As in all religious traditions, Unitarian Universalists have a unique set of annual rituals, rites, and celebrations. Below you'll find a list of some of our more prominent ceremonial events:
Ingathering Water Communion
This amazing late summer / early fall ritual celebrating our interconnectedness is where we mingle the life giving waters from our voyages in the summer months to exult in our reunion and honor the substance which composes, connects, and cleanses us. This water is used for other important rituals throughout the year, including Child Dedications. And don't fret, you can always bring water from home if you forgot to sequester it from trips, or in the event that you did not travel. Either way, we won't know the difference, and any water you contribute will always be sacred to this community!
For any families interested in enacting a sacred bond between their children and our exceptional congregation. It is a beautiful ritual, performed twice annually by our very own Rev. Mike Morran.We would be truly honored to have your familyparticipate in this lovely ceremony. Please RSVP using this email link, including the names of the participating family members in your email. Here are a few details that you should know regarding Child Dedication at First Unitarian Society:
This is not like a traditional Child Dedication / Bar Mitzvah. Our Child Dedication ritual focuses on creating a covenant between the family, the community, and the child.
You will be asked to speak a few brief words to your child during the ceremony. 4-5 sentences maximum please. These are words of dedication to your child made with the congregation as a witness. For most, this is a very touching aspect of the ceremony.We look forward to sharing this special moment with your family!
Festival of Remembrance
This worship service in late October is for families and friends of First Unitarian and is devoted to remembering and honoring our loved ones who have passed on this year.We have music, including our beloved Children's Choir, interactive activities, and testimony during the worship. You are invited to bring photos and items that remind you or were cherished by your loved ones, as we have 3 altars dedicated to deceased pets, friends, and family, respectively. One major tradition for this service is to bring food that the deceased loved one enjoyed to place on the altars. Please do so, as you are inspired.
And finally, in the spirit of the holiday, you are also invited to dress up in your favorite costumes for this special service. This is a celebration of lives well lived!
Each year we look at the holiday season in a different way. Below you'll find a series of video clips from a previous year's installment: "Avenue UU: The Meanin' of the Season," loosely inspired by The Muppets and "Avenue Q," "Avenue UU" is the light hearted story of a youth named Mary who searches for the meaning of the holidays for a Unitarian Universalist.
Coming of Age (COA)
COA occurs on an every other year basis, and will be offered next in 2018. This is a challenging, life altering curriculum for 7-8th graders designed to assist parents and children as they navigate through this complex time of development.
It is a mentored journey of the mind, body, and spirit. Highlights include discussion groups on Youth Issues, Conflict Resolution, and Media, as well as a Wilderness experience, a Service Project, real Rites of Passage, and an end of the year COA worship service where the youth are welcomed into this benchmark life stage by the entire church congregation.
Easter Donation Hunt
For Easter, our children hunt for a terrific cause! All the donations they collect will go to The Gathering Place, "Denver's only daytime drop-in center for women, their children, and transgender individuals experiencing homelessness and poverty". The children are divided by age--hunting for donated items such as pastas, rice, ramen, dried beans, women's and children's underwear / socks, toiletries, and feminine hygiene products. After the hunt, the items receive a "bubble blessing," and then we package them up to be taken to The Gathering Place.
Our Mother's Day Flower Communion began as a Unitarian ritual in Czekoslavakia during WWII. Rev Norbert Capek believed that, despite the German occupation, this ceremony would be a way for people to say that they were still free in their hearts, that they were intricately connected to nature and the divine, and that they were bound together as a community. He thought that a flower made a perfect symbol for a human being, because each and every flower is different, and each one is beautiful in its own way.
On the cay of the Communion, everybody is invited to bring in one flower, putting all of them together in the front of the church. After a ceremony of blessing, every participant takes a flower with them as a token of connection and celebration.
We celebrate Mother's Day with in this way because flowers, as symbols of reproduction and fertility, are the perfect representation of the beauty of motherhood and all the gifts come with it.
UU 9th Grade Trip
The Ninth Grade Trip, which just celebrated it's 52nd anniversary, is sponsored by the Unitarian Universalist churches and fellowships of Cheyenne, Ft. Collins, Greeley, Boulder, Boulder Valley, Denver, Golden, Littleton, Parker, and Colorado Springs and is an educational trip to the Hopi and Navajo reservations. The trip happens in mid April each year and lasts for ten days.
Hopi Mesas - We will spend three days on the three mesas of the Hopi people. During our time there we will visit Hopi villages and possibly see the Kachinas dance. Watching a Kachina dance is one way for us to observe and respect an important element of the Hopi religion.
Flagstaff - Visits to the Museum of Northern Arizona, Wupatki Ruins and the Walnut Canyon Ruins provide further insight into pre-historic cultures of the area.
Ganado/Hubbell's Trading Post – Part of a day will be spent touring the oldest still operating trading post and Hubbell's home. In addition, demonstrations in Navajo weaving and a talk on Navajo rugs are included in this stop.
Canyon de Chelly/Chinle - One day is spent at Canyon de Chelly visiting various sites including White House ruins and Spider Woman Rock. One night is spent at Chinle Elementary School.
Navajoland - Two days are spent at the Tohaali Navajo School, experiencing the life of a Navajo student. Ninth grade trippers attend school with Navajo students.
For more information or if you have questions, contact the trip coordinator Mitch Pingel.