Each year as the summer begins to wind down, many Unitarian Universalist congregations around the nation offer an Ingathering and Water Communion service to celebrate the gathering in of our community and the beginning of another church year.
We will be celebrating our own Ingathering and Water Communion service this Sunday, September 3rd at 11:00 a.m. Whether you’re a first time guest with us or a long time member, and whether you’re a child or an adult, you are invited to bring a little water with you to the service from a place that is meaningful to you.
Are you unsure where you should collect your water? There are many options! Your water can come from your own faucet if your home and family are most meaningful to you, from a stream where you recently hiked if nature is important to you, or from a water bottle you brought home from a loved one’s memorial service if you wish to honor someone who has passed away. There are many places and many things that are meaningful to us, and you are encouraged to bring a little water from a place of deep personal significance to you.
During our Water Communion ceremony, you will be invited to come forward and pour just a little of the water you brought into a bowl to symbolize the gathering of our community—our bodies, yes, but also our highest dreams, our deepest concerns, and our gifts both great and small—at the start of this new church year.
After the ceremony, the ministers will collect a small amount of the water, which we will filter, boil, purify and store for use in future child dedication ceremonies and other rituals in our faith community. The remaining water will be returned to the earth by pouring it at the base of one or more of the trees in our Memorial Garden. For this reason, we ask that you please refrain from bringing water in which fish, tadpoles or other living creatures are swimming. While the presence of such creatures at our ceremony often reminds us of our connection to the great web of life, it is best to leave these animals safe and sound at home or in their natural habitats.
We hope that you will join us for Ingathering and Water Communion! We will see you on Sunday, and in the meantime, we wish you many warm blessings as you collect your water!