Water Communion – August 16, 2020

Water Communion Instructions from Rev. Sarah

My dear congregants,

As I was preparing last Sunday’s service, it was strange to realize that the next Sunday I’ll be “in the pulpit” (lol) will be our annual Ingathering service on August 16, my third as your minister.

If I hadn’t banned the words “unprecedented” and “challenging” from my vocabulary, I could use both words to describe this summer, and life for all of us since March. But I’m trying to keep it fresh, so we’ll go with “bizarre.” As I look forward to my third year of ministry with you, I remain more grateful than ever to have landed here, with you, right now, in this entirely bizarre moment.

“Ingathering” is a liturgical term that signifies our coming back together and recommitting ourselves to another year of being in relationship as a congregation. And we still have so much to celebrate and look forward to. Fall at Northwoods is going to be excellent! Keep reading your Beacon Bits for new ways to engage and learn and grow together. As do many UU congregations, we mark our ingathering with a Water Communion.

USUALLY, each household at Northwoods brings water that they collected over the summer—from gardens and pools and lakes and rivers and waterfalls and oceans and kitchen taps—and pours it into a common vessel, symbolizing the joining together of our many journeys and experiences in this community of hope. If you have collected water this year, fantastic! If you have not, there’s still time.

This year, nothing is as usual, and so we will celebrate differently! You are invited to

1. Pour out MOST OF your water somewhere outdoors, either where you live or in another socially distanced location, and

2. take a photograph or video of your household members doing so. (Video will be played without sound and last no more than 30 seconds. May be edited for length.)

3. If you have remaining water left, freeze it in a small container. We do this as an act of faith that, in a future time, we will be together again in person for this community ritual.

4. As a household, compose a tweet-length phrase (140 characters) about your household’s summer experience or hopes for the fall.

Email your videos, photos and phrases to Rev. Sarah at [email protected] for inclusion in the service no later than Friday August 14 at noon. Bring your hearts and your words and your water in new ways as we celebrate the coming year at Northwoods!

In Faith,

Rev. Sarah