International themes for UU Water Communion Services

By UUA International Resources

Many Unitarian Universalist (UU) congregations have an annual tradition of celebrating a Water Ceremony/Communion early in September as a ritual of welcoming members of their congregation to a new church year. Though these services vary greatly from congregation to congregation, they are generally an excellent opportunity for 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
The most recent addition to the UUA's "Faith Without Borders" Program provides assistance and suggestions for including international themes in and around Water Communion/Ceremony services in 7 general areas:
  1. Spiritually,
  2. Through Education,
  3. Through Justice-Making and Advocacy,
  4. Through Partnership,
  5. Through Stewardship,
  6. Through Pilgrimage and Witness, and
  7. Through Associational Leadership
A few of the suggestions are:
  • As part of re-covenanting at the beginning of a new church year, invite members of the congregation to renew their commitment to Sixth Principle ministry during the Water Ceremony/Communion service.
  • Make use of the Water Communion activity included in the online UUA curriculum Tapestry of Faith.
  • Offer small group ministry gatherings usinig the UU Service Committee’s Covenant Group module “The Right to Water”.
  • Consider advocating for the “Water for the World” congressional resolution or offering support of the UN’s “World Water Decade - Water for Life.
  • Describe differences and similarities between water resources in your international partner church community and your own (beauty, availability, treatment, etc.)
  • During the Water Ceremony/Communion service or following it announce a congregational opportunity to participate in an international witness/service project with an organization like:
For the complete materials, please visit the webpage on, or download the Water Communion/Ceremony brochure (.pdf). Congregations participating in the Faith Without Borders program will find this framework familiar, but all congregations are invited to make use of this new resource. Please contact the UUA's International Resources Office if you have any questions about this material, or to share how you made use of it.

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UUA International Resources

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