Jamestown, N.Y. – After taking the summer off and encouraging their members to attend services at Chautauqua Institution, the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Jamestown (UUCJ) resumes its Sunday services on September 10. Participation can be in person or online.
Parishioner Anne Kenefic continues the tradition for the first fall service of leading a water communion/ingathering at 10:30 a.m. at the 1255 Prendergast Avenue location.
This annual celebration springs from a ceremony created in the 1980s. It began as a service to empower women and celebrate connectedness. Water symbolized the birth waters, the cycles of moon, tides and women, the solidarity with women globally, as women the world over traditionally draw and carry water.
Many Unitarian Universalist congregations now hold a Water Communion once a year, often at the beginning of the new church year in September.
Members bring to the service a small amount of water from a place that is meaningful to them. During the appointed time in the service, people one by one pour their water together into a large bowl. As the water is added, the person who brought it tells why this water is special to them. The combined water is symbolic of a shared faith coming from many different sources.
The Water Ceremony/Communion Service is an opportunity for Unitarian Universalist congregations to express their commitment to their sixth of the seven Principles 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 her retirement. She has been a UUCJ member since 2008 and was a board member for three years.
A social time follows the service.
Participation can be either in person at 1255 Prendergast Avenue in Jamestown or online. To join virtually, use the link at UUJamestown.org/calendar.
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 support and celebrate each other, encourage spiritual and individual growth, and serve the wider community.