story to commemorate our fellowship and the gifts of the season. Bring your family and friends; all are invited to this service for all ages.

Sunday, December 30, 11 amFire Communion with Léonie Armstrong and guests

A Weekend of Celebration

A Weekend of Celebration

On Friday, April 6th, the Vancouver Unitarians celebrated their first Passover Seder/Dinner in a long time bringing together 42 folks from across the lower Mainland.  The seder (or service) was brilliantly led by Rob Dainow, a self-declared JewNitarian.  “I grew up in a Jewish family and now make my home in the Vancouver Unitarians community. We always celebrate the main Jewish holidays in my family and it was very nice to share the Passover holiday this year with so many at our UCV seder.  Passover is a celebration of the Jews’ liberation from slavery in Egypt in ancient times; the importance of observing it every year is to tell and retell this story so that we will not forget that we were once slaves and that people continue to be enslaved in many ways today. I was especially happy to share this event and its meaning and traditions with so many who were participating in a seder for the first time.”  
Vivian Davidson, one of the key organizers added, “Indeed it was such a great event, attended by so many remarkable people, where wonderful food, stories, communion were shared. Everybody did such a great job who helped plan and execute that event that I know many people appreciated having attended including me.  I really treasured being able to be part of putting it together.” For many, like Vivian, it was their first experience of a seder.  
Mary Bennett went on to say, “That was just my second passover seder ever and I really appreciated all the efforts put in by so many. Ever since joining the Unitarians and learning…a bit and then a bit more…about Jewish customs, I’ve been quite drawn to them. I like ceremony and ritual and “living traditions” – I love that I now know that people treat the Hagaddah (the book which guides the service and tells the Exodus story) as a changeable script open to new examples and traditions.”
Friday’s celebration of freedom led the way to an intense weekend of fostering connections. The lead-up to the following day’s Lower Mainland conference. A most uplifting and joyous event!
Submitted by Sheila Resels (on behalf of the Passover Planning Team/Jewish Holidays Planning Team).

Valentine Day Cards – Unitarian Style

Here’s a fun page for Unitarian Universalist style Valentine Day cards. 

We’re very grateful to Tim Atkins (copy) and Jessica Ferguson (design) for sharing their UU Valentines with WorshipWeb:

  • We go together like a flame and a chalice
  • Let’s let our interconnected webs interconnect, baby
  • I love you more than [Henry David] Thoreau loved the woods
  • Will you join the committee of my heart?
  • Every day I thank (please check box) for you
  • You are the answer to my prayers, meditations, and/or moments of quiet reflection
  • I love you more than fair trade coffee…. almost

 

 

Jewish Celebrations

Jewish Celebrations at UCV

Our congregation had a very successful Hanukkah party on December 9th with 60 people including about a dozen kids of all ages. There were dreidls and menorahs and yes, latkes! (Thanks, Patti, Tara and Elliott).

One of the biggest successes is that there’s an enthusiastic group of Unitarians with Jewish roots who then organized a Passover dinner.

Come along whether your background is Jewish or you just want to learn more–and enjoy a celebratory dinner with other Unitarians and their friends and families.

Link to Passover Seder/Dinner Event with details.

Rosh Hashanah 2018 will begin in the evening of Sunday, September 9 and ends in the evening of Tuesday, September 11.

Unitarian-Jewish connections

You might be interested in these links to learn more about how Unitarianism and Judaism have

connections. Our congregation hasn’t regularly offered gatherings to celebrate Jewish holidays in recent years, but now there does seem to be some enthusiasm for doing so.

Jewish Unitarian Universalists

From: https://www.uua.org/beliefs/what-we-believe/beliefs/judaism

Many Unitarian Universalists (UUs) have a connection to Judaism. Whether we are ethnically, culturally, or spiritually Jewish, whether we’re married to a Jewish person, or simply inspired by Jewish wisdom, we have a place in Unitarian Universalism. One of the six sources we draw upon in our worship and religious education is “Jewish and Christian teachings which call us to respond to God’s love by loving our neighbors as ourselves.”

We honour Jewish holidays with a progressive and inclusive twist. UUs with Jewish heritage hold Passover seders, celebrate Hanukkah, and mark the High Holy Days. When we worship together, Judaism comes into play in a variety of ways depending on the congregation. In the fall our Sunday services often draw on themes from Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. Our winter holiday-themed services often tell the story of Hanukkah. In the spring, we tell the stories of Moses and the Exodus, and some congregations gather around an all-ages all-faiths table to join in a celebratory Passover Seder led by Jewish UUs. Any time of year in our congregations, we may hear wisdom from the Bible, some midrash, a Hasidic tale, or a funny story from Jewish culture.

From UUA

Passover Seder in Unitarian Universalist congregations

 

From:  Unitarian Universalists for Jewish Awareness

http://uuja.org/

Passover

 Dayenu ( a Passover homily) Rev. Marti Keller
• Daiyenu: What is Sufficient? A Jewish UU’s Struggle with Passover Lori Rottenberg and Rev. Lynn Thomas Strauss

Rosh Hashanah

 Homily for Rosh Hashanah 2012 Rev. Marti Keller
 We Begin Again, in Love Rev. Barabara Wells
 A New Year… and a New Chapter by Rabbi Howard A. Berman

Yom Kippur

• Atonement – Making Things Right Rev. Paul Oakley

Hannukah

Sermons

Here’s a personal essay on “being both” Unitarian and Jewish.

 

Unitarian Advent Calendar

Traditions and Events for December

One of the creators of the Spirit Play program created a Unitarian Advent Calendar. Could we add Canadian Unitairian significant dates and people?

https://www.uua.org/offices/people/ralph-y-roberts

 

 

Most of the graphics have historical events and figures from U.S. connections. I chose these two to put here as they’re related to holidays and traditions that we celebrate at our congregation.

 

Here’s a youtube video of Malvina Reynold’s song Eight Candles.

Here’s more about Malvina Reynolds noting her Jewish background.

Resources Recommended by Harvard Square Library

Reynolds, Malvina and Emmy Lou Packard. The Malvina Reynolds SongbookBerkeley: Schroeder Music Company, 1974.

 

Here’s a song called “Quiet” by Reynolds.