At UUCE, we celebrate holidays important to the faith traditions of our members. This includes Pagan holidays like the Solstices and Samhain, Christian holidays like Christmas and Easter, and secular holidays like Martin Luther King Jr. Day and Earth Day.
In addition, we have our own UU holidays and traditions in our worship each year.
Twice a year, UUCE celebrates the music that brings a congregation together by devoting an entire worship service to the music of our members and friends. Everyone is welcome to participate in our Music Sundays, whether they’d prefer to share their own music, or listen to others’. Each Music Sunday we get to listen to music of our youth, of amateur and professional soloists from our congregation, as well as our music ensembles, the Prairie Voices and Unichords. Learn more about the music at UUCE by visiting our Music Programs page.
The Water Communion is held in September each year, and marks the official beginning of the church year. Members and friends are encouraged to bring a small amount of water from a place that is special to them, usually from home or their summer travels. As everyone adds their water to the communal bowl, they are welcome to share why that water is special to them. The final combined water is symbolic of the diversity of experiences and beliefs that come together to create our congregation.
Like all the communions, the Bread Communion is a service that centers around community. It happens in November, usually near Thanksgiving, . As members and friends share in fresh-baked bread, they are asked to consider what it means to be part of a community; both the support and experiences they bring to the community, and the help and care they can receive in return.
The Fire Communion is a New Years ritual that calls us to symbolically release the past year, so that we may move forward refreshed. Everyone is invited to write what from the past year that they wish to be free of, be it stress, guilt, grief, expectations, or worry, and then they are all given an opportunity to cast the piece of paper into the fire. It is a service about forgiveness, support, and renewal.
The Flower Communion is the final service in the official church year. It happens in the beginning of June just as schools are letting out. This service is a way to celebrate the congregation, and carry reminders of its diversity into the summer. Everyone is invited to bring a plant to exchange, either a cut flower or potted plant. Although it’s called the Flower Communion, the plants people bring often include vegetables and native local plants. This exchange of plants represents the exchange of ideas and experiences that happens in our congregation, and celebrates our connection to nature.
In UU congregations, infants and children are welcomed into the church community through a dedication ceremony. Our child dedication is both a welcome and a promise by the congregation to provide continuing support and love as the child grows.
The Bridging Ceremony celebrates a big transition in our youths’ lives, either between middle school and high school, or between high school and life beyond. They walk across a bridge, welcomed on the other side by their friends, family, and congregation, representing the continuing support they will receive as they go through this big life change.