Summer is here. Have you ever noticed that with each change of season, a subtle change occurs in our sanctuary, too? We have four distinctive, decorative, labyrinth-themed pulpit cloths that adorn the pulpit where I and others speak; the summer version is bright red, representing the heat and sunshine of this particular season. In fall, there is a yellow-brownish fabric that features falling leaves. In winter, the look turns snowy. Spring is filled with green, just as the trees and the earth begin to bloom.
As a faith tradition that affirms “the interdependent web of all existence” (our Seventh Principle) and honors “earth-centered traditions which celebrate the sacred circle of life” and seeks to “live in harmony with the rhythm of nature” (our Sixth “Source”), we take note of the changing seasons. This time of year marks various changes (the end of our “church year” and fiscal year, transitions in our elected lay leadership, the end of the school and academic cycles that play prominent roles in the lives of many of our church families). Summer is a time for us to enjoy long days (and evenings), celebrate the solstice (outdoors at Heritage Church on June 21; see article elsewhere in this Heirloom), and – for some – to rejoin beloved annual “intentional communities” such as MUUSA, SUUSI, OMDSI and other acronym-laden gatherings of fellow UUs from around the country.
Summer is also the time when we each gather water from locations near and dear to our hearts and souls, in anticipation of the next change of season – at the end of August – when we celebrate our Water Ceremony and the beginning of fall. Then, over the next several months, we use that “holy water” to mark various turning points on the wheel of the year, including the depth-of-winter Water Healing Service, child dedication ceremonies, and memorial services. And have you noticed other “High Holy Days” throughout our church year? In addition to both water-themed services, there is Yom Kippur, All Souls Sunday, Thanksgiving Sunday, Winter Solstice, Christmas Eve, MLK Sunday, Easter Sunday and more. There are also the Sundays when we conduct “church business,” such as State of the Church Sunday, Stewardship Sunday and Annual Meeting Sunday.
Speaking of the latter, please be sure to come early to church on Sunday, June 3! On the first Sunday in June each year, we hold our annual congregational meeting, in which church members elect Board and other congregational representatives, adopt an operating budget, and honor outstanding volunteer service (we have a special surprise celebration in that category this year). With an adult membership now totaling 181, we have the highest “quorum requirement” we’ve had since well before any of us were at Heritage – so we need all members who can, to come to church at 8:30 a.m. on June 3. I look forward to sharing not one, but two annual reports with you at that meeting!
In gratitude for the gift it is to be part of this beloved community –