21 April Minister Moment

News comes from the Czech Republic — this year is the 95th anniversary of the Unitarian ritual called the Flower Communion. Back in 1922, when the country of Czechoslovakia was still newly independent, the Unitarian Church in Prague was led by Norbert Capek, who had found Unitarianism while living in New Jersey, and also married Maja, who worked for the new organization as well.

They developed a new ritual for the new church, the “Flower Communion” where each member found a flower in their life (from their home, from a family member’s home, from a friend) and brought it to create a common bouquet — representing the congregation. In the service, each took a flower from the bouquet representing the gifts each received.  Beauty in their life coming from a miraculous source, the power of community.

For the 95th anniversary, the Prague church will live-broadcast their service (in Czech) on Sunday, June 4, 2017 at 10:30 am Central European Time. I know that the Butlers may be in that timezone, but for most of us this will be around 4 am.  Maybe you will set your alarm… probably not. So where do we come in?  

Our Flower Communion is April 30 – flowers bloom earlier in our part of the world – and the Prague congregation wants to show photos of ceremonies worldwide, from Kenya to the Philippines to Australia to England. Let’s hope our celebration is included too… so take lots of photos! Remember, the bouquet only lasts a few minutes, and then is gone. And if you can bring an extra flower or two, leave it on the front steps for someone else to “find” and bring in.

This weekend is Earth Day, a chance to meditate on our seventh principle: Respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part, and, on our sixth source: Spiritual teachings of Earth-centered traditions which celebrate the sacred circle of life and instruct us to live in harmony with the rhythms of nature. I will be away and Karen F. will be leading the service.

Many of us are mourning the death of Tony Stein last weekend. The Virginian-Pilot will print an obituary this weekend, along with other memories of their long-time reporter and columnist. We will have a celebration of his life at 3 PM on Sunday, April 30. The Caring Team is coordinating this. To accommodate the extra building use, the CUUPS group has moved its Beltane celebration, originally scheduled for the 30th, one week later — and outdoors — at our new property (809 S Military Hwy, Virginia Beach). Please consider coming to this!

Speaking of the new property, thank you to the 65 Members and Friends who helped clean up our future home on April 15. Did you miss it? Another clean-up day is in the works!

One more thing before I get to some ways you can help me: last fall we talked about Advanced Care Directives and some of you promptly sat down with a loved one and filled out paperwork. Others may have put it in the “To Do” pile…  Well, now is a great time to take it out and get “around TO IT.”  If you want to learn more, there are free learning sessions on end of life planning available at area hospitals and libraries — these are not sales pitches. They are teach-ins. I went to one and encourage you to go, too (and invite friends).  http://asyouwishvirginia.org/events/

Things I’d like:  People who can read out loud in Czech, French, Cebuano, German, Spanish and Swahili on April 30. I also would like to hear from those with stories related to Mothers or Fathers – I’m working on Mother’s Day and Father’s Day services. Also, if you have something to say about Trust, our theme for May, send me a note at minister@ucnorfolk.orgEach with the related word in the subject line. And don’t forget to send me any Flower Communion photos! See you in a week.

I love you,
Rev. Charlie