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Physically Distanced Water Ingathering Ritual Invitation

A Special Message from Rev. Israel Buffardi
A Special Message from Rev. Israel Buffardi
Wednesday September 9th, 2020

To All in the UUCL Community,

I am very excited to finally be participating in Sunday worship with you all! It is also a fitting coincidence that my first Sunday leading worship, is also the first official Sunday of the Church year.

It is a tradition in many UU congregations, including this one, to begin the church year with an ingathering ritual involving the joining of waters into a common bowl. Normally, I would have invited you all to bring water to church on Sunday to add to our common bowl. This water symbolizes the well of community where we join together, and the water is the universal element that connects us all.

We cannot be physically together in our sanctuary this year to join our water in one common vessel at the same time, but we can still partake in this meaningful ritual of community. We can still use our water as a way to feel our physical and communal connection to one another.

Physically Distanced Water Ceremony Invitation

So, I have a special invitation for all of you to participate in a physically distanced water ceremony for ingathering!

I have created a ritual well in the native plant garden in front of the church. This is our well of community, and we will use it to partake in our ingathering water ceremony. In it, I have placed the water from last year’s water ingathering ceremony. This water represents our community and where we have come from, and with our ritual, we will renew ourselves and prepare to enter into a new year and a new chapter in the life of this church.

I invite you all to come to the UUCL garden and bring some water with you. This could be water that you have collected from a place with special significance to you. This could be as simple as the tap in your home kitchen where you share meals with your loved ones, or it could be water from a special place, such as a river, ocean, lake, etc where you experience a sense of peace and/or connection with creation. The water represents your story and the loved ones in your life. It represents the gifts and presence you bring to our community.

I invite you to take this water to the UUCL garden and to add it to our communal well. As you do so, I invite you to take a moment to reflect on two things:

1. What gifts and presence will you bring to our community this church year?
2. What love and care do you need from our community to

When you join your water into the well of community, you bring your gifts as well as your needs. Our well can hold all of these things, and the work of community is the work of living into that complexity. We begin the work this year with this ritual of interdependence and togetherness. You may add one of the stones or shells provided to symbolize your commitments.

Take a selfie of yourself, pouring your water into the bowl. Upload it to this Goole doc folder by clicking on this link. We will create a slideshow of everyone joing their waters and display it during the Sunday service. Please upload your photos by 5:00PM on Friday. Let me or Eli Sauls know if you are not able to upload your phots.

You Can Particiapte From Home Too!
If you are unable to get the church to join your water into the bowl, you can still prticiapte in the water ritual! Water connects to us all through through the moisture in the air and the network of groundwater constantly flowing on our planet. If you’d like to particiapte from homw, you can simply create a well at home with a nice bowl, and simply add your water into that bowl and then go outside and piur it into the ground. All waters flow and cycle and intermingle evenetually, so you remain connected to this community and each other even if you cannot come out.

We still want your selfies even if you practice the ritual at home!

May you find community, comfort, and celebration at our well!

Unitarian Universalist Church of Lancaster | 538 W. Chestnut St., Lancaster, PA 17603

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