I’m not doing this the first week of December… too many work obligations, plus my birthday, Daija’s birthday… I feel like the last week of December, right before the new year, is more personally significant. We’re not doing any activities, just lighting a chalice for each principal and talking about them, but I’m collecting resources (stories, activities) to implement for the celebration next year. Anyway, here is the scoop for those of you who expressed an interest in more details.

While teaching our session on Religious Holidays / Holydays in our CRE program I realized that Unitarians did not have a holiday / holyday of our own. I believe we all need to be reminded of our beliefs and this is also a great opportunity to share our beliefs with others. This is a first draft. Please email me with any ideas to improve Chalica, as well as pass the idea along to fellow Unitarians.

Chalica – Celebration of the Flame (Unitarian Winter Holiday/Holydays)

Chalica is seven days long and runs from the first Monday in December through to Sunday. Each day represents a different Unitarian Principle, a chalice is lit each day and gift(s) are given and received. Gifts can be made, bought, verbal, written, acts, shared/personal celebrations. One can have seven different chalices or one common chalice. The days are as follows:

Monday: We light our chalice for the inherent worth and dignity of every person. — Give gift(s) to honour those you do not understand / agree with / like. Examples: – a thank-you card celebrating differences – words of forgiveness / apology – a peace offering such as inviting someone to dinner – help someone in need

Tuesday: We light our chalice for justice, equity and compassion in human relations. – Give gift(s) to honour those in your local community that are less fortunate. Examples: – spend time in a soup kitchen – donate clothes to a worthy organization – display kindness and care to those around you – take part in a political demonstration at city hall

Wednesday: We light our chalice foracceptance of one another and encouragement to spiritual growth in our congregations. – Give gift(s) to honour fellow Unitarians and their spiritual journey. Examples: – a chalice / book / hymnal – extend words of peace or forgiveness to a fellow Unitarian with whom you may have hurt / not understood in the past – offer / take part in an event at your church / with your congregation – church potluck

Thursday: We light our chalice for a free and responsible search for truth and meaning. – Give gift(s) to honour another tradition, to honour education Examples: – offer / take part in an event that celebrates another religion / tradition – teach someone something you know and love – learn something new from someone else – give a book / read a book

Friday: We light our chalice for the right of conscious and the use of the democratic process within our congregations and in society at large. – Give gift(s) to honour democracy Examples: – help a political party – write your government – help a committee at church – host a dinner / party to celebrate democracy

Saturday: We light our chalice for the goal of world peace, liberty and justice for all. – Give gift(s) to honour our global community Examples: – volunteer with an organization that has global influence – write a letter for amnesty international – help your social justice committee hold a fundraiser – donate to a cause such as UNICEF, Doctors without Borders, etc.

Sunday: We light our chalice for respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part. – Give gift(s) to our earth and/or its creatures Examples: – start a compost – recycle bottles and cans and donate the money to an environmental /animal aid society – rescue an animal from a shelter – hold an outdoor worship service (dress warm/bonfire)

Happy Chalica! — End forwarded message —

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