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Upcoming Worship Services

Sunday May 26th, 2019 – Sunday Quaker-style Meeting

Join us for our annual Quaker-style worship service on Sunday, May 26, 2019. The service will take place in the Commons, and will be led by Pamela Strauss.

Today’s service is in the spirit of Quaker services, but is not intended to be an exact replica. Elements of Quaker services were adapted for our use. This service is part of our continuing exploration of spiritual practices. When the sounding bowl is rung, it is a call that our service has begun.

Our service today is based on the idea of ‘Unprogrammed worship’. We will sit in silence, looking inward, seeking the experience of the Spirit within ourselves. As a community, we will create a communal silent space to receive messages from the Spirit. If you experience a thought or idea that seems to come from a deeper place, you are invited to stand and speak aloud this message. There may be many such shared messages, there may be few, or there may be none. Following the sharing of a message, it is customary to maintain a period of silence to allow the shared message to enter our inner selves. You may feel moved to share your message in song, or you may feel moved to join in a song started by another. It is all unplanned, spontaneous, and genuine. At the end of the hour, the sounding bowl will be rung, announcements will be read, and we will end the service by rising and shaking hands. The coffee hour and conversation will follow.

We will not have a plate collection during this morning’s meeting. Please place your offering in one of the wooden bowls near the entrance to the Commons.

Sunday June 9th, 2019 – Flower Ritual during Sunday Service on last day

Flower Ritual on June 9

Sunday, June 9 will be the last Sunday of our Program Year. As in past years, we will conclude with a flower ritual (some call it Flower Communion), introduced to Unitarian worship by Norbert Čapek of Czechoslovakia in June, 1923. Čapek built a religious movement of Unitarians that, over the course of two decades, grew to nearly 10,000 people. He ministered at what was then the largest Unitarian congregation in the world, in Prague.

The flower ritual was brought to the United States by Mája Čapek in 1940. She was raising money for her husband’s church in Prague. During her tour, World War II broke out and she was unable to return home. Her husband, still in Prague, denounced the brutality of the Nazi regime. Soon after the occupation of Czechoslovakia, Dr. Čapek was arrested. He died in a concentration camp in Germany in 1942. Mája remained in the United States, where she continued to work for international religious freedom until her death in 1956.

In the words of Mája Čapek, “No two flowers are alike, no two people are alike; yet each has a contribution to make; each would help make the world as beautiful as a colorful bouquet. By exchanging the flowers, we signify that we are willing, in the spirit of tolerance and patience, to march together in search of truth, disregarding all that usually divides people.”

On June 9, please bring a flower for each person participating in our pan-generational worship service. The helpful Landscape Committee members will help you put them in a vase when you enter, and then they will be carried into the service before the ritual. If you have any questions, contact Fran in the office.