We had a lovely whole congregation service led by our elementary students with the help of five adults and five youth from our UUSA youth group. It took us three Sundays to plan the service and make the lanterns and congregational gifts and the result was a service that I think touched everyone.
The lanterns we made were based on a project I had done before. You can read about how to do it on the blog Mango Theory. We used electric tea lights for safety concerns. You can see our lanterns in the home banner of this website. All of the youth and adults involved in creating this service brought the lanterns into the sanctuary at the start of the service. The lights were left off.
We also made 120 star dough hangings which took a week to dry before we painted them. This idea came from the internet and I can’t remember the exact website, but the blog PinkMomBlueMom might be the one I was looking at. The classroom paint we used did not encourage precise strokes and we concentrated on speed and splashes of color! We handed these out during the offering. Giving is definitely one of the secrets to happiness.
Below is the order of service we followed. The service was based on the December Solstice and to celebrate the children wrote reflections and a skit based on on LOVE, LIGHT and HOPE. In each group there were a few elementary kids (preK-6) and a few youth. It was truly a wonderful experience from the start to the finish.
THE UNITARIAN UNIVERSALIST SOCIETY OF AMHERST ORDER OF SERVICE
Sunday, December 20, 2015 10:30 AM
“In the depth of winter I finally learned that there was in me an invincible summer.” Albert Camus
PROCESSION OF LIGHT RE Children, Youth & Adults
The Holly and the Ivy UUSA Choir trad. English Carol, alternate tune alternate words by Julie Cavacco
BELL AND GREETING
LIGHTING THE CHALICE To face the world’s coldness: a chalice of warmth. To face the world’s terrors: a chalice of courage. To face the world’s turmoil: a chalice of peace. May its glow fill our spirits, our hearts, our lives. by Lindsay Bates
READING The Shortest Day by J Cooper
SHARING OF JOYS AND CONCERNS
A TIME OF SILENCE
LIGHT – Skit “Where did the Sun go?”
HYMN This Little Light of Mine No. 118
LOVE – The microphone was passed from child to youth down the row and then back. Every child said what love was to them.
HYMN Love Will Guide Us No. 131
HOPE – Three youth (11-16) read their interpretation of what each verse of the hymn Come, Sing a Song with Me meant to them.
HYMN Come, Sing a Song With Me No. 346
REFLECTION The Rev. Alison Wohler
INTRODUCTION TO THE DEDICATED OFFERING OFFERING Our offering today will benefit the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee’s Guest at Your Table program, an annual fundraising and education program that supports UUSC’s human rights work. This year they will be highlighting the empowerment of refugees and displaced people. Please make checks payable to “UUSA” and write “UUSC” in the comment section. Thank you for your generosity!
OFFERTORY Winter UUSA Choir by John Krumm and Congregation
EXTINGUISHING THE CANDLES AND THE CHALICE
CLOSING CIRCLE AND SONG (see back of white insert)
CLOSING WORDS Rebecca Fricke, Interim D.R.E.
May all that is good within us, among us and between us fill us always with sun power: the possibility of faith, the warmth and love of community, the solace and quiet joy of peace, and the sustaining light of hope. Blessed be. by Karen Fisk
POSTLUDE Winter Solstice, by Bela Bartok *