We are rapidly approaching the end of summer — and time for our annual Ingathering Water Ceremony.
Of course, 2020 is no normal year. So we’re having to make some adjustments to our rituals. But we have some exciting plans to announce. This year our “Out-Gathering” Water Ceremony will be a Drive-Thru gathering of the waters!
On Sunday morning, Aug. 30, bring your water (more on that in a moment) to church, and take part in a drive-thru processional in our parking lot as we once again collect and merge the waters, symbolizing our deep human connections and our interconnection with all life on this planet.
Here’s how it will work:
After an abbreviated Zoom worship (as always beginning at 10:30 a.m.), you will be invited to hop in a car and drive to Heritage Church. Won’t that be a wonderful feeling, in and of itself!?
Starting at 11:00, in shifts so as to minimize the chances of traffic backing up onto Newtown Road, folks will drive into and through the HUUC parking lot — waving at one another is encouraged! — and pour your water out your driver’s side window into a huge chalice that will be located in our back parking lot. There, Rev. Leslie and Rev. Bill will bless you, your water, and your car.
Around the parking lot there will be other stations to help you renew your spirit during your drive-thru, including live music (weather permitting) from both Les Tacy and Mimi Sinclair. (Speaking of weather, the Water Ceremony itself will take place, rain or shine — both your ministers have ponchos, and you’ll be in your car, high and dry anyway!).
The whole thing will (hopefully) be captured and shared on Zoom, for those who prefer to watch from home.
Following the Drive-Thru Water Ceremony, starting around 11:30, we will resume the Zoom gathering so that after you return home, or even on your phone in the car (if you’re not driving!), you can connect with others to catch up, and share your smiles and experiences. We’ll keep that gathering — and any smaller breakout rooms that may form — open until well past noon.
In previous years, we have often asked you to gather water from a location particularly significant to you, often related to summer travels, and you have shared the source of that water with the congregation. This year, instead of telling us where your water came from, we’d like you to reflect on, and tell us what your water means to you. Why is the water that you are contributing to our collective ritual water, significant? What, in fact, is the meaning to you of this annual ritual of community — this year? You can share that briefly with Rev. Leslie and Rev. Bill, and later type it in the chat or share it out loud with others in our post-service Zoom room.
On Sunday morning, August 30, you’ll get to see others from our church community in person, perhaps for the first time in months, at our beloved church home. And we — Rev. Leslie and Rev. Bill — look forward to seeing you. We’ll all keep our “social distance” (though “physical distance” is a much better term). Everyone is asked to wear a mask — even though you’ll be in your car. But even with masks, we will sharing ritual, sharing community, and greeting one another as we haven’t done since March.
To facilitate the drive-thru process, we ask that you plan your trip to church so as to arrive during the time window reflected in the chart below, based on the first letter of your last name. (If your family has multiple last names, go with the one that comes earliest in the alphabet; e.g., Sally Carpenter and Robin Smith would arrive with the letter C.)
11:00-11:10 — A-E
11:10-11:20 — F-J
11:20-11:30 — K-P
11:30-11:40 — Q-Z
Again, we look forward to seeing you on Sunday, August 30, for our in-person, socially-distanced, drive-thru Water Ceremony at Heritage Church!