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We begin a new church year with “Ingathering Sunday” and “Water Communion” the Sunday after Labor Day! Members, friends, and guests are all invited to bring waters of blessing: Waters of joy brought from some fun spot; Waters of sacrifice from the office bubbler; Waters of sorrow brought from some deep pain; Waters of family or home or connection or the inspiration of sacred springs; Tears of healing; Birthing waters; Rivers that flow as one to the ocean.

The Water Communion is a ritual reflecting this church’s choice to build a spiritual home to bless the world. The water we gather together will be used throughout the year to bless babies, homes, dearly departed, or wherever or whatever we’d like to bring the blessings of community.

Like all sacraments, this Water Communion is an “outward expression of what is inner and most real”: that we’re all in this together; that it takes all kinds, all souls; that it matters what we bring—though it be one single drop in an ocean; that it takes all of us, and all of life—joys, sorrows, laughter, pain, failure, success, birth, death; and with the patience and perseverance of water on stone, that even the messiest mess can be transformed into blessing.

We’ll invite waters from five directions: North, East, South, West, and Here. People come forward with whatever water they have brought and add their water to the common bowl. What blessings does your water represent that you would share in community? You’ll be invited to pour out your blessings in silent witness to that spirit. Or, if you are so moved, share that word or phrase of the spiritual essence that flows through the waters you pour.

So bring the waters home, to your spiritual home. Bring the waters of your spiritual growth or your spiritual aspirations. Bring them as a blessing that we might live that blessing, creating what Dr. King called “Beloved Community.”