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Rites of Passage

One vital function of a religious community is to serve as witness to each other in times of joy and sorrow. From welcoming new children into our families, to celebrating the lifetime commitment of two individuals to each other, to honoring and celebrating the lives of those who have died, rites of passage are an integral part of our community.

When a child joins a family through adoption or birth, we honor this time with a child dedication. These dedications sometimes occur as a private ceremony, with extended family and close friends. Most often they occur as part of Sunday morning worship and involve the whole congregation in welcoming the child and committing to the spiritual growth of the child and the support of the parents.

Our Coming of Age program honors and guides our young people in the spiritual transition from childhood to young adulthood. Open to 9th graders, the program is a year devoted to exploring Unitarian Universalist identity, theology, history and spirituality through discussion, drama, music, writing and art. This is a time for our youth to define their beliefs and put their faith into action. The Coming of Age program culminates in a ceremony during a Sunday morning worship service as the congregation recognizes this important transition and commits to support the spiritual growth of our youth in this next phase of their lives.

We celebrate the joining in marriage of all couples, straight or gay, who are ready to commit themselves to married life together. Our ministers plan wedding ceremonies individually with each couple, so that each ceremony centers on the couple getting married, and on their friends and family. Our wedding ceremonies reflect the personalities of the couple while upholding the deep Unitarian Universalist belief in the inherent value and worth of every human being. 

A memorial service in the Unitarian Universalist tradition is more than a chance to grieve a person's death. Our ministers meet with family members and design a service that best honors and celebrates the deceased person's life and spirit. Because our theology leaves open the answers to questions about what happens to us when we die, we concentrate on reflections about the person's life here on earth, the lessons that life teaches, and the character traits that we wish always to remember.

Members wishing to inquire about a rite of passage should contact Rev. Alan Taylor, Senior Minister at or Rev. Emily Gage, Minister of Faith Development at