Services for December 2013 at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of the Peninsula
December 1st: “Santa Is a Unitarian Universalist”
Many Unitarian Universalists have experienced being asked by non-UU friends “How do you celebrate Christmas?” or even “Since you don’t believe, why do you celebrate Christmas?” It can get even less friendly than that with the implication being that we are stealing their holiday for some nefarious plot. Well rejoice, Unitarian Universalists, as we look at our Christmas and in particular our special relationship to the “Big Guy” and his friends!
Jim Sanderson currently serves the UUFP as Vice President and as a member of the Sunday Services Committee. He was minister to the former Jenkins UU Fellowship in Petersburg and before that was a member of First Unitarian Church in Richmond, where he was RE Chair for more than ten years. Jim is a librarian by trade and those skills prove useful in researching sermons. His BA is in history and his sermons frequently have a historical component to them. Off hour pleasures include reading, travel, good food and good wine.
December 8th: “Don’t Drop the Donkey”
Does it ever seem like you’re trying to do to many things at once? Do you feel like a juggler with one too many balls (or, in some cases, chainsaws) flying through the air? Or do you half expect to hear the “Sabre Dance” with all the plates you’re trying to keep spinning atop poles? And how many of them are only there because someone else gave them to you to look after?
The first (9:30am) service will follow our traditional format with a sermon; the second (11am) service will include a multigenerational drama along with most other service elements.
December 15th: “Let Hearts Their Songs Employ”
Joy is one of the most vital keys to a satisfying life, for it feeds our souls. The work of helping one another, of being a supportive community, of healing our world, that’s serious work, but there’s no reason why it can’t also be joyful! We’re our best selves when we bring joy into everything we do, and it’s better both for ourselves and for those whom we are helping.
December 22nd: “Be Not Afraid!”
There seems to be a common and wide-spread human yearning to make light when the world seems at its darkest. We have a defiant streak in us — and I don’t just mean us Unitarian Universalists! In cultures around the world, in both the northern hemisphere and in the southern, there are holy days, feasts, festivals and ritual celebrations to mark the Winter Solstice.
Special music will be provided by the UUFP’s ChorUUs!
Special Services for Christmas Eve!
5pm on December 24th: “In Bethlehem of Judea”
7pm on December 24th: “Festival of Readings and Carols”
We’re holding two services on Christmas Eve this year! The earlier is a family service featuring a children’s nativity pageant and the later is an evening service of readings and carols. Both services will conclude with the beloved ceremony of passing the flame.
Special music will be provided by the Fellowship’s fabulous musicians!
December 29th: “The Commonwealth of Extended Familyhood”
Kwanzaa is celebrated by millions of people from all cultures across the globe. Complementing rather than replacing Christmas, Kwanzaa celebrates the Nguzo Saba, or Seven Principles, which offer a way to promote human flourishing as tied to the health of the whole Earth. On this fourth day of Kwanzaa, let’s reflect on Ujamaa or Cooperative Economics, and consider how local people might work with each other to provide the essentials of living.
Robert Watson is an Assistant Professor of History at Hampton University, where he also serves as Assistant to the Dean of the School of Liberal Arts. Holding degrees in chemistry and history, he has been teaching African American history, American history, and the geography of world civilizations at Hampton University for sixteen years. Prof. Watson has led observances of Kwanzaa with many different organizations, having celebrated the holiday at home since 1974.