Jamestown, N.Y. – On Sunday, June 13, 2021, congregant Anne Kenefic will lead the 10:30 a.m. virtual service of the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Jamestown (UUCJ) in a celebration of Flower Communion.
This uniquely UU ceremony honors each person’s individuality, while also celebrating community.
Normally, everyone in the congregation brings a flower and then goes home with a different flower. Because this is not an in-person gathering, each participant is asked to bring a living plant that represents someone in their life and to share what that person means to them.
The Flower Celebration, as Flower Communion is also called, was initiated in Prague on June 4, 1923, by Norbert Čapek, the founder of the Unitarian Church in Czechoslovakia. He saw the need to unite the diverse congregants of his church, from varying Protestant, Catholic, and Jewish backgrounds, without alienating those who had left these traditions. For this reason he honored the universal beauty of nature by having a communion of flowers instead of the Eucharist.
The ritual was brought to the United States in 1940 by the Rev. Maja Čapek, Norbert’s wife, and was widely adopted by American Unitarian churches and their successor Unitarian Universalist congregations.
Celebrating the Flower Ceremony is an opportunity for UU congregations to express their commitment to the Sixth Principle they affirm and promote: The goal of world community with peace, liberty and justice for all.
Kenefic was a Sister of Social Service for more than a decade. A graduate of California State University, Hayward, with a BA in Political Science, Religious Studies and Women’s Studies, she received her Doctor of the Law from the University of West Los Angeles. She practiced various types of law in California and taught various subjects at the Paralegal Studies Program at California State University, San Bernardino.
After moving to Jamestown in 2008, Kenefic worked as a paralegal for the law offices of Arthur N. Bailey & Associates, Legal Aid of Chautauqua County, and Fessenden, Laumer & DeAngelo, PLLC, until retiring last year. She has been a UUCJ member since 2008 and was a board member for three years.
Because of COVID-19 limitations, UUCJ Sunday services are currently virtual instead of at its 1255 Prendergast Avenue location. Anyone is welcome to participate by emailing UUJamestown@gmail.com to receive a Zoom link for the 10:30 a.m. service. The link goes out as part of “This Week at UUCJ” on Friday afternoon, but you can request to join until the start of the service on Sunday.
The Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Jamestown is a progressive, liberal religious community serving the southern tier of Western New York and Warren County, Pa. The UUCJ’s mission is to promote and provide a community where diverse people of all ages may explore the meaning of existence, give expression to liberal religious values, and work for a just, sustainable society.