Ceremonies and Rites of Passage
Dedication or Naming Ceremony
We celebrate life by affirming the importance of a child as we welcome him or her into the Sunnyhill extended family. Since ancient times, communities have attached both religious and communal significance to the act of dedicating or naming a child.
Coming of Age (COA) Program
COA recognizes the physical and spiritual growth of our eighth graders. We celebrate their journey to becoming caring and responsible members of our community. Typically the students meet with the Director of Religious Education six times during the church year. The sessions are a dialogue through which students begin to articulate their personal understanding of what it means to be a Unitarian Universalist (UU). In addition, with adult mentors, students complete two service projects (one for the church and one in the community) and visit at least three places of worship or spiritual practice. Recent COA students have visited a Hindu temple, a Buddhist meditation, a Baptist church, a B’Hai service, and a mosque. COA concludes with a special service held in early May. The students plan and present the COA service, which includes special music and the reading of a personal belief statement by each student.
The transition of graduating high school seniors to young adults is celebrated with a bridging service designed by the students. Bridging typically occurs at the first Sunday service in June.
Wedding services in a UU community are the opportunity to celebrate the love of two individuals who have chosen to come together in marriage. As with other UU ceremonies, each wedding service represents the unique inspirations and contributions of the participants. In addition to blessing heterosexual unions, UU congregations and ministers welcome the opportunity to bless same-sex marriages. UU congregations affirm the inherent worth and dignity of all people and have a long history of promoting the equal right of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people to marry.