Drive-Up Water Communion

Event details

  • September 20, 2020
  • 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm
  • 245 Porter Lake Dr. Springfield, MA 01106

Water Communion… Some Background:

Each year, we celebrate coming together as a community by holding an Ingathering, or a Homecoming.
Traditionally, our ritual this day is a water communion (little “c”).

Communion, a word that literally means “an act or instance of sharing,” derives its meaning from ancient roots: com- (meaning: “with, together”) and –unus (meaning: “union, or as one”).  Communion, at its most basic, is the act of coming together as one.

We embrace the sacredness of water as a metaphor and guide.
Just as drops of water fall from clouds, join as puddles and streams, and merge in a great ocean…
… so the droplets and streams of our lives meet and merge as one to form a vibrant community.
Just as water nourishes and quenches… so may we serve those in need.

Water Communion… This Year:

Gathering en masse for our service – even outside, given the numbers who typically attend – is not an option this year.
We will miss the feeling of being under the trees together, and the cookout and community time that typically follow.
But, we can still be creative.  And we can still perform some of the same gestures, like adding water to a common bowl and receiving the gift of community.
We just have to stretch it out a bit.  So… here is what we have planned for this year (action steps in red):

Merging of the Waters:

Come to UUSGS on Friday evening (5-7PM) or Sunday afternoon (1-3PM)

A drive-up simple ritual will be waiting for you in the upper parking lot (245 Porter Lake Dr. in Springfield)
You are welcome to bring water, perhaps from a special place that is special to you.  We will also have water available on-site.
Each household will participate one-at-a-time by pouring water into a common vessel and sharing a hope for the year ahead.
To help manage traffic, please sign up in advance for a time slot by clicking here.

All participants are expected to wear masks.
Please do not expect to participate in-person without wearing a mask.
Thank you in advance!


If participating in person is not the right option for you, you are invited send in a picture to Darcie Farber:

Pictures with people (you!) in them are preferred.
Take a picture near some water.  Or offer some water to the ground or to a plant.
Do so prayerfully, mindful of the connections we all share and of the nurture that water provides.


All participants are also invited to name a hope for the year ahead by clicking here.


On a Sunday in early October:

After the in-person elements are complete and water has been collected… and after the pictures have been collected and compiled… we will gather online (as usual these days!) on Sunday morning to celebrate the communion together.
We will celebrate all that we are and all that we hope for, as individuals and as a community.

Following the service, as has been a local tradition for years, there will be a procession – virtual this year – through the Memorial Garden.  Water from our communal bowl will be sprinkled on each marker as we honor the lives of those who have gone before us.  All are welcome.



Let’s be honest: this is may all feel kind-of… well… weird.  It would be easier for everyone if we could just do it the same way we have for years.  But that isn’t possible this year.

The upside is: Love finds a way.  We are a people who put Love at the center of our lives.  We do so with courage and with care.  And that Love is creative and dependable.  Love finds a way.  Here’s to ensuring that it does, together.