We bring together different world traditions celebrating the winter solstice. The winter solstice is typically known as the shortest, darkest day of the Northern Hemisphere, and the day when the light begins to return. However, we focus not only on the imminent return of the light, but also on the inherent value of winter, cold, and fallow times as spaces for meditation, reflection, and healing.
Our UUCO Holiday Lovefeast is our traditional 'Tis the Season' worship service. We invite all -- youngest to oldest, visiting guests and favorite neighbors -- to join in! We will sing the familiar songs of the season, read words from historic texts, share traditional Lovefeast buns and warm cider, and hold aloft our candles at the conclusion of the service. Our offertory will go to help individuals and families in our community though Interfaith Compassion Ministry.
All are welcome at this multi-generational gathering, which is our own adaptation of the traditional Moravian Lovefeast.
The Lovefeast service is very simple and is focused upon love of humankind: a communal meal is shared in love. Music and readings are offered to support reflection about the meaning of this season of the year. The distinctive feature of the gathering is that sweet rolls and cider are served to the congregation and all hold lighted candles to end the service. Within the Christian tradition it has been noted that the Lovefeast is not a substitute for the Christian sacrament of communion, rather it is a simple, shared meal. Many Unitarian Universalist congregations celebrate Lovefeasts at this time of year.
Music: The UUCO Chorus, Reynaldo Budhi and Quinoa Soedsaue
For All Ages: Jaz Brisack and Michaelene Johnson bring stories!
Seasonal Reflection: Rev. Dr. Gail Stratton
Lovefeast Buns: Baked by Luanne Buchanan
Cider, Buns, and Candles Service: Pat Miller and many helpers!
Offertory: For our community, through Interfaith Compassion Ministries
Service Leader: Eunice Benton
And many more participants!
In paying homage to Hannakuh and Advent, Rev. Gail Tapscott wil look at the current season in terms of waiting for light ( both inner and outer) to break through dark times. Come enjoy a Unitarisn Universalist twist on older traditions. Music abounding as well.
It has been our tradition to end our holiday feasting with a reading of a version of the fable, Stone Soup, and to share a soup luncheon on the Sunday that follows Thanksgiving Day. You are invited to join us for this service, a light meal, and fellowship! There are many versions of the Stone Soup fable, “which have been traced back to France, Sweden, England, Belgium, and other countries.” This year our story comes from China in Stone Soup by Jon J. Muth. It is the story of three monks, named Hok, Lok, and Siew. In chinese folklore these names are the names of three deities that bestow health, wealth, and prosperity. Please join all ages of our congregation as we together enjoy this time of fellowship. Plan to stay for lunch after the service!
You are welcomed to bring Thanksgiving Day leftovers.
Memory, of course, is both individual and collective. One of the traits of humans is to remember and, sometimes, to forget. or try to forget. Religions are about remembering certain things. Consider these quotes: "I will remember my covenant with Jacob and also my covenant with Isaac, and also my covenant with Abraham I will remember, and the land I will remember." Leviticus 26:42. Jesus at the last supper (Luke 22:19) said "do this in remembrance of me". Islam teaches one to learn the Qur'an so well that it may be recited by heart. Indeed, most religious practices are about remembering.
On Nov. 18 we will use the coffee-house format to explore some questions of memory. Starting with readings and songs, we'll move on to small-group conversations at our tables. Some UUCO photo albums will be available as we think about our collective memory. Led by Gail Stratton and Luanne Buchanan, we'll use the Unitarian Universalist monthly resource called Soul Matters.
For those of you who are intrigued, here are some thoughts and questions to ponder.
Does fall come with its own set of memories? Do you remember differently this time of year?
What memories have been entrusted to you? Families pass down stories. Old friends look to one another to remember each other's childhoods. Spouses safely house their vulnerable stories and secrets with each other. We are all protectors and sustainers of memories that keep pieces and parts of others alive. What precious memory have you been asked to keep alive?
What memory holds your truest self? For some, it comes from childhood, like that time we were handed a paintbrush and canvas and felt a strange sense of home. For others it is from our adult adventures, maybe that time we bravely walked away. We don't just have personality traits, we hold tight to our defining traits through memory. What memories help you hold on to yourself?
What is the role of memory at UUCO? How do we acknowledge the past even as we look to the future?
Just in time for you to be ready for the new Mary Poppins holiday movie, Rev. Gail Tapscott will share some tidbits from her years of research on the great cosmic nanny. If you thought MP was just for children come and be disabused of that notion. The lady with the parrot headed umbrella has wisdom to impart that we all need to hear in these turbulent and divisive times, You may even start to wonder if Mary Poppins was a UU.
Elsie Andre was just an 8th grader at Lafayette Middle School last spring when became the youngest speaker ever to have taken the stage at TEDx at the University of Mississippi!! Her talk was about the idea of traveling and meeting others in order to broaden one’s horizons. It was inspired by Elsie’s own experiences when she lived in Africa with her family. Her talk focuses on how traveling allows people the opportunity to meet, understand and empathize with others from different cultural backgrounds, which can often lead to “inspiration and creative breakthroughs.”
This Sunday we’ll have Elsie as our special guest at UUCO and her TED talk the centerpiece of our service! Elsie’s family has been part of UUCO’s circle of members and friends for many years; her mother is UM faculty member Laura Johnson, her father the ceramic artist Yerger Andre, and her grandmother, Cindy Johnson, joined UUCO after her recent move to Oxford from Jackson.
Come celebrate life in this service on death. The first part of the service will be a celebration, featuring our Halloween parade. Please wear a costume to this service. The latter part of the service will be more reverential, as we remember those members of our UUCO family and our individual families and friends who are no longer with us. Please bring a memento or photograph of a loved one who has passed away.
27th Annual National Observance of Children's Sabbaths Celebration "Realizing Dr. King's Vision for Every Child: Lives of Hope, Not Despair" - Sunday, October 21, 2018
Join us as thousands of religious congregations of many faiths unite their voices in speaking out and acting faithfully for children and families. We will celebrate Children's Sabbath through a service where we especially invite children to be part of the worship as well as join the adults in special activities in social action, storytelling, crafts, and song. An intergenerational service where we "celebrate shared values of justice and compassion especially for children," and welcome the chance to learn from each other.
Celebrating the 30th Anniversary of National Coming Out Day - Kevin Cozart - Sunday, October 14, 2018
Kevin Cozart is the Operations Coordinator with the Sarah Isom Center for Women and Gender Studies at The University of Mississippi. Kevin will discuss the work of the Isom Center and his own journey of coming out and spirituality.