Winter Services and Holiday Events
The month of December is a very busy one at our congregation. 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 for engagement at UCV as 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. Read more and see links to past sermons here.
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 has often been a dinner and celebration of the Jewish festival of lights. Last year we hosted 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. (At this point, there is no plan for a UCV Chanukkah gathering.
An evening service of poetry, 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
The Earth Spirit Council (Paganism Committee) often offers an earth-centred ritual for the winter solstice. We host a monthly 1st Tuesday circle from 6 – 7 pm. Open to all, whether pagan, Unitarian, both or neither. In December we may spend some time planning an event together that will be open to the larger community.
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)
There is usually an annual women’s gathering in early to mid-January. We gather to meet new friends and old, celebrate our community and feast together.
Members of the congregation often invite friends to attend. We usually have between 40 and 50 women attend and offer circle dance, collage making, divination for the year ahead and of course feasting and conversation.
There’s a “mathom mashup” table – Bring one or more items you’re ready to pass along to others. Items not picked up by those present are donated to the Refugee committee. Jewelry, scarves, books and dressup skirts and jackets are always popular.
Photo: Christmas celebration in our partner church.