Tag Archives: Unitarian Universalist

Fire Communion – the Back Story

I have been leading our Fire Communion service the last couple of years at Glacier UU and will again this year. We do ours the last Sunday in December. I was looking for some closing words online and stumbled onto this blog…
it’s Great!

I'm Mary and I'm a Unitarian

Fire Communion – The Back Story

On December 29, 2013, Patrick Dubois and I led the annual Fire Communion at the Unitarian Church of Vancouver. This was year six. We will keep doing it.

It all started because we happened to be sitting near each other at a fire communion many years ago. It sparked our collaboration. At that service, children were present and the worship leader kept warning everyone about the dangers of kids and fire. I thought: “Either have the kids there and make it safe; or provide an activity so they’re not there.” What if the Catholic priest during communion gave little mini lectures about the dangers of alcoholism or nutritional facts about bread and wafers? When I spontaneously said to Patrick, “I might like to work on next year’s fire communion,” he quickly offered to work with me on it.

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What is a Unitarian Universalist?

I thought that this was great!

A lot of people ask me about my faith. It is a hard thing to describe to most people in my neck of the woods. Many people here are either SO Christian that to imagine a life that is open to other possibilities is so foreign that it borders on offensive, or they were raised in that life & they run from any & everything that looks or smells like church.

As a Unitarian Universalist, I am allowed to find my own path. I am given the personal freedom to believe (or not) whatever I believe. At my little fellowship, we have Quakers, Christians, Jews, Buddhists, Wiccans, Agnostics, Pagans, people who follow Native teachings, people who don’t seem to follow any particular faith, & lifelong UUs who claim nothing other than that. We are all on our own spiritual path, together, & it’s good. We don’t really have any formal dogmas we follow. We are inspired by the teachings & writings of religious leaders from all world religions, poets, philosophers, writers, teachers, lecturers, scientists, presidents, and more. We meditate, some of us pray, some of us take communion from time to time. We are all different & we all have different spiritual needs. None are turned away & all are welcome.

It’s a beautiful thing. I once told a friend that I should start my own church. Where you can believe anything you want. You can be eclectic & draw from all sources. No one is right & no one is wrong. Everyone is okay…we’re all okay…

Then I found, thanks to a childhood friend, my UU church in Des Moines, Washington. I walked in & I listened & I spoke with the minister & I looked in the classrooms & I asked about the curriculum…

This was the church that I had wanted to create years before. It had always existed, for hundreds of years, anyway.

I just hadn’t found it until I needed to.

When I moved to Montana, my criteria was “they have to have the same or better schools for the kids, & they have to have a UU church.” They had both.

Now I get to live with Glacier Park in my back yard, I get to direct children’s programming for my spiritual home. And I get to share all of it & more with all of you.

My next post will be more about food, I promise. No preaching, I just really liked this video!

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