This Sunday, Susan Morgan graced the Universalist Unitarian Church of Farmington with a presentation on Solstice and Yule. In keeping with her work in the Michigan interfaith spiritual community, she greeted the congregation with a lively and inclusive greeting and engaged the crowd with a witty, entertaining, and endearing web of anecdotes, insights, and history surrounding the Winter Solstice.
Calling the meeting to order with the healing and ethereal sound of a singing bowl, the service was begun, led by Linda Brown. The church, committed to the principles upon which it was founded, strives to present new and talented speakers to speak at its services on Holy Days in order to be
"a supportive community drawing wisdom and inspiration from many sources including the world's religions ..."
The service was filled with references to many of the elements that made up the cultural phenomena that have become the Winter Solstice Traditions around the world. From Santa Claus, Father Christmas, and older archetypal figures, Susan focused on how the eternal struggle between the Light and the Darkness is never ending. Our Ancestors, recognizing this, came up with stories to explain what was happening, and in her presentation, she drew forth many of the allegories surrounding this.
Leading us on a Journey that began somewhere in Pre Sumerian times and ending up here with references to the Jolly man in the red suit on the side of a Coca Cola truck, it was a whirlwind of a ride through joy and familial bonding. Stories of the way that feasting and worship were intimately connected with that need to stave off the darkness held the congregation by heart and mind while the reasons for the season became clear to be the Love that unites us and the Light that warms us.
The musical selection was family friendly as well, consisting of the well recognized "Peanuts" holiday song "Christmas Time is Here" by Vince Guaraldi, "The Christians and the Pagans" by Dar Williams, and of course, "Deck the Halls".
After the service, all who were inclined gathered in the dining area for a light refreshment. Raisin bagels and drinks were shared, and many new friendships among visiting Pagans and local congregants were formed. After a lively conversation break, a Yule Rite was conducted in another room especially prepared for that service.
Led by Sunday Services committee chairperson Steven Curtin, the service began with creating Sacred Space. The invocations and rituals were well thought out and moving. During the rite, a sharing circle formed, and the energy for the old year shed, with positivity for the new year welcomed. A celebratory drum circle, complete with a nifty basket of drummy goodness, found all joining in to make a joyful noise.
At the end, a warm feeling, much like the one that those Ancestors that Susan referenced, seemed to fill the little church on the hill and all who had gathered there.
Interested in learning more about the Universalist Unitarian Church of Farmington, please attend one of their services at 25301 Halsted Rd, Farmington. The building is a central part of the history of the area, having been there since being an
"1853 registered historic meeting house that is situated on seven acres of woods and gardens in Oakland County Michigan"
Look for for the happy little church on the hill.