Christmas Service

This evening, at 6.30 pm, Lewes Unitarians will meet for the final time this year.  Our Christmas Service will be a joyful occasion and we extend a warm welcome to anyone who would like to join us.  As we celebrate however, we are mindful that Christmas is not a happy time for everyone.  Life can be difficult sometimes and things don’t magically get better for those who are homeless, lonely, unwell or grieving the loss of a loved one for example, just because it’s Christmas.  In our Service we will take time to reflect on this and in our prayers, we might say that we hold those who suffer close to our hearts.  What’s the use of this you might say?  Well, for Unitarians, one reason for prayer, or reflection, is to inspire or motivate us to do something practical to help.  Who can we help?  What can we do?

At our Services we normally have a collection.  This evening we will be collecting for a local project that supports homeless people in the Lewes area, called Lewes Open Door.  Lewes Open Door currently operate a lunchtime service for homeless people from Westgate Chapel.  They would like to expand their services to include a night shelter for the winter months.  They are currently looking for volunteers to support this project and would like to hear from people by January 6th.  Anyone interested in volunteering please contact Lewes Open Door, either through our Facebook page, or the website www.lewesopendoor.wordpress.com or by calling 07806777106.

Lewes Unitarians wish you a very happy Christmas, and peaceful and fulfilling New Year.  Our first Service in 2019 will be on Sunday January 13th at 3pm.

Remembrance Sunday

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Today we remembered all the casualties of war.  On this centenary of the signing of the Armistice we particularly remembered those caught up in the First World War.  We reflected on the words of Harry Patch, “the last fighting Tommy”, who died, aged 111, in 2009.  He said, ” Why did we fight?  I asked myself that many times.  At the end of the war, the peace was settled round a table, so why couldn’t they do that at the start, without losing millions of lives.” Something for us all to think about.

May their sacrifice help us to reflect deeply,

May their memory burn brightly in our minds,

May peace be with them,

And may peace be kindled in our hearts.

Our Chalice Flame

IMG_20181014_135030Let this flame symbolise the divine spark of light embedded in all living beings.
May its flame lead us to greater knowledge and tolerance.
May its warmth lead us to deeper love and compassion.
And may its light lead us toward greater wisdom and understanding.
Yes, each of us is but a tiny flame.
But together we can enlighten the world!

The lit chalice is the symbol of Unitarians.  We used this reading to open our Service on Sunday.  It was written by Lene Lund Shoemaker of the Danish Unitarian Church and was published by the International Council Of Unitarians and Universalists.  Each month they publish a different chalice lighting, and groups across the world are encouraged to use this at least once during the appropriate month.  It reminds us of our worldwide fellowship and the interconnectedness of humanity.

A New Chapter

Lewes Unitarians begin a new chapter in their story this October when Sunday Services resume once again after a short break.  Unitarians have a long history of meeting in Lewes going back over 200 years, and non-conformists have been meeting at Westgate for over 300 years!  If you want to find out a bit more about this history follow this link

https://www.unitarian.org.uk/sites/default/files/1935_Westgate_Lewes.pdf

However, although we respect our history and what it teaches us, we are not bound by it and we don’t live in the past.  That is not the way of Unitarianism.  Unitarians look at life and faith through a modern lens, and therefore as knowledge and understanding develops in society our perspectives change too.

We are excited to be meeting regularly once again and we hope that people in Lewes and nearby will be interested and may want to join us, but we also want to develop the idea of what an inclusive faith community can be.  Unitarians have always been at the forefront of religious change. For example, appointing England’s first woman minister, Gertrude Von Petzold, in 1904.  So, we want to approach faith matters in ways that are as accessible and inclusive as possible; and to keep learning and improving.  We value our freedom to think for ourselves, but we also recognise the importance of community.

The story of Lewes Unitarians continues…..