The Flower Communion
Celebrating Flower Communion is an excellent opportunity for Unitarian Universalist (UU) congregations to express their commitment to our Sixth Principle: We Covenant to Affirm and Promote the Goal of World Community with Peace, Liberty and Justice for All.
Following are a few suggestions for bringing Sixth Principle Ministry to life in relation to your Flower Communion service in Seven Areas:
- Through Education,
- Through Advocacy,
- Through Partnership,
- Through Stewardship,
- Through Pilgrimage and Witness, and
- Through Associational Leadership.
Hopefully they will inspire even more creative ideas.
For more information about any of the suggestions, or to share additional ideas, please contact the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) Office of International Resources: international [at] uua [dot] org.
- Make good use of the excellent materials written and collected by Reginald Zottoli (PDF, 9 pages). This collection includes historical information about Reverends Norbert and Maja Capek, readings written by Norbert Capek for the original Flower services, and suggestions of appropriate hymns.
- Include the International Council of Unitarians and Universalists (ICUU)'s most recent Global Chalice Lighting Reading.
Offer heartfelt thoughts and prayers for all U/U brothers and sisters around the world.
- Extend your spiritual support to new partnerships between the Unitarian Universalists Hong Kong and Community UU Church (Plano, TX) and the Unitarian Christian Church of Burundi and People’s Church (Kalamazoo, MI)
- Offer thanks for the International Council of Unitarians and Universalists (ICUU), UU Partner Church Council (UUPCC), UU United Nations Office (UU-UNO), UU Global Aids Coalition (UUGAC), UU Service Committee (UUSC), UU Holdeen India Program (UUHIP) and many others.
- Commit to be spiritually inspired by U/U’s who lived lives committed to international engagement, like Rev. Waitstill and Martha Sharp and Natalie Gulbrandsen,
Offer your spiritual support to people around the world, especially those who suffer for righteousness sake:
- Schedule a book group discussion of Richard Henry’s biography, Norbert Fabian Capek: A Spiritual Journey.
- Use intergenerational Religious Education materials created by the UUPCC or the ICUU’s "The Garden of Unitarian-Universalism."
- Visit a website with videos and photographs from recent visits to North East India.
Through Justice Making and Advocacy
During the Flower Communion service highlight the international advocacy work your congregation is already involved with, or invite the congregation to consider doing so by:
- Send a virtual flower to the Religious Society of Czech Unitarians
- During the Flower Communion Service remember the importance of your congregation’s international partnership with a UU congregation in Transylvania, Hungary, India or the Philippines.
- If your congregation doesn’t have a partner church, invite a conversation to become involved with partner church ministry through the UUPCC.
Through Faithful Stewardship
Request a special offering during the Flower Communion service to support an international engagement project, like:
- The UU Church of the Philippine’s Dormitory Project.
- The UU-UNO’s “Every Child is Our Child” Program.
- The UUA/UU-UNO LGBT Uganda Fund
- The UUA-UUSC Japan Relief Fund
(for more information about any of these funds, please contact the International Resources Office)
Through Pilgrimage and Witness
During the Flower Communion Service or following it:
- Announce a congregational pilgrimage to your partner church
- Share pictures and stories about a recent congregational pilgrimage
- Invite the congregation to imagine a place where their religious witness would be helpful, and invite them to plan to do so.
- Share information about UUPCC pilgrimages—no partner church experience required.
- Invite a speaker from a UUSC Just Journeys experience to share his or her experience with your congregation.
Through Associational Leadership
- Honor the International engagement leadership that a member of your congregation has provided locally or to the Unitarian Universalist movement.
- Commit to share your congregation’s experiences in international engagement with other UU congregations—the UUA’s International Resources Office would like to help you do so!