Driving down Morgan Ave. in Evansville, IN I passed by this Unitarian Universalist Church and noticed that their sign said, "Fire Communion". Perplexed by this I had to pull into the parking lot to think about what this could possibly mean and, of course, snap a quick photograph. Perhaps this is a common thing among the UU's; I must admit that I was hitherto unfamiliar with Unitarian Universalism and it's beliefs (which it sort of denies having...), and it was the first time I had been exposed to that particular phrase. All sorts of strange visions began dancing through my head, most of them requiring the use of flame retardant vestments and copious amounts of burn cream.
Come help us celebrate the New Year with our Fire Ceremony. In this service, congregants burn pieces of paper containing brief descriptions of something they most wish to leave behind and light a candle for a new hope for the coming year (Unitarian Universalist Church of Evansville, 2013).
Ours is a religion with deep roots in the Christian tradition, going back to the Reformation and beyond, to early Christianity. Over the last two centuries our sources have broadened to include a spectrum ranging from Eastern religions to Western scientific humanism. Unitarian Universalists (UUs) identify with and draw inspiration from Atheism and Agnosticism, Buddhism, Christianity, Humanism, Judaism, Earth-Centered Traditions, Hinduism, Islam, and more. Many UUs have grown up in these traditions—some have grown up with no religion at all. UUs may hold one or more of those traditions’ beliefs and practice its rituals. In Unitarian Universalism, you can bring your whole self: your full identity, your questioning mind, your expansive heart (Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations, 2013).
O Lord, our God, in the name of whose only-begotten Son we have been called to be Christians and have been blest with Baptism for the remission of sins, make us, we pray, ready to receive the most holy body and blood of Christ for the forgiveness of all our sins and to give thanks with grateful hearts to you, O Father, to your Son, and to the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen (Lutheran Worship, 1982)
"Are My Beliefs Welcome?" Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA). N.p., n.d. Web. 29 Dec. 2013. http://www.uua.org/beliefs/welcome/index.shtml.
"Fire Communion." Unitarian Universalist Church of Evansville. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 Dec. 2013. http://www.uuevansville.org/events/fire-communion-2/.
Lutheran Worship. St. Louis: Concordia Pub. House, 1982. Print.